TRAVIS Meets: Protest the Hero

Sitting in the newsroom I was in daze playing Tetris and lurking my Facebook friends when I noticed I received a new email. It was Ryan, the TRAVIS editor. The e-mail was short and simple, stating that I would be interviewing Protest The Hero at Sheridan’s Connexion tonight. A little shocking, but damn exciting as they are a big step up from interviewing bands in church basements.

I was back in the newsroom an hour before the interview. I had a few questions prepared, but nothing incredibly groundbreaking, so to speak. I didn’t even know what to ask them. I could keep it professional and ask them band questions or ask them something that would really throw them off. The entire situation was making me nervous, and I had been told prior to the interview that the band could be a little on the rude side.

Protest doing that thing: playing loud music.

The opening band getting the audience ready for Protest

PTH has been touring extensively, originally hailing from Whitby, Ontario and have been playing together since they were in high school. They have toured North America and Europe extensively with a wide variety of big name bands like Alexisonfire, Between The Buried and Me, As I Lay Dying and The Chariot. They stopped by Sheridan to promote Sheridan’s Rock Your Vote student elections.

After a lot of waiting and confusion, the time for my interview finally came. Three members of the band were sitting on the couches upstairs being interviewed by a cute blonde girl. The band seemed to be enjoying her company, and all I could think about was how nobody wants to be interviewed by some tight jeaned music nerd. 20 seconds until she was done, my mind crashed and I realized I was about to ask some really lame questions that they probably get every time they are interviewed.

The other girl got up to leave and I jumped onto the couch next to them, opening the interview with the line, “Hey guys, I’m not as cute as the last girl, sorry.” The band laughed and vocalist Rody Walker responded with “Your pretty darn cute, though.” At this moment I am the envy of about a thousand trendy scene girls, someone from Protest The Hero called me cute. The lighting in the room made the interview feel really cool and relaxed. After the initial chuckle my mind just zoned in on the situation and I didn’t even think twice about what was happening.

Protests' Tim Millar plucking away.

Protests' Tim Millar plucking away.

The interview, for the most part, was between myself and bass player and lyricist Arif Mirabdolbaghi. We talked about touring, upcoming plans, writing and favorite places to tour. I already had a good deal of background knowledge on the band from being a fan of their first full-length album, Kezia.

“I hate L.A.,” Walker interrupted as Mirabdolbaghi chatted about what cities they enjoy touring and plans for Europe. Walker texted on his phone and looked up, “It’s just all these crazy suits and slime balls.” Walker looked back down at his phone and I glanced back at Mirabdolbaghi, giving me one of those don’t worry about him looks and paused before saying, “Yeah, I like L.A.”

The interview was over before I knew it. They were just really nice guys and they seemed to really appreciate the hospitality that Sheridan was providing.

As the interview ended I stood up and shook their hands, thanking them for their time. Mirabdolbaghi asked me, “So are we getting our drink on?”

text by michaelburton,  web exclusive for TRAVIS Magazine.

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