AJ Barrette, the drummer from Still Remains, spares R13 a few minutes to talk about the European Roadrage tour.

Random person: He's just a liar.
AJB: Yep, don't believe anything I say.

R13:So what's the tour been like so far - mayhem?
AJB: Yeah, it's just been insane. Fans over here are like totally different to the US. It's just like everybody's just so into the band and so into metal in general, it's not like anything in the US. You never see the mass amounts of kids walking down the street in metal shirts everywhere. Kid's don't show up five hours before the show and just hang around. It's happened every single show of this tour and I don't know quite what to think about it yet. It's really cool though, I'm not used to it.
R13:What are the best things about touring?
AJB: Getting to see freakin' everywhere and just playing shows every night.
R13:What's been the best place you've been?
AJB: I was really excited to be in Glasgow yesterday because I used to play in a bagpipe band. I'm a total sight seeing nerd, so it's everywhere we go I'm running around with my camera 'Oh this is cool, oh look at that, oh look at the castle'
R13:Worst part of touring?
AJB: The worst part, probably no showers and crapping in public restrooms all the time. That and being away from my girlfriend isn't super cool, but sacrifices.

R13:The new album 'Of Love And Lunacy' has had good reviews so far. What reaction to it have you seen or heard?
AJB: So far everybody's been really positive but it's only been out three days maybe so it's hard to say at this point. But we've been really impressed with all the reviews. We got a really good one in Kerrang! and one in Metal Hammer. I didn't really know how it was going to be received, it's like our band and I never really thought our songs were anything more spectacular than anybody else's. I've been really blown away by the response because I didn't think anybody was going to care.
R13: What was working with GGGarth like?
AJB: Yeah it's three G's. Actually the Red Hot Chilli Peppers gave him his name because he's got a stutter, he kind of jokes about it. He's really great, the first two weeks we were there were pre-production and for the first week he didn't have us do anything, just hang out. We had our own little band house and played video games, watched movies, didn't even practise if we didn't want to. We just got accustomed to the surroundings. He was really about making us comfortable and feel as normal as possible about being there.
R13:What was the studio like?
AJB: It's actually his house. We did my drums in a studio in Vancouver, but everything else was done in his house studio. It's like a compound. He had his big main house, that has the tracking room in it. Then a vocal house and then there was our band house. It was pretty cool, but it felt like home, we were there for six weeks, so I mean by the time we got into it everybody was just so used to being there and comfortable that there were totally no nerves at all. GGGarth taught us really when to relax and the when to really push it. We were totally relaxed at the start then towards the end he really knew when to turn the fire on and get us to do the best performance possible. So he knew exactly when to push us and when to cuddle us when we were whining.

R13:How has your sound changed since the first EP 'If Love Was Born To Die'?
AJB: It's not a super super big change. I think the most notable difference is it's a little bit faster and tends to be a little more on the metal side than the hardcore. I think we got a little bit heavier, but also it's centred around a lot of pop hooks and stuff. I know a lot of bands say it but heavier and more melodic at the same time, if that makes sense?

R13:What's it been like changing from the small independent label Banchmark to Roadrunner?
AJB: The change is really obvious now, but it was really slow seeing it because when we signed to Roadrunner we were in the middle of writing our album. So we pretty much signed the deal and then went back into our basement and kept writing the album for another two or three months. So it's only now the changes are becoming more evident. I never thought we'd be on a tour bus or in Europe. I just bought our album here today. I never thought I'd see our CD in Wales. I don't think I'm going to open it just so I can keep the stickers. It says eleven ninety-nine on it, it'd be about eleven bucks in America.

R13:The new video - I've seen two versions of it.
AJB: Oh yeah?
R13:One has you guys in it and the other one's on the Metal Injection website.
AJB: That one's great, it's hilarious. I almost died when I saw it. I've watched that show on and off over the past year, so it was especially crazy seeing us on there. I don't think they've done anything like that for a band so it was freakin' funny.
R13:Where was the real video filmed?
AJB: We did it north of L.A. They found this burnt down building and just did it out back. We were originally set to do it in the middle of a desert but they found this location and we got there and thought this will be great. I think it came out really cool.

R13:How did you get into the drums?
AJB: My Dad actually plays bagpipes, so I grew up around bagpipe bands. When I was about eleven I started taking snare drum lessons. On my sixteenth birthday my parents surprised me and took me to a music shop to pick a drum set out. I pretty much fooled around on that for a couple of years, sort of taught myself and played the CDs that I had, then jammed with friends and then eventually worked up to a real band.

R13:When did you join Still Remains and how did it come about?
AJB: I joined only last July. I had just quit my band, (a local Grand Rapids band) the week earlier and was about to move to California, when Jordan (guitar player) called up and was like "Hey, how you doing? You wanna come jam with some songs because Cameron just quit the band about an hour ago." Actually it was Cameron's personal recommendation to call me so I felt pretty cool for that. I learnt the night Jordan called me then just went and jammed with them. A week later it was just like let's do this.
R13:Is it wierd learning someone elses drumming parts?
AJB: It's a little bit weird, but that's sort of how I learnt to play because I never had a teacher. When we re-recorded the songs I kept the same feel but changed the little things. I try to put my own personal touch in but anything previously recorded I tried to keep, for the most part, similar.

R13:I hear you have a new member, Mike Church
AJB: He's actually a buddy of mine from a long time ago. I played in bands with him for a long time. Jordan actually recorded all the guitars for the album. Mike did the singing on it with TJ but he didn't do any guitars because he was so new at that point. But he started jamming with the band about a month after I did. He was a little bit more on and off because we weren't really looking for a full time member yet. So he filled in on all the shows last year before we went into the studio and then right after the studio we made him a part of the band. He's been working out great.

R13:What festivals are you performing at this year?
AJB: Over here we're doing Dynamo, we're doing the Aerodrome festival and Rock Am Ring. Then the last show of the tour is Download. But man, I'm looking forward to all of them. Every single festival has bands that I just thought I'd never be able to see or play with.
R13:Anyone you especially want to see?
AJB: Oh like everybody. Like it sounds dorky but I want to see Incubus really bad, that's one of my favourite bands going, that's just guilty pleasure I guess. I want to see In Flames really bad. I haven't seen Lamb of God in a while. I want to see Slipknot too, I haven't seen them since their second album and I heard they're so good live now.

R13:What's the plan for Still Remains now?
AJB: We get home right after Download. We get a couple of days off then we're going out in the US for about a month or two with Extol. Then going out with our managers other band Haste The Day and I think Stretch Armstrong maybe right after that.

R13:What's your opinion on the Christian rock scene?
AJB: Like Underoath, Haste The Day, Norma Jean. Showdown are great. I think they're actually playing with us on the Extol tour. We played a festival with them right before we left and they are so funny and southern. Their singer is just obsessed with tornadoes and snakes, he's so hilarious. We don't try and label ourselves as a Christian band, it's something we believe in but it's not everything that is in the band. It tends to pigeonhole people into a one audience show.

R13:Anything else to say to your fans?
AJB: Europe is sweet. We're going to try and miss our plane so we can stay here.

Still Remain's album 'Of Love And Lunacy' is out now on Roadrunner Records. If you want to catch them on the Roadrage tour click here.

Thank you to Kirsten and Sami at Roadrunner Records for this interview.