ALL THAT REMAINS singer Phil Labonte has sought to reassure fans that there is plenty of heavy material on the band's forthcoming album.
Earlier in the month, the Massachusetts metallers released two songs — "Madness" and "Safe House" — from their eighth studio disc, which is due out at the end of April. The effort 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.
Asked by Ryan Daniels of Rock 105.5, Carolina's Pure Rock radio station, about the "sellout" accusations that have been leveled at ALL THAT REMAINS for the more radio-friendly sound of "Madness", Labonte said (see video below): "If you're doing something — making music — and specifically catering to an audience that you have catered to or that has found something to attach to, is it a sellout to try and change and do something different? Or is it a sellout to be, like, 'Okay, this is the safe play where I know I can make my money?' It's, like, I know I that I can cater to this narrow group of people, and if we don't stray, these people will keep buying our records, these people will keep coming to our shows. Is it a sellout to be, like, 'I'm gonna try something different?'"
He continued: "People have been saying 'sellout' about us since 2006, since we put out 'The Fall Of Ideals'. We started doing clean choruses, and people were, like, 'Oh, sellout!' And it's, like, gimme a fucking break. We've always tried to push [the envelope] and change."
Labonte also stressed that fans of the more aggressive ALL THAT REMAINS material have plenty to look forward to on the follow-up to 2015's "The Order Of Things". "People forget that every single record ALL THAT REMAINS puts out has heavy stuff on it," he explained. "It's, like, people focus on the stuff that's not as heavy, but every record. I mean, on 'The Order Of Things', there was 'No Knock', there was 'Criticism And Self-Realization', there was 'Pernicious'. These are heavy songs. And it's almost like because you've done something that's outside of the lines, 'cause you colored outside the lines, we're not gonna even pay attention to all the stuff you colored inside the lines. This record, there's five songs on the record that are exactly what you would expect from ALL THAT REMAINS. There's some songs where we kind of were, like, 'All right, let's push this and maybe change what ALL THAT REMAINS can do, or what ALL THAT REMAINS is allowed to do.' But it ain't like we're not heavy anymore. And if you're just, like, 'Oh, they're not heavy anymore,' then you're just not listening."
Labonte previously told Revolver magazine about ALL THAT REMAINS's approach on the new disc: "We wanted to mix it up a little bit and write from a vocal perspective this time. So I went to L.A. and came up with vocal ideas and melodies and then sent those chord progressions back to Oli [Herbert, guitarist] and he wrote riffs in response to that. [Doing it this way] turned the record into a vocal album as opposed to a guitar album. And that affected some things. Like, there might be less intricacy in the riffs because they were written in response to my voice."
Labonte added that the majority of the new ALL THAT REMAINS songs feature "significant programming and electronic sounds. And that's something we wanted to have flowing through the entire record. So you're gonna hear that kind of influence on most of the tracks."
ALL THAT REMAINS in 2015 parted ways with bassist Jeanne Sagan and replaced her with Aaron Patrick, who was previously in BURY YOUR DEAD and DEVILDRIVER.
"The Order Of Things" marked the first time that Labonte collaborated on his lyrics, in that case with producer Josh Wilbur.