Rody Walker of Protest the Hero: The Heavy Blog Is Heavy Interview

In celebration of the nearing end of the Volition touring cycle, Whitby progressive metalcore legends Protest the Hero graced the stage of the up-and-coming Toronto concert venue The Hard Luck three nights in a row this past April, and what a celebration it was. Amidst all the chaos, I was lucky enough to sit down with Rody and the boys for a quick chit-chat on the eve of the third and final show to discuss where the band is at and where they plan on going from here.

You guys are taking off to South Africa next week. Are you guys going to get to do anything touristy there?

Rody: Yeah, there’s a bunch of stuff that we have planned. I don’t know really what it is. They send us like a list of things and they’re like you can do any of this, and I think we said we’ll do all of it. I mean there’s stuff like swimming with sharks that I’m not particularly interested in, but I think Luke is very interested in that.

Do you prefer tours like that where it’s short and sweet but you get to travel, or are you more into the cross North America in a bus kinda thing?

Rody: Oh fuck, I’m definitely into short and sweet. Like, if we could go do like fuckin’ two weeks, and then never tour again, that’d be the best. No, I like the short tours. The long ones – I don’t mind the long ones but it’s just like, it takes a lot of you to go on the road for two months. I don’t change my clothes often.

*Laughs* Are you planning on keeping the set more or less the same?

Rody: Exactly the same. We don’t change our set much. You might have noticed in the times you’ve seen us. We basically only play the songs that we know because the other ones are too fuckin’ difficult to learn and it’s an arduous process that were not willing to subject ourselves to.

Obviously there’s songs that you guys have said you’re tired of playing, like “Blindfolds.”

Rody: I don’t know if everybody’s tired of playing it but I certainly am. Mike and Cam probably aren’t tired of it.

Mike: I am completely tired of it.

Rody: Actually Cam is probably tired of it just ‘cause he hates. He hates from deep inside.

Cam: You’re not wrong.

Are there any songs you never get tired of playing?

Rody: “Bone Marrow.” It definitely doesn’t fuckin’ get old.

Luke: I don’t know why it keeps getting out of the set. Just like yeah, “Bone Marrow’s” gone.

Rody: It just keeps working its way out, and it’s a great track. Everybody likes it. We like playing it. Let’s get rid of it *laughs*. But “Bone Marrow” and “Limb From Limb” are kinda fuckin’ interchangeable, I think. Similar sort of song.

Tim: “The Dissentience” is fun for me still.

Rody: “Underbite’s” easy.

Luke: I hate “Underbite.”

Rody: It’s not a very good song, I don’t think. I mean, the general reaction to it has been like, “Oh that one. Okay.” But it’s really easy for me to sing. I was looking at the comments on the video for that the other day.

People got so offended!

Rody: Oh, people fuckin’ hated it. I went back and watched the video ‘cause I was like this was a good thing that we did, I think.

I think people just got confused ‘cause like, even with the lyrics, they thought you guys were ripping on them, like your own fans. Anyways. Will we ever get to hear “Skies” live?

Rody: I don’t know. I would imagine so. Luke would be a good guy to ask about that.

Luke: Ten year anniversary tour. “Skies” eight years from now. 2021.

Is a Kezia ten year anniversary show a possibility?

Rody: We’re talking about it. It’s about kinda deciding how to do it, right? Whether we keep it kinda local or expand it more. I don’t know, I don’t make any of the decisions in the band, I just talk in interviews.

How has reception been Kezia 10? Getting lots of submissions?

Luke: Yeah it’s pretty funny. It’s funny to look through them. Like we hired a company to collect everything for us because it would be fairly monotonous but are shared on a dropbox and we can go look. They have what they call an A+ column. It’s people who submit a lot of stuff and for some people it’s like pages of their experience, and merch, and photos. It’s pretty cool.

Mike, you just did the Sheet Happens tabs for Volition. Would you ever consider doing it for the other three albums?

Mike: Yep. There’s actually a guy doing Scurrilous already. But yeah I would do all of them. It’s obviously an annoying process, but it’s kinda nice to do in a weird way. They asked me to do one when I was recording with my old band. I did just Bloodmeat, and it was pretty interesting to just really go through everything.

Rody, you’ve posted some vague kinda hints about getting started on your next project?

Rody: Oh yeah no, it was funny man. I posted that stupid video of me fixing the light on my house, and people drew a conclusion between that and the IndieGogo thing, like I was trying to hint that it was a metaphor, that DIY stuff was the direction we were going or weren’t going. That’s literally just a video of me fixing a fuckin’ light in my house. Not well, either. There’s no underlying message. We don’t really know anything about the studio yet. We’ve got maybe like a handful of songs in the works right now. Amazing songs. But there’s no plans for the studio as of yet. It’s gonna be awhile.

2016, maybe?

Rody: I would say probably. I think. Wait, what year is it now?

2015.

Rody: Oh, I thought it was 2014. So maybe 2017.

Are you planning on going the IndieGogo route again?

Rody: I don’t know, every time I talk to the guys it’s a different story. One time they were sayin’ “No, we can’t friggin’ do it this time” and then one time they’re like “We should friggin’ do that.”


Whether they plan to take the IndieGogo route or not, the point to take away from all this is that we can expect new Protest material sometime in 2016 (or is it 2017?). Hold onto your butts! In the mean time, if any of you Ontarians (or keeners from abroad) missed out on Protest in Toronto, there’s just two more chances to catch the boys in their home province before the Volition tour cycle officially comes to a close. Check out the dates below and be sure to nab some tickets!

05/22 – Waterloo, ON – Maxwell’s
05/23 – Thorold, ON – The Moose & Goose

-EW

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