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pátek 29. března 2019

Home » » Interview - PROTECTOR - It is cool to go to concerts and see all these young and old Metalheads with vests and bulletbelts again.

Interview - PROTECTOR - It is cool to go to concerts and see all these young and old Metalheads with vests and bulletbelts again.


Interview with legendary thrash metal band PROTECTOR.

Answered Martin Missy, thank you!

Questions prepared and translated by Duzl, thank you!

Hi Martin! 

I had the chance to hear your new album "Summon the Hordes", which officially will be released 26th April at High Roller Records. I have to say “Great work”! On the begin of PROTECTOR you play really old school aggressive thrash even black and death influences was possible to hear, than you move to more classic thrash, than now you are again back to pure roots of old school thrash with death and Black vibes.... what by my opinion fit you the most and this new album is really proof of this! 

Tell us something about new album from your point of view... 

Thank you. I'm glad that you like our new album. This time we really put a lot of effort into each song. We wrote the songs, made some changes here and there, recorded a pre production tape and changed a little bit more in the songs, before we recorded them for the album. 


Mix and mastering was handled by Harris Johns at Phonostudio in Berlin and Wolfden Studio in Stockholm. Are you fully satisfied with it in the terms of sound and would you say (as many other musicians always saying about last album) that this is your most mature or greatest album so far? 

The cooperation with Harris Johns worked out great. He is a very down to earth kind of person, and it was very easy to work with him. We are very happy with the sound he gave us. 

I think that “Summon the Hordes” is a very good album, but I really can't say if this recording is Protectors best longplayer, or not. That's up to the fans to decide. 

Have you used all material you have written or have you throw away some songs as well? 

We have recorded all the ten songs we have written for this album. 


Can you tell us something more about lyrics, are they important for you and where do you take inspiration from? 

The opener „Stillwell Avenue“ is inspired by the movie „The Warriors“ from 1979. „Steel Caravan“ is about life on the road as a band. „The Celtic Hammer“ is a tribute to one of Metals best bands: Celtic Frost. „Two Ton Behemoth“ is about one of the most aggressive animals on this planet: The hippopotamus. „Summon the Hordes“ is dedicated to our fans. „Three Legions“ is about a big battle that took place between germanic tribes and three roman legions in the year 9 AC. „Glove of Love“ is a fun song (in the vein of Spacecake), that is about drugrelated search of body openings by the border patrol. All these lyrics were written by me (with the exception of “Glove of Love”, which all bandmembers contibuted lyrics for). The lyrics to two of the songs were written by our bassplayer, Mathias Johansson: „Realm of Crime“, which is about corrupt politicians, and „Meaningless Eradication“, which is about what can happen, when one country invades another country (eradication of the culture and language of the invaded country). 

When we talk about lyrics is there any book which fundamentally influenced your life? 

There are a couple of books that I liked reading a lot (like “The foundation” series by Isaac Asimov, “The long ships” by Frans G. Bengtsson and “The Story of a crime” series by Sjöwall / Wahlöö for example), but none of these books had a really big impact on my life. 


All your old album stand the test of time, do you think this album will as well? 

I think so, because we tried to sound on this album as we did back in the 80s. 

I always perceive PROTECTOR as some „not typical“ thrash metal band with comparative with other well know thrash metal bands, so what do you think are the things which make PROTECTOR different from other bands? 

Difficullt to say, but maybe the thing you mentioned earlier makes us a little different from other bands: that we are not just playing Thrash, but also have some Death and Black Metal influences in our songs. 

Let’s go back to the history a bit...the most favorite album from your recordings is for me your first record "Misanthropy" that album is exactly how the thrash metal album should sound, is brutal and raw. Many bands are looking for their sound for several years, I think you managed it straight with the first record, it's been a long time, but do you still remember how the album was created and which one is your favourite and why? 

“Misanthropy” is also my favourite recording, partly because, as you mentioned, it's so aggressive and raw, and partly because it was my first time as a musician in a studio. The recording process went fine, with the exception that I had to scream a lot before the recording started, so my voice (which had sounded ok in the rehearsalroom, but was quite whimpy in the studio) would be hoarse and raspy enough for the recording. I remember that we had brought some albums to the studio, so the soundguys, who hadn't recorded any brutal Metalband before -with the exception of our first demo- should hear what sound we wanted. I think we had “Seven Churches” and an album from Slayer with us. In the end we got a totally different, but still quite unique sound. 


