category-iconHaving a Beer with

Having a Beer With... Protomartyr

September 18, 2017

By Pat Evans, September 18, 2017

Bands like to go all out for their album release parties.

For Protomartyr's fourth album they’re going to go all out... on a boat.

The Detroit-based band will celbrate their newest album, Relatives in Descent, with a show on the Detroit Princess Riverboat on September 22.

For $20 a ticket will get you access to an hour long cruise around Belle Island and toward Lake St. Claire and the concert with Protomartyr and METZ, ADULT., Preoccupations and Tyvek. And of course, there will be beer.

As a beer publication, let’s start with the obvious question: What beers do you drink?
Vocalist Joe Casey: Really, we’re kind of at mercy of what kind of free beer we can get, and it’s never usually top shelf stuff. We like to drink a few before and during the concert and since it’s a lot, it’s pretty watery and domestic.
Guitarist Greg Ahee: I think on our rider we ask for PBR or an equivalent for that exact reason. If I have an IPA before a show, I want to throw up, usually we have four beers or more.
Drummer Alex Leonard: At Bell’s Brewery, they gave us a 12-pack of Hopslam and I felt disgusting.
GA: I like drinking good beers if I’m out and have, like, one, but it doesn’t work before we play. Our manager is a craft beer guy so he always slides in local craft beer on the rider, so we give them to him. We like if we can get Coors Light.

Where did the idea of a CD release party on a boat come from?
JC: With our record release shows, we play somewhere bizarre to help make it different. There were a few ideas, one of our booking agents wanted to have a show on a Boblo boat or Detroit Princess, and the Boblo wasn’t river worthy. But I guess the real question is: Why not on boat?
GA: We were skeptical at first, but everyone else took the care of logistics and that was our main concern, ‘How the fuck are we going to pull this off?' It’s more for parties and rarely, if ever, rock bands. But they took care of everything and we were just in charge of putting together the lineup. Pretty easy on our end.
AL: It’s not the first boat we’ve played, either. It’s our fourth, so we finally have enough experience to really put on a great boat show.
GA: We were talking about how we should probably put some real safety precautions into order. Drunk Protomartyr fans can be reckless anywhere, so we want to make sure no one falls off or does kicks off the captain.

I saw Jumbo’s bar being thrown around as the place it all got started, what’s that about?
JC: That’s where we would hangout quite a bit and one of the first places we had a show. It has not changed, the sands of times effects all the bars, but has not hit Jumbo’s. Some of our best shows there and some of our worst have been at Jumbo’s.
GA: Not trying to be a throw back. There’s no draft beer though.  

Your first three albums were pretty significant critical successes, what should we be looking forward to on the new album, Relatives in Descent?
JC: This album we hope will be a commercial success. Hopefully more of the same but better, this is always a weird time because you don’t know how it is received. We’re self depricating and we don’t think it sucks, so hopefully it’s good.

It’s a sweet music video with the first song, A Private Understanding, how’d you pick that single?
GA: We pushed for that one. It felt like it encompasses the album the best. We knew we wanted to make it the first song on the album and decided to be the first single. There was some push back but it was an obvious choice. We’re all happy with that because we think it’s an accurate look at the entire album.

The album was recorded in two weeks, that seems pretty intense?
AL: Yea, it was just show up every day and work all day. It was kind of luxurious though, because the album before was in six days, and the one before in three days, so for us it was all sorts of time; still a ton of work.
GA: More time to make sure we got everything right. There are always parts of albums we’re not happy with or could have been done better. There still are a couple moments, but far less than any release in my perspective. I can go listen to first three and wish we could change this or that. Less of those moments, areas of regret.

Where does the band’s inspiration come from?
GA: It starts with the music and inspiration can come from any number of things, listening to a song I’ve never heard before or watching a movie and feeling inspired by music in the movie or just let it happen organically from messing around the piano or guitar.
JC: I just get inspired by watching bad TV or getting drunk on beer.

How much are you guys on the road? You guys get to see a lot of America, what’s it like right now and you’re heading to Europe, excited for that?
GA: It’s kind of miserable here right now and it’s like that a lot of places, but it’ll be nice to maybe go to some more tolerant governments like a lot of Europe has. It will also be weird because we have to explain that Trump doesn’t represent us.
JC: We were in Europe last year, we were getting that question a lot with “I can’t believe Trump is running,” and we’d just say “Don’t worry it’s joke, it will never happen.” Now we have to go back with tails between our legs. One good thing is, in Europe the free beer is better quality. Belgium is always nice.
AL: I always like how each city likes a certain type of beer we’ve never heard of and two hours away it’s different. It’s hyper regional and usually good.

ZX Ventures, a division within AB InBev, is an investor in October
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