Papa Roach Frontman Finds Charity That Hits Close to Home
Multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated Papa Roach have partnered with World Hunger Year to continue their mission to raise funds and awareness for organizations who are working toward finding answers to hunger, poverty and homelessness.
The cause is one that’s close to lead singer Jacoby Shaddix’s heart. Shaddix even revealed to Noisecreep that his family was homeless during the first year of his life.
“I see a picture of me in my crib with like an apple box,” Shaddix said, calling from a tour stop in Abilene, Texas. “It was kind of funny to look back at that. It was the ’70s, so living in the tent wasn’t as frowned upon as it is now. We lived in a tent for a while. It sounds kind of funny, but we also lived in a teepee for a while. I come from very meager beginnings. Then as I grew up, my family came into the middle class. I’ve experienced all different living styles, if you will.
“Plus, I believe, 55 to 65 [percent] of our homeless population are war veterans — either Vietnam War veterans, Korean War veterans, Iraq War veterans, Desert Storm War veterans, Kosovo. It’s like there’s no after care for our soldiers. My father was a Vietnam veteran. He brought home a lot of wreckage in his head and a lot of baggage, a lot of issues. Ultimately, that led to the split of my family and my family falling apart. My father has been — at different points in his life — homeless. I’ve offered help, but he’s a proud man. He’s not homeless now. He’s doing alright. He’s got himself a girlfriend who takes care of him. He’s got a sugar momma.”
But after doing a fund-raiser for Sacramento Loaves and Fishes, Shaddix and the rest of his band wondered how they could raise awareness and monies on a larger scale.
“We started doing research as a band and found World Hunger Year to be the most effective group in America,” Shaddix said. “We looked at, ‘All right. What are other musicians doing? Who are they working with?’ We found out some big names were involved in World Hunger Year.”
Papa Roach’s partnership with WHY will feature an auction in their tour markets where fans bid on an exclusive experience, including an interview with the band, side-stage tickets, sound check access and much more — with all proceeds going to WHY. Visit www.paparoach.com for more information and to bid on items. In addition to raising money, Papa Roach will build awareness from the stage and visit local food banks and homeless shelters to lend their support.
“So far, just in the last two and a half weeks, we’ve put over 10,000 meals on tables in cities that we’ve been through where people are donating money via text,” said Shaddix whose band is on tour through Dec. 16.
Shaddix said meeting fans through the auction packages has been an eye-opening experience.
“For example, these kids, their mother bought the tickets for them and they had no idea,” Shaddix said with a laugh. “Their parents brought them early to the show. They had no idea what was happening. They walked into the club, ‘Oh my god, we’re going to see Papa Roach!’ They watched sound check. It was all a surprise. They came on the tour bus and we just sat on the bus and had just shot the shit. They didn’t know they were supposed to interview us. They asked us questions and we told them funny stories, and just kind of let them inside the world for a minute. They were tripping. It brightens up our day too.”
Shaddix said it’s now his goal in life to help others the way that folks have aided him.
“The more that I learn about the world and its wicked ways, and its crooked architects and designers, I just aggravated me and pissed me off,” Shaddix said. “I had enough of it and I just want to do something positive. My music is the service to the people but how do I become more ‘of service’ to people. That’s a path I’m tripping on right now. I want to become more of service to fellow human beings. I’m trying to instill that in my kids right now, who are 7 and 5.
“For example, it was around Halloween and [my son] had all these extra Halloween pencils that he was going to give out. Candy and pencils — that’s what we gave out. He said, ‘I want to take these to school and give them to all the kids in my class.’ ‘That’s f—ing awesome’ — I didn’t say that to him. That was just the coolest shit. The kids were like, ‘Thank you for the pencils. That was so cool.’ He got all welled up. I said, ‘I want you to understand that it feels good to get things but it also feels good to give things.’ He’s starting to understand that concept. That’s the way I was raised–that’s just through my music and through my life is to just be a positive energy source.”