Protest The Hero are only a couple weeks away from heading to Australia for the own headline tour with Closure In Moscow. These revolutionary metal giants will be bringing a collection of fan favourites, in addition to some new head banging hits that every hardcore fanatic will not want to miss as well songs from their new album Pacific Myth. Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles spoke to Rody Walker about the tour.
How is the tour going at the minute?
It’s going quite well, we’re getting along pretty famously and we’re having an awesome time out here. We’re excited be coming down again and for some reason we haven’t been to Australia as much as we would have liked so we’re trying to amend that situation.
It’s great for fans to be seeing the band play in some big venues on this tour. Does that change the show dynamic much?
For us, not really! I don’t know what changes our show dynamic to be honest with you. We’re comfortable on any size stage but we certainly prefer the smaller and more intimate sized venues.
What are fans in for on this tour and will the shows be leaning more towards Pacific Myth?
We’re pretty much playing something from everything at this point. For this run we only have forty five minutes because we’re the support band. We’re not playing some of the older material but when we get to Australia it will be a headline set and every album will be represented fairly.
How have audiences enjoyed hearing songs from Pacific Myth and have you been happy with the fan response to the album?
Yeah! It is funny a little because with every new song you play live the reaction is always kind of weird for us anyway. The reception of it has been really good and kids keep telling us how much they like it and things like that but when we get up and play, getting in to these songs which are kind of long and a bit proggy, it just sucks the energy out of the room every night. It is a funny juxtaposition as I don’t think people are disliking it necessarily but it isn’t the easiest thing to mosh around to I think.
Do you think it needs more time so people become more familiar with those songs?
It could be that, it could be the material itself, only time will tell!
Is releasing music on the platform Bandcamp becoming more and more a necessity for bands to maintain control?
I think artists should seek out other options because there are other options out there. Going through a label is not the only way to make and sell records. There’s millions of ways that any band can go. New ideas are popping up every day and as an artist you have an obligation to try and be creative with the way you release something.
It must be great though being able to call the shots when you release something?
Yeah! I think if you have the opportunity to do it you should absolutely attempt to be more creative with the release. I’m not sure if we’ll ever go back to an ordinary release but with a whole heap of experimentation we’ll find something that works really well that we like and the fans like. Dealing with a physical release you don’t realise how much work it is and sometimes I think that I signed up to be in a rock ‘n roll band not slaving away here. It’s still worth doing, of course it is! Too not be in the fucking back pocket of a label who can use and abuse you any time they want and hold your advances over your head.
Has much thought been given to the next release?
We’re started writing for a new record and it will certainly be a full length but what it will be is hard to say at this point because it is at the very early preliminary stages.
Do you like to have a structure or the ideas fairly well mapped out before recording or is there plenty of scope to improvise?
There’s always a little bit of wriggle room for improvisation of the vocals but when it comes to the instrumentals a lot of it is planned to the note well before we get in to the studio. We make the same mistakes every time. Every time I record higher and higher notes then I get on the road and go oh fuck I can’t hit those notes because I’m not in the studio with a well rested voice. I will never learn from that mistake.
With that in mind how do you back up night in night out on tour?
It’s not so easy! At the start of every tour I lose my voice pretty quickly but you grow accustomed to it. I don’t know if the muscle gets stronger the longer you’re out and we’ve been out on this run for seven weeks and I feel great every night. I’m not doing anything in particular to take care of it, I like to have a couple of drinks and maybe it is the booze that is maintaining my voice!
Well if it ain’t broken don’t go trying to fix it!
That’s exactly right…
What do you love about Australia most?
The sun is certainly good, your summer is our winter and our winter is kind of treacherous. That’s a real big bonus for us. The wild life is really interesting, the food… there’s lots to like about Australia.
Interview by Rob Lyon
Check the tour poster for dates near you…