Photo from Arthur Kade.
On Wednesday, March 5, Protest the Hero played a hyped set at THE GARAGE, from which coverage is coming. But beforehand, Protest’s singer, Rody, sat down with me an interview. The lightly edited transcript is below.
Nick: First off, how are you?
Rody: I’m quite well!
Nick: Do you consider your band any specific genre/subgenre or does it not matter to you?
Rody: I don’t really know, we get lumped in with a lot of bands and I think that’s the problem with defining yourself. Under a certain label you get lumped in with a bunch of bands that don’t necessarily sound like yourself, and I don’t think there are that many bands that sound very much like us. The problem with defining yourself in a genre is that you’re putting limits on what you can and can’t do, you put yourself in a very small box and it’s hard to work outside of that box when you’ve addressed the borders of it.
Nick: So on that note, what’s your opinion on the music scene as a whole, or maybe at least the scene that you’re involved in?
Rody: The scene that we work in is really, well… I don’t know because we go through so many bands in this “progressive” world and some in the rougher “punk” world, and even the “beer chuggin’ american metal” world! So it’s in a weird state, progressive metal is certainly at an all time high for the new stuff, but unfortunately I think a lot of it is degrading into… Well let me start on a different point. I think some people come to progressive metal from different ways, the one that I don’t like is the one that comes to progressive metal through nu metal, people who grew up on bands like Korn, Limp Bizkit, Slipknot, Deftones, etc, you know? It’s developing from prog metal into something that’s reaching closer and closer to nu metal, as if we have new nu metal bands coming out, and it’s horrible! That s— went away because it all but killed metal in the mainstream, and now it’s coming back in a big way. Like, I don’t even know what they’re called but there’s this U.K. nu metal band that tries so hard to imply rap and stuff. This is a bad thing! The world decided 10 years ago that this is a stupid thing! But it’s back and I think it’s in a really bad state. Our “genre”, our “scene” or whatever the hell it is in a bad place, and it’s going in a bad direction! Of course this is opinion based, it’s something that I don’t like, that I don’t approve of and would like to distance myself from.
Nick: Since being on tour can be stressful, is there anything specific that keeps you level headed?
Rody: It’s hard to say. Certainly staying in contact with friends, family and loved ones at home keeps us level headed, I suppose. Keeping up with the things that we do at home, I mean rock ‘n’ roll is great, having a drink, having a smoke you know but we’re all human beings , and this is our job, and I think it’s important to keep your feet placed steadily on the ground, remembering all of the ordinary things outside of this.
Nick: All the way from the conception of the band and onwards, do you think you’ve been moving in a specific direction or do you just go with the flow?
Rody: It’s definitely a go-with-the-flow kinda thing but there are a few things that we hold very near and dear to us, there are also lots of things that I have problems with what a lot of bands are doing now. The premise of our band, I guess is we don’t sound very “punk rock” but our thesis is very much based in punk theology. Such as, you shouldn’t be playing music if you can’t play it live. You shouldn’t have a laptop on stage playing most of your music. It should all be very raw, it should sound different live! It shouldn’t sound like someone just put the CD on, you shouldn’t be on stage dancing to your own CD! It shouldn’t be perfect, it should be grittier, it should be loose, that’s kind of the philosophy we function under.
Nick: How did you go about deciding that Chris Adler (Lamb of God) would be the right fit for Volition, and how was working with him?
Rody: We’ve known Chris for some time now, not really well but he’d come out to our shows and get us guest slots on a couple Lamb of God shows, we’d hang out, have a couple beers , and you know he’s just a really good dude and we share the same management and Lamb of God. So when it came down to it after Moe left we thought “who do we know that can definitely do this?” and it’s kind of funny reading about some of the stuff that Chris has written about it, because he wasn’t exactly sure himself that he could do it, but we had all the confidence in the world in him, and bring him down, working with him , seeing what a professional he is was absolutely incredible. I think he knocked it out of the park, he did an amazing job. I’d say he’s a chameleon, playing many different styles of music and adapting his play style to almost anything.