Doc welcomes All That Remains vocalist, Phil Labonte, on the show for the third time to discuss his entry into the metal scene as a guitarist and then a vocalist for death metal band Perpetual Doom, his time with Shadows Fall and why he Ieft the band, what drove him to start and persevere with All That Remains, changing Iineups and improving the sound of the band with the help of Killswitch Engage’s Adam D, his development as a singer, finally achieving success after years of struggling, the challenges of crossing over into the radio market, and Doc picks Phil’s brain on Trump impeachment and the 2020 Election.
This episode features the songs “Serotonin” by Kalt Weiss and “Victim of the New Disease” by All That Remains.
Doc speaks with Tom Bejgrowicz, also known as Tom B, the guy who originally signed God Forbid to a record deal with Century Media records, about getting started in the music industry with Caroline Distribution and working bands like The Misfits, what he originally saw in God Forbid that made him want to sign the band, his obsessive passion that saw bounce between an A&R career and his life as a graphic designer, helping found the genre and coining the term “New Wave of American Heavy Metal”, and his recent work as a graphic design, teacher, and starting Unbuilt Magazine with Randy Blythe and Alex Skolnick.
This episode features the song “Chains” by Davola from the album Inherent and the song “Amendment” by God Forbid from the album Reject The Sickness.
Doc talks with vocalist Brian Fair about coming up in the early 90s Boston hardcore scene, breaking out and eventually breaking up with Overcast, joining Shadows Fall to see the rise of the New Wave of American Heavy Metal, how he enjoyed finally reaching big success, signing to a major label, why all activity stopped for Shadows Fall, how he has experienced family life, and wrap up to chat about the Boston Celtics.
This episode features the song “Beautiful Nothing” by Downpour.
Follow Brian on Instagram and Twitter @Brianshadfall
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Doc talks with God Forbid’s ex-manager Dave “The Rev” Ciancio about how his artist management career got started with The Syndicate, what attracted him to want to work with God Forbid, the exciting east coast metal and hardcore scene of the late 90s and early 00s, why he ended up quitting managing God Forbid and eventually leaving artist management altogether, and gives some insight into his career path after leaving the music industry.
This episode features the God Forbid song “Nothing” from the 2001 album Determination.
“This is the end!” This is the emphatic, anthemic line in the God Forbid opening track from the album IV: Constitution of Treason, which was released during the peak of our powers in 2005. In fact, it wasn’t the end. The end came much later. At the time, it felt like we were invincible, destined for heavy metal immortality. And we were in the lower tier of the NWOAHM (or Metalcore or whatever you want to call it) in all metrics for determining the success or popularity of bands. If you look at album, ticket, and merchandise sales, Myspace friends, Youtube views, Facebook “likes”, or the ever mystical buzz on the street, God Forbid was probably never half as big as any of the rest of the Big 4 of Quitters (I should trade mark this) including Bleeding Through, Shadows Fall, and now Chimaira. Knowing that, even we felt invincible. That’s how intoxicating achieving any discernible success with your art can be. Shadows Fall and Chimaira hanging it up in the last couple weeks have brought an outpouring of sadness, shock and disappointment from fans. It seems like the end of an era, and maybe it is.
Hearing that these great bands are moving on makes me sad and disappointed, but not shocked. The truth is that amongst peers a good majority of our conversations have to do with figuring out how to stay relevant by finding new audiences, getting great tours, signing with the right label, writing the next game changing album, and more. Teetering on the edge of existence has been much of our collective realities for half of our careers. As the O.G. quitter, I’m here to explain why this is happening and why you shouldn’t be surprised.
It’s only been a week since we closed the door on God Forbid, but with so much outpouring of affection, sharing of memories, disclosures of sadness bordering on mourning from friends, fans, fellow compatriots in the music industry, and my own reflections burrowing their way from my subconscious to the surface, I thought I should share some of my thoughts about what kind of legacy we left.
In all honesty, it feels silly to use a word like legacy when talking about my own band, but I was actually having some sentimental feelings about the musical catalog God Forbid has amassed when I was preparing for the last couple shows we did, before I decided to leave the group. I was practicing a few songs I hadn’t played in a while, and in that time, I started listening back to some songs and albums I hadn’t heard to in quite some time. And in that moment, I felt a deep sense of pride and accomplishment. For perhaps the first time, I heard a distinct sound that permeated from our first album to our last. Although that sound had evolved over time and become more nuanced and composed and lost some of it’s teeth, much of the feel was there. The groove was consistent. Dynamics always played a part. Darkness and melody persisted and coexisted. The words spoke about pushing through and striving for better.
You asked for God Forbid shows, you got em. After taking a brief break this year, the God Forbid fellas decided to book a couple local dates. We apologize to fans who don’t reside in the Northeast of the US. Hopefully we can venture out at a later time. Check the dates:
Aug 2nd – Wilmington, DE @ Mojo 13 (Rescheduled show) 21+
Aug 3rd – Trenton, NJ @ Club RHO (Ride for Dime Philly w/ Shadows Fall, Thy Will Be Done & more) 17+ Click here for advance tickets!
For my opening salvo, I suppose I should mention that it has been a long break between blogs. I’ve been meaning to get back to it, but this summer has been a very busy one filled with the musical composition of the new God Forbid album as well as a new project I’ve been working on, in addition to the daily pursuit of living life and getting by. I hope to contribute more frequently in the near future.
If you’ve followed my articles in the past, you may notice that I often address music history, and pertaining to this site, heavy music specifically. I have a great respect for artistic pioneers and the roots of where the most admirable and brilliant music stems from. I was the type of kid who would read liner notes and interviews by my favorite bands to find out who influenced them. I would always want to climb that musical family tree to see where it lead.
When it comes to music (and other things really), I tend to play devil’s advocate. If everyone is shitting on a certain band, for some reason, I become more attracted to that band and seek them out. I don’t know what it is about my personality, but I think it stems from the same perspective that inspired me to write the antagonistic blog about rethrash. It may be a character flaw, but I’m sure it has something to do with a need to be an individual. From what I gather, this website is inhabited mainly by “true” metal heads. What I define as “true” are people whom are purists in the realm of metal and usually scoff at any band or trend that reeks of premeditated commercialism or an overt play for popularity, and who usually demand a certain level of musicianship and underground credibility. These fans usually hate every Metallica record after …And Justice For All, and for that matter always prefer any particular band’s older releases, which usually have a more raw and unrefined recording quality, as well as more abstract, less traditional song writing. For example, they will prefer Carcass’s Necrotiscim to Heartwork, or Morbid Angel’s Blessed Are The Sick toDomination. Oh yeah, and these guys gave up on In Flames and Soilwork years ago.
I have a good deal of that purism in my bones, but it always seemed short sighted and close minded. You have no idea how many arguments the Adler brothers from Lamb of God and I have gotten into over the merits of a particluar Metallica or Megadeth record. If you even bring up Disturbed or Limp Bizkit on MetalSucks, it is mocked and disregarded 100% of the time. I think metal heads often have a sheep mentality because of the fear of being viewed by their peers as less credible for liking bands that aren’t considered “true” or “real” enough. We all have guilty pleasures, but the real question is “Why should we feel guilty about something we enjoy?”