Interviews no image

Published on February 20th, 1997 | by Gerry Galipault


Protein’s steady diet

Josh Zee’s candor is refreshing: Congratulate the Protein lead singer-guitarist on the band’s resounding writeup in a recent Billboard magazine review and he says a polite thank-you, but he wants to know if anyone will read it.

The San Francisco-based rock trio garnered a critics choice rating in Billboard for “My Blood,” the taut and tuneful first single off the group’s WORK Group debut album “Ever Since I Was a Kid” (due Feb. 25).

Zee appreciates the reviewer heaping praise on “My Blood,” but he wants to know why the writer says the song borrows from a few classic George Thorogood jams.

“Nothing against George Thorogood,” Zee said recently, “I mean, I like George Thorogood a lot, but we don’t sound anything like that. I can’t find one instance when we sound like him. Maybe it’s the drums, the classic shuffle beat. I don’t know.”

No matter, Zee said, he does like how the reviewer lauds the band for not giving in to temptation and “duplicating the alterna-rock sound of the moment.”

“We didn’t set out to fit into a category,” Zee said. “We just went with what we do best: play some solid guitar rock.”

Zee and drummer Dan Thompson have known each other since their rough and tumble days at San Rafael High School and have played in several bands together, all of which Zee admits stunk. Things didn’t start clicking until they set out on their own, recruited bassist Russ Violet and began playing the Bay Area club circuit.

Word spread quickly after a lively performance at last year’s SFO2 Showcase, and the labels swooped in. After barely a year together, the trio had a deal and went to WORK.

“I don’t believe in fate or destiny,” Zee said. “It’s just a roll of the dice, and I think we got lucky. Some people think maybe that we didn’t pay any dues, but the experience you need is the kind you can only get when you get out there and play and live it day to day.

“As a unit, we bonded together musically, and we’re great friends, and I think the fans and the label people can see that. That’s all they needed to know about us.”

On “Ever Since I Was a Kid,” Protein takes energetic rock excursions through “Obligations,” “Road Rash,” “Refrigerator” and “Slightly Bitchy Philosopher Dream Chick Meets the Insecure Martian Prophet.” Elsewhere, notably “Maybe I Will,” Zee’s personality comes out: “A thing I always wanted to do but I never did/Is drive my car and turn my car to the right going 90, laughing and yelling as my head explodes/Things that I wanted to do just for fun/Things that I wanted to do, but never done.”

“Most of the songs are about being a child,” he said, “but I didn’t consciously set out to write about those things. They’re songs about growing up. They’re somewhat autobiographical. Some true, some dreams, some lies. They’re not totally to the letter of my life.”

Protein has shared stages with Silverchair, Failure, the Breeders, Primus, and more recently, the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow. Zee is living a lifelong dream and says he’s aware that there are kids out there now that are looking up to him.

“Growing up in San Rafael,” he said, “I followed a band there that never made it big (Psychefunkapuss). Everybody looked up to them. There was something mystical and magical about them. But now that I’m older and supposedly now on their peer level, the mysticism is gone. It seems strange to me that there are kids out there in the audience who feel the same way I did years ago and are feeling that way about us.

“All I know is, I’m always the same person, and always will be. There’s nothing poetic about my life. It’s just rock ‘n’ roll.”

Tags: ,

About the Author

Gerry Galipault debuted Pause & Play online in October 1997. Since then, it has become the definitive place for CD-release dates — with a worldwide audience.

Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑


    Entertainment Weekly names Pause & Play one of “the 100 greatest Web sites”

  • Album Release Dates

    * Release dates are subject to change due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

    Oct. 15, 2021 » Coldplay, Santana, Kelly Clarkson, Norah Jones, Zac Brown Band, FINNEAS, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Tom Morello, Toby Keith, Johnny Marr,  Lucinda Williams, Lilly Hiatt, Melvins, Stephan Moccio, Paul Anka, Bellamy Brothers, etc.

    Oct. 22, 2021 » Elton John, Lana Del Rey, Lady A, Duran Duran, My Morning Jacket, Dream Theater, Brett Young, Pistol Annies, Cradle of Filth, Brett Eldredge, Men Without Hats, SEVENTEEN, Kristin Chenoweth, Clinic, Every Time I Die, etc.

    Oct. 29, 2021 » Ed Sheeran, Mastodon, “NOW That’s What I Call Music! 80,” Migos, Tori Amos, The Doobie Brothers, The War on Drugs, Pentatonix, Black Veil Brides, They Might Be Giants, Joe Bonamassa, Billy Bragg, Hayes Carll, the The, etc.

    More New Releases » Nov. 5 and Beyond: ABBA, Diana Ross, Bullet For My Valentine, Steve Perry, Hanson, Aimee Mann, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Taylor Swift, Rod Stewart, Courtney Barnett, Eric Clapton, Damon Albarn, Allen Stone, Dave Gahan & Soulsavers, Susanna Hoffs, Adele, Robert Plant | Alison Krauss, Sting, Willie Nelson, Brian Wilson, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Deep Purple, Paul Weller, Arca, Volbeat, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Years & Years, The Lumineers, Cat Power, Punch Brothers, Skillet, Underoath, Tears For Fears, Soft Cell, Bryan Adams, for KING & COUNTRY, Liam Gallagher, and many more.

    More Upcoming Releases » Albums coming in 2021 and 2022 but yet to be scheduled

    Elton John loves Pauseandplay.comDeals of the DayBest SellersSennheiser MOMENTUM 2 Wireless Over-Ear HeadphonesIE 400 Pro In-Ear Monitors

  • New Merch at Hot TopicSave on Tablets at Walmart.comBand T-ShirtsTurntables & AccessoriesHome Audio SystemsAmazon Tap $40 OffSave up to 90% on Textbooks

    NOTE: is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. We also participate in other affiliate programs.

  • Love We do, too … Help us keep it going. (Every little bit helps.) We ♥ u.

  • Recent Posts

  • Connect on Facebook

  • On Twitter