ALL THAT REMAINS singer Phil Labonte says that he is "excited to write" with Jason Richardson.
A former member of BORN OF OSIRIS and CHELSEA GRIN, Richardson joined ALL THAT REMAINS as the replacement for longtime guitarist Oliver "Oli" Herbert, who passed away in October 2018.
In a recent interview with Interview Under Fire, Labonte stated about ALL THAT REMAINS's latest addition: "The thing about Jason is — and I've said this a few times in the press — Oli was a big fan of Jason's. We'd done some touring when Jason was in BORN OF OSIRIS, and we'd done some shows when he was in CHELSEA GRIN, and Oli used to go and watch them. He was just, like, 'Man, that kid is the best.' Blah blah blah. He just couldn't say enough good things about him. And so, I'm sure that, if there is an afterlife and Oli can see that Jason is the guy that's standing in his spot, Oli would be, like, 'Yeah, that's the guy.' So, that matters. That's important to us. And it's a big deal.
"We didn't wanna get someone that was gonna try to be Oli," Phil explained. "Oli was Oli — the way he wrote his riffs, his personality. We didn't want someone that had his look either. We wouldn't have turned someone down that had long hair and a beard, but we weren't, like, 'You've gotta have a beard and long hair.' We weren't looking to do that. The last thing we wanted was people to feel like we were trying to get a guy to be Oli. Oli was Oli, and no one will ever be Oli again. And we don't want to insult his memory by doing anything like that. And so the fact that Jason is his own player, has his own career, had his own career before us, has his own career outside of ALL THAT REMAINS — he's still doing his solo stuff; he'll probably release a solo record next year — but he is able to step in and do what Oli did, that's something that was a big deal to us. 'Cause, like I said, we didn't people to think that we were trying to get someone that was, like, 'budget Oli' or a guy that looked like Oli to kind of fill the shoes. We wanted someone that was different and their own person, 'cause we didn't want… Oli was Oli, and there's never gonna be another Oli."
Labonte said that he is looking forward to working on new music with Richardson. The 28-year-old guitarist will make his recording debut on ALL THAT REMAINS's follow-up to 2018's "Victim Of The New Disease", which is tentatively due in early 2021.
"We're excited to write with him," Phil said. "We'll probably start writing some stuff next year. 'Cause Oli did write so much of our music — at least half the songs that we had, Oli wrote the music for. So it'll be exciting to see what Jason brings."
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 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 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.
"Victim Of The New Disease" was released in November 2018 via Fearless in North America and Eleven Seven in Europe.