Protest the Hero Formulate Plans for Public Release of Pacific Myth EP
This past Friday, April 15th, marked a huge milestone. No, not Tax Day — that’s April 18th this year, today! — but the first 15th of a month on which Protest the Hero did not release a new track from their Pacific Myth EP subscription plan in the past seven months. Understandably, PtH fans may’ve found themselves wondering: what’s next?
Protest the Hero, being the sharp chaps they are, anticipated your query and released a detailed missive about their upcoming plans through their official website. The tl;dr is this: they’re re-mixing and mastering Pacific Myth for release digitally, on CD, on vinyl and on tape with new artwork to be released at some point in the not-too-distant future, they’re going to film a music video for one of the EP’s tracks and make the Of Our Own Volition documentary series available publicly, and they’re about to tour Southeast Asia before returning home to work on more new music. Huzzah!
The subscription model was an interesting experiment but, as the band acknowledges, it isn’t for everyone, so it’s a good thing they’re taking the release wide. It’d be interesting to see some of the finances behind the subscription — how did it pan out for the band, all things considered? Speaking from a media perspective it was a bit bizarre covering this one since it’s tough to say “listen to this awesome new track!” when everything is behind a pay wall, but the vibe I get is that the band is very happy with how things went.
For those who want the nitty gritty, here’s Protest the Hero’s entire letter to fans about what’s next:
Below are some plans for the more traditional release of Pacific Myth. We realize the subscription idea wasn’t necessarily for everyone, so we wanted to make sure everyone could get their hands on this music eventually. Below is a cornucopia of info letting everyone know where we are at with all of this:
We are currently having the album remixed. Don’t worry, it’s still being mixed by Anthony Calabretta – or “sexy donny” as we have come to know him (he’s extremely easy on the eyes for anyone who doesn’t know). Originally, Anthony mixed this project one song at a time – he made a point of mixing them all differently instead of using an overarching “reference mix” as we usually would.
In an attempt to make it sound more like a cohesive album, we have just signed off on a reference mix for “Harbinger” (our favourite mix of the lot) and it will now be applied to the rest of the songs. But! Each song will still get it’s own set of mix notes and revisions from all of us so it should turn our great. This new and final mix will definitely sound different from what you have all come to know though. Best part is, all you subscribers will all be able to mix and match your personal favourite sounding mixes because you will have them all right?
All of our albums have been mastered by one of our favourite people on earth. His name is Joao Carvalho and he is revered as one of the best in Canada at his craft. He has a beautiful studio on the east side of Toronto that we are all going to cram into and pound beers while putting the finishing touches on a new master (soon too – next week). Joao will also be doing a separate master for our vinyl release, perhaps even transferring to tape to get some of that analog deliciousness. We are extremely proud to have worked with him all these years and hope it never changes.
We got lots of praise for the amazing artwork of Pacific Myth – which we really don’t deserve because it was all the hard work and amazing skills of Jeff Jordan and Graham Curran – two fellas we hope to continue working with in the future.
Even though each song has it’s own amazing ‘cover’, we felt the need to create something which tied the entire EP together. Something to act as the over-all cover of the album.
A little known fact about the artwork creation process of this album is that one of the pieces was left out. Jeff Jordan and Luke (who does most of the art direction) came up with an idea they loved for what was originally the artwork for “Harbinger”. In the end, it just didn’t come out how either of them envisioned and they were forced to scrap the project. It was definitely tough to watch Jeff sand the painting off of the canvas, but he boldly did it (and photographed the process for an easter egg somewhere). Jeff, being the determined art monster that he is, refused to abandon the idea and is currently reworking it for the aforementioned cover. Fingers crossed!
4. Release Formats
Like we said, we will be offering this through most new platforms of digital music distribution. Bandcamp, Itunes, Play Music, Napster (hink). We are unsure if we will offer it through streaming services at first because the going royalty rates for artists are beyond insulting and since we own and control the MASTER of this pup, we can confidently opt out of that if we so desire. We do, however, realize that this is the way a lot of you consume music now, so we promise to do our best to make this available at some point to have in your collections.
***as most of you found out along the way, it is easy to integrate your personal music files into your streaming service playlists, so all is not lost for you streamers.
CD – we definitely plan to release this on cd. We know a lot of you still collects cds, and given some unique packaging, we think it’s well worth pressing it this way.
Vinyl – we have some outlandish plans for vinyl, and we swear to offer those to subscribers first before the rest of the world. We are even considering a “subscriber-only version” of a boxset of sorts, but we would need to first make sure we could find homes for whatever we press so that we don’t waste anything / spend thousands on vinyl we can’t sell!
Cassete – fuck yes, we’ll do a small run of cassettes. why not right? We own this thing so we might as well put something out for the real senior citizens eh?
5. Release Date
This is definitely up in the air because we are not sure exactly when this will come off press. Unlike a lot of albums you see coming out, we will probably release the digital and cd versions ahead of the vinyl. There are some crazy wait times now a days for vinyl and we just don’t want to wait that long before we put this thing out. For now, we are saying that we will release this at some point this summer. And for anyone who is interested, yes there will be some pre-order packages with exclusive stuff for the CD and Vinyl versions.
6. Music Video(s)
For those of you who have read this far, thanks. We fully intend to make a music video for one or more of these songs – we have already kicked around some treatment ideas with everybody’s favourite, Marc Ricciardelli. We would love to hear which of the six songs would be your choice for us to start with (especially if we only get to make one out of the six). Please comment with your vote, and hell, throw some video treatment ideas at us if you feel inventive. (for subscribers only)
7. Doc Series
We also plan to make the doc series “Of Our Own Volition” publicly available sometime in the near future. All of you who paid for tier 2 subscriptions will still be able to stream it until the end of time. The only thing that might change is the fact that you will be able to download the complete episodes and watch offline – an option we wish would have been available before now, but it wasn’t.
We have realized the value and significance of documenting as much as we can as a band – particularly as we travel down these unknown roads of releasing music in new and exciting ways. We are very proud to have made our current doc series and fully intend to keep offering new and interesting media through our VHX channel.
If you haven’t heard of VHX, you should make an account and check out some of the stuff out there…it’s insane. “Of Our Own Volition” should be available shortly as a stand along 2+ hour release.
If possible, we will be pressing the doc series on dvd and blu ray too – hopefully including some amazing special features while we are at it.
8. What’s Next?
As we ready to switch gears and head out to tour Southeast Asia, we can’t ignore the constant temptation to write new music. We plan on going back to the drawing board very soon and start working on what’s next. We have seen some speculation online that Pacific Myth might end up being our final release as a band, and all we can say about that is: “hah”.
Thanks again to all of you who came along on this journey (the subscription) – you made it a tremendous success and another endeavour we are proud to say we ‘stared-down’. The subscription will remain open for the next six months and we plan to continue offering exclusive content, first-chance offers, music transcriptions, subscriber-only merch, and a bunch of other crap we feel like only you deserve.
You hear a lot of artists say “I/we have the best fans in the world” – and while we are going to avoid that cliche….well, you get the idea.
Yours very truly,