Argh! The cult is alive! So, let’s check what they can tell to us!
Hellz to mighty PROTECTOR! First of all – I’m VERY-VERY-VERY GLAD with Your return!!! Twenty fucking years your fans waiting for your return (i.e. new album)! And now they (almost) all are completely enjoyed with your fresh work “Reanimated Homunculus”! What do you feel now, after album was released and you got huge amount of feedbacks?
Thank you! I’m also happy to be back with Protector. Most of the feedback we received for “Reanimated Homunculus” was positive, yes. That makes my bandcollegues and me very happy of course. It’s good to know that we seem to have captured the “Protector-spirit” with this recording.
As I wrote above – ALMOST all fans were enjoyed… I have seen some opinions (from OLD fans) that music on the last album is just like some brutal joke, no more no less… Do not you have an idea why some of OLD fans of PROTECTOR did not like “Reanimated Homunculus”?
Very difficult to say. We really tried our best to make the new songs sound like the old Protector. But there will always be Metalheads that don’t like our music (both the old and the new Protector). We accept that, and can live with it.
There has been passed 20 years between albums, but you have recorded some demos during these years. What was the reason of silence from your side? And I hope now all troubles are solved and we must wait for new and new pieces of thrashing hell from you?
The last official studio album from Protector before the release of “Reanimated Homunculus” was “The Heritage”, which was released in 1993. In 1994 the band members of Protector (Olly Wiebel, Marco Pape and Matze Grün) decided to take a one year break, and to continue with the band after that. Two years later only drummer Marco Pape was motivated enough to continue with the band and he did so with new band members. In the years that followed Protector played live very scarce and only recorded one 4-track-demo. Why they didn’t play more live and why they didn’t release more recordings, I don’t know. The band members dropped of Protector and by 2003 there were only Marco and the singer (Jacek Zander) left. After that there were no more live-performances and recordings from the band…until 2011 when I re-started the band with a couple of Swedish musicians whom I had played together in a Protector-coverband with since 2006. We released a demo in 2011, two split-singles in 2012 and 2013 and the LP “Reanimated Homunculus” in 2013. We are currently writing new songs, and we hope we’ll be able to record them in the spring of 2015.
Since the year of 2011 you have two new musicians in the line-up; I guess you start working with “Reanimated Homunculus” since 2011 directly? Composing and recording take 2 years, or…?
Actually there are three new musicians in Protector since the resurRection of the band in 2011: Carl-Gustav Karlsson (drums), Michael Carlsson (guitar) and Mathias Johansson (bass). We had played together as a Protector-coverband under the name “Martin Missy and the Protectors” between 2006 and 2011. In 2011 we started to write new songs, but in the beginning there were no plans for a new album. I think we started talking about that about a year later. On “Reanimated Homunculus” you can hear songs that are written between 2011 and 2013. Some of them had already been released on the demo from 2011 and on one of the split-singles. One song (“The End”) is a cover version of a Protector-song that was released on the “Resurrected”-demo in 2000. The other five songs are new songs. The recording of “Reanimated Homunculus” took only a couple of days (in May 2013).
With these two new musicians in your band, what do you feel now – are they for a long time with band?
If you include the years we have been playing together as “Martin Missy and the Protectors”, we have been together in the same lineup for over 7 years now, and we have no plans to change this lineup. The feeling in the band is the same as in the good old days, because my three “new” band mates are totally into old-school Metal.
2013 also you have released split CD with UNGOD. UNGOD is respected and old band, but their music is far away from yours; who came up with this idea to release that split release and how long time take the whole process?
If I remember it right it was Ungod that asked us if we would like to do a split together with them. Unfortunately it took a while to record and release the split. I think the whole process (from the idea to the finished product) took about 1½ years.
Well, tell me please – what is the main idea of “Reanimated Homunculus”? Is there some message to the fans etc? How deep is your lyric on new album (from YOUR point of view)?
“Reanimated Homunculus” is the return of the Golem (which is also described in the lyrics of the song with the same name and you can see on the cover of the CD / LP). It is a symbol for the return of Protector. I have not written any lyrics with any deeper meaning this time (if you by “deep” mean political or socially critical). The song “Sons of Kain” for example is dedicated to our fans. “Antiman” is inspired by the British tv-show “Doctor Who”. “Calle Brutal” is kind of a “fun-song”, like “Spacecake” from the “Golem”-album. “Lycopolis” is about my hometown Wolfsburg.
What about album’ title? Who is Homunculus:)? And why he/it became reanimated:)?
The Homunculus is the Golem that gets reanimated by my new band colleagues and me “to save us all”. 🙂
And, looking into the past. What can you tell us about some kind of such shit as evolution? Do you feel you become much skilled musically and lyrically now?
No. I think I still have about the same lyrical skill that I had in the past. If it’s good or bad is up to the fans to decide. And Carl-Gustav, Michael and Mathias are also not better or worse musicians than the old band members of Protector were.
Actually you have pretty massive, well played, catching and fucking deep rhythms on the new album. Weren’t there any doubts about this or that song on the album? Like “wow, let’s make this part faster” or “… slowly” or “let’s fucking burn this shitty song!”:)?
When we started to talk about to record new songs for Protector in 2011, there was no doubt in my mind that the result would be totally oldschool, because Michael, Carl-Gustav and Mathias are very oldschool themselves (although they are about 7-14 years younger than me). Of course we worked on every song until we were really satisfied with it, but it didn’t take that long to make a finished version of each song.
