Papa Roach’s Jacoby Shaddix on Being an Underdog, the UPROAR Tour and His Relationship With Randy Blythe
Papa Roach frontman Jacoby Shaddix had a health scare earlier this summer when he disclosed that a node was forming on his vocal cords, but to hear him speak today, everything seems to be under control. The hyperkinetic, body-jacking vocalist is ready to unleash his all as the Rockstar Energy Drink UPROAR Festival sets to kick off later this week.
Noisecreep spoke with Jacoby from his home in Northern California about the tour and Papa Roach’s upcoming album. Since he knows that Papa Roach will be followed each night of the upcoming tour by Godsmack, Staind and Shinedown, he knows he and the band need to bring the big guns out.
Jacoby, this is the calm before the storm – what do you do right before a big tour like this?
My checklist is basically to spend some quality time with my wife and two sons [ages 10 and 7]. That’s number one on the list. That helps me keep my head centered – helps keep it in a positve headspace. I love where I am at in my life. This business is laden with so many negative people and negative attitudes – it’s like you’ve gotta always be a fighter – it’s so dog eat dog fight, but I’m willing to fight to keep my place in the crazy ass business because I love my family and I love my band.
This October, your new album The Connection is being released and its first single [“Still Swingin'”] is already a hit. You guys must be getting impatient to get the record out.
Dude… dude! This is the best project to date! Our best record period. We topped ourselves on this one – it encompasses all things about this band and we went back in he vault and listened and listened to all of our styles and themes to figure out where we were headed and we nailed it, dude. This is a wear your heart on your sleeve, honest, vulnerable record that give one a sense of hope in the darkness. It’s adventurous as hell, we laid all these grooves down that are sick, dirty, slinky – there’s some hip-hop, more keyboards than before, sound loops, textures – it’s dynamic, diverse and vulnerable. That is Papa Roach. Dude, we started in 1993 in a garage. In 2000 we got popular and we are still still popular — fucking A. We have never sounded better.
The album cover is really impressive. How did that artwork come about?
This time around with the imaging we wanted to switch things up. So Jerry my guitar player found this amazing artist Android Jones. He’d done an image we really wanted but he had commissioned it to someone else. So we said let’s do something original, and so we did. We wanted a them built around four things: the biological, the spiritual, the electrical and the digital to represent all of the elements of the record. And so the dude broke it down. I mean, is that not the most amazing album cover?
You’re playing before some pretty big bands this year on UPROAR.
I love it. The underdog slot, right before the big dogs. We want people to walk away after us and remember Papa Roach. I need that to happen. So it will happen. We will make this memorable. It’s a great slot for us right now. It will push us.
Jacoby, was there an early concert you saw that really moved you?
My first show was Poison, dude! It was awesome. But the shows that really killed for me, when I was like 16, was first seeing the Deftones in a small club. That was sick. Then the other one – the big one -was when 311 and Korn played together. another club show. It was packed to the gills. Off the chain! That did it for me. I said, ‘Dude, I am doing this.’
Finally, Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe is finally out of prison and is now home. You know each other, right?
I’m good friends with Randy. We’ve been emailing each other since he got home. It’s awesome that he is home but what is more special is just how the dude is handling everything. We can all just learn so much from this guy. As front men, we all have to be resilient. We carry a lot on our backs. We are the ones at the front line. But it’s like Friedrich Nietzsche said, you know, ‘What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.’ Randy has taught m so many lessons the last few weeks, just by all of the inner strength he has shown. I am very proud of my friend. He is a hell of a man, believe me.
Watch ‘Papa Roach’s 5 Favorite Places to Play’ Video
Catch Papa Roach on the UPROAR tour w/ Shinedown, Godsmack, Staind, Adelitas Way, P.O.D., Deuce, Fozzy, Redlight King, Mindset Evolution, In This Moment, Thousand Foot Krutch & Candlelight Red:
Friday, 8/17 Kansas City, MO Capitol Federal Park at Sandstone *
Saturday, 8/18 Little Rock, AR Arkansas State Fairgrounds (KDJE Radio Show) *
Sunday, 8/19 St. Louis, MO Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre **
Tuesday, 8/21 Grand Rapids, MI Rock The Rapids (downtown) main stage bands only
Wednesday, 8/22 Chicago, IL First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre *
Friday, 8/24 Holmdel, NJ PNC Bank Arts Center *
Saturday, 8/25 Syracuse, NY TBA
Sunday, 8/26 Mansfield, MA Comcast Center *
Tuesday, 8/28 Scranton, PA Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain *
Wednesday, 8/29 Buffalo, NY Darien Lake Performing Arts Center **
Friday, 8/31 Pittsburgh, PA First Niagara Pavilion *
Saturday, 9/1 Saratoga, NY Saratoga Performing Arts Center *
Sunday, 9/2 Bristow, VA Jiffy Lube Live *
Wednesday, 9/5 Simpsonville, SC Charter Amphitheatre at Heritage Park *
Friday, 9/7 Detroit, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre ***
Saturday, 9/8 Noblesville, IN Klipsch Music Center ****
Sunday, 9/9 Cleveland, OH Blossom Music Center ***
Tuesday, 9/11 Raleigh, NC Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion at Walnut Creek ***
Wednesday, 9/12 Atlanta, GA Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood ***
Thursday, 9/13 Tampa, FL 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre ***
Saturday, 9/15 Houston, TX Woodlands Pavilion ****
Sunday, 9/16 Dallas, TX Gexa Energy Pavilion ***
Tuesday, 9/18 Denver, CO Comfort Dental Amphitheater *****
Wednesday, 9/19 Salt Lake City, UT USANA Amphitheatre ***
Friday, 9/21 Spokane, WA Greyhound Park and Events Center ***
Saturday, 9/22 Auburn, WA White River Amphitheatre ***
Sunday, 9/23 Portland, OR Sleep Country Amphitheater ***
Tuesday, 9/25 Boise, ID Idaho Center Amphitheater ***
Saturday, 9/29 Phoenix, AZ Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion ****
Sunday, 9/30 Albuquerque, NM Hard Rock Casino Presents: The Pavilion ****
*Thousand Foot Krutch will not be performing at this show
**Fozzy and Thousand Foot Krutch will not be performing at this show
***In This Moment will not be performing at this show
****In This Moment and Thousand Foot Krutch will not be performing at this show
*****Fozzy, Redlight King and In This Moment will not be performing at this show