Of Mice & Men's Aaron Pauley on lockdown, the future and new song Mosaic

We catch up with Of Mice & Men vocalist Aaron Pauley to chat about Mosaic, finding inspiration and what's coming next…

Of Mice & Men's Aaron Pauley on lockdown, the future and new song Mosaic
Kerrang! staff

After dropping two EPs earlier this year in the form of Timeless and Bloom, released in February and May respectively, Of Mice & Men have unleashed even more new music.

Unlike the previous three-track affairs, the California metalcore crew have released new track Mosaic as a standalone single, that vocalist Aaron Pauley describes as "a heavy, fast track that picks right up where songs like Levee and Pulling Teeth leave off".

But with two EPs in the rearview, does this sole offering signify something of a new era for Of Mice & Men?

“I'd like to think of it as a new chapter in the same story that we've been telling through these previous EPs, rather than a new phase, per se," Aaron explains.

You can listen to OM&M's new track below and read our little chat with Aaron all about it.

You’ve released quite a lot of music in 2021 so far. What is inspiring this creativity?
“I'd say it's largely to do with the lack of any other outlet, really. We haven't played a show in a few hundred days, and it'll be a few hundred days until we're scheduled to play another, so creating music is basically all we have to express ourselves for the time being.”

How did lockdown affect you creatively? Did you use the time to write, or was it quite hard to find motivation?
“An awful lot of both, to be honest. Sometimes, I felt like it greatly enhanced my creativity and motivation, and at times, it completely stifled it. Really just depends on the day, I suppose.”

How did Mosaic come to be?
"We worked on the song over Zoom, much in the same way as we did with the other EPs. We really liked the skeleton of the track, and really liked the pace and feel. So then, it was just about building it up, filling it out, and polishing it up.”

What is the meaning behind the song?
“It's a song about societal discord. Society, especially in the age of social media, is quite literally a mess. I think it's a mess because humans are a mess. The song begs the question, ‘Can we learn to deal with ourselves or will we always be this way?’”

The song is littered with religious imagery of snakes, heaven, plagues and Judgement Day. What was inspiring this?
“At the time, I was looking at a lot of Renaissance paintings, and how they all sort-of allegorically fit with what I was feeling about our modern society. A lot of art from that period pulls from religious imagery, so it seemed apropos. Plus, who doesn't love snakes, plagues, and a little Armageddon?”

What is your relationship with religion?
“A personal one.”

What does Mosaic say about Of Mice & Men?
“I'd like to think it demonstrates that we're still capable of delivering what fans expect from us, which is heavy, relatable, honest music that comes from a place of personal and shared experiences.”

You’ve released two EPs this year rather than a full album. Is that something you’re going to continue?
“Hmm, I don't want to give too much away. Well, I can't, I should say! There will be always be new music. How it makes it's way to listeners, though, has yet to be determined.”

What are OM&M’s plans going forward now that the world is learning to live with COVID?
“We're just going to do our best to practice patience, and create music while we've got the time to do so. I definitely can't wait to play shows and see our fans again, though. All in due time.”

Mosaic is out now via SharpTone Records.

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