When original drummer Moe Carlson decided to leave Canadian genre-benders Protest The Hero after more than a decade in the ranks, the band had to make a tough decision about the recording of album number four. Enter: Lamb Of God sticksman, Chris Adler and, some time after, the band’s best album yet in Volition! Recently, PTH guitarist Luke Hoskin and Chris sat down to talk line-up changes, band politics and the joy of a Heineken tall boy…
Luke: How do you think LOG would react to a similar situation [as ours]? Say you decide to hang up your drum shoes and do something else with your life. Do you think the rest of your guys would react in a similar way to us?
Chris: “It’s really very hard for me to imagine that. I started the band back in the day with John, so it’s very odd to think of me letting it go – but I’ll take the bait here. I do know the 16-year-old me would still think I could play my ass off and be stoked I stuck it out. If, at some point, I felt a greater passion than music and moved on to selling cyclone technology blenders or something, I’m not sure how the band would react. One day they might all think ‘FINALLY’, and the next day ‘OH, FUCK!’. I’ve been an integral part of the equation both creatively and on the business end for so long that I know it would be a difficult transition for us all, but I’m not self-important enough to believe it couldn’t happen.
“If I walked away tomorrow, I would expect the guys who did still have the passion to continue – there is no reason to collapse regardless of the importance or insignificance of one member. I know they all have a passion for what we do (or I wouldn’t be here), so yes, I would expect them to move on with my support. If one of the guys decided to bail and sell Indian food door to door, I would never stand in their way. I would want to continue my life’s work with the guys who continued to feel it. As easy or as difficult as it may be, I imagine we would push on just like you have, and I applaud you for doing it.”
Since you went through the final stages of Randy’s trial and verdict while you were with us in Canada, I got to see your reaction first hand. How much of a lift did it give you when you heard the good news? Was it just me or did you play harder after that?
Well, this is obviously touchy. A fan of the band died, and while the public and the metal community certainly seemed to rally around us, it was a tragic situation. This was something that could easily have been the end of our career. Far from someone deciding to sell organic jello out of their RV and quit the band, this was a game-changer. You can’t replace a member in jail who wants to be in the band, and who we believed to be innocent. We were all uncertain and, to some extent, preparing for the worst. It was not fun at all.
“When I got the news that the acquittal was handed down, I was proud. Randy, and all of us to a lesser degree, had done the right thing and faced a very scary situation head-on. It was a mix of emotions as nothing changed about it being a tragic situation. The court was able to determine that Randy was not at fault, but it did not bring back Daniel Nosek. And you know, I probably did play harder. We all had an uncertain, hazy future clear up, allowing us the opportunity to continue. Compared to the day before, yeah, I bet I hit harder. I bet my insecurity surrounding the situation was shed and I was able to once again focus on what I do best…”
You had to learn 11 Protest The Hero songs in a very short window of time. Did you ever come close to throwing in the towel and calling it a day?
“This is a funny question because it took some real introspective work to even begin the first song . I didn’t think I could do it – even before I heard a note. When I got the call to see if I was interested, as a fan I was very excited. As a player, I was looking for a challenge, but as a realist, I was a bit anxious about pulling it off. I’ve always grown the most from the things that made me uncomfortable at first. I just had to say ‘yes’ to this. Even if it turned out that I couldn’t pull it off, I had to give it my best. And I’m glad it sorted out!”
I know you missed your family while you were here. Was the separation anxiety while recording any different from touring?
“The biggest difference was the personal attachment. On tour or recording out of town with LOG, it’s an investment in my own livelihood and product. Working as a session player, knowing that I was going through all the hard work that I would have to do for myself and at the same time knowing I was going to have to walk away and not get to look back, was really kind of mind-bending for me. My family sees me come and go a lot as it is with LOG, but to tell them I was leaving again, for someone else’s project, was a difficult conversation and a difficult thing to have in mind while I was away. The time I miss with my kid and my wife I can’t get back, so I have to think things through.
“But this was an important opportunity for me to push myself and try to grow as a player and as a person. Yes, I probably did miss them more because of these things, but I also came home a better me, and I knew I would.”
Volition is out now. Protest The Hero play Sonisphere in July. Check out the new PTH video below!
from Metal Hammer http://www.metalhammer.co.uk/news/protest-the-heros-luke-hoiskin-interviews-lamb-of-gods-chris-adler/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=protest-the-heros-luke-hoiskin-interviews-lamb-of-gods-chris-adler