Phil Labonte was in a bind in mid-March. Arriving in Arizona in time for KUPD’s “U Fest” in Mesa was tricky in the middle of spring break.
“I was actually talking to Shan,” he says about the DJ otherwise known as Shan Man. “We were trying to figure out our flights in and out. Apparently it’s spring break weekend and we’re having a difficult time finding flights that can get us there and back in a reasonable amount of time.”
Mission accomplished. The band will appear at U-Fest on Saturday, April 11, at Quail Run Park in East Mesa. That’s a show that Labonte is looking forward to.
“We’re definitely pumped to be back in Arizona,” he says. “KUPD is a big supporter—probably in our top five. They’re all great to us and it’s always a good time.”
All that Remains is playing in support of its seventh record, The Order of Things, which features the song “This Probably Won’t End Well.”
Labonte spoke about his band’s latest record, his “love him or hate him” reputation, and his love of all things professional wrestling.
College Times: Congratulations on the release of your seventh record. It must be an exciting time for you.
Nowadays it’s a big accomplishment to be able to put seven records out. A lot of bands, they get two to three records and then they go away. We’re still a relevant band seven records in, 15 years in. It’s cool.
I read that you’re a big Harrison Ford fan. That’s a shame that his plane crashed. I’m assuming you’re a big “Star Wars” fan, too?
I grew up with “Star Wars.” I’m going to be 40 years old this year. I was 2 years old when “Star Wars” came out. I saw it in the theaters when I was 3 1/2 at a drive in. Back then, they’d run movies through the regular theaters and then they would go to the drive-in. It was one of the first movies I ever saw and I was a huge “Star Wars” fan growing up. Harrison will make a full recovery. That’s great because I want to see the next three “Star Wars” movies that they’re making. It sucks that he crashed. But have you seen the clips of him taking his helicopter and rescuing people on mountains? I’m like, ‘You’re Indiana Jones for real, dude.’”
Reading about you on the Web, people either really like or really hate you for your outspoken viewpoints. What do you think about that? Do you care?
I really don’t care. If I was worried about it, then I would have been cow-towing to the people who didn’t like me years and years ago. Because the band’s successful and continues to put out records, it’s been growing and growing both on the haters’ side and support me side. It’s not like my opinions are significantly different than they were five to 10 years ago. They’re very similar. Now it just gets more attention—just because I won’t go away. The people who hate me keep saying stuff that I hate and I’m going to keep doing it.
I think your viewpoints are pretty admirable.
Thank you. It’s funny. It’s odd that there’s so much vitriol toward my opinion. It’s honestly not directed at me. The people most critical of me never met me, never sat in a room with me and hung out with me. It’s hilarious that people will say things like, ‘You shouldn’t be allowed to say that.’ We support the First Amendment, the Bill of Rights, when they really don’t. They don’t support individual freedom. They support a (collective) idea of what’s right. If you step outside of that, then you’re the bad guy. I’m completely comfortable being the bad guy. I watch wrestling a lot and I watched wrestling growing up and the bad guys are always the guys who are the coolest. I’ll be the bad guy. I’m into that.
U Fest, Quail Run Park, 4155 E. Virginia, Mesa, ticketfly.com, Saturday, April 11, 12:45 p.m., $40-$150