Of Mice & Men’s Aaron Pauley and Valentino Arteaga Talk Live Music’s Return On This Week’s Last Words

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Live music post-COVID: the long-awaited return to normalcy for millions of socially-starved metalheads worldwide, or a good way to get the Delta variant from some dude screaming over your favorite band about how these guys were better in ’92? It’s easy to be relieved that metal fans’ primary form of social interaction is finally returning, but after the year we’ve had — and what it’s brought out in some people too angry about the gub’maynt to wear a fucking mask at Shop Rite — one can’t help wonder if things will every truly go back to the way they were. This raises the important question: what does the return of the live arena hold for both performers and concertgoers?

Joining hosts Doc Coyle (Bad Wolves/Ex Man Podcast), Katy Irizarry (Season Of Mist), and Zeena Koda (Everything’s Political Podcast) on this week’s episode of our heavy metal talk show Last Words are two dudes from a band who have more than their fair share of road miles under their collective belt: Of Mice & Men frontman Aaron Pauley and drummer Valentino Arteaga. The two metalcore musicians talk candidly about the re-emergence of live music, taking into account both the positives and the unfortunate negatives.

“Because we take health very seriously in our group, touring is…there are so many moving parts,” says Valentino. “Having to get a crew together and everything — I mean, it wasn’t that long ago that everything was shut down and it was dangerous to leave your house! On the same token, we’re not really chomping at the bit to get out there right away, and be a part of the whirlwind of everyone saying, No shows for a year and a half? Guess what — every show you’ve ever wanted is now happening!

Check out the episode below:

And if that doesn’t have you getting double-vaxxed just to be sure, listen to the full, uncensored version of the episode via our podcast:


Words by Chris Krovatin