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A sea of change in Protest the Hero’s latest release

By James Olson
Photo: Sandra Layden, retrieved from Protest the Hero Facebook page

Photo: Sandra Layden, retrieved from Protest the Hero Facebook page

VANCOUVER — Never ones to rest on their laurels, Toronto’s Protest the Hero sought to take on a new distribution approach with the release of their latest EP, Pacific Myth. Released over a 12-month span to paying subscribers via Bandcamp, vocalist Rody Walker cites the NOFX “7-Inch of the Month” vinyl club as the primary influence for the prog-rockers to experiment with sharing music with their fans. Walker describes the process as a fun experiment that allowed the band to push themselves to write music in a more streamlined fashion. More generally, Walker encourages experimentation when it comes to different distribution methods. “I think everyone should be attempting to experiment and I don’t know necessarily if you need to innovate but why not?” Walker says. “The industry has been the way that it was for so long that it needed something to shake it up. Crowdfunding and other things like it came in and really shook it up. There’s no reason not to push it further.”

Pacific Myth also signalled a sea change in the writing process within the band as drummer Mike Ieradi recorded in the studio with Protest for the first time. “Mike had a lot more input [in the songwriting],” Walker reports. “He constantly writes music on GuitarPro and he just sends it out. So we wound up using a lot of his guitar stuff which is hilarious because he’s a drummer. I think things really changed up for the other guys in the band.”

Last year Protest celebrated the ten-year anniversary of the release of their debut album Kezia with an accompanying tour in which they performed the record in its entirety with the original lineup on stage. Walker provides a particularly wry perspective on the longevity of the band in reference to that tour. “What I think was most interesting about those Kezia shows was meeting a lot of people coming out that were our age and had listened to the record a long time ago,” Walker observes. “And then there were these kids with a ghost of a moustache on their face going ‘Oh yeah I used to love Kezia back in the day.’ What? You loved that when you were like two? You’re 12 years old right now, what the fuck are you talking about? If we keep going here there are going to be kids coming to shows that weren’t alive when Kezia came out. That’s a little terrifying to me but also kinda funny to me.”

After 2016 mercifully concludes, Protest join August Burns Red on their own anniversary tour before setting their sights on Australia to escape the dreaded Canadian winter. Protest the Hero aim to keep forging their own path.

Protest the Hero play Vogue Theatre in Vancouver on December 8th (with A Wilhelm Scream), Starlite Room in Edmonton on December 10th, Marquee Beer Market & Stage in Calgary on December 11th, Louis’ in Saskatoon on December 12th, and Garrick Centre in Winnipeg on December 14th. 

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