Protomartyr: Youre going to need a lot of fucking artists to gentrify Detroit. Photograph: Zak Bratto
When inexpensive living costs attract artists in such a way, it often leads to gentrification. Might that happen in the Motor City?
Leonard snorts. I read that in the broadsheets. All these hipsters saying, We want to be part of Detroits resurgence. What? Go fuck yourselves. Have they ever even been? Youre going to need a lot of fucking artists to gentrify Detroit.
In the same way they refuse to be pigeonholed by their location, Protomartyr are also at pains to deny being especially political.
If there was a revolution, says Casey, Id probably watch it on TV.
Yet such apathy doesnt quite ring true. Tracks like Bad Advice, about corrupt former city mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, and Clandestine Time, a rumination on the disparity of New Yorks rich and poor, suggest a certain level of engagement.
Well, says Casey, theres enough bands writing songs about eating pizza and getting drunk no one needs us doing that too. I just figured if were taking the time to write a song, it might as well say something.
In person too, they dont shy away from controversial subjects.
Gun control comes up. Casey owns a couple of rifles. America is a country with bloodlust, he shrugs. And, if anything, its getting worse its turning back to the Wild West. There needs to be more regulation. But its also right people should own guns if they want.
We also discuss Novembers Paris terrorist attacks and Jesse Hughess suggestion that, if his audience in the Bataclan had been armed, fewer people might have died. I feel bad for what he went through, but the guys a fucking idiot, says Ahee. Hes said a lot of Republican shit down the years and, whatever you think about guns, thats just a ridiculous argument.
Talking of Republicans
Donald Trump, says Ahee again. Terrifying. He says what he thinks will go down well and its working. And the fact there are so many people in America with these racist, border-line psychotic beliefs fuck me, thats scary.
They say theyll vote Hillary Clinton but reckon shes part of the problem. The Democrats didnt want an open primary contest they didnt want Bernie [Sanders] there and they basically stitched it up so she would be the candidate, says Casey. And thats what makes people angry. These parties arent listening.
Ahee nods. Maybe there would be a positive if Trump was elected. Maybe it would give America a kick up the ass. Like, Holy shit, what did we just do? Maybe then the parties would take notice of people. Or maybe a viable third candidate would emerge. Id like that.
Until then or until the televised revolution Protomartyr will continue plotting their own steady course.
Theyll tour both Europe and North America again later this year, and have pencilled in album No 4 for 2017. After that, their ambitions stretch to no more than wanting to tour Asia and Australia.
When we started, all we really wanted was to play around Detroit, says Casey. Getting to the other side of the world, that would be such a big deal. If we achieve that, I think well be pretty happy.