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Papa Roach Mix Past, Present, Future on New Live Album

Neil Lupin, Redferns

Papa Roach‘s new album, ‘Time For Annihilation,’ is a marker for the band. “It marks the decade milestone for us,” lead singer Jacoby Shaddix tells Noisecreep when we visit with him and guitarist Jerry Horton in the L.A. offices of their management company.

In addition to being their first live album, featuring nine Papa Roach classics like ‘Last Resort,’ ‘Between Angels And Insects,’ and ‘Forever’ live, the record also includes five new tracks, kicking off with the electro-flavored ‘Burn.’

The mix of both the new songs and the live tunes brings together what the band believes to be their past, present, and future. And as we talked with Shaddix and Cole we covered the past, from meeting Metallica and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, to the present and how these new songs are the future of Papa Roach.

It’s an interesting project.

Jacoby Shaddix: That’s what everybody’s been saying. It’s essentially an EP plus a live record. We know our fans have wanted a live record from us for quite a while. We fancy us a kick-ass live rock band; we get up there and put on a good show for our fans. I think this record is a way to connect the past, the history of Papa Roach, some of the hit singles and cult classics and fan favorites, into the future. And I think it’s almost like the essential Papa Roach play list in a weird way because now fans will just take the disc on their computer and throw it on their MP3 player most of the time. I still listen to vinyl, I still got a record collection, that’s just how I do it, but we know that fans are listening to music differently, so why not try and release something different?

I know that there are usually essential songs for both the fans and the band, and those don’t always mix. What were a couple of the songs that weren’t necessarily hits that had to make the collection?

Shaddix: Yeah, they’re on there. I think ‘Time Is Running Out’ is one of those songs; ‘Hollywood Whore’ is another one of those songs. They just resonated with us first and foremost, [and] with our fan base. There are songs like ‘Broken Home’ and ‘She Loves Me Not’ that were huge singles that didn’t make the live record. And it’s a fun sounding record, too. We mixed the audience really loud in the mix of this record, ’cause there’s so much sing along in sections of the record and I think that it captures the energy and the spirit and vibe of who we are as a live band. And I would hope that it inspires fans to come see us live. For me live records were important in getting into bands back in the day. I became a fan of Jane’s Addiction because of ‘Triple XXX’ live. I became a fan of Primus because of ‘Suck on This.’ That’s a live record. So this is gonna be the record for some Papa Roach fans that get them into Papa Roach, this live album.

Who are some of the people that inspired you as performers cause I love the fact there is so much banter between songs and no one does that anymore?

Shaddix: F—, man, that’s the connection. You hear Freddie Mercury, Queen ‘Live at Wembley,’ that’s one of those experiences. I wasn’t there, but I watched it on DVD, and Freddie Mercury and the guys in Queen just had this magnetism about them and they just had this connection with their audience. To me, that’s huge.

Was there a first show you saw that blew you away?

Jerry Horton: For me it was Day on the Green with Metallica, Faith No More and Soundgarden. I grew up obviously listening to Metallica, but after that, seeing the Deftones — that energy that they have on stage really drew me in and then even after started playing and playing shows, right before we got signed, it was just Korn.

Shaddix: They took us out, too. We learned a lot from Korn. We toured with those guys and watched them on stage every night. They had this thing about them where their set was seamless. They would just go from having these interludes in between songs where it’s like song, then jam a section of a different song in the middle of the song and then go into the next song. They have a real cool way about how they put together their set and it’s not the same as how we do it, but when we saw it, it was inspiring and made us want to grow as a live band.

Talk about the reinvention that’s in some of the songs like ‘Burn It,’ which has electro, and where you guys might be going in the future of Papa Roach. Coming up in the ’80s who were the rock stars that you really looked up to and would’ve wanted to hang with?

