If All That Remains vocalist Phil Labonte had his way, we’d be hearing more of late guitarist Oli Herbert’s name.
In a new interview with American Songwriter, Labonte related that despite wanting to play tribute shows and create charities and projects in Herbert’s name, he is not allowed to. “We talked about ideas to do a benefit to raise money for kids in schools, but we can’t do anything that has his name on it,” said Labonte.
The reason for the block is Herbert’s wife, Elizabeth, who has been in a financial dispute with the band over Herbert’s estate for years. Labonte, however, says that the band continues to pay his estate what it’s owed and has no plans to short it. “ We’ve made sure that our accountants and all the people that work with us know any money that is owed to Olli Herbert’s estate must be paid to Oli Herbert’s estate. And we have absolutely no interest in not paying. It’s not worth any kind of hassle for the amount of money.”
Labonte especially wants to see through Herbert’s idea of starting a school music program. “Oli absolutely loved music. And I would love to see kids that don’t feel comfortable, the kids that are kind of awkward, or a little weird—I would love to see them look at Oli and be like, ‘I could be a rock star too.’ Because Oli, he was kind of a weird dude too.”
Herbert passed away at his home in Connecticut in 2018 at the age of 44. He was found face down in a shallow pond on his property. The incident is currently being investigated.
Though still reeling from Herbert’s death, All That Remains has been trying to soldier on. The band recruited Chelsea Grin / Born of Osiris’ Jason Richardson to fill the void, someone Herbert respected as a guitarist. Said Labonte, “It was funny because it was like, Oli was almost a little intimidated, I guess. He was like ‘this kid’s like 17 years old and better than me.’ And so when Oli passed away, we couldn’t think of another person out there that he would have rather had play in that spot.”
Since 2019, All That Remains has been teasing new music. Before the pandemic derailed it, the band had partially recorded an album. Their last album, Victim Of The New Disease, which still featured Herbert, was released in 2018.