Metal Wani’s Carl O’Rourke had a quick chat with ALL THAT REMAINS frontman Phil Labonte. We discussed the new record ‘Victom Of The New Disease’, songwriting, Oli Herbert’s death & more. Read below:
1.) Your new record, ‘Victim of the New Disease’, recently dropped and it’s a powerful All That’s Remains record, congratulations to you all! How has the response been treating you guys so far?
So far it’s been great. It’s gotten great reviews. We’ve already had millions of streams and YouTube views. We get tons of messages everyday from fans talking about the record. It’s been exciting and almost exclusively positive.
2.) Many have cited that this record is a return to form for All That Remains, that there is a sense of marrying your traditional roots with where you guys are as a band right now, are you inclined to agree with this assessment or how do you feel about it?
I think so. We intended for the record to be a heavy record so i feel its good to hear that people are noticing. That they’ve taken an interest.
3.) The first taste we got of the new record, your single “Fuck Love”, was an intense, no punches pulled force that came out of the gates with a vengeance. What was it about this track that saw you guys deciding that it was the right leading single for the record?
Well we like to lead with a heavy song. We tend to do that with almost every record. So going with Fuck Love seemed obvious.
4.) As we talk about the band and the record, Oli Herbert was obviously an integral part to both. I’m sure I speak on behalf of myself and many others as I extend my sincere condolences to you, the rest of the band and Oli’s loved ones. In the time following Oli’s passing, how have All That Remains as a band been managing to come to terms with it and finding your feet as a band without him?
It’s hard still. It’s hard to process. To talk about. Mostly because I don’t know what to say. It’s very surreal.
5.) I understand that Oli was incredibly excited about this new record, he was loving the tracks and how it was sounding overall, is this part of the reason why you still felt the urge to push this record as hard as you have been? How will the dynamic change playing these songs live?
Well we want to promote all our records. But the fact that Oli was excited and this is his last work with All That Remains we want people to hear it. We want his legacy to go on. As for live we’ll see. We haven’t played a show yet.
6.) As a band you guys have never had any real trepidation regards expanding your musical scope, which keeps your listeners on the edge of their seats, and this record is no different. Yet many feel that this is a seldom trait, and that there is something of a state of Retromania occurring in our music culture today. That it has a strong addiction to its own past. With regards to music culture specifically, do you think the same applies? Or do you feel there are enough artists out there doing new and interesting things for it not to warrant such a moniker?
Oh I don’t know. I think nostalgia is real in many areas of entertainment with music surely being one of them. I don’t know it’s “too much” though. There aren’t any new artists I’ve heard that really sound inspired to me. I don’t hear much pushing for a different sound. Specifically in heavy music. That’s not to say there’s nothing good and it’s not to say that heavy music lacks quality. I just don’t hear any styles of metal that are dramatically different than what has been accepted as metal for 30 years.
7.) Whether your songs are metal, radio friendly or acoustic, you guys have a way of burying your way into the memories of listeners and making that your home, which is a credit to the band and a testament to you as songwriters. That’s is no easy achievement, especially in an era almost over saturated with musical choices. What do you think it is that sees All That’s Remains staying at the top of all that?
I think it’s because we focus on songs first. Not every song is going to resonate with an audience but we try to write songs that will stay with people. Songs are not a showcase technical athleticism. We have some of that. But I think the song is the most important part.
8.) Finally, twenty years on, chart towering songs and nine studio albums deep, what does the next chapter for the band look like?
Well, we will have to find someone to play lead guitar. We intend to tour as much as we can. We want to add more focus on Europe in the coming year. We are excited to be going back and are hoping to be able to get back again before 2020. Thanks so much for talking to us!