Guest Blog: Phil Labonte of All That Remains
"I like politics and starting trouble. I also yell at a stick," Phil Labonte says of himself on his Facebook page. As the often controversial frontman of All That Remains, Labonte lives up to his own description. His band is about to his the road in Europe to kick off months of nonstop touring both abroad and in the U.S. in support of its sixth album, 2012's A War You Cannot Win.
OK, I'm sure at least a few people who heard that Phil Labonte from All That Remains is going to be doing a blog thought something along the lines of this: "Great, can't wait to read about politics and guns." And with good reason--I tend to talk about that crap all the time. But this being the first blog, I'm gonna start you guys off easy. Today I'm gonna talk about the people who you see standing on the side of the stage.
You know who I'm talking about. You go see a band and on the side of the stage are people texting, standing around, and often just being in the way. It's pretty easy to pick out the crew guys and every band has friends, family, or a girl someone in the band is banging or trying to bang. Those people are obviously fine. Aside from the girl who will possibly share DNA with a band or crew member, everyone else I listed will know what they're supposed to do. Which is simply stay out of the way so all the people working can get their work done and the people who are in the crowd get the best show we can put on.
Now, the funny part of the whole "watch from the side of the stage" is it sounds like crap! The monitors (speakers on stage for those who are uninitiated [Batman reference]) are set up so the band can hear what we need. Different parts of the stage sound very different. I wear in-ear monitors so the vocals onstage are very quiet. Everyone follows Jason and Mike so you can't hear solos unless you're on Oli's side. The only drums you hear are the snare and the kick. It sounds like garbage. Cause it's mixed for what we need so we can do the show, not to sound good. Out FRONT is where it sounds good. The front of house engineer (Mike Murray, my life tech) takes it all and mixes it up and makes it sound like a band.
So next time you're at a show and you see a bunch of people on the side of the stage remember, the whole point of us putting that show on is so you have a good time. The randoms who know a security guard at the venue or or are a friend of a friend who got a sticky pass are on the side of the stage to show off with the "Look at me, I'm on the side of the stage so that means I'm important" aren't important. I do everything I can to avoid these people. The people who come out, buy a ticket, wait in line, pay to park, pay for gas, and if ATR is REALLY lucky, buy a shirt, those are the most important people in the room. The side stage people come to see us; we come to see you.