Phil Labonte - All That Remains

December 12, 2004

How has the tour been going?

The tour has been a real good time. A lot of fun. Hanging out with GWAR and Dying Fetus. They're both great bands. Everybody in the bands and crews are really killer dudes. Just a good time. No complaints at all.

How long have you been out on the road?

Six and a half or seven weeks now. We've got one more. We go back home just before Christmas. Then we go ahead and we're going to go do six or seven headlining dates up in the northeast. Then we go to Europe with Killswitch Engage for 10 days. Do some shows in England and some shows in France and Germany and then we come back. We're going to probably pick up another month with GWAR.

Cool deal. I got your CD finally and I listened to it and loved it. How's it been doing?

It's been doing really well actually. We'll break 20,000 this week. It's really cool. We've been plugging away at this particular record for about eight months and it's starting to really gain momentum. We just shot our second video for the title track for This Darkened Heart. That should be probably airing on MTV in probably January. We just did an interview with Uranium when we were in L.A. and they'll be running the new video on Uranium's show too so it's really, really cool. We've got really good stuff going on. No complaints at all.

People are voting on your first video to be the best video of 2004.

Yeah, it was nominated amongst a bunch of other bands that were nominated as one of the best videos for 2004. "This Darkened Heart" was on the top 20 list for the best albums of 2004 in Revolver this month too. Really, really cool things. A really exciting time to be in All That Remains.

Listening to your CD and listening to some of the lyrics, you write about a lot of stuff that's personal to you. I had read an interview where someone had asked you why you didn't write about war and politics and you said it was because that's too dated.

Yeah, it's the truth. Usually when I'm talking about that, I quote Dave Mustaine because Dave Mustaine is the guy who said it. He says "as soon as you write something about an event then it's dated. If you write about feelings then it's timeless." He was right. It's the truth. I try to stay away from things that are going to be a period piece. If we have the longevity that some bands have been fortunate enough to, hopefully we will, and we can play the songs 10 or 15 years down the road and it doesn't sound dated. It still applies and new people that will be hearing us for the first time, no matter what it is, will still hear the song and be like "I get what he's saying" as opposed to "I remember that."

Have you guys been working on new material?

A little bit. Not too much. It's kind of tough on the road. We're traveling in a van so we can't jam on the bus and we don't usually get a lot of time for sound check. We just do it real quick so you can make sure that everything is going to be okay. We can't go up there and screw around. We try to but we have a few things here and there. We're probably not going to have a new album out until late, late 2005 or early 2006. We'll see what happens though.

How's the audience attendance? Good crowd response?

It's been really cool. Yeah, it seems like just about every night there are a couple of kids that come up and sometimes it's like five or 10 people come up, and they tell us we're great and they love our stuff or they think the album is awesome. That's really cool because we're still a really small band. We're out there working it just like a million other bands out there. To see some people actually start to come back and say "oh I saw you guys with these guys and I came back because I wanted to see you guys again" or stuff like that really feels good. Good stuff.

I'll be there again telling you "damn, you guys didn't play long enough."

We get a half an hour set but we get seven songs in there. All the stuff we're playing is off the new record. We get just about the whole new record. There are two songs I think that we don't play. Two or three that we won't do so we try and do most of it.

That half hour slips by so fast.

That's good. I'd rather leave people wanting more than be like "God, get the fuck off stage." It's much better to be like "damn, I wish you guys played longer."

I read an interview where someone was asking you about touring with bands like GWAR and if you felt that might hurt you in the future. Why would it hurt you? GWAR is a pretty well known band.

GWAR has got a stigma attached to them unfortunately. Because they are always pushing the limit. They're always pushing the limit with offending people and saying things. They're a metal band but their attitude is pretty punk rock. It's pretty "fuck you, I don't care. This is what we're going to do." They bring in people. Every night there's 500 to 1,000 people or more. The show in Philly on Halloween was 2,300 people. Huge show. You've got to give the band a ton of respect for that but they still get shunned in the media. MTV won't touch them and Uranium won't touch them probably because they're monsters. The thing is, you can't really deny them. They might not support them but you can't sit there and say that they're not doing something right because they've been around for 20 years. They'll probably be around for a good other five or 10 years. I don't see any reason for them to be stopping any time soon. They still get a ton of people coming in. They still have a great show. They're still up there every night putting it out there. They still write good records. War Party is a good record. If you can get past the costumes and get the past the funny stuff they do, it's a good record. They're good musicians. They know their shit.

They make it interesting. I like it when shit is interesting. That's what drew me to KISS. They were interesting.

Absolutely. I agree totally. Unfortunately some media outlets don't want to get involved and I think it's stupid. Whatever. That's why I thank God for websites like yours.

I don't have issues and hang ups like that.

Good.

If it sounds good, it sounds good and if it's interesting, it's interesting. Shit. Otherwise I may as well go listen to Barry Manilow. I can't believe that guy's still around. He must be 195 by now.

Neither can I.

Ever since the incident with Dime, have you noticed security at clubs tightening up?

Security is tightening up. It's only been four or five days but security is tighter. You see it. They're wanding everyone down. Pat downs are real solid. They're definitely paying more attention. I'm sure certain cities and certain clubs are going to be more so than others. Probably in the northeast it's going to be more so. I'm sure tonight security is going to be insane here.

Security has always been good here. I can't imagine something like that happening here in Dallas. I can't see that.

At the same time I bet people in Columbus said the same thing.

A friend of mine in Columbus made the strange remark that she thought that club would start checking people out more and I was like they didn't before? I'm glad people are still coming out and not getting freaked over that.

The shows are still good. It's still a good time. People need to go out and have a good time. Especially when bad stuff goes on, people don't want to sit around and think about it all the time. The last time the death of a public figure no matter who it was or the last time an incident really caused people to stop was probably 9/11. That was the last time people were really taken aback and said holy shit, I'm staying home. I think it takes something that's catastrophic like that. That touches everybody's life. Everyone in the country. If it touches everybody's lives then you're going to have people going "look, it's time to go ahead and sit at home and spend some time with my family." If it's a loss like this, people will come together and go out and celebrate the things that Dime loved which was concerts, hanging out, and smoking weed and drinking. They want to go out and say "you know what? It was a terrible thing and here's to Dime."

He went down doing something he loved. Any other thoughts or comments?

Just check out our website, www.allthatremains.cc, and download our video there. You'll be able to download the video for "This Darkened Heart" when it comes out. Download a couple of songs. Check out our message board. Stuff like that.

All That Remains