‘Ministry Was Definitely A Big Influence’
Finnish solo-project Protectorate is now active for a couple of years. Driven by Kalle Lindberg who’s also involved with Cardinal Noire, this new project sounds as the offspring between EBM and Metal music. Protectorate last year stroke back with the second album entitled “II”. Released by EK Product the songs sound as an imaginary offspring between Pouppee Fabrikk and Ministry. A hard, raw, and merciless sound.
Q: What do you try to express through Protectorate and how did this project saw the daylight?
Kalle: When I started Protectorate I was in an Industrial-Metal band at the time. I felt that the way that you are expected to perform that stuff live is kinda restricting the things you can do in the studio, because you have to be able to pull it off live later, with the acoustic drums and loud guitar stacks. So I started Protectorate to escape the restrictions and rules of that whole Metal thing. I liked that every song didn’t have to be arranged for the same instrumentation and I could be more creative and free to concentrate on making the best song possible rather than having to cater to a set of rules.
Q: There’s a serious time gap between your self-titled debut-album (2016) and the new opus “II” but also a serious evolution in sound and power. How do you perceive the transition and evolution from “Protectorate” towards “II”?
Kalle: We did two Cardinal Noire releases between the two Protectorate albums. So it took most my time. I did write stuff for “II” during that time, but mostly concentrated on the Cardinal Noire stuff. I think that Proctorate evolved during that time along with how Cardinal Noire progressed. I mean I learned quote a bit of mixing and stuff doing those Cardinal Noire records and I was able to use that knowledge on the Protectorate album.
Q: “II” is the perfect symbiosis between heavy, dark, EBM and Industrial/Metal music; kind of imaginary offspring between Pouppée Fabrikk and Ministry. Can you give us more details and what kind of album & sound did you’ve in mind when starting the writing of “II”?
Kalle: Ministry was definitely a big influence on the album. More specifically the era between “Twitch” – “Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste”, and I’ve always liked a good EBM bassline. The idea of “II” musically is to put all the influences I personally would like to hear to the songs. I didn’t have a set idea before writing, I just improvise in the studio and pick up the things that work and move forward with those. I also try to forget the unfinished songs when I’m not working on them actively, because I like to have a fresh perspective on the stuff when going back to those songs.
Q: What did you keep in mind from the writing- and production process? What have been the main difficulties and challenges? The main points of satisfaction and aspects that could have been improved?
Kalle: I started seriously working on “II” pretty much right after we had released the Cardinal Noire work “Nightmare Worms”. I had demos of 5 songs at that point, but maybe one of them was a complete song (cf. “Industrial Action”). I afterwards wrote “Hexz”, “Teargarden” and “Necromancer” in 2020-2021 and finished the rest of the songs. At the start of 2022 I had to write the lyrics which is the hardest part for me or the most frustrating. I’m pretty happy with the vocals though, I feel there’s some progression happening there and it’s the progression that keeps this interesting for me. I did the final mix in the summer and that was a minor break down moment for me also, I think I overdid it in a way. I was very critical of my own work and obsessed about minor details way too much. The result was that I didn’t instruct the mastering engineer (who did an excellent job, thanks Dirk @ ACSY), I tried at first, but my instructions resulted in worse sounding tracks, so I concluded that I had lost perspective due to a couple of months mixing the eight tracks. So I just asked Dirk to do what he thinks sounds best, I didn’t even listen to the finished disk until couple of weeks after it was released and the CDs had been sitting on my shelf for a while.
Q: Can you give us more details about the lyrical content and the artwork of the album? And how important are lyrics to you for this kind of music?
Kalle: I guess they are pretty important, at least they are the hardest part in making an album. Most of the lyrics are about current events, but there are couple of more personal songs. Both my cats died while I was writing the album, so a couple of songs are about that. Lasse from Cardinal Noire did the album cover and I really just gave him free reign over that, I’m happy with the cover so that approach was a good one, I think.
Q: What will bring the nearly future and I especially think about live shows, remixes, eventually a new single, clips… and Cardinal Noire?
Kalle: There are two reworked, unreleased, tracks coming out on two different compilations in the spring. A couple of live shows are already booked, but we’d love to do more, so please book us to play 😀 There are some remixes in the pipeline; I intend to release a remix thing later on also. New Cardinal Noire material is also planned, I’ll start working on that after the Protectorate-remix thing. We’ve been working and accumulating material for the next Cardinal Noire album from right after the release “Deluge”.