Protest the Hero are mathcore giants hailing from good ol Canada who pummel you with instense and often complex riffs that are coupled with very dynamic vocals.
Protest the Hero will be releasing their very much hyped 4th album Volition which provides the best of all worlds the band has to offer. I got down with Vocalist Rody Walker to talk all things Volition, vocals, star trek and pokemon. A very fulfilling chat.
Volition continues from where Scurrilous left off but there is also a harkening back to elements in Kezia and Fortress. Walker said “I’m really happy with the way the record came out. I think there is a more contemporary sound going on with the actual sonic stuff on the record but when it comes to the song writing it continues on the path that we were walking before but there is also a distinct harkening back to things we had done previously and had forgotten about”.
Vocals have always been an interesting aspect of the band’s sound as they are usually very dynamic, consisting of semi-operatic singing, harsh screams and growling. Walker notes boredom and certain sections as the catalysts for the return of this variation. Walker explained that “When I was done the road singing the songs from scurry it just wasn’t the same sort of varied vocals and it sounded kinda boring so when I sat down to do this record I decided that I was going to put some harsher and growling vocals back in. Also the band didn’t give me much choice when it came to some parts as I genuinely couldn’t sing over it at all. It just sounded stupid”.
Walker explains the rather hilarious story behind why the Clarity music video contains a battle between star trek and star wars fans. The song and the lyrics are somewhat metaphoric but at their very base roots it is about the constant comparison between star trek and star wars. I myself site with the star trek faction but what the song in its basic elements is attempting to say is that I would like star wars fans to fuck off and leave me alone because they are two completely different entities and the only real similarity is the setting. People are fine to like whatever they want but I’m sick of having to defend star trek to these star wars to people when there is nothing to compare to.
I wonder if there will be any more videos for Volition? Well the video for Clarity is a lyric video but we’re putting another music video even though it may be a little redundant. We’re also working on another lyric video for A Life Embossed. It’ll be a less of a music video than Clarity. Thanks to the Canadian government and the grant system that allows us to waste tax payers dollars making the stupidest music videos that anyone has ever made.
According to Walker, the band had nothing to do with the lyric video for Clarity apart from the idea. “I sent out this idea and Luke and I battered around this idea and we didn’t hear from anyone for 10 days and then 10 days later they sent us this link and it was the lyric video that was finished. We were like what the fuck is this and who are these people? It was very interesting… We really didn’t have anything to with it. I would’ve loved to be in it but I think it was filmed in salt lake city which is who knows how far away it is from here” exclaimed Rody.
The dynamic and accessible nature of Walker vocals are the result of a thought process that makes up for an inexperience in musical theory. Rody admitted that it’s “tricky to say because I’m not as well versed in musical theory as the rest of the guys in the band which is probably why the vocals are a little more accessible then the rest of the music because you know they are writing in these different time signatures and I just think how can I make this sound like it’s in 4/4. I basically sit down and try to write what sounds good to my ear, my undefined, undeveloped ear. Ultimately things have been working out for me”.
To wrap up, I asked Walker what the near distant future has in store for Protest The Hero. Rody states that “We’ve had an unusual year with the Indiegogo and our drummer leaving and all sorts of shit but we’re getting back to business as usual and we’re gonna hit the road fucking hard. The plan seems to be the states, then into Europe and UK then potentially Australia, Japan and who knows. We’re gonna try and spend the next few years screwing it out on the road until we’re blue in the face”.