The Protomen is an American rock band best known for composing original rock operas based on the popular video game series Mega Man. Because of the group’s insistence on wearing costumes and using code-names, even when being interviewed, The Protomen remain a mysterious entity within the video game music scene. Their costumes and general stage presence has been compared to that of Daft Punk. Despite often being classified as a niche, the Protomen have achieved a cult following thanks, in part, to frequent mentions in popular video game web sites as well as a dedicated fan base.
Little is known about the Protomen, other than the band is based in Nashville, Tennessee. Because the band often responds to interviews and questions in-character, their own descriptions of their history are delivered with the dramatic flair of their storyline concept and their comments can not always be taken at face value. Their code-names are largely references to pop culture films, song titles, and fictional characters.
The band is composed mostly of MTSU recording program graduates, and first came to be so they could meet class deadlines and the need to record for [their] grades. They produced their first album over two years in various Murfreesboro studios, using analog rather than digital production. Most of the band had graduated and moved to Nashville by 2005.
Group member Commander has stated that their first album was deliberately designed to sound like “distorted pencil sharpeners about 90% of the time” and “was made specifically to go against everything our recording teachers and fellow students were trying to feed us about making everything sound pristine and ‘perfect.’. The tracks were mixed on analog tape.
In a 2009 interview, lead vocalist Panther stated, “We basically gathered up all of our good friends from the local rock bands of Murfreesboro, tied ourselves together, and tried to walk. And somehow it worked. At the time, we noticed a void in rock and roll. A hole that could only really be filled with grown men and women painting up like robots and playing some fierce and furious rock music based on a 1980’s video game. We were fairly certain no one else was going to fill that hole. But, by god, it’s filled now. You can thank us later.”
The band has strong ties to the Murfreesboro and Nashville independent music scene, and some members are integrated into several ba
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