Of Mice And Men

Of Mice & MenTaking their band name from John Steinbeck’s novel about adversity and the shattered American Dream might lead you to expect Of Mice And Men to be glass half-empty types. Instead, SHANE PINNEGAR finds drummer Tino Arteaga full of positivity and looking forward to playing Challenge Stadium on Saturday,  October 12, with Bring Me The Horizon and Crossfaith.

Tino Arteaga says Of Mice and Men have toured with new touring buddies Bring Me The Horizon and Crossfaith before, and after reconnecting on the Soundwave Festival tour this year, jumped at the chance to head out with them again.

“We toured together with BMTH back in 2009,” he explains, “then we saw them again at Soundwave Festival.  This will be our first time directly on tour with them, we’re definitely excited because we’ve been fans for a really long time and they’ve always been nothing but awesome dudes to us.”

Having taken Crossfaith out on a headlining tour of the UK last year, Arteaga says the language barrier was overcome with “music and positive vibes” and explains how they became surrogate big brothers to the Japanese band.

“Even if we couldn’t speak Japanese to talk to them – most of the dudes are able to speak enough English to understand the basics, but it was definitely the first time that we had been on tour with a band where English wasn’t their first language.  They’re an amazing live band and they’re just the most awesome dudes and we’re definitely excited to have them on the tour.  They’re our Japanese homies for sure – we got pretty close to them on our tour, we took them under our wing and showed them how to do things.”

Describing the Soundwave 2013 tour as “the best experience ever, even from the first night before the festival even started,” Arteaga is eager to get back to Australia for some sightseeing.

“We’d love to explore Australia more, and not only from the air! Hopefully we’ll be seeing more of what the country has to offer.  Every time we go it’s just a better experience than the last.”

Before the tour in October, however, there is the band’s third album to record.

“We’re getting all of our ideas together, trimming the fat so to say,” Arteaga explains.  “There’s a ton of material that’s been written, and we’re trying to find the songs that we feel really showcase our strengths and give the message that we really want to give.  That should take us up until the time when we go to Australia.”

I can’t let Arteaga go without remarking that the band’s name seems a bit fatalistic, negative, even.

“If you look at the history of Of Mice & Men, getting to this point today has been filled with adversity, and filled with problems that needed to be overcome,” he explains.  “That’s something that’s gonna continue – life is full of curve balls.  The quote is, ‘The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry’, and these adversities aren’t just to the band itself, there’s been personal hurdles for each one of us to get over.

“There are things we have to overcome in order to achieve our dreams, and as we achieve one goal, a new beast emerges. So it always has to do with growing – nothing with meaning comes easy.”