All That Remains’ Phil Labonte on Late Guitarist Oli Herbert: “We Can’t Do Anything That Has His Name on It”
It’s been roughly two-and-a-half years since All That Remains guitarist Oli Herbert died under mysterious circumstances — and yet Herbert’s widow, Elizabeth, is still causing issues for the surviving members of the band.
In a new interview with American Songwriter, ATR frontman Phil Labonte reveals that although the band has “toyed” with the idea of launching a benefit or even a full charity in the late guitarist’s name, right now, at least, it’s a no-go:
“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.”
Which is an especially big bummer given that starting a music school was apparently one of Herbert’s ambitions:
“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.”
So what’s stopping the band from doing these wonderful things in the name of their late bandmate and friend? Ongoing financial disputes with Elizabeth — disputes, Labonte naturally contends, that are B.S.:
“We’ve made sure that 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 also continued to express doubt over Elizabeth’s assertion that Herbert was depressed and possibly suicidal at the time of his death:
“Oli kind of got to a point in his life where he was really getting out more. So the idea of him being depressed just isn’t right to me. He loved touring. He loved playing shows. Most towns that we would roll into, he would be like, ‘yeah, I’ve got some friends that I’m going to meet up with.’ And he started going out and doing stuff like ShipRocked. I’m not a big fan of cruises and stuff, so he went and played by himself.”
In October of 2018, Herbert, age 44, was found dead in a pond near his home in Connecticut. His widow, Elizabeth, initially said Herbert had drowned, and claimed a toxicology report showed that “Oli was apparently self-treating for manic-depression,” thereby implying that Herbert had suffered a fatal accident while intoxicated.
Police, however, deemed Herbert’s death “suspicious” and launched an investigation. It was eventually revealed that Oli, without consulting legal representation, made out a new will leaving Elizabeth everything just a week before his death. That investigation is still allegedly ongoing, although there hasn’t been an update since October of 2019.
A month later, the Facebook page Justice for Oli Herbert purchased a billboard near the late guitarist’s home in Stafford Springs, Connecticut. Meanwhile, in January of 2020, Labonte (understandably) expressed frustration with the lack of progress made on Herbert’s case.
You can read the entire interview with Labonte here.