Rody Walker’s scene is “to gym”. The lead vocalist in progressive metal band, Protest the Hero, states: “I like to go there and pick up heavy things and put them down again. It’s relaxing. I know a lot of people probably have the same answer. But, outside of the band, that’s what I like doing.” Walker’s busy touring schedule does not seem to give him much time for what he enjoys doing outside the band. “It’s a long haul,” he explains, “it’s seven weeks or so. We’re all looking forward to the end of it.” Walker will be having some down time before the Australian tour. “In Canada, we don’t have too many options; it’s either stay and freeze or get the fuck out of dodge real quick. I’m flying to Japan with my wife for a vacation, then flying home and then flying to Australia from Canada so I’m going to spend a good four days in the air. But I’m looking forward to both trips; both trips will be great.”
The April 2017 tour is the band’s third trip to Australia. [pullquote]”Protest The Hero’s sound in food form is like a chicken breast cooked for three days and then you go to eat it and there’s only just a little bit of salt on it and that’s the only thing, there’s no barbecue sauce, it’s really dry and tough to consume but there’s some protein in there which is good for you.”[/pullquote]They were part of the Soundwave festival in 2011, and then had their own shows in 2014. Walker finds it “so neat that there are all sorts of places in Australia where you can go and see the wildlife. It’s like you’ve got this huge open field of kangaroos hopping around. This might be kind of a stereotype thing; there’s a bunch of kangaroos everywhere there and I find that very interesting. I found it a humane treatment of animals, which is good. I also really enjoyed that the food is very adventurous, that you can eat a bunch of weird different kinds of meat in some places, including kangaroo. So those two statements really contradict each other: I like animals but I also eat them.” Walker laughs and then states: “And everybody is so funny there. They’re like so funny that I feel like an idiot. It’s like you’ll meet someone on the street and they’ll make you laugh, and you’re like ‘how can everybody be that funny’.”
Walker has a sense of humour to match those Aussies he met on the street as he states that ten years ago they would “get crazy drunk every night and then cut each other with plastic knives.” Nowadays, “the truth is we’re getting a little older. A few of us are married. Those that aren’t are in a committed relationship, so we’ll put on some music, play some video games and go to sleep. I would like to be able to tell a crazy party story but it’s pretty boring, pretty normal, but it’s also our job and we got to take it a little seriously. Some of the bands come out here and do a lot of horrible stuff and …” Walker takes a breath and laughs, “I object to almost all of that.”
Protest The Hero’s latest offering was subscription based, through bandcamp, with access to a new song every month for six months, culminating in the EP Pacific Myth. [pullquote]Sometimes people are so vague and it’s there is no moral there: you’re here talking about space and oceans and stars and crap like that but you’re not saying anything at all.” [/pullquote] Each month also included special access to artwork, lyrics, liner notes, instrumental versions, and high-quality downloads. Lyrics from the song Caravan seem to convey the overall feel of Pacific Myth: “The Sun, the Moon, the Earth, and the shore | Tired metaphors played out before your eyes | Sedation, satisfaction | But to be satisfied and entertained | Without any source of intellectual gain | Seems to be what’s in fashion. Walker explains: “The whole thing is inspired by the philosophies of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell but also influenced by a lot of the concept records that you see currently and my frustration with them. The whole thing is just it’s the hero’s quest and the ideas that like you can tell a story. But if there’s no moral to the story, it’s just the same as every other story that lacks meaning completely. And it doesn’t matter how cool and flowery the language is, it’s still empty. And it was sort of a commentary on the current state of concept albums in a kind of tricky, sneaky way. Sometimes people are so vague and it’s there is no moral there: you’re here talking about space and oceans and stars and crap like that but you’re not saying anything at all.” With Pacific Myth, Walker states: “I think the moral is that a story needs more than a narrative; the moral is that it needs to have a moral, to have purpose, to have meaning.”
Vacuous is not in Walker’s vocabulary, both in the latest Protest The Hero EP and in the upcoming Australian tour. “Our live show is a little different than a lot of bands and maybe not in a good way. There’s not a whole lot of jumping around like crazy. We try to make the playing as accurate as possible. It’s not totally about just performing these daring stunts on stage, it’s about performing the songs as well as we can. So people may not be entertained by on stage antics, but they might be entertained by the music itself.” Walker continues: “I talk to the audience between songs; some people don’t like it though because I kind of try and antagonize the audience in between songs and instead of propping them up, I’m trying to bring them down a little bit. It’s easy if you’re headlining a show because everybody in the room already like yeah. But if you start out and they hate you because you said something that they don’t like you got to win them back over. I like trying to win people’s affection rather than just naively receiving it.”
Catch Protest the Hero on their Australian tour and see if Rody Walker, and band, can win your affection.
Australian/NZ Tour Dates:
WEDNESDAY APRIL 19 – KINGS ARMS, AUCKLAND (18+)
FRIDAY APRIL 21 – THE CORNER HOTEL, MELBOURNE (18+)
SATURDAY APRIL 22 – THE FACTORY THEATRE, SYDNEY (18+)
* Across 2 stages
SUNDAY APRIL 23 – THE SMALL BALLROOM, NEWCASTLE (18+)
TUESDAY APRIL 25 – THE BRIGHTSIDE, BRISBANE (18+)
WEDNESDAY APRIL 26 – AMPLIFIER BAR, PERTH (18+)
With special guests:
- CLOSURE IN MOSCOW (Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle ONLY)
- HEAVY METAL NINJAS (Auckland ONLY)
PRESENTED BY SELECT TOURING AND BLUE MURDER
PROTEST THE HERO have carved an identity for themselves [pullquote]“The bombastic madness that is Protest The Hero is packed with unbelievable guitar hooks with technical metal firing at you like a machine gun and quite frankly their tracks are masterpieces.” – Bring The Noise UK[/pullquote] that is so revolutionary within heavy music that to call them “unique” would be like calling Louis C.K. “pretty funny” or the classic “Star Trek” television series “influential sci-fi.” The band effortlessly balances high-minded artistry with wit and whimsy, substantive viewpoints with wanton tomfoolery and masterful musicianship with true songcraft.
Their latest offering Pacific Myth channels the bands usual hard-hitting sound and remains true to their signature style with overtly complex riffs and eccentric vocal arrangements. The band explained, “Pacific Myth was purely an experiment. For this reason, it’s a totally ‘go-with-your-gut’ record and one we are extremely proud of. PROTEST THE HERO continue to push the boundaries of metal and widen their creative scope that has fans in a frenzy.
Don’t miss one of the most entertaining live bands in metal!
“Pacific Myth is musically excellent and sporadically superb.” – Sputnik Music
“Melodic memorable guitar licks, soaring vocals by Rody Walker, and unmatched musical technicality. They’ve never been a band to ease you into a record, but the band seems particularly ready to kick the listeners ass here from the get-go.” – Metal Injection
“Canada’s are known for their prolific breed of progressive, rip-your-face-off-and-mosh-on-it metal” – Alternative Press
Buy PACIFIC MYTH by PROTEST THE HERO here
Grab your tickets to witness PROTEST THE HERO live here