Protest the Hero

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Protest the Hero
Protest the Hero live @ Southern Ontario Metal Festival, August 2011 [2]
Background information
Origin Whitby, Ontario, Canada
Genres Progressive metal, mathcore, metalcore, punk rock (early) [3]
Years active2001 (2001)–present
Labels Vagrant, Underground Operations
Associated actsCheddar Cheese & the Mousetrap, Lamb Of God, The Kindred, Mystery Weekend, Periphery, Propagandhi
MembersRody Walker
Tim Millar
Luke Hoskin
Mike Ieradi
Past membersMoe Carlson
Arif Mirabdolbaghi
Cam McLellan

Protest the Hero is a Canadian progressive metal band from Whitby, Ontario. [4] Originally named Happy Go Lucky, [5] the band changed their name to Protest the Hero shortly before releasing their debut EP, Search for the Truth , in 2002. In 2005, the band released their first full-length album Kezia on Canadian indie label Underground Operations.


On January 23, 2006, the band signed with Vagrant Records for Kezia's American release on April 4, 2006. Their second full-length album, Fortress was released by Underground Operations in Canada and by Vagrant Records worldwide on January 29, 2008. [6] The band released their third studio album, Scurrilous , on March 22, 2011.

Expressing frustrations with record labels, in January of 2013 the band announced that they would crowdfund their fourth full-length album. [7] The Indiegogo campaign was a runaway success, and the independently-released Volition debuted on October 29, 2013, distributed with the help of Razor & Tie. In October of 2015, the band announced that their fifth release would take the form of a subscription service using Bandcamp entitled Pacific Myth .

The band started the production process of their upcoming album in January 2018, but after vocalist Rody Walker experienced some issues with his voice during the Fortress 10th Anniversary Tour, in June 2018, the band released a statement revealing they were postponing the new record.

During this time, the band continued work on the upcoming album and after vocalist Rody Walker successfully recovered from vocal issues, were able to complete their full length follow-up to 2013's Volition, titled Palimpsest , which was released on June 18, 2020.


Early years (2001–2003)

Walker in Jan. 2004 ProtestTheHero2004-2.jpg
Walker in Jan. 2004

The band started as Happy Go Lucky in 1999 and, shortly after, they recorded a 2-track demo (containing the songs "The 5th Commandment" and "Just Defy"). In 2002 they changed their name to Protest the Hero and released their first EP, Search for the Truth 7" vinyl, which included only two songs. They were included in the compilation (Coles) Notes from the Underground that same year. Luke Hoskin stated on his Formspring page that Search for the Truth was recorded when they were 13 years old. [8] The day that the band members finished their senior finals, they went on a three-week "Rock the Vote" tour from Toronto to Halifax to garner recognition and raise awareness for the upcoming Canadian election. [9]

A music video for their song "These Colours Don't Run", from the EP A Calculated Use of Sound , was released in 2003. The video begins with the band discussing the meaning of the song and features the band playing the song live at numerous locations in Toronto, with the album music dubbed over the actual live recording. At each location, the band would hand out lyrics to passers-by and encourage them to listen or sing along.

Kezia (2004–2006)

Millar in Jan. 2004 ProtestTheHero2004-1.jpg
Millar in Jan. 2004

In 2004 the band recorded their debut album for release the following year. Kezia is a concept album, described by the band members as a "situationist requiem". The album achieved universal acclaim with many reviewers praising the album for its technicality and Walker's vocal range.

Fortress (2007–2009)

After extensive touring the band returned to the studio in 2007 to record their sophomore effort. The resulting album featured 10 tracks that showcased the band heading in a more technical metal style than Kezia. During the Fortress tour the band released a live album ( Gallop Meets the Earth ) featuring tracks from their first 2 albums. Protest the Hero played Fortress from start to finish at their shows from November 20 to December 23, 2009. This stretch marked the last of the band's shows for a while as they took the first part of 2010 to work on a new album, which was to feature a more progressive sound.

