All That Remains’ Earthquake/Tsunami Experience
Oh my God! My heart sank when I read that one of my top five bands, All That Remains, was in Tokyo when the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Japan. Thankfully they are all OK, but are understandably a little shook up. They’re from Massachusetts so they never have to worry about a natural disaster of that scale. Vocalist Phil Labonte did a short interview with Noisecreep about their experiences during the disaster.
The co-ed quintet were visiting Tokyo to promote “For We Are Many,” their newest album that debuted last year. Phil Labonte answered the following questions pertaining to their experience:
Noisecreep: What were you doing in Japan?
Phil LaBonte: All That Remains had just finished playing the Soundwave Festival [in Australia] and we were in Japan to do our first headlining shows there. We were in Osaka the day before the quake. We took the train to Tokyo, and we weren’t even in the city for more than a couple hours when the quake hit.
Where were you exactly when it happened?
I was in the dressing room at the venue. The rest of the guys were sound-checking. I think it was the fourth floor, so I’m not sure if that intensified the effect or not, but it was like nothing I’d ever experienced in my life.
Was there panic around you when it was happening?
In Tokyo it was registering around 5.5. It was obviously significant, but not nearly the level of intensity that Sendai and its surrounding areas felt. You could see buildings shaking and stuff falling off shelves in stores. At first, I was quite excited.
I know Japan is one of the most earthquake-prepared cities in the world so I felt pretty secure that there wouldn’t be buildings falling down around us. Once we got out to the street I noticed that the locals weren’t so calm, and that started to make me a little jittery.
Was that the first time you’ve ever been in an earthquake?
That was my first time ever. We’re from the northeast part of the US and earthquakes up there are very rare, and usually barely noticeable.
How bad were the aftershocks?
There were some that were pretty bad, but because the epicenter [of the quake] was quite a good distance [away] from us, we didn’t really get the maximum force from the aftershocks. The rest of the time we were in Japan it seemed like there were almost constant aftershocks that made you think, ‘Did I just feel that?’
Are you guys still a bit shell-shocked from the experience?
I don’t think so — I’m a bit of a preparedness-minded guy so I try to remain calm.
Thank God the band is safe. What a story they can tell their grandchildren someday.