Papa Roach Talks "The Connection", Tour with Stone Sour, and More
Fri, 15 Feb 2013 10:57:11
"I just walked into the back lounge and Tobin's working on a new song," smiles Papa Roach singer Jacoby Shaddix. "I'm about to get my grubby little hands on it and see what I can do."
Papa Roach never stop. They consistently give crowds an ass-kicking night after night on stage, but their studio output proves equally formidable. Most recently, The Connection raised the bar with its masterful mix of heavy metal intensity and rock swagger. It's the ultimate Papa Roach record, and it's already opening up the door to the band's biggest and best chapter.
In the midst of touring with Stone Sour and Otherwise, ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino spoke to Papa Roach frontman Jacoby Shaddix about The Connection, the current tour, and so much more in this exclusive interview.
Did the songs from The Connection instantly translate live for you?
When we were writing this record, that was always on the brain. How are these songs going to pop off live? Even when it came to the tempos, we thought of that. For instance, when we wrote "Still Swingin'," We were like, "We want something you could just jump to! What's the perfect jump tempo?" Tobin just started jumping in the studio, and we tapped out his jump pace. That came from him just jumping in the studio. We wrote a riff around that tempo. Keeping that in mind, I think that's how these songs do translate so well live. We've been playing a bunch of the new songs live, and it's so fun. "Give Me Back My Life" is such a great track live. "Before I Die" is killer live as well. It's refreshing to play this all live.
What does "Before I Die" mean to you?
That came from the depths of despair. I was in a place where I was the most desperate I've ever been in my life. I was not thinking straight. I was a suicidal for a minute. I was out of my head, and I didn't want to live anymore. These things in my life that I'm really grateful for kept flashing through my head. I thought, "These are the things I want to live for before I die—my family, my kids, my wife, my spiritual life, the Papa Roach fans, and this music that's bigger than me." All of those things are what saved me. When I heard the music as Tobin was writing it, I was like, "Oh my God, you're baking my noodle right now! I love this!"
What's your favorite song from The Connection right now?
To be completely honest, I love "Before I Die" and "Where Did the Angels Go?" "Where Did the Angels Go?" is that blistering, riff-roaring heavy rock track. It's got the energy for the mosh pit, and it gets the crowds popping. "Before I Die" takes us to a different place and world. It's so cool to have songs that are so dynamically different but translate so well to our fan base.
You've never made the same record twice.
It'll be interesting to go in and write a record again because me, personally, and this is just me talking not the band, I feel like we landed on something special with this record. The way we mixed the old school and new school elements and where we're at sonically, I want to explore this territory more and more. I don't want to go in and flip up the script instantly. I feel like we're in a zone, and I want to stick there for a minute. It's a very dynamic and diverse sound. There are different passages. I want to take it deeper.
How has the tour with Stone Sour been?
There's definitely a camaraderie amongst everyone on this tour. Those guys are solid guys. We had a Super Bowl party with them. They're great dudes and I enjoy their company.
You've toured with Corey Taylor and Jim Root since OZZfest 2001.
Yeah, we've done some old school tours together! We've done off-dates with Slipknot here and there and festivals through Europe and America. We haven't done a proper tour together in years. It's cool to come back and see how each other was doing and catch up with each other. They're doing well, and we are. It's awesome.
What do you remember from those early shows?
I just remember it was an ill, wild, crazy ass adventure. Everything was new to me. Touring was new to me. The whole lifestyle was new to me. Every day was a new adventure. It was a good time. I had a great time back in the day.
What have you been listening to lately?
I love the new Deftones record. I'm listening to some Lamb of God. I'm listening to a group called Ratatat, Switchfoot, The Wombats, Nine Inch Nails, and Turbonegro. I'm all over the place.
What's your favorite Papa Roach song?