Of Mice & Men's Austin Carlile: "The Touring Lifestyle Becomes Your Main Lifestyle""/>
"It's very cold in your state of Washington right now. Maybe I'll buy some long johns," says Austin Carlile, lead singer of the sunny California-based>"/>
"It's very cold in your state of Washington right now. Maybe I'll buy some long johns," says Austin Carlile, lead singer of the sunny California-based metalcore outfit Of Mice & Men. Despite the unfamiliar chill in the air, Carlile and the rest of the band are ready to get the first show of their current tour under their belts. We chatted with Carlile about the video for "The Depths" and life on tour before they took the stage Saturday at El Corazon.
SW: What's the story behind the video treatment for "The Depths?"
It's basically all of the producers' creative ideas. I told them I wanted a video that was really dark and kind of morbid and scary and nothing over the top but also nothing just kind of safe. He sent in the first draft of the actual write-up and I literally said "This sounds perfect! This is exactly what I had in mind." I filled it in and they sent me back another one that polished the entire idea and that was the quickest decision on a music video we've ever had.
Going along with the dark treatment, what do the man and woman covered in plaster represent in the story?
Honestly, I have absolutely no idea [laughs]. I'm not gonna lie to you. I don't know. They're just people looking creepy and crazy ... This song is kind of about being put down and being pushed around and I think any other video idea would've turned out to be something really cheesy so we just wanted to do something with that crazy divide of how the video turned out.
What would you say was the most memorable part of the shoot?
I don't know. Music video shoots aren't what people think they are and what they're all cracked up to be ... We went [on set], they said "Here's a guitar, bang your heads on the stage and go," and so that's what he did [laughs].
Unless it's a fun video, you kind of dread having to do it. You're there and you're listening to your song about 40, 50, 60 times in a row and having to rock out to it with no crowd and there's just a bunch of people looking at you, shooting, filming so it's kind of a tedious process and it's not really something that's all that glamorous.
I get that answer a lot actually. Most musicians seem to look forward to being on stage and recording, not filming videos.
I think it's because we know they're not real and just having to mouth the words of the songs and not actually even singing them. It just takes all the realism out of it and it takes the genuineness of the actual song out of it. But on the other side of things, I think our video looks very good and it looks cool and it makes the song sound completely different to me, which I think is awesome and I think that's what music videos are made for.
Being on the artist side of it, it's hard to get into a song when you're just mouthing the words. I wish we could just do it live and you film it and whatever you get, you get [laughs]. That would be more real than saying "Here, stand in this scene." When I perform, I have a box that I stand on ... and then in the video, I'm kind of wandering around. I look like an idiot singing because it's not natural to me, it's not comfortable. That's not how we perform so that to me takes the passion about the song out of it for me.
What do you think is your biggest challenge as a touring musician?
It's something that takes getting used to. There's a definite lifestyle change, you start referring to the road as home ... You have to sell yourself to this, you have to give 100 percent of it or else it's going to drive you absolutely insane. So the hardest thing I have to deal with now is figuring out what I'm going to wear when it's dark and I don't want to wake anybody up in the bunk area or it's two in the morning and I can't sleep and I'm on the bus. The touring lifestyle becomes your main lifestyle.
What do you hope a fan takes away from an Of Mice & Men show?
Just a fun experience. For them to come out and just to really enjoy themselves for that hour and 15 minutes we're on stage and to let it all go and sing as loud as they want and scream as loud as they want and jump up and down. Let out all that stuff from the week and the stuff that they've been going through and leave it all there and then have a really good experience and then go home and feel satisfied for that period of time and feel good about that night.