Scurrilous (2010–2012)

The band officially began recording of their third album on August 30, 2010. [10] [11] On December 15, 2010, Walker posted a video indicating the completion of work on the third album. [12] Scurrilous was released March 22, 2011. [13]

Volition and line-up changes (2013–2015)

On January 8, 2013, Protest the Hero released the following statement on their Facebook page in regards to their upcoming album in the summer of 2013: "We have some big announcements coming next week concerning our new album – which is a few songs away from being written. We plan on recording in March or April and have a new album out in the summer. We have been recording pre-production with our old friends Cam and Anthony. The material is more challenging than ever before and we know we'll have to work hard to bring it to life. Looking very forward to a bold 2013!" [14]

On January 15, 2013, Protest the Hero announced that their fourth studio album would be crowdfunded through Indiegogo. The band claimed that they want to forgo record companies and that they have "finally decided to take matters into [their] own hands." The album had a fundraising goal of $125,000, a goal that was reached within 30 hours. By the end of their campaign, the band reached $341,146 in fundraising, nearly tripling their original goal. [15]

On June 6, 2013, the band announced in an interview that original drummer and founding member Moe Carlson would part ways with Protest the Hero in order to pursue an education and career in tool and die manufacturing. Chris Adler of Lamb of God would be stepping in as his replacement for the recording sessions of the band's new album. [16] On August 15, the official title and release date of the album were announced: Volition to be released on October 29, 2013. [17]

On September 5, 2013, the band released a single titled "Clarity". This marked the beginning of pre-orders for the full album. On October 2, 2013, the band released another track from Volition, titled "Drumhead Trial".

On October 10, 2013, Protest the Hero announced that Mike Ieradi, formerly of The Kindred, will be their new drummer.

On the morning of October 16, 2013, the album leaked. Later that day, because of the leak, Protest the Hero gave the IndieGoGo contributors their digital copies of the album.

On the evening of March 30, 2014, during a show in Raleigh, North Carolina, Rody Walker confirmed that bassist Arif Mirabdolbaghi had left the band. [18] On April 2, 2014, the band announced that Mirabdolbaghi had left the band to focus on other projects. The band's producer Cameron McLellan, who had also performed on several songs on Volition, was announced as the touring bassist and has since remained with the band as an unofficial member. [19]

Pacific Myth (2015–2016)

On October 15, 2015, the band announced that their next release would not be a conventional full-length album, but would instead be a subscription-based release of six tracks through the online music service Bandcamp. [20] [21] Each of the songs, including artwork, instrumental versions, and high-quality downloads, were released through Bandcamp once per month to paid subscribers until March 2016, forming an eventual EP entitled Pacific Myth . The first track, "Ragged Tooth," was released to subscribers on the same day. On October 6, 2016, Protest the Hero released a limited run of Pacific Myth in its entirety on vinyl, allowing members of the subscription service to pre-order the EP. The EP was released to the public on November 18, 2016. [22] The fourth track, Cataract, features guest vocals by a friend of the band and lead vocalist of Mandroid Echostar, Michael Ciccia.

Palimpsest (2017-present)

On June 6, 2018, the band announced that they were forced to cancel their upcoming summer tour in Europe and Japan, and postpone the recording of their next studio album, due to Rody Walker developing "vocal issues" that might develop into "irreparable damage" if not taken care of. [23]

A new single titled "The Canary" was released on April 16, 2020 on streaming sites. On the same day, the album's title, Palimpsest , along with the track listing and its release date set for June 19 was announced. [24] Along with the 10 tracks that are listed for most editions, two bonus tracks called "Gift Horse" and "The Dueling Cavalier" exist that are included in a special vinyl bundle. [25] The second single, "From the Sky", was released on May 14, 2020. The band modified the release date of the album from June 19 to June 18, 2020, in observance of Juneteenth, and the album was released to pre-order subscribers a day earlier on June 17, 2020.


Protest the Hero has performed and toured with many well-known acts, including Killswitch Engage, Trivium, In Flames, Alexisonfire, Black Label Society, Bullet for My Valentine, Against Me!, Between the Buried and Me, August Burns Red and many others. From September 2005 until the beginning of June, 2006, the band toured across Canada, the United States, and Great Britain in support of Kezia with bands such as Death by Stereo, Bad Religion, Anti-Flag, The Fall of Troy, The Bled, and DragonForce. They then took part in the Vans Warped Tour during the Summer of 2006. Following this, they toured with Avenged Sevenfold and 3 Inches of Blood until October 2006 when they began "The " tour with Trivium, The Sword, and Cellador, taking them across Canada and the United States.

Hoskin in May 2007 ProtestTheHero2007-1.jpg
Hoskin in May 2007

In September 2006, guitarist Luke Hoskin was detained at the Vancouver–US border for possessing a bag with less than 0.2 grams of marijuana, preventing him from continuing on their tour with Trivium and The Sword. [26] In his place the band recruited Marco Bressette from the Canadian rock band Hypodust from September until November 2006. In November 2006, Protest the Hero toured with bands Bullet for My Valentine and As I Lay Dying. Beginning in the middle of December 2006, they embarked on a cross-Canada tour, named Bring Out Your Shred, with I Hate Sally and The Human Abstract. This tour was the first in which Kezia was played in its entirety. In late May-early June they co-headlined the Tour and Loathing 2007 Tour with co-headliners All That Remains, Blessthefall, Threat Signal and The Holly Springs Disaster.

On January 28, 2008, the band began a tour through Canada with A Day to Remember, Silverstein, The Devil Wears Prada, and illScarlett. In April they toured with Chiodos before joining Warped Tour 2008. They were on tour with The Acacia Strain, Whitechapel, and Gwen Stacy after Warped Tour in the United States; and then will be on a European tour with, Parkway Drive, Despised Icon, Architects, Whitechapel, and Carnifex.

In January 2009 Protest the Hero toured with As I Lay Dying, The Human Abstract, and Mychildren Mybride. Then they started a European Tour with The Human Abstract and The Chariot. In April 2009, they headlined the Heads Will Roll tour in the US with Misery Signals, The Number Twelve Looks Like You, Fall From Grace, and Scale the Summit. From September 8–17, 2009, they supported In Flames and Killswitch Engage with Between the Buried and Me. [27]

A show in Burlington, May 2007 ProtestTheHero2004-3.jpg
A show in Burlington, May 2007

On November 21, 2009, at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, the band performed their album Fortress in its entirety for the first time. On November 26, 2009, they played in Halifax and on the 27th in Newfoundland, the only two eastern Canada tour dates for the year. Before the release of Scurrilous, Protest the Hero toured Europe in February as direct support for The Darkest Hour. Born of Osiris and Purified in Blood were the other opening acts on the tour. Protest the Hero was the third band announced to be playing at Australia's Soundwave in February/March 2011, and in March and April of that year the band supported the Scurrilous album, headlining a tour across Canada and the United States with Maylene & The Sons Of Disaster and TesseracT.

Following the summer of 2011, where Protest the Hero played festivals across Europe, they embarked on a small Ontario tour in September with support from The Kindred (formerly known as Today I Caught the Plague). Protest the Hero then ended 2011 and kicked off 2012 with a tour across America with Scale the Summit and Last Chance to Reason. Protest the Hero continued their efforts to promote Scurrilous and have commenced a 2012 UK Tour that features support from German post-metal band, Long Distance Calling, Norwegian punk band Blood Command and Uneven Structure. They announced tours with Periphery, Today I Caught the Plague, Jeff Loomis (formerly of Nevermore) and The Safety Fire for the US. Another tour is scheduled with metalcore band Underoath, We Came as Romans and Close Your Eyes commencing in May in South America. On August 27, 2013, the band announced a fall North American tour, along with Architects, The Kindred and Affiance, promoting their album Volition commencing in Ottawa on November 7, 2013. [28]

