All That Remains didn’t want fans to think new guitarist is a “budget Oli”
Herbert passed away in late 2018. Herbert was a founding member of All That Remains in 1998.
Speaking on Interview Under Fire, Labonte discusses how they weren't trying to find a replica of Herbert and that Herbert was a big fan of new addition Jason Richardson.
"The thing about Jason is — and I've said this a few times in the press — Oli was a big fan of Jason's," Labonte says. "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," Labonte continues. 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," Labonte explains. "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 continued discussing his excitement to create new All That Remains' music with Richardson.
"We're excited to write with him," Labonte says. "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."
Watch the full interview below.
More All That Remains
All That Remains and Herbert's widow are in a financial dispute amidst the ongoing investigation into the musician’s death.
Since then, the police have opened an investigation into his death. Oli made a will a week before his death leaving Beth everything, and the will was never looked at by legal representatives.
The band’s vocalist Phil Labonte has previously made comments about Beth, calling her a “garbage human being”.
“Beth was never to be around… to be on tour. She would come to the local shows because, you know, we couldn’t stop her,” Labonte said. “Everyone else in the band, you know, wives, girlfriends, whatever – they would come out on tour, stay for a few days, stay for a week, everybody got along… We made the decision, and she wasn’t allowed because she was a garbage human being.”
He continued in the interview to express his distaste for Beth.
“We tried to get (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. “But I can say that I personally talked to him and said multiple times, ‘Look, if you need a place to stay, I got plenty of room.’”
Now, just over a year after his death, the band are in a financial dispute with Beth. The Hartford Courant wrote a report about the ongoing investigation and where everything stands with the band and the widow.
The police recently said they were still investigating his death and seized Beth’s computer and phone.
The report also revealed that she’s fighting All That Remains to try to obtain information so she can receive Herbert’s profits. She filed a three-page letter in probate court and sent it to the band. The paper states, via attorney Robert Alan Schrage, that All That Remains has refused to turn over financial information she needs to file an inventory of her husband’s estate in court. She also is asking for profits from the band’s European tour that they took shortly after Herbert’s death.
“There have been tours and shows played by All That Remains since Oli Herbert’s death about which the estate, as part-owner of All That Remains Inc., hasn’t been notified by being sent its copy of the profit and loss statements nor has the estate been paid its equal portion of profits as tour pay,” the letter states.
The report also states that Beth has yet to submit a full inventory of Herbert’s assets in court. However, she submitted a bill to court seeking payment for her husband’s cremation and reimbursement for expenses involved in a memorial service for the guitarist. The bill was $6,901 but has yet to be approved.
What do you think of Labonte's statements regarding Jason Richardson? Sound off below!
See more: In memoriam: Musicians we lost in 2019