Protect Your Heart
New Music

Top pop punk (and other) influences behind the new LP from LA’s PROTECT YOUR HEART

7 mins read

Los Angeles based earwom, high energy pop punk rockers PROTECT YOUR HEART are set to release their debut LP [re]introduction this Friday, October 28th, and to celebrate, we have teamed up to enjoy their powerful blend of pop punk and melodic post hardcore (spiced up with some mild melodic metalcore relish) and give you their top list of albums and artists that influenced their sound, as well as top bands they would love to tour with.

Hailing from Los Angeles, CA, Protect Your Heart are among the next generation of bands delivering on an iconic “pop punk with breakdowns” sound of classic acts as A Day to Remember and Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! Massive hooks, driving pop punk instrumentals, and high-energy anthemic choruses only begin to describe the nostalgic, yet fresh sound you’ll find throughout the entirety of [re]introduction. What was intended to be a three-song experiment in 2018 has developed into a cathartic must-hear release of 2022.

“They are one of the best pop-punk bands around in the scene right now” ~ Discovered Magazine

For fans of: A Day to Remember, State Champs, New Found Glory

Protect Your Heart are: Matt McDonald – Vocals, Jake Bratrude – Guitar, Kean Bartelman – Guitar, Anthony Palazzole – Bass

PROTECT YOUR HEART never intended to release a full-length album. [re]introduction was never a part of the plan. at the outset, PYH was nothing more than a concept. an idea. a passion project, born of a desire to find a more fulfilling creative outlet.

The ultimate goal was to create the heaviest pop music possible, while challenging the group’ s decades-long production prowess. with a handful of early demos and some loose concept art, it soon became apparent that PROTECT YOUR HEART had the potential to become more than a simple three-song experiment. Instead, it was destined to become the creative platform that the members individually, and collectively, craved.

Four years, countless hours, endless studio sessions, and a global pandemic later, PYH worked tirelessly to refine their ideas, their growing catalog, and their own modern spin on a nostalgic sound, assembling [re]introduction as their debut foray back to their punk rock roots.

[re]introduction is the result of that experience. Every note, every lyric, every sonic milisecond, every miniscule detail has been painstakingly handcrafted by PROTECT YOUR HEART, and PROTECT YOUR HEART alone.

Throughout this album, you will experience emotionally-charged moments of catharsis, high-energy feel good anthems, and headbanging breakdowns. ultimately, this album is a quintessential reflection of the members themselves—their passions, their experiences, and their desire to create something meaningful.

Protect Your Heart

Here are the band’s top albums that influenced the sound on PROTECT YOUR HEART and their new record.

A Day To Remember – Homesick

All four of us agree on this one wholeheartedly. An incredible record that we all love and reference very often. Truly a scene classic.

Blink 182 – Take Off Your Pants and Jacket

A classic record that inspired most of us to pick up instruments, take music (but not ourselves) seriously, and try to create our own. Without this record, it’s probably fair to say that none of us would be doing this now.

Amity Affliction – Let The Ocean Take Me

We listened to and referenced this album many times while writing our own. A lot heavier than our sound, but the production and song writing are outstanding.

Silverstein – A Beautiful Place To Drown

A fantastic album front to back that combines a lot of elements that we all love—heavy guitars, anthemic choruses, as well as some pop and synth elements. Well-crafted and very inspiring all around.

Neck Deep – Life’s Not Out To Get You

This album nailed the nostalgic pop-punk sound but with a bit of a modern twist. We definitely rinsed this one frequently throughout the writing process.

Calling All Captains – Slowly Getting Better

Such a fantastic album from such an underrated band. The earnest vocal performances, powerful hooks, and meaningful lyrics really make this album a standout to us and one that’s listened to quite a lot, even to this day.

Me Vs. Hero – Days That Shape Our Lives

Snother relatively unknown scene gem. Cool riffs, cool rhythms—a great easycore record from a great band that we wish was still around.

Bring Me The Horizon – Amo + Sempiternal

Both of these albums are masterpieces and a mainstay in the Protect Your Heart listening rotation. Love the progressive approach on amo, and the huge, iconic songs of Sempiternal.

Both albums really just show how heavy music can incorporate elements of pop to create something special and memorable.

Search The City – A Fire So Big The Heavens Can See It

This album was on repeat for years, mostly towards the end of writing the record (that’s when the Spotify algorithm so graciously blessed us with its presence). A+ song writing. fantastic riffs. outstanding vocals. If there’s one album on this list that we would recommend anyone and everyone listen to, it might be this one simply because people need to know about this album! Wish there were more albums like this one from this band.

Protect Your Heart

Albums aside, asked about their top artists that influenced their sound, PROTECT YOUR HEART gave us their perspective on selected bands.

