As an outspoken libertarian, All That Remains frontman Philip Labonte has had no problems in the past speaking his mind about gun control, politics, or Black Veil Brides. Whether you agree with his views or not, he’s always interesting, which is why we included him on our list of musicians most worthy of following on social media. One of his latest musings, this time on Facebook, wasn’t about social issues or politics, but he still courted controversy by speaking his mind. This time, it was about the longevity of his band amidst other metal bands breaking up:
So in the past six months bleeding through called it quits, god forbid called it quits, and just today shadows fall has announced that for all intents and purposes they’re calling it quits. I’m so glad ATR have transcended “metal” and have become “musicians.”
Apparently feeling the heat, shortly afterwards, he quantified the statement with:
Guys, that last post was about “metal” and it wasn’t about the quality of the bands mentioned. It was a reflection on how arbitrary and fickle “metal” fans are. Stop lookin for hate.
It’s hard to disagree that All That Remains are a vastly different band than the one they were when they started out. They’ve had radio hits, and crossed over more towards the active rock world than the relatively niche metalcore position that God Forbid and Bleeding Through (and to a lesser extent, Shadows Fall) occupied. So you can’t disagree with him there. But it’s easy to see how his choice of words could be seen as not only dismissive of the genre, but to all three of the bands mentioned in the post. If read the wrong way, it comes off as an indictment of the musicianship of metal bands. And while we’re not going to comment on the quality of ATR’s music, but many “arbitrary and fickle” metal fans would certainly accuse the band of selling out, which Labonte doesn’t seem all that concerned with. In fact, it’s selling out that’s afforded ATR the opportunity to remain a band and not call it quits like the other bands. He might have considered a better choice of words, though.