Game of War by Of Mice & Men – Songfacts

  • Of Mice & Men bassist Aaron Pauley wrote this song hours after the terrorist attack on a 2015 Christmas party San Bernardino, California; 14 people were killed during the mass shooting and 22 seriously injured. Pauley told Metal Hammer that the songwriting process helped him deal with the horror of the tragedy that took place so near to his home:

    “I wrote Game Of War the day of the San Bernardino shooting, which is less than an hour from where we live. I was just in tears that day. That day, it sucked. It’s really, really easy, especially now with politics, and with the election, and with Brexit and everything else to get really caught up in the politics of things, and then when suddenly it’s not a political issue any more, but a human issue, it hurts more. It’s more visceral.”

  • Frontman Austin Carlile said: “A lot of our music comes from an actual experience or feeling. San Bernardino is so close to us, and so it really hit home, and the song encapsulates the album and sets up the mood that we wanted. It’s dark, it has very tribal drums, and it reminds me of A Perfect Circle or older Tool, and I love those bands.”

  • The Cold World album title comes from the song’s first lyrics: “Cold world, isolating.”

  • Aaron Pauley recalled the song’s inspiration during an interview with Roxy Myzal of HardDrive Radio: “A lot of what you hear or you see [in the news] is stuff going on in the Middle East or stuff going on in Europe,” he said. “For us, to have something like that happen in our backyard was kind of alarming.”

    “I just remember I had terrible trouble sleeping that week, and I woke up at, like, three in the morning with the song in my head,” Pauley continued. “And I just kind of sat at my little computer where I demo stuff and just got it all out. And I remember that when I was done with it, I had saved it, and I just felt better and I went back to sleep. And then I showed these guys… I don’t think it was ever even really written specifically to be an Of Mice & Men song, but the guys were hugely supportive in hearing it.”

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