WORCESTER — When it comes to heavy, aggressive, hardcore/metal music, the Boston/Worcester area is sacred ground for the head bang, screamed lyrics, head walking crowds. Such hardcore havens as the Worcester Palladium, Fitchburg Compound, and Boston’s Church house the bands that make this cacophony and the rabid fans that enjoy it. The scene of heavy music in the area has bred everything from original 1980s hardcore legends such as SS Decontrol and Freeze to the new breed of hardcore champions including Unearthed and All That Remains.
Aside from breeding the new and old voices of hardcore, the area has provided a place for touring out-of-state hardcore bands to find a welcoming scene and a new crowd of fans. Most recently the scene saw Canadian-based Protest the Hero on their first headlining tour of the States. The band’s combination of screaming lyrics, high intensity speed and wailing tap solos was received well by the Worcester Palladium crowd on May 9 and made the band feel right at home.
Blast was able to catch up with the band’s bassist Arif Mirabdolbaghi on the last leg of the band’s tour.
“We’ve come to Worcester a few times when we were opening for other bands” said Mirabdolbaghi. “We have a lot of friends and fans in the area. You can really feel the legacy of aggressive music in the crowds and venues.”
Protest the Hero began their musical carrier in the small suburban town of Whitby, Ontario in 1999. It was there that lead singer Rody Walker, guitarists Tim Millar and Luke Hoskin, drummer Moe Carlson and Mirabdolbaghi started playing together at the age of 13.
“We where really just some bored suburban kids when we started” said Mirabdolbaghi. “We had no real intentions to tour the U.S, or anywhere else for that matter.”
The band stuck it out however through the next five years, touring Canada and recording independently. Their efforts paid off in 2006 when they were picked up by Vagrant Records, with whom they made their first full length record “Keiza.” From there they went on several supporting tours with other major names in the hardcore music scene such as All That Remains, Bullet for my Valentine and heavy metal stars Dragon Force.
“What’s good about us is that we fit into a lot of different tours in a lot of different ways” said Mirabdolbaghi. “We’ve been the heaviest band on a tour and then we’ve been the pussiest.”
Most recently the band has put out their second full length album “Fortress” which is the focus of the newest tour. They have also gained some exposure through electronic media being features in “Guitar Hero II” and the soundtrack of “NHL ’09.” Once they are finished with the current leg of their U.S tour, the band plans to head back north to their homeland in order to rest up after the stresses of the new album and tour.
“We’re at the end of the album’s cycle now” said Mirabdolbaghi. “We’re going to go home and write some new material and possibly do some recording.”
Through out all the bands touring and recording, their goal is not to break into the mainstream lexicon, but rather show people who are interested in aggressive music what they bring to the table.
“We’re living in the days of iPod shuffle culture” said Mirabdolbaghi. “People today have more access to different types of music than anyone in history of music has ever had. Yet people seem to be more closed-minded than ever before. We want to people to give us a try; even if they don’t think that they’ll like us we at least want people to give it a chance.”
For more information on Protest the Hero go to www.myspace.com/protestthehero.