Interview with Rody Walker (Protest The Hero) / HYSTERIA

Walker believes any kind of activism is better than nothing. (Wikipedia)
Walker believes any kind of activism is better than nothing. (Wikipedia)

It takes merely minutes for the insanely likeable Rody Walker and I to chat about the pain thresholds of our respective genitalia. Front man of Canadian prog-punk nerds, Protest The Hero, Rody recently had his balls trampled on by Olly Steele, the guitarist from Monuments, while on tour together. It didn’t tickle.

“We were playing a couple of shows with them, and we had a couple of … beverages. Their bass player Swanny (Adam Swan) decided that we were the perfect weight for doing this crazy yoga move. I don’t really understand what was supposed to happen, but he was standing on my knees, and we were leaning back. I fell backwards, and he landed with his foot directly on my genitalia, and he stomped on it as if he was attempting to make wine.”

It’s a sweet story but women win the argument with, you know, childbirth. Rody agrees.

“Yeah genitals can be ripped open during that process. For the most part, guys exaggerate. Most will go to the ground, and roll around and pretend that they’re really wounded, just so they can play up the fact that they have these massive members.”

Rody seems more cheerful and laidback than you’d expect from an otherwise archetypal leader of a politically charged band who know how to play their instruments. Waves of charisma and energy loop through his veins and inform his words, even when he’s feeling the disillusionment of how baffling the votes of a populace can be. It’s a sentiment we can all relate to in a, ugh, Abbott-lead nation.

“The government in Ontario just wasted over a billion dollars in a scandal regarding power plants. An election was called, and it was amazing, because it was like, oh good, the liberal government is going to get kicked the fuck out for fucking up so hard. But they voted them back in! The citizens voted them back in! I made a huff about it on Twitter, and a lot of people were like, ‘Oh, what’s your problem, you want conservatives in there?’ It’s like, fuck, I want ANYBODY in there that’s not going to waste a billion dollars of my money!”

Laughing a little maniacally at the situation, it’s fitting that Rody mentions social media, a platform he’s fond of. Rody challenges the critics of ‘armchair activism’, who say that sharing a status on social media in support of a cause is really doing shit all.

“I think there is value in that kind of protest. I mean, there’s not much value, but at least they care—at least they care about something, at least they’re not completing rolling over and playing dead and just posting Buzz Feed, like the ‘20 Best Things to do in Your Twenties!‘ you know, bullshit like that. As flaccid as an attempt it is to do something, at least it is an attempt. I believe in doing a little more than that, but some people can’t. Some people can’t muster themselves to, but at least they’re not completely apathetic.”

Speaking of mood: apathetic, Rody veers onto another crackling rant about the stagnant state of the voting youth in Western democracies.

“Conscientious objection—I understand that, and I don’t agree with it. The youth are not engaged. They don’t cater to us at all, because they don’t have to, we don’t fucking vote anyways, so our votes don’t matter. People go, oh well if you’re not voting for the main parties then you don’t really have a chance. Sure, you may not have a chance at getting your party in power, but at least vote for something you care about. Vote for the goddam Communist party or go to the fringes—go to the margins! People should definitely vote for what they believe in. At least try to make people listen to you.”

***

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See the original publication of this article at Hysteria Mag

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