Brian Fair of Shadows Fall took to his Instagram today to reminisce about their second band, Of One Blood (Century Media), released 20 years ago today (4/42000). It was Brian’s first album with the band, after replacing Sober Eyes To the Sky album vocalist Phil Labonte, who went on with All That Remains. Of One Blood helped coalesce the style of the band and featured superior production from the debut from Chris “Zeuss” Harris (Rob Zombie, Dee Snider, Hatebreed, Overkill), for whom this was the second album he ever produced. There have been rumors that Shadows Fall would make a return in the future, and Brian said in another post there would be new Shads merch soon. Continue reading
It has been a tough time for All That Remains. Less than a month prior to their ninth studio release, Victim Of The New Disease (Razor & Tie) founding member and guitarist, Oli Herbert passed away. Herbert was a key member that created the ATR signature sound. His technical Melodic Metalcore solos have always been memorable and for one last record, he doesn’t disappoint. Continue reading
I’m pretty good at separating the art from the artist. James Woods’ political leanings aren’t my cup of tea, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to change the station whenever Videodrome or Casino comes on. I can ignore his tweets and enjoy the work. That’s the approach I took with All That Remains’ latest, Madness (Razor & Tie). Continue reading
All That Remains will be releasing their eighth studio album in April, and they’ve given fans a taste of the new material today. Continue reading
Five Finger Death Punch has soldiered through their current co-headline tour with Shinedown while singer Ivan Moody has suffered with personal problems stemming from alcohol abuse. The band announced on social media today that Ivan will now be sitting out the rest of the tour, and Phil Labonte of All That Remains will be filling in for the remaining dates. Continue reading
Building a core but steady fanbase out of their roots within the New England metalcore scene, All That Remains have moved forward by revamping their sound and winning over new audiences. They found themselves performing at Knotfest 2015 in Devore, CA and Aftershock 2015 in Sacramento, CA where they were promoting their latest album The Order Of Things (out now via Razor and Tie).
Frontman Phil Labonte shared his thoughts on their weekend:
“It was great. It was really, really cool. Playing a fest like this with all of these heavy bands, we haven’t played a show that consisted of mostly heavy bands in a long time. So we took our set list and adjusted it. We brought back some of the older, heavy ones and stuck them in there. It’s nice to be able to do that.”
“Yesterday we played Aftershock. Shinedown was playing so it was more of a rock…they had heavy bands without question but it was really more of a rock kind of thing and we adjusted the set for that. Today we’re playing with more heavy bands so we were set for that. It’s cool to have that kind of versatility.”
What was the highlight of playing Knotfest? “Playing the show was the best thing. Playing in front of that many people and having the kind of reaction that we had. Kids are singing along and going crazy. It doesn’t get any better than that. That’s the reason we do this.”
He also shared his thoughts on Aftershock. “Same thing – very similar. A lot of the same bands are playing today that were playing yesterday. Bring Me The Horizon is playing. Slipknot played last night. They’re playing here tonight. [It is] a lot of the same vibe.“
Following this weekend, All That Remains has been a regular playing the growing American festival circuit, and had previously hit some of the European festivals in the past. While the European ones have a storied past, he compared the two and how it affected the band.
“We’re a much bigger band in the US than in Europe. We don’t really have a label still after all these years in Europe. We get a lot more press coverage and a much better slot on the bill and people know our stuff better in the US. So for us, it’s much more enjoyable and it’s much better to play the US shows.”
Is there any weirdness playing more melodic tunes after their focus was on the heavy side for so long? “Nowadays no because we’ve been doing stuff that’s played on rock radio since 2008,” he said, on the subject of their stylistic shift. “Right now we’ve had a number one on ‘A War You Cannot Win’ and a number two on ‘A War You Cannot Win.’ We had multiple top fives and multiple top tens so we’ve had a real history at rock radio, so it doesn’t feel odd or weird. We’ve lived in both worlds for a long time now.”
He shared his thoughts on whether he noticed if their audience has attracted more from their recent success at rock radio.
“There’s a significant amount of our fans that come from rock radio. Metal fans are kind of finicky and even though they don’t like to admit it, they do follow trends. There’s a lot of bands that came out when we came out that really aren’t bands any more. It’s because the trend that we got caught up in or were part of, it ended. If there is a trend, there’s only a couple of bands that make it out alive.”
“Essentially you’ve got Killswitch Engage, Lamb of God and you’ve got us. It’s really about it for all of the bands that came out at that time in the early part of the 2000s. We’re the only bands that are left. The fact that we managed to get out of the trend and have our own sound and have our own career independent of the New Wave of American Heavy Metal, that’s cool.”
