Having suffered from a rare genetic connective tissue disorder called Marfan syndrome, a disorder that he has sadly suffered with for a long time, the condition has lead to Of Mice & Men vocalist Austin Carlile to step down as the frontman for the Floridian outfit.
Despite several surgical procedures over the years, Carlile‘s condition has continued, and in October resulted in the band cancelling their UK/European headline tour midway through to focus on his health.
The band posted a statement via their Facebook profile announcing the news, and that all currently scheduled dates will proceed as planned with the band remaining as a 4-piece for the foreseeable future.
You can read the band’s statement below:
“Dear Of Mice & Men Fans,
It’s with heavy hearts that we announce Austin’s departure from the band for reasons pertaining to his health. As many of you are aware, Austin suffers from a rare connective tissue disorder called Marfan syndrome & has been struggling with the physical demands of touring since the band began.
After his most recent series of surgeries at Stanford University Hospital, following the cancellation of our European headlining tour, his team of doctors informed him of the damage that performing, & more specifically his aggressive vocals, have been causing his body. They warned that if he were to continue on doing so, it would cause permanent & irrevocable damage to his spine & nervous system.
Following the advice from his team of specialists, Austin decided it best that he step away from the band & change his lifestyle to better his health. Though we’re heartbroken that he can no longer continue, his health has always been of utmost importance to us & we support him now in this decision & are proud of his perseverance over the years.
We’ve had an amazing & unforgettable past few years making music & touring the world together & the 4 of us look forward to sharing the next chapter of the band’s story with you. All previously announced shows will proceed as planned & we thank you for your continued love & support. We couldn’t do this without all of you! See you real soon.
-Aaron, Alan, Phil & Valentino”
Carlile also wrote a personal letter of his own to his fans to explain his situation, why he has decided to step down from the band, the current condition of his health, and what he has planned for the future.
You can read the letter in full below:
“I never thought in a million years I would be sitting in Costa Rica writing this. I never thought I would start a successful band. I never thought I’d open for Marilyn Manson and Slipknot for an entire summer. I never thought I would go on a world tour with Linkin Park and sing ‘Faint’ on stage with them all around the globe, I never thought I’d become friends with Mike Shinoda and he’d help me write songs for an album of ours that sat at the number 4 spot on the Billboard top charts. I never thought I would befriend bands like Avenged Sevenfold, Metallica, and Korn. I never thought I would sing ‘Ball Tongue’ on stage with Korn. I never thought my band would play, much less headline Warped Tour, play giant radio festivals all over the world with some of my favorite artists, or tour in Germany, or anywhere in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brazil, Chile, Canada, the United Kingdom, Scotland, Holland, Norway, or Italy, etc. The first time I ever left the States was because of this band that I started in a tiny barred window studio apartment… I never thought people would ask to take selfies with me inside the Roman Collesium, on the Eiffel Tower in Paris, or even the mall I worked at in Ohio where Of Mice & Men was born eight years ago with the help of my friends in Though She Wrote. Kameron Bradbury now in Beartooth on guitar, recording our first song together in a local studio for just $50. I never thought putting the song ‘Seven Thousand Miles For What’ on MySpace would reach over a million plays in a week, and that I’d sign a record contract of my own just days later. I never thought I’d pack my things up and drive to California for the first time to find permanent band members. I never thought all my wildest dreams and more would eventually come true…
I also never thought my fibrostic connective tissue disorder marfan syndrome would cause touring to be so hard and painful for me. I always thought the pain would get better one day, or that I would get better too. But this never happened, that day has still yet to come. From multiple surgeries, caused from touring over multiple years, and after cancelling a European tour half way through, this October 2016 finally brought me to my knees. My greatest fear had become a reality… I had 3 tears in my dual sac surrounding my spinal cord, and we discovered that every time I would push down to scream spinal fluid would rush though the tears which was causing me the violent pain every time I’d perform. It was causing my muscles to seize up, and body to contort on stage, and making me lethargic and sore every hour of the day. My doctors and team of specialists had warned me for years of the detriment of my career to my health, but I pushed through anyways. I always pushed through. I had to push through. This is what I love, music is where I found myself. But these 3 tears in my spine, plus a fourth that occurred the year prior, were signs that I was absolutely not able to scream anymore. My team advised me that if I continued to do so, it would cause “permanent and irrevocable damage to my spinal cord and nervous system.” After learning this I realized that I had to step away from Of Mice & Men. No longer able to scream most of our old material, or continue to scream on anything new, I cannot continue on. This has been the hardest thing that has happened in my life for a very long time, but thankfully the band, my family, and closest friends stand behind me and understand. They have all personally seen how much pain I have had to endure and especially the past 2 years as my spine was tearing apart but I kept going, I gave it my all, and cannot express this enough.
The band will now still continue on just the four of them, and I wish them the best of luck without me heading into 2017. I will be here in Costa Rica, where I have now moved, continuing to heal, rest, and write. I will not stop playing music, I am still able to sing and I’m hungry for what is next to come even though I have no idea what that may be. I feel God placed me at this cross roads for a reason, and with the closing of one door, another will open. I’m taking this as an opportunity to grow closer to Him, as He is the reason I never gave up or ended my life years ago while facing my various troubles. I have decided to listen to my specialists, and God telling me it’s time to do something new. I have to do this for myself, my health, my body. I’m so thankful my spinal injuries weren’t worse for I could have easily been paralyzed permanently. I have now made the choice to use my life, my story, and my voice for His glory. To help show His love and grace I have experienced first hand to anyone else searching for the same hope. Of Mice & Men offered hope to thousands, but there is no true hope unless through Jesus Christ (Yashua). I have now dedicated my life to sharing this with the world, which needs it so badly right now more than ever.
Some ask how I am not mad at God for taking all this from me and putting me through so much pain and loss… My answer is simple: it is my path to follow, my story, and my life is not my own, but a gift from God in the first place. This seems like the perfect opportunity for me to use my story to hopefully inspire others who have experienced pain, hurt, depression or loss in their own lives. We all have our stories, we all have certain things we have overcome. We have done this together, you helped make my dreams come true, and I want to thank you all for the immense support over the years. Now I must do what I have to.
I wanted to keep this news in 2016, because 2017 is going to be a new year, with new chapters. Remember your days are like pages, chapters unread, you have to keep going, keep turning, keep reading… because your book has no end. Just like the ampersand tattoo on my thumb, we will not fade. You are in my heart and I’m ready to start a new journey with all of you remaining by my side. I can do nothing alone, and I’m grateful I won’t have to because of you.
Thank you. To everyone who has ever been a fan or a part of Of Mice & Men, from the start, Kameron, Joey, Luke, Ethan, Jared, Jaxin, Phil, Aaron, Joel, Justin, Jon, Shayley, Tino, and Alan, for everything, thank you. Here’s to 2017.
God bless! X
At this time, though it has been confirmed Of Mice & Men will remain as a 4-piece for the foreseeable future, it’s uncertain as to whether a new vocalist will be confirmed at some point throughout 2017.
We here at DEAD PRESS! wish Carlile a swift and strong recovery to much better health.