Interview With Protest The Hero - 3rd March 2012

Photo Of Protest The Hero © Copyright Protes The HeroJames caught up with Rody Walker from Protest The Hero before their headline show in Birmingham to talk about their band name, their latest album and plans for the future.

Thanks for giving us this time to speak to you, can you first please give us a brief history of your band with details like how you formed and came up with your name?
I dunno, we were fucking kids living in some small suburb outside of Toronto, we just didn’t have anything to do like most other kids in elementary school we weighed up the options; it was either got to college or university, or start a fucking band. So we started a band and achieved some success, we were called “Happy Go Lucky” which is very unfortunate for us. Something came around and we had an untitled song and we knew we had to change the band name, we had wrote out like 40 different names for the song but realised we had a list of pretty cool band names also in there. At that point we selected Protest The Hero from it; there were some really bad ones in their thought like “Jurassic Fart” and “Boy Eats Girl”, we could be in a much worse position than we are right now, as much as we all hate our current band name it could be worse haha.

Your latest album “Scurrilous” was released a while back, how did you find the press and your fans took the album compared to your previous releases?
It was ok I guess, it wasn’t as much as a media success like our last 2 records were. That what we were expecting though, we’d built up a reputation that was bigger than ourselves that was eventually going to crumble, though I think it is a better record than our previous 2, some fans were expected not to like it and some of them didn’t, but I feel those fans that stayed with us can see that it is some of our best work.

The album art is not something you’d expect to front a metal release, it’s really artistic, how did that come about?
That’s a painting done by Arif’s (Mirabdolbagh, bass player) Grandfather some 60 years ago; he was a very famous Middle Eastern artist. It was just something that Arif had in his house so we were all familiar with it growing up. We saw so many records coming out like The Human Abstract’s “Digital Veil” it’s got some girl on the cover with some weird thing over her eyes so it’s all spooky and metal, I can see this because I’m friends with these guys haha. It’s stupid and it’s not just them it’s a million other fucking bands trying to just do something that’s heavy metal but we thought we’d do something that had some relevance to who we are and what music we create.

What would you say your main musical influences are?
Star Spangle Banner, I’m just kidding haha. There are some Canadian bands that we grew up on that we continue to take influence from like Propagandhi who are one of our favourite fucking bands ever, there’s a UK band Sikth that we very much love. There are not too many bands that have had a big influence on how we write and stuff we all like different things but Propagandhi would probably be the most appropriate.

During your time in the band what can you say has been your best moment?
Either touring with Propergandhi or having Chris from Propergandhi sing on our record, he’s like our idol like a Canadian fucking hero. Actually he’s like a Canadian enemy, not of ours but I think he was like number 2 on top most hated Canadians in the world because of his very strong political views which are very left wing, but I love it he brags about his number 2 spot online haha.

Alright then, how about the worst moment you’ve experienced?
My biggest regret in this band is we turned down a Sikth tour for a Trivium tour, we thought we’d get to tour with them at some point and then they fucking split up haha that will always be my biggest regret.

Your music is very complex compared to a lot of rock and metal acts about, have you found that it requires more concentration to not make mistakes at shows?
We fuck up all the time, we open with “Sex Tapes” every night and I always miss it, there’s a vocal pick up and I’m like I don’t know. We fuck up all the time but it doesn’t take more concentration once you know the songs you know the songs no matter how hard they are. I think whatever you’re good at you should be able to do piss drunk and I can do this wasted out of my mind and I do it, every night haha.

How have the other dates on this UK/Euro tour treated you?
It’s been good you know, German dates are always good for us, Belgium was, Belgium. Going to Belgium sucks there’s like 1 fucking venue its outside of Antwerp, you can see Antwerp from the rooftop but you can’t fucking get there, I just sit in this back room and they give me these shitty chocolate covered waffles, it’s a shitty experience haha.

Will you be returning for any summer festivals in Europe and the UK this year?
I hope so! Someone told me yesterday that we are, but it was someone completely outside the band and I’m like the fuck? Haha but no I don’t think we have anything confirmed yet but I’d hope to.

What have you got planned for the rest of the year?
We’re going to tour America with Periphery and our friends in Today I Caught The Plague, The Safety Fire and strangely Jeff Loomis but Periphery wanted him haha. After that we’re going to South America with Underoath for some reason, I’m excited to go there but it’s like what are we doing on that bill? Also whilst on the topic of Underoath the disambiguation in their name actually changes the pronunciation of their name, that O with the line through it I know they use to be cool but it actually makes their name like, Underoooth or something haha.

On tour there must be lots of time where you do nothing but sit around, how do you cure the boredom?
[Looks at Laptop] Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and 4Chan, horrible forrible shit. I don’t do anything, I just sit around waiting for an appropriate hour to start drinking haha.

Where do you see yourself in a year’s time?
Anywhere but here man haha. Let’s be realistic we’ll hopefully either have a new record and a new record on the way, if the world doesn’t end. Did you hear Snooky’s child is meant to be born on December 21st or something? The day the Mayan calendar ends haha its all lining up!

One last random question that we ask every band, if you could be an animal out of a zebra or Giraffe which one would you be and why?
A giraffe, all zebras do is get killed. Unless they’re in a zoo lions kill them. Don’t know what giraffes do but at least their bigger. Right I have a question for you on the same kind of stupid lines haha.

Would you rather have all of the skin on your body, even the skin in your mouth and your eyelids and everything be the same texture and consistency of scrotum skin and be the only one in the world like that or have everyone else in the world be like that and not you?

Could you imagine eating a hamburger with scrotum skin mouth?

I’d rather be the only one normal, because then at least when women would touch me it’d give me a distinctive advantage over other men.
If everyone was made of ball skin everyone would be like “what’s wrong with this guy he’s so tight!” but you’d have to have horrible sex with scrotum skin vagina.

Bad sex is better than no sex my friend.
Ok that’s fair.

Thanks for your time, is there a message for your fans reading the interview?
Fuck the fans. No I’m just kidding, thanks for listening guys and buying our records even if though you didn’t, they all downloaded it haha. That’s ok though, if they had a record I’d download theirs too.

Interview by James Webb

 Band Members

Moe Carlson
Rody Walker
Tim Millar
Arif Mirabdolbaghi
Luke Hoskin
 Latest Releases
Protest The Hero - Scurrilous
Release Date - 22nd March 2011

1. C'est la Vie
2. Hair-Trigger
3. Tandem
4. Moonlight
5. Tapestry"
6. Dunsel
7. The Reign of Unending Terror
8. Termites
9. Tongue-Splitter
10. Sex Tapes
 Band Related Links
Protest The Hero Facebook