OF MICE & MEN's Ben Anderson-directed video for the song "Instincts" can be seen below. The track is taken from the band's latest album "Defy", which was released in January through Rise Records.
"Defy" marks 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.
Pauley told Alternative Press about "Instincts": "We were supposed to do a festival called With Full Force in Germany, and it was in this giant vintage machinery graveyard kind of museum called Ferropolis. It's also on a little lake, which I read about was a microclimate, and then a couple hours before we were supposed to play, a literal hurricane, like a micro hurricane around the lake, happened. The whole festival got rained out and shut down. So the demo for that song, instrumentally, started that day."
"Defy" was produced by Howard Benson (MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE, THREE DAYS GRACE, SKILLET, THE ALL-AMERICAN REJECTS) and mixed by Chris Lord-Alge (GREEN DAY, BREAKING BENJAMIN, SHINEDOWN, RISE AGAINST).
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 2016.