Protest the Hero
Protest the Hero is the epitome of the boozing rock star stereotype combined with the honest integrity of a character like Lisa Simpson: an ironic duality to say the least. This paradox also describes the mentality that has skyrocketed them to metal-core stardom.
As 12-year-old kids without much to do in Whitby, Ontario, the future members of Protest the Hero became bored with their suburban lives.
“We were just sick of going to the movies every Friday and Saturday night,” said lead vocalist Rody Walker in a phone interview with The Cord. “We were just like ‘fuck it, let’s write some jams.’”
Walker’s previous music experience consists of “walking around [his] house singing Elvis Presley and Garth Brooks,” which is quite a change of pace from Protest the Hero’s current punk-metal style.
Like any other high school band, Protest the Hero wanted exposure. Walker explains that what separated Protest the Hero from all the others was “the will to work.”
Their big break came in 2005 when they released the album Kezia with the label Underground Operations and toured Canada.
Their second full-length album, Fortress, was released in 2008. According to Walker, “Kezia and Fortress differ in many ways.”
“If you ask fans of the band, they could tell you that Kezia was much more punk driven and Fortress is much more rooted in metal.
“But I think it’s a little deeper than that. I think there is a level of maturity that we achieved on Fortress that we weren’t quite ready for when we were writing and recording Kezia,” Walker continued.
Beyond the music, Walker stressed the importance of accepting the ironic truths prevalent in everyday life. For instance, he mentions that the music industry is full of irony.
“It’s a big … industry that involves the arts, which doesn’t really make sense…. One is going to end up [screwed over].”
Despite this, Walker states that the music industry has helped Protest the Hero achieve its success up to this point.
Walker also mentions the notion of a “vegetarian meat-eater,” another strange irony.
“We’re all very complicated individuals,” he explained. “It’s a certain duality that everyone brings out in different lights.”
According to Walker, these types of dualities are found in their music, as well as in Protest the Hero’s relationship as bandmates.
He acknowledges that the members of the band will not be together forever.
“Existing on this side of the industry is [futile]. We will either get out of it or rot in it. And I don’t think any of us want to rot.”
Protest the Hero have previously played at Hillside in 2006, though Walker explains that he recalls little of it.
“I remember we were drinking beer funnels on stage…. I remember wandering through the campground looking for someplace to throw up,” he laughed.
“I think it was a lot of fun, I just can’t recall.”
Before taking the stage, Walker plans to perform the very specific ritual he carries out before every show.
“I always have six beers and four shots of whiskey,” he stated.