And is it true that you basically painted the cover for this record (Misanthropy) by yourself? 

Yes. I did a scetch for the album cover, which I sent to the record company. The idea was that a professional artist should paint a cool and extreme version of it. In the end the cover looked like the artist just had used my scetch, and put some colour on it. I have to admit that I was quite disappointed by that. 

I remember some of your interview when I read, that you basically really don't like any of covers of albums PROTECTOR because they never full fill your expectations, what's wrong and how is it with a new album? I have to say that the cover of the new album didn't full fill my expectations... If I will don't know PROTECTOR I will guess that is some heavy metal album haha... anyway my favourite is the cover of Golem. 

I always felt that all our covers in the 1980s and 1990s were not really professional made. They looked kind of sloppy and scrawled, like a person had done them, who just had entered art school. Maybe I had too high expectations every time, I don't know. I wanted our covers to look like those of “Pleasure to Kill” or “Scream Bloody Gore” for example, professionally and well painted. So I got disappointed every time. The coverartwork on our first two “comeback albums”, “Reanimated Homunculus” and “Cursed and Coronated”, were very well painted, but in those cases I was a little bit disappointed, because the artist (Kristian Wåhlin) totally ignored my input, and did his own thing. The albumcover for “Summon the Hordes” is the first one I'm really satisfied with, because the artist (Andrej Bartulovic) listened to my ideas and transposed my “vision” of the artwork exactly how I wanted it. So, if you don't like the artwork of the new album, you can blame me for it, hehehe. 


You have been a part of metal scene from 1986, How do you feel metal scene was changed by time? Can you mention some positives and negatives things from your point of view? 

The biggest change took place in the 90s, I think. After the “Metal decade” (1980-1989), the whole scene shrunk back to an underground level. Many people stopped listen to hard music and turned their backs on Metal. I have to admit that I also changed in the 90s, not just visually (I cut my long hair off), but also musicise. Well, I didn't exactly turn my back on Metal, but mostly I didn't listen to anything new that was released, but mainly to the old albums in my collection. The new millennium brought some change again, I think: Now Metal is back again, maybe not as big as in the 80s, but with a lot of devoted fans. It is cool to go to concerts and see all these young and old Metalheads with vests and bulletbelts again. 

Do you missing that ages tape trading, fanzines, waiting for postman, going to metal shops to check new releases... or you prefer modern age with internet and downloading and streaming? 

I have to admit that I was never a tapetrader, so that is a thing I can't miss. I still prefer to buy CDs before downloading them on the internet though. 


A lot of reissue old records generally are associated with remastering. Do you prefer to keep authenticity of the original sound (even it is not perfect) or do you think it is better to remaster them? 

I don't know. I am really terrible at this thing with “sound”. I would be the worst soundengineer ever, hahaha. Therefore I really can't comment on this issue properly, sorry. 

Can you briefly tell me why actually RUINS OF TIME split up years ago and few words about your another band ZOMBIE LAKE? 

RUINS OF TIME was my “comeback” to the Metalscene. I joined them in 2001. We recorded a demo together and played a few gigs. The band broke up in 2002/2003. I don't remember exactly why. The two guitarists and me then formed a new (Death Metal) band, called PHIDION, which I sang in until 2012. I also sang in a Thrash Metal band called TALION and a stoner/doom band called OBRERO. ZOMBIE LAKE was a project I had with some american musicians. We recorded two CDs together, which were released on Iron Shield Records. Today, I just sing in PROTECTOR. 

Last time I saw PROTECTOR on Obscene Extreme festival and that was really a blast show! How it was for you to perform there? 

It was quite cool with this big kind of amphitheater, and with this place on the scene in front of the loudspeakers where everyone could stagedive from. We had a good time on stage. 

I know you will play in Prague in September, can we look forward for some special set or you will just promote new album? 

We will mainly be playing songs from the 80s, with a couple of songs from the 90s and one song each from the three new albums. So it will be a quite oldschool kind of setlist. 


And last tricky question on the end -How do you see this season for your football team VFL Wolfsburg? 

Last two seasons were horrible. VfL Wolfsburg both times almost ended up in the second division. This year fortunately has been different. At the moment they are on 7th place in the Bundesliga and will not have anything to do with the relegation...at least not in this season. 

Thank you so much for this interview Martin! Last words for all the old and new fans of PROTECTOR all over the world are yours….and see you in Prague! 

Thank you for doing this interview with me. See you in Prague on the 28th of september!

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