Interview: Papa Roach
Mon, 16 Nov 2009 08:50:35
Papa Roach have always had a sense of humor. Singer Jacoby Shaddix is known for cracking jokes in between songs, and wildin' out every time the band hits the stage—giving fans just a little bit more fun than your average hard rockers do.
However, that comedic sensibility is at its sharpest on "Hollywood Whore" from their latest album, Metamorphosis. Smiling, guitarist Jerry Horton explains, "That song just has a cool vibe. It's sinister, and it's also groovy. The lyrics have a very slight comedic value, and that's one of my favorites on the record because of that!"
The band has embraced their brighter side in some ways on Metamorphosis, injecting a live rock n' roll energy into each and every song and the aforementioned tongue-in-cheek jibe here and there. That's one of the reasons why the album is the band's best, illuminating their growth into an undeniable rock n' roll beast.
Jerry spoke to ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino about how deep Metamorphosis goes, finding inspiration in classic vinyl and the cinematic qualities of Papa Roach. Catch them on tour with JET now…
Would you say that Metamorphosis is your deepest record?
I would say that! We sort of took that lead step on the last record, Paramour Sessions, but I think we really nailed what we were going for this time around. We wanted to make a really diverse and deep record with peaks and valleys. The goal was to create a record that people would want to listen to as a whole and not just skip around on songs that they like.
Metamorphosis feels connected from song-to-song.
I'm totally happy that you feel that way. That's what we're going for. We want to hear that people are still into it!
Is the whole album like one singular piece of music for you?
Yeah, definitely…obviously we wrote the individual songs at different times and they're all about different things. When we were making Metamorphosis, we were listening to a lot of classic records—a lot of vinyl. With vinyl, you just let the record play after you put it on. You don't just skip to a certain song. When the side's done, you turn it over and that's it. That's how we wanted this album to go—we wanted people to put it on and listen. I'm happy with the end result!
What were you listening to while you were making Metamorphosis?
Physical Graffiti and Dark Side of the Moon—real classic records. We also got into The Meters, Sharon Jones and more funky and soulful stuff that creates a vibe. That also had an influence on Metamorphosis. It wasn't that we were looking for inspiration as far as the music goes, it was more about creating a piece that stands on its own and isn't simply picked apart as a song here and there.
As a guitar player, that must've been really fun. How do you feel like your playing has evolved?
On this record, we were concentrating more on taking it back to the guitar riff—as well as melodies and harmonies. When there's no vocals and there's an interesting guitar part, people latch onto it. That's obviously part of why "Last Resort" was so popular—the riff. Not to say that we were going back to the sound of the first record or anything, it's just the idea that we needed good riffs on all the songs. Our bass player Tobin had a lot of stuff written on his computer. Some of the songs weren't even intended for Papa Roach but they were so good that we were like, "Dude, c'mon let's do that! Let's make it a song!" The prime example of that is "Carry Me." It was all midi and we transposed it, and it sounded even better. Stuff like that gave the record dimension. Going back to the riff, some of it was already written and some of it we did on the spot. For "Change or Die," Tony and I were playing together, and it sort of came out. We were just jamming and bouncing ideas off of each other. That was another part of what made this whole experience different and great.
If this record were a movie, what would it be?
My question is, have you asked that question before?
I have, not to you guys though…
No, I know that [Laughs]. Have you stumped people? Because I may have to ask for help on that one…
For me, there's an Apocalypse Now vibe to this record…
I would go along with that actually!
There's an emotional journey, but it's flanked by all of these guitar and drum explosions.
I have to commend you! That's pretty spot-on.
Thank you, Jerry! Do you feel like the concept of that journey comes through in your playing?
That's something we go for in everything that we do. It's always about journey. We want people to feel that in the record. We want them to feel that in our live set and even in a song. We want there to be dynamics. You can be loud, but if you're loud all the time, people don't realize that you're loud. If you're quiet for a minute, and then you're loud, there's a difference. We got what we wanted with this album.
Check out Rick Florino's new novel Dolor available now for FREE here…