In a recent episode of the "High Notes" podcast, ALL THAT REMAINS frontman Phil Labonte discussed his decision to quit drinking alcohol a couple of years before the start of the pandemic. "I have not had any alcohol in, I believe now it's been just about four years, I think," he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "Actually, I quit drinking four years ago, and then there were a couple of times where I fell off the wagon in 2017. And the very last time I had any drop of alcohol, I believe, was February of 2018, because I had a shot with a friend. And I was, like, 'I don't know why I did that. I don't wanna do that anymore.' There were a couple of times in 2017 where I fell off the wagon but I stopped drinking daily or regularly, which was almost daily. February 16th of 2017 was the last time that I actually was drinking all the time, and then I stopped, and then a couple of times I fell off the wagon and thought that I could control it. But I'm not sure that I can. Thankfully, every time that I fell off the wagon, I was able to be, like, 'Wait a minute. Why am I doing this? I don't wanna do this. I need to stop.' And I stopped without any kind of significant problem. I guess it was me kind of learning that I can't control it, or that it's not worth the risk. Bad things happen when I drink too much — at least personally I feel like bad things happen."
Asked to elaborate on the circumstances surrounding the last time he had a drink, Labonte said: "I didn't go to a program to quit. I'm not super familiar with what A.A. [Alcoholics Anonymous] is like, but I've heard stories from people, and I hear that there's a lot of reconciliation with people that you hurt and stuff like that. I never did that, so me quitting drinkinig wasn't something that I kind of told everyone in my life that I wasn doing. It wasn't like there was an intervention and it wasn't like I had to go ahead and tell everybody, 'Look, I have to quit drinking, and I'm going to rehab to do this,' and da da da. I didn't have to go and make amends, 'cause, thankfully, my drinking was very self-contained; thankfully, it didn't affect other people. I never hurt other people in any significant way other than being a pain in the butt or saying something rude or being thoughtless or whatever. So a lot of people didn't realize that I quit. I mean, there were times when I tell people, 'Yeah, I haven't had a drink in blah blah blah,' and they're, like, 'You were an alcoholic like that?' And I'm, like, 'Yeah.' Just a couple of weeks ago, I was in Massachusetts with my mom. It didn't really dawn on her that I'm an alcoholic and I don't drink at all. She was, like, 'Do you like those beers or whatever?' And I'm, like, 'Mom, I haven't had a drink in… I haven't had anything in three years, and I quit drinking four years ago.' And she's, like, 'Really? You never…' And I was, like, 'Yeah.'
"So that sets the stage for kind of where we were at the last time I had a drink," he continued. "I was out with some friends. We were at a strip club. One of my friends was just, like, 'Let's get a shot.' And I kind of just was, like, 'Okay.' And I think there was three of us and I think there was a girl that was a friend of his that was working that was pouring the shots. And I'd been kind of chatting up that girl. So I was, like, 'Okay, maybe I'll just have this shot, just to do the social thing.' And I took a shot, and I was, like, 'Why did I do that?' And I thought about it, and I was, like, the reason I did that is because it's a social thing, and I was never a social drinker. For me, drinking was always a thing that I did… I was alone a lot. I'm very much an introverted person, and drinking was an alone thing for me or something that I… I didn't have to be around other people to drink. I'd get up in the morning, at nine in the morning, at home in New Hampshire by myself and be, like, 'Where's the vodka?', just to start drinking. So I thought, 'This isn't a social thing for me. Why am I doing this? Why did I take that shot?' And I didn't drink any more that night, and I didn't get hammered. I probably got a buzz on 'cause it had been a few months since I'd had a drink at that point. So that was it. And I was just, like, 'I don't want it.' And that was the last time that I had anything to drink at all."
Last August, Labonte confirmed to the FM99 WNOR radio station that ALL THAT REMAINS had commenced the songwriting process for the follow-up to 2018's "Victim Of The New Disease" album.
"Victim Of The New Disease" was released via Fearless in North America and Eleven Seven in Europe.