Protest The Hero made their live South African debut in front of a crazed legion of fans at Krank’d Up 2014. The once-off performance saw fans from all over South Africa and neighbouring countries make the pilgrimage to Johannesburg for what can only be described as a historical show. It soon became very clear that the South African legion wanted their Canadian heroes to come back as soon as possible, and that’s all Protest The Hero needed to hear to set the wheels in motion for their speedy return. They will be returning to South Africa this year, Why Ed caught up with the Rody Walker (vocalist) from Protest The Hero before their tour.

protest the hero south african tour

1. Hi guys, thanks for the opportunity to have a chat with you. Been a huge fan from the time your first full length album “Kezia” was released in 2004.

– Thanks for listening pal!

2. April 2015 will be your second tour of South Africa, this time with more shows and more venues country wide. How was your experience the first time playing at Krank’d Up Fest?

– Needless to say we were blown away. The opportunity first arrived when we were in Boston, Buzz from Unearth came to hangout and told us their next show was in S.A. We thought that was fuckin cool. The next day Timmy set out to work sending emails and what not and he somehow landed us on the gig.

We had no idea what to expect, the first night we were taken for beers and steaks to a local place and it was awesome. Got drunk with some nice people and put about 15 Castle Lites into myself, much to the chagrin of everyone around.

The show was another surprise, we had no idea that many people have a shit about us there, their enthusiasm and friendly attitudes were very much appreciated, and that excites us to return!

3. Were there any stand out bands you enjoyed from South Africa

– I spent so much time bumming around amidst the audience making new friends and sluggin castles that I didn’t really get a chance to catch many of the band’s. I did see my friend Wayne’s band, who’s band name escapes me, and they were fuckin awesome.

4. What made you decide to return to South Africa?

-The fellas who brought us there, asked us to return before we had even left and we heartily agreed. It wasn’t a very hard choice. The show was amazing and the people were so incredibly hospitable… Too easy.

5. How do you find the SA Metal scene compared to the Canadian/US scene, and were you surprised at the response you received on your last tour here?

– The scene seems somehow more alive than the North American one. There is still a vibrant scene here, but I haven’t seen as much passion in a scene in a very long time.

6. Your latest album “Volition” was a huge success when it was released on your Indiegogo Campaign, raising funds three times the expected goal for the album. How have you found the response to the album in relation to your previous releases?

– This album has been rejuvenating for us. The indie gogo was more successful than we could have ever hoped for and thus so was the album and record cycle!

7. How was it doing a self-released album as opposed to going through a record label for Volition?

– It was a lot more work, specifically for Tim and Luke, I mean any work at all is more work for me. Ultimately though it has been a very rewarding experience. We can stand behind the record cycle and feel proud knowing that we are the cogs in the machine, and the machine itself. God damn that sounds pretentious.

8. With the release of your new album came a few new member changes, drummer, Mike Leradi and Bassist, Cam McLellan, and a session drummer for the recording of the album, Metal Legend, Chris Adler of Lamb of God. How do you find this has influenced the sound of the new album?

– Cam had the biggest influence, he’s not even really a member of the band, but he helped out a lot in the studio producing the damn thing, keeping us focused and offering his input whenever necessary!

9. You guys all shred so hard! How do you go about the writing process of your albums?

– Every record has been completely different thus far. When we were young we would all sit in a circle and pound out every part of every song together. It was arduous and time consuming. From then on I’ve always just done my part separately, and in that respect I don’t really know what the hell they’re doing to write the songs! I do know a lot of volition was written with the aid of computers as a few of the songs I wrote over showed up in midi format. Which you can imagine was very annoying for me.

10. If you were to pick, what would be your personal favourite song you have ever written ,or favourite song to perform?

– My favourite song to play right now is currently drumhead trial. However my favourite that we’ve written is probably skies.

11. You guys have toured/ performed alongside pretty much all my favourite bands; Unearth, Parkway Drive, Architects just to name a few. Who is your favourite band you have toured with?

– I’ve had a great time with a lot of bands, architects, propagandhi, the safety fire, the contortionist… To name a few of my favourites. However the best time I’ve ever had on tour was with The Chariot. They are the funniest guys on planet earth and so entertaining to watch live!

protest the hero south africa

12. Sightseeing across the world must be an awesome bonus to your tour life, are there any specific sites you would like to visit on your tour to SA in April?

– I’m most excited to hit that burger place we went in Joburg last time. It was the best burger I’ve ever had and I want more.

13. What is, in your opinion, your greatest achievement as a band to date?

– I think the indiegogo campaign was our craziest accomplishment, by far.

14. Lastly, are there any plans in the pipeline to release a new album and what are your future plans/goals for Protest the Hero?

– Things are already well underway for a new record, which I have no idea when it will be out!

Thank you so much for your time. It’s been an honour. We hope to see you touring South Africa more often and bring all your US and Canadian friends along next time! Can’t wait to see you in April!

Interview by Rick Coetzer.

Thanks to Plug Music Agency for the opportunity to interview Protest The Hero.

Be sure to catch Protest The Hero at the following shows in South Africa.

Protest the hero south african tour