“WE WANTED to be the band that never played the same riff twice;’ admits Protest The Hero guitarist Luke Hoskin.
“In fact, we made a point of having 20 or 25 different sections all crammed into a four- or five-minute song, but now we appreciate the idea of quality openings and good transitions as well!”
Crowd-funded Canadian prog-punk metallers the Neil Peart seal of approval.
Hailing from Toronto, these progressive metallers may be young but they’ve been making music together for more than a decade. Self-proclaimed fans of Rush, TesseracT and Dream Theater, Protest The Hero found their way to progressive metal via punk, successfully merging it with power, black and symphonic metal. Their technical sounds have even made it onto Guitar Hero, where the nimble-fingered can have a go at Hoskin’s solos.
Now they’re ready to release their ambitious fourth album, Volition, whicl1, according to the guitarist, was also their most stress-free as they played by their own rules. It was paid for by a crowd-funding campaign and recorded at Toronto’s Revolution Recording, following a glowing online testimonial from Rush’s Neil Peart.
“We set the bar really high. Even though you can get very similar sounds in your bedroom, we wanted to be traditional and do it in a studio, which is pretty expensive;’ Hoskin explains, adding that he especially liked the idea of recording so close to home. “We reached our $125,000 crowd-funding target in something like a day, which was terrifying when you consider we hadn’t even recorded the album yet. I know people will just assume that we spent the extra cash on going out and getting a bunch of lap dancers but we used it to buy back some of our masters, which was really cool. We found the perfect spot for all that money to benefit us in the long run!’
But it’s not all serious. Among the CD album and T-shirt bundles, they also offered fans the opportunity for a pizza party with the band and to appear on the album. In the end, a total of fot1r fans made guest appearances on the release, with additional contributions from WatchTower’s Ron Jarzombek, Lamb Of God and Jarzombek session drUlllffier Chris Adler, and Canadian folk musicianJadea Kelly.
People will assume we spent the extra cash raised on lap dancers. but we bought back some of our masters!••
With all those pledged pre-sales ready for despatch and a distribution deal with Spinefarm Records, Protest The Hero are concentrating on rehearsing for their forthcoming tour, which includes UK dates with TesseracT next year.
“We haven’t played as a band for about eight months, so it’s a scary time but it’s all coming together;’ says Hoskin. “Some of ot1r older songs have 25 parts and they all come in very quick succession so I’m really having to sit down carefully with them!’
Bt1t there’s another reason he’s playing such close attention to tl1e material, and that’s because he’s got some seriot1s competition from openers Intervals. “They’re quite young but awesome. Their guitarist is five years younger than me but he runs circles around my playing! Seriously, get there early and check those guys out!’ NRS
This interview first released in 2013.