Teutonic Thrash veterans PROTECTOR’s new album completes what one can only describe as a classical hat-trick. After a glorious return to original form on “Reanimated Homunculus” with a wholly new line-up and its successor “Cursed and Coronated”, Martin Missy and company again hit the proverbial bull’s eye with “Summon the Hordes”, an epitome of consolidation and rejuvenation at once.
Hello Martin, your new album “Summon the Hordes” is almost ready to see the fires of hell, how do you feel about it?
We have put a lot of energy and time into these new songs, so the feeling from our side is good. Now it’s up to our fans to decide, if this feeling is justified.
This is the third record since the come back in 2011 and it seems the band sounds more compact than ever
Yes, I think so as well. On „Reanimated Homunculus“ we simply wrote a couple of Thrash tunes and recorded them. We then put some more effort in the process of creating „Cursed and Coronated“. For „Summon the Hordes“, we have at least doubled these efforts. Every bandmember has been much more involved in the songwriting process. We worked on the songs for a while, then recorded a pre-production tape, and then worked on the songs some more. Finally Harris Johns gave the songs the finishing touch.
How was the songwriting process of “Summon the Hordes”? Anything especially different to previous releases?
On Reanimated and Cursed I had written one track each (in both cases the title track). This time three of the songs have been written by me („Stillwell Avenue“, „The Celtic Hammer“ and the title track). Our bassplayer Mathias has written lyrics to two of the songs. Usually the singer of Protector is responsible for that. On Reanimated and Cursed, most songs were written by Mathias and Michael (guitar), and all the lyrics by me.
Last time we talked it was around your powerful album Cursed and Coronated. “Summon the Hordes” is a great follow-up, better or not than C&C?
I would say yes. But in the end that’s up to our fans to decide.
What are the lyrics about?
The opener „Stillwell Avenue“ is inspired by the movie „The Warriors“ from 1979. „Steel Caravan“ is about life on the road as a band. „Realm of Crime“ is about corrupt politicians. „The Celtic Hammer“ is a tribute to one of Metals best bands: Celtic Frost. „Two Ton Behemoth“ is about one of the most aggressive animals on this planet: The hippopotamus. „Summon the Hordes“ is dedicated to our fans. „Three Legions“ is about a big battle that took place between germanic tribes and three roman legions in the year 9 AC. „Meaningless Eradication“ (one of Mathias’ lyrics) is about what can happen, when one country invades another country (eradication of the culture and language of the invaded country). „Glove of Love“ is a fun song (in the vein of Spacecake), that is about drugrelated search of body openings by the border patrol.
If something, the new songs have planty of twists, crazy accelerations and storming moments on guitar and vocals. No time for boredom?
Correct. We tried to put riffs of different speed into every of the new songs, so that way we hope, that they will be quite diversified.
In that sense, maybe this new album is more varied, not so direct or straight forward as Cursed and Coronated, what do you think?
I think we always have had quite much variation in our songs, but maybe there is a little bit more of that on this new album, yes.
I think there have been some changes in the production tasks, how do you think they have influenced your sound?
First of all I’d like to say that we were very pleased with the sound we got from Tomas Skogsberg on „Reanimated Homunculus“ and „Cursed and Coronated“. This time we just wanted to try out something new though. That’s why we turned to Harris Johns for the recording of „Summon trhe Hordes“. I think he has given the album a great, oldschool touch soundwise.
Maybe “Summon the Hordes” sounds more a la Geman Thrash than its predecessors, on some passages I even discern the glorious shadow of Sodom
That is very difficult to say. I have heard the songs so many times now, that is is very hard to say exactly what the new songs sound like, compared to other bands. Once again that will be up to our fans to decide.
Any favorite songs in the album?
My personal favourites are „Realm of Crime“ and „Three Legions“.
After 3 albums with a wholly new line-up we can say Protector is where you should be by history?
I think so too. After playing together live under the name „Protector“, and recording 29 new songs in the same lineup, Carl-Gustav, Micke and Matte have definately earned their place in the history of Protector.
In 2006 you created the “Martin Missy and the Protectors” as a cover band for your own songs, that contributed to make Sweden your second home and Protector an international item?
Yes. In 2005 I met a Metalhead called Jonas Svensson at a Nifelheim aftershow party in Stockholm. We talked for hours and in the end the idea for a Protector coverband came up. Jonas went back to his hometown Uddevalla and recruited Carl-Gustav Karlsson (drums), Mathias Johansson (bass) and Michael Carlsson (guitar) for the project, which was named „Martin Missy and the Protectors“. In 2011 we decided to write new songs, and to officially release them under the name Protector.
What about tour dates for 2019? Any weekend trip through Spain?
I’m afraid not. We will be playing middle and eastern Europe, but not southern Europe this year. Gigs in countries, that are too far away from Sweden, are extremely difficult for me to do, because I don’t fly. I suffer from extreme claustrophobia.
That’s a big problem then, yes. Thank you very much Martin and congratulations for another great effort, if you wish to add something…