Michigan's finest metal band Still Remains are over here on their first headlining UK tour, so R13 met up with T.J before their Portsmouth show for a little chat.

R13: Can you introduce yourself and tell us what you play in the band?
T.J: I'm T.J from Still Remains and I am the singer

R13: How did you all come together and who are your influences?
T.J: We were a bunch of guys who played in local bands, and basically we all came together after our old bands broke up, and started a new band, and it all just went from there. We have a million different influences, but stuff that we are listening to now is Darkest Hour, HIM, In Flames.

R13: For people who have never heard your music, how would you describe it to them?
T.J: Euro metal with a twist of American metal, the singing sounds like American rock, but the actual music sounds like Euro metal

R13: What comparisons do you get that you agree or disagree with?
T.J: The ones I agree with would be In Flames, Soilwork, Killswitch Engage, and stuff like that. The ones I disagree with are Under Oath and Bleeding Through.

R13: What are some of the topics of Still Remains songs, and is there anything that you've tried to incorporate intentionally, lyrically, and are there any topics that you wouldn't write about?
T.J: I'm not really a political person so I wouldn't try to write about that. I write about personal relationship, faith, anything from abortion to suicide.

R13: You recently covered "Head Like A Hole" for the Kerrang! 25th birthday CD, how did that come about and why did you choose that track?
T.J: NIN is my favourite band in the whole world and Kerrang! knew that, and they had plans to put the compilation out and asked us if we wanted to do that song, and we were just like "Of course we'll do it".

R13: What are the best and worst things about being on tour?
T.J: Best things are that you get to meet a lot of new friends and you get to play awesome shows, see the world. The worst thing is really being homesick and missing your girlfriend or your wife.

R13: You played at the Brighton's Great Escape Event last week how was that for you?
T.J: It was awesome. There was a band that played with us called Gojira, and we'd been idolising them for months; so it was awesome to finally get to meet them and play with them, it was the highlight of the whole day.

R13: Last year you performed at Download Festival, do you wish you were playing there this year?
T.J: Yeah, oh yeah! It was a great experience but apparently they don't do a lot of the same bands two years in a row, but most definitely we'll be back next year.

R13: Do you prefer to play at festivals or small intimate gigs?
T.J: I don't know, they both have their good points. It really depends on the situation, if it's an intimate gig and there's a lot of people there I love doing it, if it's packed in a small room I love that. I probably feel the same for both situations as long as there are a lot of people, and then it's great.

R13: What can we expect to see from you at a live show?
T.J: I like to run around and get into the songs, but at the same time we goof around on stage. Last night when we all walked onto the stage I gave Zach a piggyback ride on to the stage and everybody was laughing. We like to joke around and amuse ourselves while were on stage.

R13: How has the UK been treating you so far?
T.J: Great! Every time we're here it's the same, nothing but smiles and friendly people and great shows. I could tour here forever.

R13: From what you've have seen how does touring in the UK compare to touring the US and Canada?
T.J: Canada sucks let's say that straight up.
R13: For what reason?
T.J: I dunno, I can't really say Canada sucks, we have played some good shows there, but it's different there, the drives are so long, it's more desolate, there's nothing around in Canada. That's how it is in America too but Canada is a lot worse. Touring here is way different for one we get a bus here, in America we just get a van and have to drive ourselves, here we have a driver, and we get the opportunity to sleep here, in America we don't get any sleep on tour.
R13: So we're a lot more accommodating?
T.J: Yeah, you're a lot more accommodating, and the kids at shows are a lot more excited.

R13: Where is your favourite place to perform?
T.J: As far as countries I say here over America, but some of my favourite venues are in America, like the Emerson Theatre, that's really cool. Anywhere we play in California is awesome.

R13: What do you guys get up to, to make the time pass quicker while on the road?
T.J: It's different every tour, on the last tour we were with If Hope Dies and everyday we'd play poker. Now I've downloaded the first season of Sopranos and the first season of Nip Tuck and I have them on my Ipod, so to pass time away I've been listening to music and watching my Ipod. Screwing around with the other guys in Demiricous, they have this thing called Party Aids where at night we'll all be standing around and one of the guys will be drinking and somebody else will take off their shoe, and slap somebody in the chest, and you get these big scrapes and bruises that look exactly like a shoe. We're not crazy we just get stupid sometimes to keep our heads on straight.

R13: You have been nominated for Best Newcomer Award by Metal Hammer, how did that make you feel? And will you be attending the award ceremony?
T.J: Feels great, last year we were nominated for a Kerrang! Award for the same thing. It's nice to know a magazine of Metal Hammers calibre recognises us as a band, because were just idiots from Michigan, it's incredible. So being nominated for one of their awards is even better. I'm not 100% sure if we are coming over but there has been a lot of talk about me coming over, so I may be here, I'm hoping that it works out

R13: What band or artist would people be surprised to find out you like?
T.J: I listen to a lot of Pearl Jam, I like early 90s grunge music as opposed to metal. I love metal but my favourite bands are Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Sound Garden, stuff like that. It might seem like because we are a metal band we would listen to a lot of metal.

R13: Tell me something not many people know about the band or a band member?
T.J: On this tour, our bass player Evan couldn't be with us because his wife is pregnant with his first child, and it's due any day so our bass player could be having a child right now, as we speak.

R13: If you could have one thing right now what would you have and why?
T.J: I would love to be laying in bed at home, with my girlfriend, watching a movie, because when your on tour, it's like your working a job but you can't ever come home from that job. You start to miss little things like going to see movies or going to the mall, things that simple normal people can have and you can't, those are the things I miss most, and really want right now. I'm really excited to go home and rest up, but I'm really excited to keep touring, you know what I mean? It's not like I'm burnt out from touring but I need to have a little rest at home. We're actually going home in three days, so I'm really excited. My brother is graduating high school this year so I get to see that.

R13: What can we expect to see from you for the rest of the year?
T.J: We are doing a tour in the States called The Stress Tour, sponsored by Stress clothing, with Shadows Fall, there's a bunch of bands that are going to be doing dates; Darkest Hour, Bury Your Death, Suffocation, are all doing select dates. Before that we are going to be writing for about a month and a half, then after the tour we will be writing for another two or three months, we have a lot of great ideas for the next record. Then we will start recording, and we are looking at coming back here around December, it's not set in stone yet though.

R13: Do you have any final words for our readers?
T.J: Yeah, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank anybody who has come to any of these shows, this has been our first headlining UK tour and it's been beautiful and incredible. I can't really express how thankful the band is, and how thankful I am for your support. The shows are always going to be fun and exciting and I can't wait to come back in December if we can.

R13: Thank you for your time.
T.J: No it was great, thank you