ARTIST BIO: JASON COSTA
After three years of aggressive touring that saw the band conquer every major hard rock/metal festival both domestically (Ozzfest, Warped, Sounds of the Underground) and abroad (Germany's Wacken Open Air, Japan's Loud Park), All That Remains has returned with OVERCOME. Produced by Jason Suecof (Trivium, Sevendust, Chimaira), the group's fourth album sees the Massachusetts quintet continuing to refine the trademark mixture of musical excellence, captivating melodies and aggressive, yet memorable riffs that has earned the act international acclaim.
“We just wrote what we wanted to hear – a solid record with strong songs,” vocalist Phil Labonte says. “We appreciate the art of the great song, and that's what we aspired to – writing the best songs we could.” Lead guitarist Oli Herbert agrees. “We wanted to make a CD that had all the good points of our previous work, but with further refinements in song development and dynamics,” he says. OVERCOME is an accurate portrayal of who we are as a band – concise yet diverse metal with memorable vocal melodies, crushing drums, purposeful guitar solos and songs that tackle various subjects with a wide scope of composition.”
Mastered by Ryan Smith (Lamb of God, Mudvayne) at New York's legendary Sterling Sound, OVERCOME sees All That Remains firing on all cylinders, from the blistering "Relinquish" and "Before The Damned," to the defiant mission statement "Do Not Obey," to self-empowerment anthem "Chiron," to the poignant (though still musically powerful) "Two Weeks" and "Forever In Your Hands." Additionally, the album acknowledges the band's metal roots through ATR's first-ever cover song – a stirring rendition of the power ballad "Believe In Nothing" by underground legends Nevermore.
Herbert, who writes the majority of the band's music, believes OVERCOME finds a compelling middle ground between aggression and memorable hooks – or, as Outburn magazine described the album, “heavy as hell, yet irresistibly melodic.” Says Herbert, “The balance we achieve is a result of wide tastes within in the band. Composing for All That Remains is an arduous process that ultimately makes me work harder to create better material. It's important to know and highlight the strengths of the band, and I believe we've highlighted the things that work and discarded the rest.”
Labonte prefers to avoid commenting on specific lyrics, as he believes fans will forge a more personal connection with the band's songs without being told what inspired them. “I don't want to take anything away from the listener,” he says. “Once we write a song and release it, it's not ours anymore. It means whatever you think it means when you hear it, and it means something different to each individual fan. I won't take that away.”
It's clear, though, that OVERCOME is the culmination of the original ideals, ideas, and elements upon which All That Remains was initially founded. Blending sharp riffs, unrelenting rhythms, virtuosic soloing and memorable melodies with Labonte's strongest and most diverse vocal performance yet, the album combines the band's desire to continually evolve with their trademark sound.
OVERCOME is All That Remains' follow-up to 2006's THE FALL OF IDEALS which saw the band break out of the metal underground and position itself for a mainstream breakthrough. In addition to the high-profile festival appearances, the group supported the album – which debuted at #75 on the Billboard Top 200 – with a series of impressive tours alongside fellow genre leaders Killswitch Engage, DragonForce and As I Lay Dying.
Further recognition was garnered through inclusion in the soundtrack for the third installment of horror film franchise Saw, which included the band's single, "This Calling," as its lead track. Another Fall of Ideals song, "Six," was featured in the popular video game Guitar Hero II, its technical riffs challenging untold numbers of gamers. Soon, fans will have additional chances to play along with All That Remains, as two OVERCOME tracks will follow in the footsteps of "Six" and be featured as downloadable content for the sequel to one of last year's most popular and acclaimed video games, Rock Band.
These achievements were not accomplished overnight, but instead through years of hard work. Founded by Labonte and Herbert in the late '90s, All That Remains released their debut album, BEHIND SILENCE AND SOLITUDE, in 2002. THIS DARKENED HEART, which saw the addition of guitarist Mike Martin, followed two years later and earned the band extensive acclaim. Bassist Jeanne Sagan joined the fold shortly before the group tracked THE FALL OF IDEALS, while drummer Jason Costa – who makes his recording debut with ATR on OVERCOME – toured with the band throughout 2007 and 2008. Although the album title might be interpreted by some as "mission: accomplished," one listen to OVERCOME proves that All That Remains has only just begun to fight, and that its most compelling battles are still ahead.
RECENT ALBUMS: ALL THAT REMAINS - OVERCOME
All That Remains - Two Weeks
Full Name: Jason Michael Costa
Height: 5' 11"
Equiptment: Tama Superstar Hyper-Drive kit with a Warlord Athenian snare
Favorite record of all time: Death "Symbolic"
Movies: Dawn of the Dead
Sports: Any extreme cage fighting
Food: Steak, pasta
Hobbies: Collecting salt and playing World of Warcraft
Q+A with Jason Costa
Q: What was your most embarrassing moment on stage?
JC: Hitting myself in the face with a drumstick and chipping a front tooth while I was playing.... blood everywhere!
Q: When did you know you were destined to be a drummer?
JC: I was the stereotypical little kid who banged on everything when I was little. I really did always know I wanted to be a drummer!
Q: What is your proudest achievement?
JC: Being able to tour and make a decent living doing what I love.
Q: Tell us about your best show ever and your worst.
JC: The last show in Salt Lake City was so damn amazing! I could feel the energy from the crowd during the whole show. They were singing so loud and cheering in between songs. I wanted to play every song we knew! The worst show ever was probably on tour with Slayer many years ago when Diecast was opening up for them. A few of us had an incredible bad flu. Shots of B vitamins kept me going for our short 30 minute set!
Q: Tell us about your set-up.
JC: I use a wonderfully cutting 5-piece Tama Superstar Hyper-Drive kit. Vintage Nickel Sparkle, birch drums in smaller sizes. 20" kick, 10" 12" and 16" inch toms. A beautiful 14" Warlord Athenian snare drum is the icing on the cake!
Q: What inspires you?
JC: Other drummers in many different bands. I always try to catch as many bands performances as I can. Touring the world and getting to meet so many interesting people is really motivating!
Q: What do you look for in a drum sound?
JC: I love a tight and open sound for most of the kit but for my snare I want to get as close to a shotgun blast as I can.
Q: How did you learn to play the drums?
JC: I took lessons for many years (approx. 10) with the most amazing and patient teacher ever. John Horrigan! Hi John!!
Q: What record are you most proud of and why?
I know it's a generic answer but I'm most proud of the latest recording I'm on.
Q: What's your favorite place to play?
JC: I really love playing smaller clubs. Being so close to the crowd that I can see and feel their reactions really makes a show that much more fun for me.
Q: What's the best and worst part of being a drummer?
JC: Best part of being a drummer is being able to satisfy my A.D.D. while I'm playing. HAHA! The worst part of being a drummer is that it's always your fault, all the time, always!!
Q: You can play any kit you want, why do you choose Tama?
JC: Every time someone from Tama comes out to a show they are the nicest, most social people ever! Getting to hang out during and after the show chatting, talking shop and having a great time with the people from the company is always a great time...in Europe, the U.S. or Japan! Oh yeah, they also make great kits! :P