When a man in robotic-silver face paint sits next to you, discusses elevator music, then asks if you’d like to interview him, the answer is always yes. Thank God I never listened to my mother’s don’t talk to strangers warning, or else I’d never have stumble across the creative creatures that make up the band The Protomen. Not only were they a force to be reckoned with during the interview, making me laugh continuously, but they also, thankfully, convinced me to check out their Warped Tour set later in the day. They are one of the most creative, energetic and refreshingly exciting bands I’ve seen in a while. I certainly do have an affinity for robots. I had no idea what I was getting into, but I’m happy that A Music Blog, Yea? got to meet The Protomen.
AMBY: Hey! Thanks for chatting.
The Protomen: Oh that’s it? See ya! Protomen.com, bye.
AMBY: Introduce yourselves, tell me a little bit about the band.
The Protomen: I’m Murphy, Commander, I’m Raul Panther III and we’re The Protomen. Well, only 3/9ths of us. Everybody has wicked names, just the best.
AMBY: I can’t help but notice that two of you are silver. Can you give me a back story?
The Protomen: Well, we’re mostly story-telling robots, except our lead singer. I guess he doesn’t wear makeup because he’s not a robot? Or he’s a robot on the inside? We don’t know… I have a robot heart. Ah yes, robot heart. Like that scene when they transferred the heart in Terminator 4. Come on, I don’t want to talk about that stupid shit of a movie! Sorry we’re like half out of it because of the border.
AMBY: Did it take you long to get across?
The Protomen: Getting across wasn’t bad. To talk to us, it was like 5 minutes, but the line was at least half an hour, no more like an hour and a half. It was rough.
AMBY: I feel like I could be an honorary member with my robot tattoo on my leg.
The Protomen: Oh old school! Yea you can be in the band. Can you play an instrument?
AMBY: I could probably rock the triangle. Are you lacking a triangle?
The Protomen: Shit do you have it on you? You’re hired. 6:15 on the Warheads Stage.
AMBY: Have you guys played Warped Tour before?
The Protomen: No. Well, 14 times so far on this tour.
AMBY: What most excites you about being on the tour then?
The Protomen: I keep saying it over and over again and I hate it, but it’s the catering. I mean think about it, how many can you like about a tour like this? If the food is consistently good every day, then ok, it’s the food. It’s not going to be the getting up every day at 6am and load merch and then not knowing what time you’re going to play until you get there. Those are all answers that you’re not going to get. What’s left? Meeting new fans, that part’s really awesome. It’s cool getting to meet kids who have no fucking idea who you are and they’re so confused with what you are and they raise their hands or clap along like, I think I want to enjoy this, it might be fun, but I’m just not sure. I can’t have fun unless somebody’s told me it’s okay. We’ve learned that we have to tell the kids what to do. It’s fine, but we do a lot of club tours where we don’t have to tell kids to clap or raise fists. We just do it on stage, then they do it.
AMBY: Is it tough being on this road away from home this long?
The Protomen: It hurts. The tour actually stops at home in Nashville this time around for the first time in like 6 or 7 years, but it’s smack in the middle of this 10 day hell run. We won’t even be able to go home, so we’re just gonna cruise through Nashville and wave to our favourite Hot Chicken place, then immediately leave for Milwaukie.
AMBY: Maybe they’d deliver.
The Protomen: Do you know what kind of hell it would be to eat buckets of Hot Chicken in one day then try to drive to a city he next night? I’m going to do it and it will suck. Hot Chicken is kind of Nashville’s thing. Take fried chicken of any kind, like a full breast or leg order, then you have this paste and powder situation with all sorts of peppers and seasonings and they just smash the chicken with it. You can get up to extra, extra, extra hot, like irresponsible hot. I haven’t had anything that really hurts me yet, but it’s the best thing ever. Whatever the seasonings are, it’s just incredible.
AMBY: If you guys could curate your own festival, where would you hold it and who’d play at it?
The Protomen: We’d do it in Nashville so we wouldn’t have to drive anywhere on the bus and we’d cater it with Hot Chicken. We need a big fest in Nashville, there’s Bonnaroo, but it’s like an hour away. Oh, I’ve already named it too and if anyone steals this I’m going to take you out, it’s called the Bestival.
AMBY: I think there’s one in Europe called Bestival.
The Protomen: I don’t wanna hear that! It’s not here though, so it’d be Bestival US and it’s going to be Olivia Newton John. Olivia Newton John and ELO.
AMBY: You guys wouldn’t even play?
The Protomen: No of course not, how do you enjoy a festival you have to play? Or… we get one really big band every day, then take their spot without telling anybody. So then we have thousands and thousands out to watch us. Or get them on stage, then kick ’em off stage. Just a whole lot of pissed of fans. Bestival US- The most mean-spirited festival in the United States.
AMBY: Finally, what is something people don’t know about you guys?
The Protomen: Most people don’t even know who we are first of all. We are The Protomen, that’s what most people don’t know. Murphy is actually a woman, Murphina. When I added the beard, became the bearded lady, I figured I’d change the name.
AMBY: Thanks a lot guys, you rock.
The Protomen: Thanks for revealing our deep, dark secrets.
Thank you The Protomen, for giving us your answers!
Interview by Shannon Bryan |