Just days away from the release of their Sharptone Records' debut EP, Timeless, drummer Valentino Arteaga from Of Mice & Men dropped in to discuss the latest chapter of the band's enduring career.
Arteaga explained that in the wake of the pandemic, Of Men & Men's pivot has been a productive one. Finding an unconventional means of working on music and connecting with fans, the band dove deep into Twitch and has integrated the platform into the fabric of the band. So much in fact that the the music set to be released later this week actually was something the fans saw from it's inception via Twitch.
The drummer explained his excitement in finding a new means to not only interact with the fans but a new avenue to create music. Though the process began out of necessity, having to work remotely, the last year was proven that anything is possible and a record can be made, quite literally, from your bedroom.
As for allowing fans in the process of songwriting, Arteaga confides that while it's important for their followers to be able to voice their input, the band is pretty locked into what the creative endgame is. Citing their time with mega producers like David Bendeth, Howard Benson, Josh Wilbur, and Joey Sturgis, the drummer shared that the lessons they have learned along the way, combined with the band's creative chemistry is what they rely on most when it comes to actually getting to the songwriting process.
Reflecting on the transformative events of the last year, Arteaga talked about how this time last year, the band was on a cruise ship and had they departed just one week later, they would not have been able to dock. The pandemic really shuttered everything and changed the band's entire existence in the wake of no touring and no concerts.
Embracing the idea of adapt or die, the drummer confided that the durability of the band was what would allow them to not only find a way to change course, but to continue to thrive. After 10 years, 6 albums, a live DVD, awards, and legions of fans - the band seems excited to start a new chapter.
With nothing but praise for their current record label in Sharptone, Aretega shared that the culture of metalcore seems to be experiencing a resurgence and the label is doing a fine job of nurturing that. Comfortable with assuming an elder role in the world of metalcore, Arteaga shared how younger bands like Dying Wish are part of why the future looks so bright.
As for that future, Arteaga shared that in the spirit of that adaptation, the band has pushed themselves to be the best possible version of themselves thy can be. The drummer expressed a genuine excitement in being able to show the fans a refocused, refreshed version of the band that really has embraced a motivation to one up themselves with each new track.
Watch the complete interview with Valentino Arteaga from Of Mice & Men below.
0:50 - Side lined by the pandemic, Of Mice & Men dives into gaming via Twitch and finds a new creative platform
2:40 - Making music from home is possible. The smoke and mirrors have been removed
3:30 - The pros and cons of having fans watch as the band creates
6:34 - Of Mice & Men hitting the reset button
8:45 - Transitioning from Rise Records to Sharptone Records
10:09 - The resurgence of metalcore and the progressive culture of Sharptone Records
12:42 - Utilizing influences in a way that is natural
14:06 - Fan reaction videos on Youtube
16:15 - The metalcore roots of Southern California
17:30 - The community at the core of Of Mice & Men
19:19 - Heavy music is what Of Mice & Men is all about