Philip Labonte says that he was "shocked" by the passing of his ALL THAT REMAINS bandmate Oli Herbert.
Herbert was found dead on October 16 near his home in Connecticut. According to TMZ, police were dispatched to the guitarist's Stafford Springs residence after someone reported him missing. Cops searched the area and found Oli in a nearby pond.
Speaking to Meltdown Of Detroit's WRIF radio station, Labonte stated about his friend's death: "I was shocked. He was 44 years old, and he wasn't really a big partier. He would go hang out with people and stuff, but he didn't really do a lot of drinking… He didn't do drugs, he didn't really drink a lot. He would smoke pot once in a while, but that was the extent of it. And so, yeah, it was a big shock. And we're still processing it and trying to figure out how it is that we move forward and what that means and stuff. So… it sucks."
The singer added that ALL THAT REMAINS will "definitely" carry on without Herbert. "We're gonna continue on," he said. "The band is not gonna end. It's gonna be different and it's gonna be weird. We've got someone that's filling in for this European trip that we've got coming up at the end of the month. And he is the guy that Oli would have wanted to fill in, to replace him. And then we'll start looking for a full-time replacement, I assume, shortly. 'Cause we've got stuff that we wanna do next year. We don't wanna let the [new] record be pushed aside. Oli would have wanted us to play the songs. He was excited about the way the record sounded and he was excited about a lot of the stuff on it, so he wouldn't want us to stop. So we've just gotta figure out what that actually looks like and how we do that."
Labonte also talked about ALL THAT REMAINS's latest album, "Victim Of The New Disease", which arrived on November 9. "It's our heaviest record since probably 2010, in my opinion — since 'For We Are Many'," he said. "We've heard a little bit of feedback about the record, and there's some people that think it's heavier than 'For We Are Many', and I'm comfortable with that. We just wanted to do a record that was different than our last thing, which is kind of our M.O. People often talk about the progress of a band, and they think of an arc or some kind of… [move in] a linear fashion, and we always try to move perpendicular to where we're at as opposed to moving parallel. So we wanted to continue to remain a band that tries new things and does different stuff, and so we decided the best thing for us, at this point, was to go in and just put out a ballbuster."
Over the weekend, Herbert's wife Beth released a statement via his official Facebook page in which she revealed that her husband drowned after apparently ingesting antidepressant medication and sleeping pills. She also addressed the sudden cancelation of the public memorial service for Oli, which was supposed to be held on Sunday, November 11 at the Worcester Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts. She wrote: "As far as why the memorial was cancelled; concern for my personal safety and home due to numerous threats to both is the reason."
Herbert began playing guitar at 14. He co-founded ALL THAT REMAINS with Labonte in 1998.
ALL THAT REMAINS has released nine studio albums, a live CD/DVD, and has sold more than one million records worldwide.
The surviving members of ALL THAT REMAINS — Labonte, Mike Martin (guitar), Jason Costa (drums) and Aaron Patrick (bass, backing vocals) — will embark on the previously scheduled European tour with SEVENDUST this December. Guitar virtuoso and YouTube personality Jason Richardson (ALL SHALL PERISH, CHELSEA GRIN, BORN OF OSIRIS) has come on board and will fill in on the upcoming trek.