What about gigs in support of the new album? Which countries have you visited? Are there any plans came to Ukraine? I’m sure – your fans here would be really happy! Even old metalhead’s army would be awake!
We are booking gigs for 2015 at the moment. Four gigs are already booked and ready (Germany x 3 and Czech Republic). We usually don’t play more than 4-6 gigs every year because we all have families (I have two small kids), jobs (everyone except me) and other bands that also need our attention. With the coverband and with the “new Protector” we’ve played in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, France, Denmark, the Czech Republic and Italy.
It would be cool to play in the Ukraine one day. The only problem is that I don’t fly (I get terrible panik attacks on planes), and it would take some time to get to the Ukraine from Sweden by car or train.
Do you still plays songs from “Golem” when you playing live?
Yes. We use to play “Golem”, “Apocalyptic Revelations”, “Spacecake” and “Protector of Death” live.
PROTECTOR is well-known, famous band, but I have one question – from your personal point of view, do you count your band as Underground or major? Detailed please.
In my opinion we are an underground band. We have some loyal fans, but not in a long shot as many as the big German Thrash bands like Kreator, Sodom or Destruction. It is not possible for us to live from the music. We stay in the underground and are happy that way.
Ok. As I know, you have moved to Sweden back in mid of ‘90s (correct?)… Why you have moved there? Do not you miss for Germany? And how do you like live there? I know there is a really great life condition?
I moved to Sweden in 1995, that’s right. My mother is from there (we always spoke Swedish at home) and I wanted to see what it was like to live there. I would say that the living conditions are about the same as in Germany. Of course I miss Germany sometimes; I lived there for over 26 years. Maybe I will move back there one day, but there are no plans for that at the moment.
What are you there in the Sweden? Do you have a family, daily job etc? If you have daily job – isn’t it so hard for you to work and play in PROTECTOR?
I worked for a tourism-company called “German National Tourism Organization” for more than 13 years. Since the beginning of 2011 I have been unemployed. I have been married since 2008, and in the end of 2011 I became father of twins (two sons). I think it would work out fine to have a job and play with Protector because we don’t play that much live (maybe 4-6 times each year).
Back in the ‘80s you sung in long time forgotten band INZEST. Do you remember those times? As I know, neither INZEST nor any of side-projects of INZEST members not alive today… They were split up back in ‘80s… Do you still know those guys? Maybe you met during last year’s? Do you remember those times as something great in your life?
Singing in Inzest was a cool experience for me, because it was the first “real” band I sung in. There I got to know what it was like to rehearse on a regular basis and I could develop my lyric-writing-abilities. I have contact with Peter Schulz (drums) and André “Ace” Borawski (guitar). They had also played in a band called “Death Attack” (1985-1986), together with Protector-founding member Michael Hasse. They wrote two songs that were never properly recorded. Together we re-recorded the two songs “Warriors of Death” and “Death Attack” (with me on vocals). They were released on a bonus-single that were released by “To The Death Records”.
Do you watch for nowadays Thrash/Death Metal scene? What bands do you like from young ones? And from your point of view, what are the main changes upon the metal scene since ‘80s? Do you see there some evolution or just degradation?
Actually I’m mainly listening to my old records from the 80s. I have no good insight in the Metal music of today, so I can’t say anything positive or negative about it. What I can say though is that it always feels like in the good old days when we play live. There are always a lot of (old and young) fans with vests, spikes, long hair and bullet belts in the audience. Like back in the 80s, so that hasn’t changed.
“Reanimated Homunculus” was released on CD and LP. Looks like you like Vinyl format as well? Do you collect albums? How big your collection? Also, what’s your opinion about internet downloads INSTEAD of buying/trading?
I think it is cool that there still is (or is again) an interest for vinyl. My vinyl-collection is not that big. It’s mainly my old records, maybe 400 copies. Regarding internet-downloads: I think everybody should have the freedom of choice if he wants to download an album or buy it in a physical form. Our loyal fans usually buy our recordings on CD and/or LP.
It is our “version” of the songs “Spacecake” (from the “Golem”-album) and “Molotow Cocktail” (from the “Urm the Mad”-album). It is kind of a “fun song”. The lyrics are about a trip to Venice / Italy we did with the band a couple of years ago. We discovered that “Street” in Venetian is called “Calle”, so on every street sign it said “Calle this” and “Calle that”. The fun thing is that our drummer’s nickname is “Calle”, so it was fun to point that out all of the time. When it was time to write the lyrics for the “fun song” I chose “Calle” as a theme.
What do you know about Ukraina as a country? Also maybe you know some our bands?
Here is the few things I know (sorry!): the capitol is Kiev, there was a nuclear disaster that took place in Tchernobyl in 1986, there was a battle at Poltawa in which Swedish troops were involved, the Ukraine got independent from the Sovjetunion in the beginning of the 1990’s, the country has good football players (Dynamo Kiev and the national team), and there is a war going on at the moment. Oh yes: and the national colors of the Ukraine are yellow and blue, just like Swedens. 🙂
That’s all for now, I HOPE some time we’ll meet and continue this chat with giant glasses of beer! (Btw, do you like beer? What’s your favorite one?)
Thank’s for doing this interview with me! Stay Metal!
My favorite beers are Bitburger, Veltins and Warsteiner. But most beers work fine for me! 🙂