Simon Milburn of Australia's The Metal Forge recently conducted an interview with STILL REMAINS vocalist T.J. Miller. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
On signing with Roadrunner Records:
"(It was) kinda weird. When we got signed to Roadrunner, we're written about 12 songs total as a band. We didn't know who we were, what we wanted to do... we weren't mature at all as far as being musicians. But there was something that Roadrunner saw in STILL REMAINS that took their liking and we're just really thankful. We don't know what that was. It seemed to work for them and it's working great for us. We were just a bunch of kids just really excited that a big label was interested in us, y'know? That was something that we could never dream about having and it worked out."
On working with acclaimed producer Steve Evetts on the band's latest CD, The Serpent":
"Steve was somebody who kind of stuck out to us after we had heard the last STORY OF THE YEAR album. We had heard that he is definitely a vocal producer and that's one thing that I really wanted to work with. I really wanted to work with somebody that could really push me as a singer and to bring out my personality. He's worked with some remarkable bands that we are big fans of. He's worked with THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN. He's work with THE CURE. He's worked with HATEBREED, SEPULTURA…all these bands that we love the records. He's got a good sound. He's got a good mind. We actually finished our record and we decided, 'Man, we'd probably never go with another producer again,' and we want him to do our next record and the one after that, and the one after that… He's just a great producer. That's what we needed for the first album."
On having the new album mixed by ex-MACHINE HEAD guitarist Logan Mader:
“We didn't have too many options for mixers. We kept going back and forth and back and forth. Logan's name came about and we were like, 'Yeah, let's see what he can do. Let's see what he's got.' So, he sent over a test mix of one of the songs and we liked it. We actually had somebody mix the record before Logan. I won't say who. Somebody did mix the record. We weren't happy with how it sounded and I don't want to rub that in his face and I don't want mention his name. I just don't really think that that guy got really what we were trying to do. Then Logan tried a test mix and we were like, 'Oh my gosh! This is a million times better than what we were hearing before,' and we decided to go with him. He was really easy to work with. He was talking to Jordan a lot through the mixes and Jordan was kinda playing the middle man between us and him. He would look over all our notes and he really respected what the band had to say about the mixes and about how we wanted it to sound. It was just good working with that guy."
On the new album's lyrical direction:
"I've just grown up a lot. I realize that if there's something in my head, I shouldn't be afraid to say it. I shouldn't be afraid to express how I feel. That's what art is – it's an expression. For this album, I guess my personality as a whole, there's some things that I experienced in my childhood that I never really wanted to talk about. Some memories are pretty painful and some things that I experienced with my family when I was being raised were pretty out of this world. I just thought to myself, 'There's probably a lot of young people in the world that are going through the same things that I saw, and maybe if I write about this and somebody reads it, they won't feel like they're alone. They'll be like 'Wow, I can relate to this guy.'' That's what I want to do with out music. Besides just write awesome songs, I want to make a difference in this world. I want to impact people, and give them something to help them with whatever they are dealing with."
Read the entire interview at www.themetalforge.com.