The official lyric video for “Defy”, the title track of the upcoming album from OF MICE & MEN, can be seen below. Due on January 19, 2018 via Rise Records, the disc will mark OF MICE & MEN‘s first full-length release without vocalist Austin Carlile, who left the group due to his ongoing battle with Marfan syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that afflicts the connective tissue holding the body’s cells, organs and tissue together. Handling lead vocals in the band now is bassist Aaron Pauley.
Earlier this year, OF MICE & MEN teased the forthcoming album with the one-two punch of the singles “Unbreakable” and “Back To Me”. Those songs have clocked over seven million Spotify streams and five million YouTube/VEVO views in six months. Both tracks were recorded with Grammy-nominated producer Howard Benson (IN FLAMES, ALL THAT REMAINS), mixed by Grammy winner Chris Lord-Alge (DEFTONES, MUSE) and mastered by Chris Athens (DRAKE, OZZY OSBOURNE).
“Defy” track listing:
03. Back To Me
08. How Will You Live
09. On The Inside
11. Forever YDG’n
12. If We Were Ghosts
Pauley told Kaaos TV about the songwriting process for “Defy”: “The only real difference was, in the past, [Austin] and I would work on vocals together and stuff, and for writing the music, everything else was the same as it’s been before, which, for us, felt very good to kind of go back in the studio… That’s a really good question — we get asked that a lot: how different was it? And for us, it didn’t really feel that much different. I think when it came to doing lyrics and vocals, instead of me bouncing ideas off of Austin, I would bounce ideas off of Tino [David Valentino Arteaga, drums] or off of Alan [Ashby, guitar] or off of Phil [Manansala, guitar]. So kind of the whole way that we’ve always done things is very group-oriented. And with regards to the music, us being the four musicians that played instruments, that didn’t change and the way that we had crafted music and made records and demos in the past didn’t change. It was just the vocals and the lyrics — and even that didn’t really change other than it wasn’t me bouncing ideas off of Austin, it was me bouncing ideas off of Tino and Alan, Phil and our producer. So it felt very similar — probably more similar than it felt different.”
Carlile originally left OF MICE & MEN in 2010 after his doctor forbade him from touring to undergo heart surgery tied to complications with Marfan Syndrome. He returned in 2011, but his ailments didn’t cease, forcing him to exit the band for the second, and presumably final, time at the end of last year.
An OF MICE & MEN documentary called “Unbreakable” was released on October 13. The short film, which was directed by Johann Ramos, follows the band across multiple continents on their tour earlier this year.