ALL THAT REMAINS vocalist Phil Labonte has revealed that a financial dispute with the wife of the band's late guitarist Oli Herbert has made it impossible for the band to use Herbert's name in connection with any of its projects.
Speaking to American Songwriter, Labonte said he and his bandmates have toyed with the idea of hosting benefits for Herbert and even starting a charity or project in the late musician's name. "We talked about ideas to do a benefit to raise money for kids in schools, but we can't do anything that has his name on it," Labonte said.
Labonte also confirmed that ALL THAT REMAINS has always paid everything owed to Herbert's estate and will continue to do so.
"We've made sure that that our accountants and all the people that work with us know any money that is owed to Oli Herbert's estate must be paid to Oli Herbert's estate," Labonte explained. "And we have absolutely no interest in not paying. It's not worth any kind of hassle for the amount of money."
Oli was found dead on October 16, 2018 at the edge of the pond on his Stafford Springs, Connecticut property. He was reported missing by his wife about 3 p.m., and his body was found by police face down at the edge of the pond where the water was only a few inches deep.
The Connecticut State Police Eastern District Crime Squad is still investigating Herbert's death, which is being treated as suspicious. They are looking at the will he signed a week before his death as well as a life insurance policy mentioned in the will.
The will named Elizabeth Herbert as executor and sole benefactor. It said that Oliver Herbert's sister, Cynthia Herbert, should not become executor or receive anything from his estate. The will also stated that Elizabeth Herbert should get all "property as well as any current or future earnings."
According to the Hartford Courant, state police have seized Elizabeth Herbert's computer and phone records as part of their investigation.
The couple were married for 14 years and lived in Stafford Springs for four years before Oli's death.
In a Facebook post, Elizabeth wrote that she had received a toxicology report from the medical examiner.
"Oli was apparently self-treating for manic-depression that has run in his family for several generations," she wrote. "Anti-depressants were found in his system, as well as a sleep aid."
Last year, Labonte called Elizabeth Herbert a "garbage human being" who was "never allowed" to join the band on tour. "She would come to the local shows, because we couldn't stop her from showing up," he explained. "[But] she wasn't allowed because she's a garbage human being."
According to the singer, he tried unsuccessfully to convince Oli to get a divorce for a long time. "I can't tell you exactly why he wouldn't do it or what the circumstances [were] surrounding his resistance," he said. "I don't know. But I can say that I personally talked to him multiple times and said, 'Look, if you need a place to stay, I've got plenty of room. Come to my house."
Asked if he had an opinion on how Oli died, the singer responded: "I do have an opinion on it, but I'm not gonna say. There is an ongoing investigation by the Connecticut state police."
Herbert began playing guitar at 14. He co-founded ALL THAT REMAINS with Labonte in 1998.
The surviving members of ALL THAT REMAINS — Labonte, Mike Martin (guitar), Jason Costa (drums) and Aaron Patrick (bass, backing vocals) — have recruited guitar virtuoso and YouTube personality Jason Richardson (ALL SHALL PERISH, CHELSEA GRIN, BORN OF OSIRIS) to replace Herbert.