OF MICE & MEN are:
Aaron Pauley | Phil Manansala | Alan Ashby | Valentino Arteaga
"Fighting Gravity is about learning to let go, while also recognizing the impermanence and shortness of life. We think we're in control of so much, but we're really not, and that existential dilemma is at the foundation of the human condition."
- Aaron Pauley (OF MICE & MEN)
“When you’re going through hell, keep going.” Those famous words from Winston Churchill easily double as a declaration of intent for the essential metal, hard rock, and hardcore bands. At its best, the genre produces songs of escape, exorcism, and catharsis. And few bands demonstrate this ethos as powerfully as OF MICE & MEN, the multifaceted metalcore machine whose mission is to make the soundtrack for every heartbreak, melancholic rumination, and moment of triumph.
The band’s renowned spirit of determination, aggression, and musical excellence was never more evident than on their three EPs released in 2021, a sort of trilogy which will culminate in OF MICE & MEN’s seventh full-length album before the year’s end. Conceived in collaboration over platforms like Twitch and Zoom, in the midst of the pandemic, the California quartet’s new music is their most impressive and expansive, without sacrificing any heaviness. “Obsolete,” “Timeless,” “Anchor”, and the new single, "Fighting Gravity", will all take a special place in the ever-evolving OM&M song canon.
It’s a potent and perfect storm of elements. A bombastic and uplifting roar familiar to fans of Linkin Park; a layered crunch akin to the Deftones; thrashing old school riffage a la Slayer and Exodus; the sensual atmosphere of Sade or Radiohead; swirled into a singular sound that's uniquely OM&M.
Across a half dozen studio albums, including career redefining fan-favorite masterpiece, Earthandsky and the #1 Billboard Independent album, Restoring Force, the group’s combination of crowd-moving breakdowns, staccato rhythms, and soaring melodic vocals bridged the gap from the underground to the world at large. Songs like “Would You Still be There?” and “Unbreakable” catapulted OF MICE & MEN onto massive tours with Linkin Park and Rise Against (2015); Slipknot and Marilyn Manson (2016); and Five Finger Death Punch and In Flames (2017).
At every turn, no matter what obstacles presented themselves, the four men at the OF MICE & MEN core since 2016 never lost sight of the strength of their connection to the audience or each other. They refocused and persevered at every turn, delivering massive anthems that work in the most intimate of punk clubs, the biggest of European festivals, and American rock radio formats alike. So, when the 2020 pandemic ground the touring business to a halt, Pauley, Manansala, Ashby, and Arteaga turned inward and resolved to take advantage of the year to create. They expanded their home-studio setups, wrote together online, and self-produced their new music. Pauley, already an experienced producer, handled all of the mixing and mastering duties himself.
Of course, it’s about the songs themselves and what they mean to people at the end of the day. The music of OF MICE & MEN begins as something deeply personal shared among the quartet. Once they’re turned loose, they take on new meaning, adding to the soundtrack of people’s lives.
OF MICE & MEN are: