PROTECTOR are back with a new killer album. A chat was in order to find out something more about this band. Answers by Martin Missy. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
When you started there weren’t as many bands as there are today. How hard was it to pick a band name and what had that name to have to fit the music you played??
-I don’t think that it was important to Hansi and Michael that the name of the band should fit the music, when they started the band in the summer of 1986. Hansi later told me that the most important thing was that the name should end with “-or” (like in “Kreator”, for example). For inspiration, they turned to none other than Slayer, a band that Protectors bandmembers (both those who were in the band back then, as well as those who are in it today) admired. On some of the versions of the Slayer album “Show No Mercy”, there is a bonustrack called “Aggressive Perfector”. On the front covers of some of these versions, this song is incorrectly announced as “Aggressive Protector”. Michael and Hansi saw this, “peeled away” the word “Aggressive” and the search for a bandname was over.
I have been a fan of the band since the 80s. How does the sound differ today from back in the days?
-The thing is, that we always had a different sound on every record. Back in the 80s / 90s our sound ranged from almost Black Metal-like (Misanthropy) to quite “clean” productions (Golem, A Shedding of Skin). On our three latest releases since the reanimation of Protector, our soundproduction has been pretty “clean”, I think.
We all carry baggage with us that affects us in one way or another but what would you say have been the single greatest influence on your sound?
-I’m actually really not a guy you can talk sound with. I’m terrible at that. If I would start a career as producer / engineer, I would probably be the worst producer in the history of music. I’m very happy that we have engineers that can do that stuff for us. And because we don’t mix the sound ourselves, it’s mainly up to the engineer / producer to give us a good sound. We just told Tomas (on Reanimated Homunculus and Cursed and Coronated) and Harris (on Summon the Hordes) that we wanted an “oldschool sound”, and I think they managed very well to give us such a sound.
To me PROTECTOR is a German band even though you now are based in Sweden. With that in kind does location matter for being a band or has the globalization meant that you can be a band anywhere in the world and still be heard?
-I think today it doesn’t matter were a band comes from. As long as you’re connected to the internet, you can reach out to most of the Metalscene all over the world with your music. That was more difficult in the 80s.
Something I have often wondered about is if you feel that you are part of something bigger and greater when you play in a band, that you are part of a movement sort of?
-I don’t need to be in a band to be a part of the Metal-movement. I also would see myself as part of the Metal scene, if I would not play in a band.
When you play the sort of music you play I guess you cannot have birds and bees on the cover of your album? What is a great album cover to you?
-In my opinion the album cover should visualize what you will hear on the album. The more brutal the music, the more brutal the album cover. And the birds and bees can be on a pop music album. 🙂
What is your opinion on digital verses physical? Is digital killing music?
-In the 80s they said that cassettes (home taping) would kill music. That never happened. Also the digitizing of music will not be able to kill the music. At least not in Metal. There will always be true fans that will buy a LP / CD. Of course it is so much easier today to just download music files, than it was back then to copy cassettes, but the bands, that have their main income through their music, will always find other ways to earn some money (mostly through merchandise).
What kind live scene is there for bands like yours?
-I think that there is a quite big live scene for underground bands like us. At least here in Sweden, and in Germany as well. There are a lot of clubs and festivals everywhere all around Europe.
When you play live is it a happening or do you see it more as a party?
-I think it is both. We enjoy both the time on the stage, as well as the time after the gig, when we talk to and drink with the fans.
What would you like to see the future bring?
-I don’t know if there is so much more I would have to ask for, when it comes to Protector. We have released three albums, and played together in the same lineup for more than 12 years (5 with “Martin Missy and the Protectors” and about 7 with Protector). That is already a great achievement. Two things, that would be cool though is, if we could play at the Sweden Rock festival and the Rock Hard festival one day. That would be awesome. We will see what the future will bring…