There are some bands which caused memories of youth to come flooding back, one band like that for me is Still Remains. I remember listening to The Serpent on repeat as a teenager doing my homework or playing as my orc warrior on World of Warcraft in my bedroom at the weekend. Ten years later the band are returning to the UK after a brief hiatus. Before the tour I spoke to front man TJ Miller about the band’s return, their first UK tour in ten years, The Serpent, working with Roadrunner Records, their future plans and covering Nine Inch Nails.
Jack: Hey guys, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. How are you doing?
TJ Miller (Vocals): Doing very well. Excited for our first tour in 10 years!
Jack: Still Remains reunited in 2011 for Haste The Day’s final show, how was playing that show?
TJ: That show was great. There was a renewed energy within the band that eventually carried into us wanting to work on new music together.
Jack: You decided to carry on again after this show, why did you decide to carry on?
TJ: We all just had the same vision for what we wanted to do. Write new music. Limited travel and shows. Spend our time with our friends and fams.
Jack: Are you happy with the response to Ceasing to Breath?
TJ: Yes. We received an unbelievable amount of love for that record.
Jack: Did you approach the album differently to The Serpent?
TJ: Yes, we were exploring different avenues for writing. File sharing and writing in a live setting. We had complete control. Did all of the artwork. We got to record at home. Working with Mike Hatalak was great because we new him well from doing multiple tours together, so he shared our vision for the sound, and was able to bring some push to the table to take certain parts in different directions.
Jack: As Ceasing to Breathe was done by Kickstarter, did this add more pressure to the album?
TJ: It did. Because we all work full-time and have kids, it creates a bit of pressure to make sure all rewards are sent out, etc. I am glad we did it. We couldn’t have made the record that we wanted to without its help.
Jack: How did you find recording the album?
TJ: We were good friends with Mike H. And he had reached out to us to offer his services. We had full confindence in his abilities and knew he could capture great energy out of us because of our long time friendship with him.
Jack: Did you ever worry you’d have been forgotten about?
TJ: Since Still Remains went on Hiatus in 2008, we have had an outpouring of interest from our fans in us to continue playing and creating new music. I suppose, after being away from it for so long… it’s a little scary getting back into it. But our fans were really amped up, and never forgot about it.
Jack: You’re back touring the UK after ten years, how does it feel to be finally coming back after all this time?
TJ: We leave next Friday, and are very very excited. Practices have a lot of great energy. We never thought this would ever happen.
Jack: What have you missed the most about the UK?
TJ: Sketchy Kebab shops. Late night dance parties. All of our old UK friends and fans.
Jack: You last toured here with Bullet for My Valentine. How did that tour go?
TJ: Touring with Bullet is always the best.
Jack: This year is ten years since The Serpent came out, one of my favourite albums of my youth, how do you feel about the album looking back? Did you realise you were onto something special?
TJ: We knew that we were taking a bit of a different direction on the album. A lot of that was from being on so many metal tours, hearing five hours of metal every single night. We all have a pretty diverse musical background and tastes, so we felt very inspired to take a different approach to our craft.
Jack: Did you know that Stay Captive would be a hit when you wrote it?
TJ: I knew it was a catchy tune. It was one of my favorites on the material we were putting together. I knew it had potential to be a special song for us. The melodies and lyrics to that song all hit me like a ton of bricks. It felt very natural, and like it was just supposed to “be.”
Jack: Would you change anything about the album?
TJ: I try not to look back at things too much because there is a lot I feel we would do differently, had we had a chance to travel back in time. However, we are just focused on the excitement that we are experiencing now with the impending tour, and some of the new material we are putting together. And we wouldn’t in that position today if we had done anything different.
Jack: What was working with Roadrunner like?
TJ: Hit and miss, really. It was a hit internationally. It was a miss locally.
Jack: What other plans do you have coming up?
TJ: We will probably play some shows next year, and will be working more on putting out a new record. We hope to release something new next year.
Jack: Finally, you covered Head Like A Hole for a Kerrang compilation? How did you end up covering this song?
TJ: The label approached us about the compilation and said we would have an opportunity to contribute. They suggested a NIN song because they knew how crazy I was about the band, so naturally we jumped at the opportunity.