Musicscan: Guys…I thought „Fortress“ was already an astonishing album, but „Scurrilous“ is even more amazing! Congratulations! As they say, the third album of a band is „make it or break it“. Did this thought ever come to mind during the writing process? Do you ever think about expectations of either your audience or critics?
Protest The Hero: I've heard this third album statement and think it's a load of crap. I think if a band stays together long enough to make a third album then hopefully it will be bigger and better than the last two but I think any album you release could be the make or break or in our case the one that keeps us going and contributes to our growth as a band. We write for ourselves, I don't think it's good to try to someone that your audience will expect. I think occassionally we will include things that elude to past records but we mostly write to entertain and keep ourselves happy and hope people will enjoy what comes out.
Musicscan: Tell me more about the writing process and the way you work. Do you jam on ideas, write/compose individually?
Protest The Hero: Pretty much the 4 instrumentalist locked themselves up and put together some rough song structures. There's parts that we call verse, chorus, bridge and then make up names for the rest of the parts. Once we have something that we think is a song, we record it roughly and send it to Rody who usually gets angry and asks 'What the fuck do you want me to do over this' We go back and forth and find a balance and he'll record some stuff and send it back to us, and most of the time there's a lot of good stuff in there, and we just smooth it out and make it song like a song, not just parts smashed together.
Musicscan: Tell me more about the lyrics. I already read that this time singer Rody wrote all of them as an outlet for stuff going on in his life. Would you mind commenting on those circumstances?
Protest The Hero: Rody was the main contributor for lyrics and wrote 7 of them. He did take a more personal approach and a lot of the material covers stuff going on in his life as well as some talk about things that have happened to the band, to things we can relate to. He has a different style of lyrics from what Arif does (who did 3 great sets of lyrics) and this was definitely a way we could change it up, but at the same time it felt very natural.
Musicscan: As it seems, this time you went away a bit from the „creative chaos“ that was shown on „Fortress“ in favour of a more song-orientated style. Did this come naturally or am I the only one recognizing this?
Protest The Hero: The biggest thing we wanted to accomplish on this record was smooth out the transitions and try to establish a pretty constant pulse to the songs. Fortress is chaotic in the sense that we were jumping all over the place tempo wise and though it's challenging and fun to do so, it's nice to have a song that stays in the same place for most of the song. The big challenge was teching up parts inside the same tempo and messing around with time signatures and different beat divisions to make it sound like we're changing tempo, maybe it was a more controlled chaos.
Musicscan: What is your opinion on the term „mathcore“? Is it flattering or just a word with not much importance to you?
Protest The Hero: It's flattering in the sense that people are assuming we apply math to our music. Don't get me started on the relationship of math and music, but for our music we really just play and do what feels right. Most of the counting is adding or subtracting a beat not really calculating all this difficult time signatures and having a master mathematical plan and reasoning behind everything. We really just play parts and fit them together according to how it sounds, not how the math works on paper.
Musicscan: What is your opinion on the Canadian music scene and do you think there’s a difference between the U.S. and Canada as far as music is concerned?
Protest The Hero: The Canadian music scene is unique and different from the US scene. We take pride in being influenced by America but always trying to keep our own Canadian reputation. There's a lot of great bands in Canada and when they see international success, we always look up to them for inspiration. There's a lot of bands that are superstars in Canada but don't have a career anywhere else and to me that wouldn't be satisfying. I'd like to think our music is accessible to anyone of any country and it sucks when your country defines you audience. At the same time, we are very proud to be Canadian and make sure people know this when we are travelling abroad.
Musicscan: What do you think holds the near future for PTH? What would you like to achieve with the band?
Protest The Hero: We are going to see where this record takes us. I'd like to think we are a little older and mature now and will try to make the most out of this record. We are hoping to tour in some new places and go back and visit the places we've grown to love. We believe if we want to be a successful global band, you really have to go to as many different places as possible and hope that wherever you are people enjoy what they see.