As the world was getting ready to bid adieu to 2016, fans of Of Mice and Men were given the news that an important member of the band will no longer be featured in the lineup. On Friday (Dec. 30), frontman Austin Carlile announced he had departed the band. The singer’s announcement came a couple of months after the band had to pull out of their European tour due to Carlile having to undergo surgery again for his Marfan’s Syndrome. In a lengthy post to fans. The former frontman revealed in the post that he finally realized he needed to stop during that cancelled tour. “I had three 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,” Carlile explains in his letter. Since revealing to the public his longtime struggle with Marfan’s Syndrome last year, the frontman has been open about his struggle every day.
During his time in the hospital in 2015, Carlile had assured fans that he was hopeful he would be well enough to perform for the group’s dedicated followers. Apparently, as explained to Carlile, his team of medical professionals had advised him that if he continued, he would cause “permanent and irrevocable damage” to his spinal cord and nervous system. Because of the news, Carlile decided to step away from the band, even if he says it was the hardest thing he had to do. “After learning this I realized that I had to step away from Of Mice and 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.”
As stated in Carlile’s letter, the remaining members of Of Mice and Men (Aaron Pauley, Alan Ashby, Phil Manansala, and Valentino Arteaga) are supportive of his decision, especially his well-being was always important to them. “Though we’re heartbroken that he [Austin] can no longer continue, his health has always been of utmost importance to us and we support him now in this decision and are proud of his perseverance over the years.”
While they are currently down a singer, the band has announced that they will continue as a four-piece. Currently, the first show the band has planned for 2017 is their appearance at the Download Festival during the weekend of June 9-11 in the United Kingdom. After that, they are scheduled to hit the European road later that month. For now, both letters from Carlile and the remaining members of Of Mice and Men can be seen here.