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Words by Emily Hollitt

Returning to Australian stages after six years, Of Mice & Men brings with them a fervent anticipation matched only by the fervour of their fans. In an exclusive Q+A, lead singer and bassist Aaron Pauley delves into their inspirations, the thrill of live performances, and the connection they feel with Australian audiences.

From the evolution of their sound showcased in their latest album, ‘Tether’, to their carefully curated choice of Aussie support acts, Dream on Dreamer and Sienna Skies, as they gear up for their highly anticipated tour, Of Mice & Men invite us into their world, where passion, dedication, and the pursuit of musical excellence reign supreme.

This is your first time back in Australia in 6 years. How do you think Aussie crowds differ from other countries you’ve played?
There’s just so much energy and what always feels like intense camaraderie among Australian crowds.

It’s been a few months since you released your last album ‘Tether’, your 8th studio album! How does this record vary from what you’ve released previously and what were some of the inspirations behind the tracks?
I think we were willing to take more risks in terms of sonics and songwriting. We definitely spent more time exploring and experimenting with sound design elements on ‘Tether’ than we had on previous albums.

You’ve chosen Dream on Dreamer and Sienna Skies as your Aussie supports. What drew you to these bands?
They’re both great bands, so it’s a great bill for the fans!

With a career spanning over a decade, and a few member changes here and there, how do you approach writing in a way that stays true to your sound but breathes fresh air into what you’re making?
We simply try and chase whatever excites us and whatever resonates with us in the moment. We’ve always found that if we stick to that process, we’ll always discover something new while staying true to our own musical languages.

Continuing from this, with so many years together and such a prestigious career, what would you consider your personal highlight so far?
Personally, it’s the growth. Listening back on a decades worth of work, I’m reminded of where I started and where I am now in my musical journey, and I’m often humbled. Haha!

What’s your pre-show ritual?
Vocal warm-ups, hydrating, and stretching.

What’s the biggest culture shock you’ve noticed travelling to Australia?
Honestly, Australia might feel the most like California of any foreign country I’ve ever been to, so it’s not too much of a culture shock. I will say though, your spiders do get considerably larger than the ones back home! Haha!

If you had to choose one album that’s influenced you as a musician, what would you choose and why?
Probably Tool’s Aenima. I spun that CD until it stopped working and I had to buy a second. I used to play guitar along with the album and it taught me so much about rhythm and theory.

And finally, what advice would you give to any young person who wants to not just start a band, but make a career out of it?
If you want to start a band that can stand the test of time and the hardships of the road, find people who share your same work ethic and passion. It takes a whole village to make this dream a reality, and a whole mess of hard work!

Of Mice & Men AUSTRALIAN TOUR 2024
With Special Guests Dream on Dreamer and Sienna Skies
Fri, Feb 23: Lion Arts Factory, Adelaide
Sat, Feb 24: The Metro, Sydney
Sun, Feb 25: 170 Russell, Melbourne

Tues, Feb 27: The Triffid, Brisbane

Tickets available at

Thanks to Maric Media

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