Meet The Protest!
The Protest is a hard rock Christian band from the Midwest. The band is composed of Josh “Shred” Bramlett (lead singer and acoustic guitarist), TJ “Texas Two Step” Colwell (rhythm guitarist and vocals), Jarob “Animal” Bramlett (drums and vocals), Adam “Sarge” Sadler (lead guitarist), and Chase “Sludge” Reagan (bassist and vocals). Around a year ago, the band released their most current album “Game Changer” which contains driving guitar beats, honest lyrics, and melodies so catchy you won’t be able to sit still! Just one listen to The Protest and there is no denying that these guys know how to rock! During their time together, The Protest has toured with bands such as Family Force Five, Icon For Hire, Decyfer Down, Red Jumpsuit Aparatus, The Afters, and many more! With live shows being a huge part of their ministry, they play around 150 shows/festivals a year.
While they love music, their real passion is changing the world for God and living the great journey that He has for them! This is evident not only in their Christian based lyrics and live show but also in their outreach. They have been involved in suicide prevention campaigns and have even visited schools from time to time. They strive to encourage and remind people that even when everything feels hopeless, there is still hope!
We recently caught up with Josh from The Protest to learn more about them as artists and individuals. Check out our question and answer session!…
Q: Where are you from?
A: 4 of us are from a small town called New Castle, Indiana and our bassist is from Bristol, Tennessee.
Q: How long have you all known each other? How did you meet?
A: We have known each other for 8 years. However our drummer is my brother so I have known his since I was two I guess. 🙂 The band was formed by me, my brother (Jarob), and our rhythm guitarist (T.J.) in the Spring of 2004. Our lead guitarist (Sarge) actually began giving me guitar lessons when I was in middle school but wasn’t in the band for the longest. Then he decided to move to L.A. to study guitar and upon returning he joined the band. Our bassist (Chase), joined the band when he moved up to Indiana. He was sort of a family friend, but I didn’t know him at the time. He recorded our first record and when we had member issues he filled the slot temporarily but he felt God wanted to join full time, so he did. That is how the current Line-up of The Protest was formed.
Q: How did you decide on a band name?
A: We went by the name Protest For Pluto for many years. It wasn’t until we went into the studio to record our last album, Game Changer, that we changed our name to The Protest. It was a little under two years ago that we emerged from the studio with the new album. We felt that this new music was so different and so powerful so we wanted a re-birthing. We wanted to start over with a bigger focus on reaching people with the word of Christ and his love as well. So we changed our name and treated ourselves as a new band. The Protest name isn’t a negative name at all. We actually wanted a name that would be attention grabbing so we could share what the Lord gives us with as many people as possible. Some people, however, have seen the name and thought there was an actually protest going on! Which isn’t at all what we do, but if it get people there it can’t be that bad!
Q: What artists have influenced your sound?
A: We have been influenced by so many artists. I would say Disciple, Sevendust, Avenged Sevenfold are our biggest influences musically. Lyrically we are influence by Disciple, The Classic Crime, Sent by Ravens, and Red are big influences for us. We are also inspired by the hundreds of bands, like us, that are fighting the good fight everyday for little money. Their character and integrity speaks to us big time.
Q: What are your songs about?
A: We want our songs to reach as many people as possible without turning them away so many of our songs deal with issues that real people face each day like suicide, hate, self-loathing, and desperation. We want to give people hope because God gives us hope every day. We have been blessed by so many fans telling us that our music has touched them or has changed their lives. It is a true honor to do what we do.
Q: Do you find it difficult being a Christian in the music industry today?
A: Being a Christian in the music is tough. The music industry is so cut throat, they don’t care what you are doing as long as you sell tons of albums and look good doing it. Every day our integrity is tested and we are tempted, but we have to rise above these things. It’s not easy by any means, we are human and it is hard sometimes to stay positive in such a rough industry, but God is faithful and always provides a way out. We play all types of venues from bars to churches and not every venue is receptive to what we say and opposition is a common factor. Being a disciple is hard, but I like to think of it like we aren’t in the music business, but in God’s business.
Q: What great moments have you experienced along your journey so far? Any challenges?
A: In our travels we had laughs, tears, we’ve seen people accept Christ, and we have met so many amazing people. There honestly too many amazing stories to tell. Maybe we will write a book with all of these stories in there someday. 🙂 It is awesome doing what we do, but it does not come without its challenges. With any ministry or small business money is always an issue. We have loans to pay off, merchandise to buy for our shows, and of course gas to get from show to show not to mention all the other expenditures along the way that further our ministry. Money gets tight sometimes but God ALWAYS provides and we are so blessed by that. So many people donate to our cause and it is so humbling because we are nothing more than a vessel. God is real talent and the real life changer. Being away from home can also be tough. We don’t get to spend a lot of time with our friends and family, and sometimes because of our schedule we have to miss out on things going on at home. We look at it as a sacrifice. Everyone must sacrifice something if they are to do God’s will for their lives. Living in a van is a minor inconvenience. We are all young so we can do that now, but when we get older we may need to invest in a bus. 🙂
Q: So far, what has been your favorite city you’ve performed at?
A: We have performed in cities all over the U.S. and have been some amazing places, but nothing beats coming home and playing for our hometown fans. They support us like none other and we are so grateful.
Q: What Bible verses inspire you the most?
A: Many verses inspire us but our band’s verse is 1st Peter 4:10, “Everyone should use whatever gifts they have been given to serve others and faithfully administer God’s grace in its various forms.”
Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians and/or songwriters?
A: Pray. When we write we ask God to place on our hearts what he wants said. Always keep your lyrics. If you have a random idea write it down and put into a word document. Your never know when something will hit you. So I recommend buying a notebook or journal for lyrics.
Q: What do you like to do to in your free time when you’re not performing?
A: Free time is such an amazing and rare gift for us! We love watching movies, playing video games, working out and hanging out with friends. On the road we love to stop at antique shops and flea markets. We are nerds so we are always looking out for rare movies, games, comic books, or trinkets that we just can’t live without.
Q: What support have you received from your hometown throughout your journey?
A: Our church family has blessed us so much with a van, gas money, and prayers. We receive so much love from people in our area. It is not uncommon for fans to bless us with gift cards or gas money before we leave for a tour. I’m sure every band says this but we believe that we have the best fans in the world. We don’t even like to call them fans. They are family.
Q: If you could describe your band in 4 words, what would they be?
A: A Work in Progress. We are always trying to better ourselves whether it’s musically or spiritually. We never settle for mediocrity. The people deserve our best and God deserves our best so we try to give it. Each night we hit that stage we go to war and give it all we’ve got. Our blood, sweat, and tears have literally been spilt all over the stage.
Q: What would you say to others who are trying to follow their dreams?
A: Do not give up! Follow that dream and pray hard. So many people will question why you are doing it. So many others will give up for money, but remember that our reward lies in heaven. Cling to the people that support you, give in to God’s will, and hold on!
Last November I had the privilege of seeing The Protest live and I must admit, I became a fan that night! Their high-energy performance, heart wrenching lyrics, and catchy melodies kept me entertained from beginning to end! The band individually and as a whole is incredibly talented and a pleasure to watch! While The Protest really knows how to rock, the biggest take-away for me from the concert was the heart that this band possesses. It’s so encouraging to see a group of guys who live their lives for God and are determined to make a positive mark on the music industry. With so much darkness in the world today, it’s refreshing to see a ray of God’s light shining through! 🙂
The Protest rocks and I guarantee that you will agree! Check out these links: