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Protector's Martin Missy: "We want our fans to have a good time, not sitting in front of the stereo for weeks, trying to figure out what we were playing there"

Interview with Martin Missy from Protector
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 29 July 2022, 10:31 AM

Simplicity loves company, and fans will rejoice. To be proficient and technical in knowledge and ability isn't everything, it is how a song that one writes is built and how it inspires. Old school Metal will never change its ways, apart from the modern edge that always seeks the next best thing in line to capture attention. It was already proved that the former will continue to expand and become relevant again, and the existence and activity of the German Thrash Metallers, Protector is one of many sources of evidence. Releasing their new "Excessive Outburst Of Depravity", there is old school for everyone and brutal. Steinmetal had a good talk with the band's longstanding vocalist, Martin Missy, about the album and the old school spirit.

Hello Martin, it is an honour to have you for this conversation with Metal Temple online Magazine, how have you been doing sir?

I'm fine, thanks! These past few years have, apart from the Corona Pandemic, been good for me: I got a new job, did my first "real" tour with Protector (in 2019) and released a new album together with my bandmates.

I take you as an artist with a critical mind set, and I have the sense that you have bellyful to comment about what has been happening in the last 2.5 years with this wretched pandemic. With the cease of our everyday life into a newfound reality, which we still try to recuperate, how do you find this world rumbling phenomenon? In your view, will we ever recover from it?

Well, these past 2.5 years sucked when it comes to the pandemic. People dying, borders getting closed, no concerts… Sadly enough we will have to live with the Corona virus forever now. In the future I think it will become more of an influenza virus though, and not cause all these restrictions as before.

With the band based in Sweden, and I know that in the country there was a lot more tolerance towards restrictions, meaning barely, I guess that personally, the band didn’t suffer much from the effects of this pandemic right? Were there any doubts about the chemistry, and stability, of Protector?

There still was a big impact on Protector in the pandemic: We hardly rehearsed, because our guitarist was helping his grandfather with a lot of stuff, and didn't want risking to infect him. We played no concerts between autumn 2019 and summer of 2022 (the stages in Sweden were also pretty much closed down in 2020 and 2021). The only positive thing was that we were able to focus even more on the songwriting process for our new album.

The clinical new release of the band, "Excessive Outburst Of Depravity", is a complete transfiguration from most modernized version Metal that is coming out nowadays. I noticed the term ‘down to earth’ in the dossier, and I have to agree. In general, and since you have been there in the early days, do you believe that the old flame would forever have a chance to sustain itself for long, in particular since the Metal scene has been on a constant change?

In the 90s I was not so sure about if the "old" style of 70s and 80s Metal would make it into the new millennium, but fortunately it did. A generation of young Metalheads have discovered old school Metal these past 20+ years, so I'm not afraid that the sound of the old school days will disappear anytime soon.

The album’s title, "Excessive Outburst Of Depravity", reflects a stream of thought that is quite intriguing. How can you explain the nature of the title? What do you make of it as a personal note to self?

I have to admit that the title just is a product of many months of reflecting on words that would sound cool together. So to be honest, there is no deeper meaning behind it. I just wanted something that sounded brutal and heavy.

I found "Excessive Outburst Of Depravity" to be covering a variety of issues, whether at present or in the historical past. When summing everything up, what is the overall state of mind of the record that you believe is transpired to the listener? Is this you being pissed or rather mainly raising issues that have been there for long, but need an extra boost?

When it comes to the lyrics, our bass player Mathias Johansson (who wrote lyrics to four of the songs) is the one who is writing about social and political topics. I am more of a storyteller, be it real historical events, fantasy or kind of whacky themes. I think Mathias is writing his lyrics more spontaneous, while I often have thought about different themes for quite a while.

Would you argue that "Excessive Outburst Of Depravity", as an album with plenty of things to be said and addressed, also offers a form of comfort, moral wise, to whoever listens to it or is it a merely straightforward attack at will, no mercy?

I would say it's kind of both, but mainly the last thing you mentioned: We want to entertain, kick ass and make the fans bang their heads.

Looking at the amazing artwork, crafted by Patrik Tegnander, the beautiful, and colorful, face of your mascot, if I may call it that, holds secrets I gather. What can you tell about the vision behind the entire piece of art?

Yes, I also think Patrik Tegnander did a great job there. He had free hands regarding the Artwork. He got the title of the album and went straight to work. So you will have to ask him personally about the deeper meaning of the album cover. I don't know if there are some special thoughts behind it. I'm just happy that it's heavy as f*ck.

I think that "Excessive Outburst Of Depravity" is an example that can be referred to as an honest form of Metal music, striding within the roots, treading the 80s, unchained from trends and simply putting up a show of merciless force. I wonder, what has been keeping you guys highly constant with your musical deliveries?

I'm not completely sure. All I know is that my band colleagues and me know exactly what kind of riffs to write for Protector: Straight forward and old school, without any big technical excesses. Once again I have to mention our bass player Mathias (who writes most of our riffs): he is an absolute old school riff-machine!

As an addition to the previous question, there is something pleasing, and at times if done right, haunting, in a simple form of riffing, song structures that aren’t into the complexion but rather to channel easiness, even in a brutal sense. What is your take on that in regards to "Excessive Outburst Of Depravity"?

You are right: For us it is more about to convey an old school feeling without lots of decorations. We want our fans to have a good time, not sitting in front of the stereo for weeks, trying to figure out what we were playing there.

Continuing about the songwriting, "Excessive Outburst Of Depravity" is a joint effort by the entire band, every member had his share on writing parts and segments from the songs. In your opinion, how did the advantages of such songwriting policy work for the favor of Protector in particular on "Excessive Outburst Of Depravity"?

I think the best way to create good (Thrash) Metal is to have the whole band involved in the songwriting process. One of us comes up with some riffs, we refine them together, create a song of them and then maybe add a riff or two, or a break or something. This has worked out fine for us so far, so that's the way we will continue working.

Other than the joint songwriting, what other elements, in your view, lived up to the game changers of "Excessive Outburst Of Depravity", or rather made it sort of a unique in form in contrast to your previous records?

I think both the relaxed atmosphere in the studio together with Robert Pehrsson, and the awesome mix and master by Patrick W. Engel have a huge part in the overall feeling on this album.

Flourishing with an utmost sense of brutality, and a classic form of Teutonic Thrash Metal, there is the blasting effort of “Infinite Tyranny”, the blackened hints that cruise with old Sodom, along with the hooking riffs and destructive drumming, made it a hit for yours truly. What can you share of your appreciation towards this number? How do you find its effect on the album itself?

It's a furious track indeed. One that Mathias wrote both riffs and lyrics for. Overall Mathias has been inspired quite a lot by Voivod these past years, but in this track he is just releasing the full fury of blackened Thrash Metal. That we chose to have the background choir in the pre-chorus maybe also adds a kind of darkness to the song.

With the ability to head out there and perform live, where can Protector be found for its support of "Excessive Outburst Of Depravity"? Other than festivals, which are currently on the menu, will you be touring in Sweden and Germany?

At the moment we are not planning any new tours, just single festival- and club gigs, mainly in central Europe. We all have jobs, and three of us have a family, so a tour is always difficult to plan for us.

Soon enough, Protector will be celebrating 35 years for its debut album, “Golem”. With you being the only surviving member out of that ancient line up, will there be a special kind of festivity to honour the album’s anniversary, perhaps even a reunion with the members that made it, other than the departed Michael Hasse (RIP)?

There's nothing planned in that direction so far. And regarding a reunion: We have played songs live with Hansi and Olly on several occasions, but a real reunion will not be happening anytime soon.

Martin, I wish to thank you for your time for this interview and for a great record released, and other one of the selection of Protector albums that are bound by the old flame. All the best,

Thank you Lior
 



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