A Long Strange Trek

Protest the Hero, self-loathing nerds, drop new album

Isn't the term "Trekkie?"

"No," he corrects with mock earnestness. " Trekkie is derogatory. Trekker is the respectful one. The word Trekkie has this horrible history and totally negative connotation — we're actually involved in applying Star Trek to our lives."

Perhaps that's the glue that helps the rest of the band stand behind and relate to Mirabdolbaghi's lyrics?

They hate nerds, but they love math. Go figure.
jake lowry
They hate nerds, but they love math. Go figure.


Protest the Hero performs Sunday, March 2, at Revolution, 200 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Silverstein, the Devil Wears Prada, and a Day to Remember are also on the bill. Tickets cost $16, and doors open at 6 p.m. Call 954-727-0950, or visit www.jointherevolution.net.

"Even if I were to write or say something that someone doesn't fully agree with," he explains, "it's not because they don't understand it, and it's not because they haven't considered it."

Or maybe they're too busy having fun flexing their musical muscles and running roughshod all over the music. PTH's sound draws on several familiar heavy-metal hallmarks — tech-metal, prog, the operatic vocals and squealing guitar leads of the new wave of British heavy metal, speeding riffs, etc. — and sometimes it sounds as if the band is going over the top on purpose. Yet it's not like you can call the music ironic; the band isn't making fun of metal, just having fun with it while managing to steer clear of clichés. It's a hell of a balancing act.

"It's a paradox," Mirabdolbaghi says. "If you fall too hard into a cliché, you in fact are not cliché at all. It's as though you're going into the darkness of novelty and picking out one object of light and using it to illuminate that cliché. We've always been obsessed with things that are kind of kitschy."

Be that as it may, the band takes its technical precision — and the headbanging, rhythmically challenged spazzout body slamming it wants you to do — as seriously as cancer.

"We take our craft very seriously," Mirabdolbaghi stresses, dropping the comic demeanor for a moment. "We just don't necessarily take ourselves seriously."

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