When All That Remains' new album "The Order of Things" kicks off, the well-received lead single "This Probably Won't End Well" blasts through the speakers. While fans love the song, they are hoping that the band's show actually will end well when they take to the stage on May 18 at Reverb in Reading.
"We're playing in between Periphery and In Flames, which is probably the best spot on the card for us, honestly," lead singer Phil Labonte said. "I don't like to be held to high standards for the our show. If you keep them low, the fans won't be disappointed (laughs). We get up there, jump around and play our songs. We don't do a lot of face paint or anything theatrical like that. We get a stage and we go out there and play."
All That Remains is no stranger to the Pennsylvania area, as the band, which was started in 1998, has played many shows at the Croc Rock in Allentown and the Chameleon Club in Lancaster, to name a couple of venues.
When the group takes the stage, they'll play the aforementioned "This Probably Won't End Well," as well as "Pernicious" and "No Knock" from their new album, but being that they have six prior studio albums, they'll focus on the songs that the fans know and want to hear.
"Right now, we'll do three songs off of the new album, but we'll probably do more by the time we're in Reading," Labonte said. "When we go up there and play, they expect to hear our classic stuff. We put the staple songs in there, but we give people a reason to check out the new record."
Speaking of the new record, which was released on Tuesday, Feb. 24, Labonte and the band are ecstatic about it.
"We haven't been more excited in ages, to be honest, about a record. The record honestly surprised us with how good it is," Labonte said. "We had a certain hope. We hoped that it would come out good. It came out better than we thought."
As for the fans and critics, well, it's been a mixed bag so far. While some All That Remains fans have praised the record, many have said that the band has gone soft and commercial for radio play.
"That's what we've seen. There are three different reviews; there are actual reviews of the record, reviews that are reviewing our musical style and reviews of me 'cause I'm a jerk sometimes," Labonte said, with a laugh. "It's tough to take someone seriously if they aren't reviewing the songs and music if they are reviewing the type of songs your want to put out instead. If you want to review the record, review the record. Don't do it from a perspective of what you think it should be. That's what the reviews should be. Not everyone is going to be Cannibal Corpse."
Labonte said that when planning the record, they don't really look at what the fans might like when they're in the studio. Rather, they write what feels right to them.
"At the risk of sounding like a jerk, we write music for us. I never want to cater to someone when we are writing music. Then you're just a product. If you write the same record over and over, what you're doing is making a product that your fans expect," Labonte explained. "You're writing to maintain what the fans expect you to do. That's not art, that's being a machinist. You're putting out something that you're supposed to put out."
Part of the reason Labonte feels that the fans have been so-so on the new record is because of the overwhelming success that the band's 2006 release "The Fall of Ideals" had, which led to mainstream success.
Are fans having trouble letting go of the past, maybe?
"I think so. They are living in the past. They are stuck on a record that came out a decade ago. People want that again," Labonte said. "They want you to make them feel like they did 10 years ago because they are miserable. You put out a record, and then life happens. They get married to a woman who sucks and have a kid who screams all the time. They just want us to make them happy again."
The new album has a mixture of melodic songs (such as "This Probably Won't End Well") and harder songs ("No Knock"). When recording, they let the music decide how each song will sound.
"It really depends on what is working with the song. The 'No Knock' song was supposed to be called 'Alice in Chicopee,' a play on Alice in Chains, but the vocals weren't working out right," Labonte said. "The song was heavy, so we wanted to do the screaming on it. We let the song and ideas dictate it."
Some of the musical inspirations for All That Remains are At the Gates and The Haunted. But the root of the band, which is guitar-heavy, comes from Swedish metal, according to Labonte.
But the name, where did that come from? A song from a Swedish rock band? A lyric heard in a song when growing up?
No, it wasn't that complex, actually.
"It came from a Google search, or actually a Yahoo search back then," Labonte said, with a laugh. "We had a problem coming up with a name that hasn't been used yet since there are so many bands out there. I brought up the name All That Remains and there were no bands named that, so it stuck. It wasn't super deep or anything like that."
Tickets for the show are on sale now at http://www.reverbconcerts.com/concerts/ with $23 tickets in advance and $25 on the day of the show.