Over their past few albums, the band has visibly shifted away from their heavier metallic sounds in favor of incorporating clean singing and stronger harmonies. Labonte was quite open about his dislike of their previous album, 2012’s A War You Cannot Win, and felt working with producer Josh Wilbur helped bring out more of their strong points of their sound. Through that, he felt that helped attract a bigger audience for them plus allowing them to transcend their metalcore origins.
“It was more of a challenge to come up with stuff that I was satisfied with. I was fairly dissatisfied with the last record that we did. There was a lot of stuff I had to criticize about it. So it was a lot more work with me and Josh [Wilbur], working on the vocal melodies, making sure that the stuff we were going to put down was really what we wanted to do and not forcing stuff in. If it seemed like it wasn’t working, then we’d change the style.”
“There’s a song on the record called “No Knock” that’s all screaming all the way through. We were trying to come up with an idea that was kind of Alice In Chains-y because the riff has a bent and a swing to it, but we could get something that we liked. We were like scream through the whole thing. That kind of versatility and having that ability is something that we really utilized a lot on this record. It worked out pretty well for the singing stuff that we came up with was really strong.”
One visible change within All That Remains is the loss of longtime bassist Jeanne Sagan, who left the band in September. Former Devildriver bassist Aaron “Bubble” Patrick came in and filled the role immediately.
“We’ve been touring with him for a long time. The first tour we ever did with him was when he was in a band called Bury Your Dead. That was in 2006. We’ve known him for a long time. We have a lot of the same friends. He’s working with a lot of bands that we know. He started being our tour manager and working for us last year in June. He tour managed us for a year and some change and then Jeanne decided that she wanted to leave. It was a real easy fit.”
“We were supposed to play Japan. If you get someone that quits…getting into Japan you have to have a visa in advance so fortunately because we decided to go with our tour manager as our bass player, we didn’t have to cancel the show.”
While they parted on amicable terms, Labonte clarified the reasons behind Sagan’s departure from the band. “She’s engaged. She met a guy and they’re getting married. She joined his band and wanted to focus on him and working on his band. We’re like…it’s cool. Totally amicable and I know what it’s like to be separated. I’ve been married for a couple of years now so I know what it’s like to miss home.”
While All That Remains has made significant progress in the US, their overseas progression has been steadily growing but not quite the way they would like it to go.
“We’ve been to Europe…maybe ten times? We just came back. We were there this summer and it was I think our eleventh trip. We do go over periodically but unless we get our label to get some heat over there, there’s not a whole lot we can do.”
Lastly, Labonte has drawn much attention for his overageous non band related comments in the press and on social media over many political issues, and has drawn public outrage along the way. He shares some of his favorite internet rumors he has learned about himself and his thoughts on fuelling the controversy.
“I heard I did cocaine…a lot….and which I don’t. Every stereotype that people throw at people in bands they’ve thrown at me. Every stereotype you can throw at someone who has unpopular opinions, they’ve thrown at me. It doesn’t matter. My response is do more.”
“There’s this guy named Milo Yiannopoulos. He’s a brilliant guy. I heard something he said and I’ll get the quote wrong – ‘when you’re dealing with people who are outraged at everything, the only option you have being more outraged.’ If people get all kinds of upset because you had the audacity to think a thought, or say something on the internet or type that into your status line, they get really upset about that. The only option you have to say things to make them even more upset. [It’s] because they’re literally upset about nothing. They’re upset because someone might have a different idea in their brain than they do. They think ‘well…I have to let the world know that this person is, in my opinion is wrong. Your opinion of that person being wrong is no more valuable than the other opinion you’re upset about. So get fucked!”
“Once you’ve said something that’s offended them, then it’s easy to keep them wound up. That’s the fun part.”
Being a Libertarian and often siding on viewpoints unpopular within the American public, Labonte claims his views often gets twisted and becomes the subject of web news everywhere. Considering how outrageous some of his comments is shared, he was not surprised by any of this.
“Everything gets twisted. Any chance that someone can twist something around to make a headline on a blog they’ll twist it as much as they can just to get the click. The click is what they want. You click on the link, that goes to their views and that could sell their ads for more money. The more outrageous the headline is the better. But I’ve heard everything from I’m a racist to I’m a bigot to I’m a misogynist…every slanderous thing you could come up with.”
“I’m a Libertarian and I don’t think the government should be involved in people’s lives excessively. Maybe the government shouldn’t be taking care of the roads…you don’t want roads. No I didn’t say I don’t want roads. Maybe government shouldn’t be involved in education. You don’t want kids to be educated. No I didn’t say I didn’t want kids to be educated. So as soon as you say maybe the government shouldn’t be doing this or maybe this shouldn’t be something we should leave up the bureaucracy of whatever, then automatically you don’t want that. Maybe the government shouldn’t be paying for people’s healthcare – you want people to get sick and die. People always do that and twist it around to make it sound shocking.”
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