Ace of RockRevolt Magazine recently conducted an interview with ALL THAT REMAINS frontman Phil Labonte. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the band’s cover of Garth Brooks‘s country hit “The Thunder Rolls”:
Phil: “I didn’t get into Garth Brooks for a long, long, long time. When I was a kid growing up, but not really a kid-kid, but when I was a teenager and older, about the only thing me and my mom could agree on, was Garth Brooks. To me, that was not too bad and she was into country so that was the only thing we could get in the car and listen to together. I loved the song for a long time. I’ve been kinda itching to do it for a while and I brought it up to the guys a few times. Either we didn’t do a cover, or it was outvoted or whatever, but this time I was going ‘We got to do this.’ Howard [Benson], our producer, was into it and our manager was into it, too. We were like, ‘All right, let’s do it.’ It came out cool.”
On the band’s willingness to embrace multiple styles and genres at once:
Phil: “That’s kind of what we’ve always done. There’s people who are going to say they don’t like that, that we should only do one thing. We’ll just say, ‘Well, start your own band.’ [Laughs] That’s really what it is. We’re musicians before we’re anything else. So, we want to do something different and we have the right to do it and we got people that are in the band who are skilled enough to be able to write stuff in different styles. We’re not afraid to take a risk. That’s what you get.”
On addressing the accusations the band is a “sell-out” for moving away from its original metalcore sound:
Phil: “I understand why people stick to one thing. You got an audience and you feel like you owe the audience a certain thing. I totally get that. I also get why people say ‘sell-out.’ Because they’re like ‘This band used to be heavy.’ Or, ‘This band used to be ideological’ or whatever the person calling you a sell-out is whatever they think you sold out for. Now, it’s doing something different than they would have done or something different than the purists would have approved. So the motivation must have been money. I don’t subscribe to that. People, human beings in general, are way more nuanced than that. It’s that we’re in a band, we play for a living. Every time we’ve done something we’re not supposed to do, it’s worked out really well for us. When we put out a heavy record in 2006 called ‘The Fall Of Ideals’, two years later, we had a song that was kind of a radio rock song. We got a lot of hell for that. You’re not supposed to do that if you’re a ‘metal band.’ That did well. A few years later, we put out a real ballad, like an actual, power-ballad, an ’80s-style power ballad. We got a lot of garbage for that. We’re not supposed to do that, but that song has 40 million views on YouTube and was number two at rock radio forever. When we try something and try to do something that’s different from what we’ve done, historically, it’s worked out pretty well. People can say what they want, but, we’ve managed to make a career out of it for well over a decade. The music industry has died around us. In the hardest time to be in the music industry, we’ve managed to make a career and do pretty well. I’m pretty excited about things that are going on with ALL THAT REMAINS.”
On ALL THAT REMAINS‘s upcoming live dates with FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, a band Labonte filled in for last year while singer Ivan Moody attended rehab:
Phil: “We’ve played a couple shows with them this past weekend and stuff. They’re all great guys, all really cool, nice dudes. They’re all good friends. It’s a lot of fun when we can play with them. They called me up and I did a song with them [for] a couple nights. If they ask me again, I’ll go and do a song with them again. They’re a big band and they bring in a lot of people. Any time we can get in front of their audience, it’s really great for us. It’s all good stuff.”
On whether ALL THAT REMAINS has started writing new material:
Phil: “Funny enough, we actually have. Me and Mike [Martin, guitar] and Oli [Herbert, guitar] got together a couple of times. We don’t have anything that we’ve worked out, but we did get together and came up with some riffs and stuff. So, we’ll see how that goes and if we get any songs put together before it’s time to start writing for the record. We usually focus on just promoting the record we’re on at the time. The fact that we even got together and played each other a couple of riffs is a step in the right direction for us.”
ALL THAT REMAINS is continuing to tour in support of its latest album, “Madness”, which was released on April 28 via Razor & Tie in the U.S. and Eleven Seven Music in Europe. The disc was recorded at West Valley Studios in Woodland Hills, California with producer Howard Benson, who has previously worked with such acts as MOTÖRHEAD, PAPA ROACH, THREE DAYS GRACE, FLYLEAF, P.O.D. and HALESTORM.