Blink 182 + Metallica

Everybody in the band comes from slightly different parts of the alternative/punk/metal genres, some leaning more towards the pop-punk side, others to the metal side, so we often joke that we are what would happen if Blink and Metallica had a baby. You may not hear those influences directly translated into all of our songs (or you might) but their respective styles and motifs definitely influence and affect our own personal writing styles and habits. Where those influences intersect is kind of the catalyst of what Protect Your Heart’s “sound” is.

A Day To Remember

When we started Protect Your Heart, our original goal was to “make the heaviest pop music possible,” and ADTR, to an extent, kind of created a roadmap for that. A lot of their big singles were on heavy rotation when we started Protect Your Heart, so their influence was kind of unavoidable throughout the writing process.

Bring Me The Horizon

We all just love this band and everything they do, plain and simple. If there was one band that none of us would argue about, one way or another, it’s BMTH. We admire their ability to stay at the cutting edge of the rock genre, regardless of the subgenre box they’re playing in, as well as their consistently high-quality artistry, and their willingness to play by or create their own rules. From our perspective, the only thing that moves a sound or genre forward is forward-thinking acts, and in our opinion, nobody holds a candle to BMTH in that respect. They’ve influenced us largely outside of the music alone—from visuals to branding to marketing, they always manage to create their own lane and stay ahead of the curve and do it all in a really cool way.

Protect Your Heart

New Found Glory

NFG have perfected pop-punk song writing. There’s a reason they’ve been around and relevant for so long. The rhythms, the riffs, the song structures across their entire catalog have been hugely influential to us.

Chunk! No Captain Chunk

CNCC’s latest album was so well done. From our perspective, it’s one of the shining examples of the current state of the scene and what “pop-punk” can sound like. The song writing is great, the vocal harmonies really stand out, and the production is top-tier.


This one is well outside of pop-punk or even the rock genre in general, but as a collective, we all come from dance music production, specifically bass music. There are few producers or songwriters in dance music as good as Rob Swire. Since we spent so many years producing bass music, we wanted to channel some of the production techniques from that world into the rock context—weighty drums, lots of low end, and plenty of transient poking through the mix. When we listen to a lot of our favorite rock records, a lot of the time it feels like the bass is completely missing from the mix. So, from the production side of things, acts like Pendulum and Noisia are a big influence on us in terms of what sounds “good,” and what modern music should sound like.

Ariana Grande

Another weird one for a band like us, but we listened to a decent amount of Ariana Grande during the writing of this record. Pop music is extremely difficult to execute at a high level, and for every “heavy” or “punk” influence or element we had, we also wanted to write songs that were accessible to a wider audience and just generally made us feel good. It’s a give and take between the pop side and the heavy side for us, so listening to successful pop acts like Ariana Grande enabled us to channel a little bit more of the “pop” approach into our writing style and process.

Protect Your Heart

As a supplement, PROTECT YOUR HEART gave us their top artists that thay’d love to tour with to support the new record!

Blink 182

Obviously everybody in the pop-punk world would give this answer. Blink influenced a generation, and we were a part of that generation. Playing with them would be an absolute dream come true and probably a bucket list item.

Four Year Strong

FYS are really inspiring to us and seem like a blast to go on the road with. They are another insanely talented, yet extremely underrated “easy-core” band that seem like they’re in it solely for the love of the game. Those are the types of people we love being around and get along with best. It just feels like a tour with them would be a genuinely fun time.

A Day To Remember

ADTR is a huge influence on our band and in many respects, a band that we look to as an example of what’s possible in this scene. Going on the road with them and learning from them would be an incredible experience.


Similar to ADTR and FYS, we love Silverstein’s music and feel like we could learn a lot from their 20+ years of relevance and success in the scene.

Calling All Captains

Love these guys tunes and would absolutely love to share a stage with them some day. Simple as that.

Point North

Another band that has been in heavy rotation for us through the writing of this album. We really enjoy their unique sound and style and feel like our own sound would be a good complement to theirs on a billing. Plus they are LA locals like us, so that would be sick to connect and play together coming out of the same city.

Amity Affliction

Their fans might hate us for being a bit “soft,” but we love this band and listen to them all the time. Their live shows look like an incredible time, and one that we’d love to be a part of.

We Were Sharks

We love this band. They seem like a lot of fun and write absolutely undeniable bangers. A show with them would be a blast!
Kenny Hoopla: Kenny’s album was so good. His shows look like a backyard house party. We love those vibes. We’d be stoked to share a stage with him anytime, anywhere.

Karol Kamiński

DIY rock music enthusiast and web-zine publisher from Warsaw, Poland. Supporting DIY ethics, local artists and promoting hardcore punk, rock, post rock and alternative music of all kinds via IDIOTEQ online channels.
Contact via [email protected]

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