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The Protectors

Written by Daniel Clarke on April 2, 2009

Pete Stals has a secret that he wants to tell me but he’s not sure whether or not he’s allowed to.

It’s got something to do with “a big international act” but he’s tight lipped for the time being. It’s not as if his band The Protectors haven’t already played some pretty impressive shows.

Just last week they finished up a tour with cult Los Angeles artist Mickey Avalon.

“Yeah that was pretty mental. All those dudes with him were pretty crazy. It was him, Dirt Nasty, and their crew. They were all so nice to us. They accepted us into their little gang and we all partied. It was heaps of fun. It was so funny, they get so hectic.”

The band formed in Newcastle in early 2008, where they “started playing to no one. We just played heaps and heaps of shitty shows.” Before too long it seems the right people started to take notice and the group landed summer festival slots alongside groups like the Cold War Kids and The Streets. Support slots for the likes of Wolf & Cub and British India soon followed.

I ask Pete what he thinks propelled the band to such quick success. He accepts that Myspace is a big selling point for independent bands, but attributes their success more to playing a lot of shows. While performing they started to “just kind of make friends with bands and then through them make friends with their managers.”

“I guess we sort of got lucky” he shrugs.

“The bands I was in before [The Protectors], dude I was trying. We recorded EPs and just got nowhere. It was so fucked.”

“Trying to get somewhere, it’s so hard. Seriously, I’ve just done the exact same thing we did in the past.”
He’s certainly grateful for the attention they’ve been getting. The band is “so stoked to be able to play some of the shows we’ve been playing” and can’t say enough good things about Triple J.

“Triple J is so good. Man, they’re fucking the best.”

The Protectors recently released a video clip for their debut single I’m A Sister.

Upon release it became Rage’s indie video of the week. “We got MTV and Channel V last week too” Pete points out, before explaining the process behind the rather unique clip.

Using stop motion photography, it contains “about four and a half thousand photos.”

“We just went to our friends place, her parents have this crazy house with all this mental stuff. They’ve gone all around and collected cool stuff. I think it took about eight hours. The editing was the hard bit. I think it ended up taking about five days to edit all these photos together.”

The track is taken from their soon to be released EP Tarantula. Pete notes that everyone in the band has “had recording experience before in the previous bands we’ve played in” but that it was the work of talented producer Scott Horscroft that made the process easier.

“He was great to work with. We all totally admire all the work he’s done. How could you not? After the recording we’re all really good friends, Scott’s a good friend. It was such a good experience recording the EP.”

“It turned out really good and we’re really happy. April 10th it gets released and then the 11th and the 17th are the launches for Newcastle and Sydney and then the end of April is maybe when that tour…”

He trails off for a moment. I wait while he calls his manager to ask if he can tell me his secret. A short hushed conversation later, Pete hangs up and reveals the news.

“Um yeah… Eagles of Death Metal. We’re fucking so stoked. It’s fucking so gnarly hey.”

It seems things are only getting better for the Newcastle boys. I can’t help but feel a little jealous as I ask what they’ve got planned for the next few months.

“After the Eagles of Death Metal tour, in May there’s an indie east coast tour. We’re just gonna play heaps and heaps of venues. All through May and June we’ll be touring the east coast.”

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