If you are into melodic, technical punk like No Trigger and A Wilhelm Scream, or melodic hardcore like Strike Anywhere and Good Riddance, there's a good chance you'd be familiar with Protagonist. I remember when "The Chronicle" came out, i was stoked on it, and i'm stoked that they are still putting out music. Peter (vocals) was nice enough to answer some questions.
Now if only, we could get another full-length....
If you were to introduce extraterrestrials to music with only five records, what would they be?
Whoa. We are starting off with a banger of a question and hard one at that. Throwing music academia and history aside, I am going to spin 5 of my favourite records for these extraterrestrials.
Bad Religion - "Suffer" The album that changed it all
The Boils - "Pride and Persecution" - This band is embedded in the DNA of Protagonist. These specimens from the outer limits should be aware and take note.
The Trouble - "Nobody Laughs Anymore" - When the opening chords of 'We Are The Blood' ring out....I want to put somebody through a wall. I bet the aliens will want to do the same; potentially a hologram wall.
Iggy and The Stooges - 'Raw Power" - If Bad Religion's "Suffer" was the one to change it all, this might've been the one that started it all.
Subhumans- The Day the Country Died- this LP is everything punk should be: smart, intense, funny, with great songwriting. It has aged incredibly well. If extraterrestrials from another plane were seeking to learn about punk rock. I would tell them, “this is punk rock.”
Was there a gateway band that got you into punk rock?
I started with classic rock and what in the early 90s was labeled as "Alternative". My love for The Doors and Nirvana, combined with an older brother (John, Protagonist guitar player) beginning a deep dive into the world of punk rock, led me to Operation Ivy's "Energy" and The Sex Pistols "Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols ". My world has never been the same since.
Protagonist have been putting out singles digitally, rather sporadically. Does that mean you've got enough material for an EP or LP?
When we recorded "The Chronicle" over a decade ago, we ended up with a lot of stuff leftover. I've never been a fan of the word "b-sides". In my opinion, these were a-sides that didn't fit the final mold. We decided that releasing these into the world would be one of the best ways to celebrate "The Chronicle" turning 10. Paper+Plastick plan to take the 3 singles along with some covers and acoustic versions and release them as a collection. This should be happening end of 2019/beginning of 2020. The title we are throwing around for this collection is "Fallout From The Chronicle"
Are there any bands, past or present you wish more people knew about?
Having grown up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, the first 7inch I bought was from a local band called THE HALFLINGS. They were a dark, sarcastic, and poppy east coast take on pop-punk; west coast and midwest influenced. They released a slew of singles on Creep Records, Switchblade Records (Donnie Switchblade played in The Halflings with his Brother Matt who went to play drums in The Teen Idols, The Queers and most recently Less Than Jake) and a slew of other regional labels. The group disbanded before releasing a proper full length which is a real shame. It'd be great to see the 7inches and compilation tracks compiled on one release.
What's the near future got in store for you guys?
Right now, we are working on our next record and are hoping to enter the studio in early to mid-2020. Before that, will be a split with our friends from the West Coast. We are keeping that one under wraps for now. TBA soon!