Back at the end of 2014, Rock Sins’ James Hingle caught up with Protest The Hero guitarist Tim Millar to talk about how they’ve changed their live show, playing the Koko in London and how no-one caught him when he stage dived once. Read on for the details!
I’m joined by Tim from Protest The Hero, how’s it going man?
Hello, I’m great, glad to be back in London
You haven’t been here since February 2014 as well
Yeah, we had a show, technically we were close by with Sonisphere but other than that.
How was Sonisphere, obviously you guys opened up the second stage, how did you find the experience?
It was cool, we were the first band on the stage, I guess people were still stumbling over drunk waking up with hangovers kinda thing. Yeah it was fun, there was a good crowd, I mean to me when we were line checking and I was snooping around back stage and got to see Dream Theater’s stage set up, so to be playing the same stage as Dream Theater is a bit like “cool, this is AWEsome”. But yeah it’s a great festival and it was like the end of the festivals for us before we headed off home.
You are playing the grand settings of Koko tonight, what do you think of the venue?
Yeah its great, we have the luxury of being here before we did a tour with Propagandhi that was in 2010, that’s the only other time we have been here, but It’s a beautiful venue, but its nice that they have kept it look old and fancy and stuff. Once in a while when we aren’t playing in shit holes or places that are falling down, we get to play this palce and its awesome.
You’ve played bigger venues this time round, how are you finding the tour so far?
Yeah its been good, we are just past half way, this is the last tour that we are going to be doing for now, so when we go home we are going to be focusing in on writing, so this is kinda our last tour offer of the violition cycle, it’s been good and a lot of fun.
Volition received a great reception upon it’s release, how does it feel to get such a strong response from an album that you released by yourselves?
Yeah it’s nice, its very rewarding after putting all that into it you know we felt like for a first time there was some scrutiny on the band but yeah I guess its always a worry that you are going to put out a record and put all this time into it and not get a good response, but we put our best effort into it and we just had to trust our instinct and you know it is refreshing and a sigh of relief that you do get a good response, it was nice to follow it up with a lot of touring.
You guys like to make your videos a bit more entertaining that the usual, here is a band performing. Is that something you enjoy making?
Yeah, great you know I think there is an over saturation of performance videos we try to keep ut of our videos unless its necessary, but unless you want to see what the band looks like then come and see us perform and there are thousands of youtube videos. So we try to make something that isn’t just us playing in a room, so we try to make something that is a little light hearted and a little entertaining, you want people to watch something different, it’s like a mini movie like we have 4 or 5 minutes to put together a little story.
You made a mini documentary when you guys went out to New Found Land.
We are pretty fortunate in Canada, they have a lot of grants, so we got a grant to go to New Foundland to perform and show some of the landscape, that is what the song is about, our love for New Foundland. It’s nice to bring some viuals to the song, we are really happy how it turnt out and its kinda an undiscovered Oasis, I guess it’s a place that a lot of people wouldn’t go to.
The landscapes looked incredible and there was a small community there, what is it like out there?
As far as like shows go, they don’t get a whole lot of stuff there, so the bands who do make an effort to go it really, the growth is crazy. The first show we had there was small you know, but the next time we went back there the show had doubled and next time we came back it was double that. We were blown away by how into the band people got just because bands like Byran Adams and Celine Dion come’s here but no bands that we like never come here.
You must’ve been treated like A-List Celebrities.
Yeah definitely people are really appreciative and it does show with the great turnouts and the people you meet, its just awesome.
Do you have many more touring plans or any ideas to write a start a new album process yet?
Not really, I guess, yeah we are going to write, we don’t for what, hopefully there is going to be a new album in the works. At least we are in a day and age now were the album is kinda dying where’s it nots necessarily the only route you have to go to, to release something its something that a lot of the way some bands go, but we are open minded to trying a lot of new stuff, for us its just about writing the material and then planning on when we should be releasing it.
I saw Rody mention about how you’ve changed your live show to concentrate on delivering a high standard of music. Has the technicality of the latest album meant you’ve had to concentrate solely on playing live?
Yeah, we’ve been doing that for a while, I think we just relised that as we kinda matured that when come to put on a show but with that we value performance and how to be entertaining. When we first started out we thought it would be really cool to just completely rock out and do what bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan were doing. It works for some styles of music, but for really technical stuff you are going to be sacrificing a lot of shit. I did this really cool stage move, but I bodged A, B and C, so you’ve got to get it in check, but we still have fun and Rody is really good at engaging the audience.
Whats the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you on stage?
One of the shows in NewFoundLand, I was wired and I thought ahh yeah man, I want to jump in the crowd. Now when you do something like this, you might want to warn the crowd that you are coming, so I just ran and jumped off the monitor and no-one caught me, but my backs on the floor. I was like “yeaah this is going to be super cool” and then I was just lying there on my back thinking what the fuck just happened. Remember, next time you want to jump into the ground make some kind of gesture so they know that you are coming in. I realised I am a pretty big guy, it’s probably not a good idea for 200 pounds to go flying off the stage at a group of people (laughs)
Thanks for your time and chatting to us.
Thanks for talking to me.
Protest The Hero may have finished their current touring cycle, but frontman made this hilarious video as he auditioned to be the brand new frontman in Asking Alexandria. You can also read the Rock Sins review of Protest The Hero’s show at London’s Koko right here.