Philip Labonte, frontman of heavy metal band All That Remains, appeared on “Talkin’ Rock with Meltdown,” Detroit’s WRIF radio station, to discuss the passing of his good friend and ATR guitarist Oli Herbert. Labonte told Meltdown that he was shocked, saddened and confused by Herbert’s sudden death.
“I was shocked. He was 44 years old, and he wasn’t really a big partier,” he told Meltdown. “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 ATR will definitely carry on without Herbert, who would have wanted the band to continue making music. ATR recently announced that Jason Richardson, former guitarist for All Shall Perish, Born of Osiris, and Chelsea Grin, will be filling in for Herbert as the band finishes their previously scheduled European tour with Sevendust.
“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.”
Herbert, a founding member of All That Remains and lead guitarist on all nine albums, was found dead in a pond near his house in Connecticut on October 16. The guitarist was just 44-years-old. The official cause of death was determined to be drowning. Herbert was, according to his widow, self-medicating to treat manic-depression, a mental health issue that ran in his family. He refused to see a doctor and acquired the antidepressants on his own, which his widow claims explained his erratic behavior leading up to his death.
Labonte announced on social media that, although Herbert’s death was a huge loss for the band and for fans everywhere, he knows that Herbert would want the band to continue to tour, and the surviving members of the band would like to honor his memory by doing so.
“Losing Oli has been a tremendous blow to the core of ATR, but we know he wouldn’t want anything other than for us to continue, Labonte said in a post on Facebook. “He loved this record so much – it’s some of our best work. We look forward to sharing the music with everyone – seeing our fans from the stage. From where Oli loved most. It’ll be cathartic. We’ll need it to be.”
You can check out the full interview with Meltdown below.