Shaddix: Dude, I would’ve loved to hang out with f—ing Mötley Crüe, which is funny now [that it's] actually happened. Poison was one of my favorite bands, and it’s funny because I’ve talked to Nikki [Sixx] about this and he’s like, “Those were our enemies. Poison were our enemies. They were the pussies and we were the punk rockers.” They wrote great songs, and those dudes are still out there. And they pack out shows, so you can hate all you want. Guns N’ Roses would’ve been a band I would’ve liked to mix it up with back in the day. Especially on the first record. They just had this punkishness about them that was intriguing. They had the gnarly, sleazy rock ‘n’ roll vibe, but they had this attitude about them was just like, “F— you,” and that was intriguing, too.

What have been those moments for you, though, where you couldn’t believe you got to meet whoever, fill in the blank?

Shaddix: When we did Aerosmith ‘Icons,’ all the bands were in the house and that was where we met Metallica and the guys in Aerosmith.

Horton: That was f—ing surreal. I just thought, “Am I here?” That was the big one for me. I mean, I had Brad Whitford telling me I’m cool. I’m like, “What?”

Shaddix: I think I really kind of tripped out when I met the guys in the Chili Peppers. That was the band when I was a kid. I was like, “These guys are bad-ass, free funk punk.” That s— got me off, and when I met them and we did some shows with them in Australia — that was like a surreal moment for me

As you guys talk about this, there are obvious different musical tastes. How much of that influences the diversity of Papa Roach and was there a moment where you first felt like the chemistry was there and you could bridge these different tastes together?

Shaddix: I would say on the second half of the question we had to kind of pry Jerry into the band at first. We were a rhythm section with me on vocals going crazy and we needed a guitar player and Jerry was the metal guy. I just kept calling him, “F—ing coming over, dude, let’s jam.” “I don’t think it’s gonna work out.” We kept calling him and kept calling him and he’s like, “Alright, alright, I’ll come over.” And so we jammed and wrote some songs, then we started having fun. It wasn’t about the rules. Then we started listening to the music each other was into and becoming fans of bands together at that time. We discovered Faith No More together and then we started listening to Helmet. Jerry was more the metalhead, and we were like the funk punk weirdos. Then we brought that together. I think when we wrote our first full-length record, ‘Old Friends From Young years.’ That’s when I really thought, “Wow, this could work. We have a batch of songs.” We weren’t the greatest musicians, but we had something that was original and different and I wasn’t the greatest singer, by no means, but we were having fun. And I think around ’96, ’97 was that moment for us. Before that it was just backyard parties and keggers and playing at the teen center in our local town.

Horton: I think our musical backgrounds does have sort of an impact, but being that we’ve been together for 17 years our musical influences have sort of come together. We’ve gotten into music together for a long time, we’ve discovered a lot of music together. And I think just the fact that we have such diverse musical tastes is really I think the key to us writing different styles of songs.

Jerry, what was it that finally made you change your mind and join the band?

Horton: Jacoby’s persistence is what made me change my mind. “Come on, come on now.” He’s like a fly flying around. Like he said before when we started doing it, it was just for fun. I didn’t know what I was going to do with the rest of my life, but at the moment I was having fun and as it went on we started getting more serious about it. When I quit going to college that was it.

Shaddix: That was it for all of us. “Jerry quit college, we better f—ing do this.” But even at that point our expectations were just go around the country in a van trying to build up our fan base and doing it that way. And obviously it turned out a lot different. And we’re very fortunate, very grateful, but it’s nice to know that all of this hard work has paid off and we finally get to do the live album and start a new chapter.

Are these five new songs the future of Papa Roach?

Horton: It’s all of them. There are a couple of songs that are classic Papa Roach, a couple of songs that are more adventurous in the electronic area.

Shaddix: ‘Burn’ and ‘Kick in the teeth’ got that electroclash to them, and ‘One Track Mind’ and ‘The Enemy’ have some classic Papa Roach to them and then ‘No Matter What’ has the softer side of us … I think that within the five songs, that’s the direction of where we’re headed and it’s three different directions. But somehow it all fits; somehow it all fits. But I’m definitely excited about traveling down the path of a little bit more electronic kind of beats and loops and some synths in our music, ’cause we’re always gonna be a four-piece that f—ing rocks. But it kicks down new walls and explore new territories, so I think that will be really fun.

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