In August 2015, it was announced that Protest the Hero would embark on a Canadian tour for the 10-year anniversary of their debut full-length Kezia , featuring the band's original line-up playing the album in its entirety. [29] In January 2017, the band embarked on a North American tour as direct support for August Burns Red with In Hearts Wake and '68 (band). [30]


In 2004 the band won the Canadian Independent Music Award for Favourite Metal Artist/Group, beating out the better-known Alexisonfire. [31] They were nominated for the 2006 Canadian Music Week Indie Awards' Favourite Metal Artist/Group, which Kataklysm won in March of that year. Also in 2006, the band was nominated for the CASBY Award. [4] In addition, members of the band appeared in a televised commercial for the musical instrument store, Long & Mcquade. Bassist Arif was also featured in the Closet Monster music video "Mamma Anti-Facisto (Never Surrender)"; he can be seen to the left of London Spicoluk during the main group scenes.

The band has also released videos for the songs "The Divine Suicide of K.", "Blindfolds Aside", and "Heretics and Killers" from Kezia, and for "Bloodmeat", "Palms Read", "Spoils", "Sequoia Throne" and "Limb from Limb" from Fortress. The video for "Heretics and Killers" received airplay on MTV2 and FUSE, partially because of the interesting premise of the video: the band play the flying monkeys from The Wizard of Oz who work odd jobs after The Wicked Witch is killed. At the 2009 Golden God Awards, Protest the Hero won best Viral Video. [32] The video features Rody, Luke, and Tim doing a dance on the side of a road when their van broke down. [33]

The band won the 2014 Juno Award for Metal/Hard Music Album of the Year for the album Volition. [34]

Band members


Protest the Hero


Opening for Alexisonfire, live in St. Catharines, January 2004 ProtestTheHero2004-4.jpg
Opening for Alexisonfire, live in St. Catharines, January 2004

Studio albums

YearAlbum detailsPeak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)




US Ind US Rock US Hard Rock
2005 Kezia 250
2008 Fortress 1668695102414
2011 Scurrilous
  • Released: March 22, 2011
  • Label: Vagrant Records
2013 Volition [40]
  • Release: October 29, 2013 [41]
  • Label: Independent
2020 Palimpsest
  • Released: June 18, 2020
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.

Extended plays

Live albums

YearAlbum detailsPeak chart positions

US Ind
2009 Gallop Meets the Earth
  • Released: September 29, 2009
  • Label: Underground Operations
live in Burlington, May 2007 ProtestTheHero2007-2.jpg
live in Burlington, May 2007

Compilation appearances

Music videos

2004"These Colours Don't Run"Marc Ricciardelli
2005"Blindfolds Aside"
2006"Heretics and Killers"
2007"The Divine Suicide of K"Colin Minihan
2008"Bloodmeat"Marc Andre Debruyne
"Sequoia Throne"
"Palms Read"Sean Michael Turrell
"Limb From Limb"Marc Andre Debruyne
2011"C'est la Vie"
"Hair-Trigger"Marc Ricciardelli
2013"Clarity"Kenneth Wilcox & Todd Hennessy
"A Life Embossed"
"Underbite"Marc Ricciardelli
2014"Tilting Against Windmills"
"Mist"Marc Ricciardelli
2020“The Canary”
2020“From The Sky”

Video game appearances

"Divinity Within" NHL 07 2006
"Bury The Hatchet" Guitar Hero II (as DLC)2007 [notes 1]
"Goddess Gagged" NHL 2K9 2008
"The Dissentience" NHL 09 2008
"Heretics and Killers", "Bloodmeat", "No Stars Over Bethlehem", "Sequoia Throne" Tap Tap Revenge 2 2008
"Bloodmeat" Guitar Hero World Tour (as DLC)2009 [notes 2]
"Limb From Limb" Guitar Hero (iOS) 2010
  1. Guitar Hero II was released in 2006, but the song was not released as DLC until 2007.
  2. Guitar Hero World Tour was released in 2008, but the song was not released as DLC until 2009.

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