pondělí 3. října 2016

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Interview - PROTECTOR - We wanted it to sound rather oldschool!

Interview with thrash metal legendary band PROTECTOR.

- answered Martin Missy.

translated by Markéta, thank you!

Recenze/review - PROTECTOR – Cursed and Coronated (2016)

Ave PROTECTOR! You new album “Cursed and Coronated” has been released since February. How do you perceive it now, since it´s been a while? How do fans respond? And what about critics?

I think it is a very good album, and that we managed to catch the 80s oldschool-spirit on it, just as we tried to catch the same spirit on our comeback-album “Reanimated Homunculus”. The critics have been quite good and also the response from our fans has been mostly positive.

The first thing which hit everyone is the great cover of this album. You worked with Kristian Wahlin for the second time. How did you meet him and why did you choose him? How did you choose the theme for the cover? Did Kristian hear your songs to get some inspiration?

Actually I have never met Kristian in person. We chose him, because we really like the great artwork he has done for other artists. I had a certain idea for the coverartwork but in the end Kristian chose the theme for the cover by himself. He didn't hear any songs before he started painting. All he wanted from us was the name of the album.

When someone says PROTECTOR everyone think about your first album “Golem” (1988). You still play old, mouldy thrash metal. Is it difficult to achieve this sound, nowadays? After all, the technology and recording methods changed over those years. Where exactly did you recorded “Cursed and Coronated”? Did you discuss the final sound?

We in the band have no experience in mixing and mastering. All that is done by professionals. In our case that was Tomas Skogsberg (mix) and Patrick W. Engel (master). All we said was, that we didn't want the album to sound modern. We wanted it to sound rather oldschool. I think Tomas and Patrick did a very good job with the album.

The lyrics in trash metal are sometimes underestimated. You sing about death, war, politics. What are the new album´s lyrics about and who is the author? Do you want to share some message with your songs?

I have no special message with my lyrics. I just want to tell stories that people may find interesting and / or, in some cases, get something to think about. On this album I have written lyrics about war, fantasy, religion, drugs, science fiction and xenophobia.

How do you compose songs? How the whole process works? For example, do you use the Internet to share ideas with each other? Or do you meet in a rehearsal room like in the good old days?

Usually my three bandcollegues, who live in Uddevalla, 500 kilometers from Stockholm where I live, write the riffs and put together a song. Then they send a rehearsalroom recording of the song to me by e-mail, and I write lyrics to the song. One of the songs on the new album was written by me (“Cursed and Coronated”). 2-3 times every year, we meet in a rehearsalroom in Uddevalla or Stockholm and rehearse the new songs together.

Martin, you are the last original member of PROTECTOR. How do other “new” members participate in the happening around the band? Do you have different copyrights to your albums? Are you the one who has the last word?

The other ex-bandmembers of Protector have other interests and hobbies now. They all like the idea that I continue the band with my three swedish bandmates and suport the “new Protector”. I still have a good contact with them all, and when we play in Wolfsburg most of them use to show up. Every former bandmember also recieves a LP and CD of the latest Protector release, so they can hear what we are doing under the name of Protector at the moment.

I remember the time you released your first four albums. I come from a small town in the Czech Republic and for us you were (and still are) a great cult. We played your cassettes over and over and all of us has a copy of your cassette in their denim jacket. How do you feel about the 90th now? Is there something you would like to change in the past if you could? You were on a right place to be in the same league as SODOM, KREATOR, DESTRUCTION and instead you just were mute for long 20 years.

The beginning of the 90s were really great for Protector. “A Shedding of Skin” is, as far as I know, still the best selling album of the band. It was sad that they decided to take a break in the middle of the 90s, and allthough drummer Marco Pape continued later with new bandmembers, Protector never got the popularity it had in the beginning of the 90s again.

The only thing I would like to change, if I could go back in time, would be the drug-thing. They were the reason why I left Protector after I got psychological problems from smoking hashish. If that wouldn't have happened, I most likely would have stayed in the band and maybe we would have continued for a couple of years longer, or even until today, who knows?

You are like a veteran today, your name is and always will be connected to the band PROTECTOR. But the world is different now thanks to the internet and globalization. When you look back and compare today and the past, how much changed in case of music? I mean attitude of promoters, fans, labels, etc.

Of course a lot of things have changed, especially on the electronic market (cellphones, homecomputers, internet). But the most important thing for me is to keep the oldschool spirit alive with the music we make with Protector. And I always love to see all the fans at our concerts, who still look like we did back in the 80s, with their vests, bullet belts and long hair.

How about PROTECTOR and concerts in these days? You don´t perform too often. How about fans, how are their reactions to you? After all, you play music for older fans.

That's correct: We don't play live too often. Our bassplayer Mathias and our guitarist Michael have other bands they play in, I have a family (two boys age 4) and my bandcollegues all have regular jobs. All we have time to do is rehearse, play about 5-7 gigs every year, and to put out an album once in a while. Regarding “music for older fans”: We also have a lot of young fans, who come to our concerts with their vests full of patches from oldschool bands. It's cool that there also are a lot of young Thrash Metalheads out there.

Do you even remember who did PROTECTOR´s logo? We were recently arguing about it in a pub with my friends. The result was that we were drunk and didn´t know a thing.

The logo was created by our guitarist Hansi Müller, who formed Protector in 1986 together with Michael Hasse.

I saw your band in the 90th and that was the last time. It was shortly after the fall of the Iron Curtain (1990 I think?). If I remember it correctly, you were not there in Prague with the band. I am not sure, but after that you performed in the Czech Republic only on the Obscene Extreme. You should do some club concert! Are you planning to do a small tour to support your new album? What about PROTECTOR´s plans for the next few months?

Thats true, we have only played in the Czech Republic once with the “new Protector” (Obscene Extreme). We started out in 2006 as a “Protector coverband” called “Martin Missy and the Protectors”. With that band we played in Prague in 2008. In 2011 we officially started up Protector again (with the same lineup). We only do single gigs (maybe maximum 2-3 in a row), and there are no gigs planned for the Czech Republic at the moment, I'm afraid. The next shows are in Stockholm and Eindhoven (2016), and Oberhausen, Emden, Rostock and Dresden (2017). We are also writing new material for the next album at the moment.

Thank you so much for the interview and I wish you and the whole band a lot of sold out concerts and fans who are crazy about your merchandise and CDs. And also I wish you a luck in your personal life.

Thank you very much for doing the interview with me. Stay Metal!

Carl-Gustav Karlsson - Drums
Mathias Johansson - Bass
Michael Carlsson - Guitar
Martin Missy - Vocals

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