Track-By-Track: Papa Roach
Tue, 03 Feb 2015 10:25:07
Papa Roach have built one of the year's best rock records with F.E.A.R. (Face Everything And Rise) [iTunes link]. It's locked and loaded with massive anthems and a whole lot of emotion that practically bubbles over. Given its scope, each track demands individual attention and time. They all stick with you!
So, ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino spoke to Papa Roach frontman Jacoby Shaddix about F.E.A.R. (Face Every And Rise) in-depth going through the album track-by-track for this feature.
"When I heard the music for that song, I was like, 'I have to work on this'. There were a few other things being worked on at the time, but when I heard that one, I put everything else aside and said, 'This one's special'. It's got the trap vibe mixed in with the rock and electronic elements as well as the song's anthemic nature. It came in during the last four tracks of the record. I had a song called 'Face Everything and Rise' from the beginning, but it didn't find its place. After hearing the music, I thought, 'There it is! You've revealed yourself'. What is 'Face Everything And Rise'? Well, I am a fighter. I am a survivor. That's who I am. It's about how in the darkness we find that shred of hope. I wanted to create this visual space we're in during the verses. Living in Las Vegas, this is what I saw. You see this giant casino where everybody's having fun and living the high life. Right around the corner outside, there's a bum shaking from DTs, and people are walking by him like he doesn't exist. That's this fucking place. I'm in recovery so I was hanging with a lot of people fighting for their lives during the process of making this record. I was around young men who were two days or two weeks sober. They are the types of people I was around early in the day. I took those experiences of people being at the bottom and finding peace. In the process of living there, I saw some of these young men's lives slowly turn around. I saw that brokenness healed in others and myself. I took those experiences and put them straight into the music. Put me in any situation, I'll be alright. Throw me to the wolves. They could tear me apart, and I'll still walk away fine. I don't give a fuck what it is. There's a higher purpose for Papa Roach than me just getting on stage and screaming. I've seen the power of the music in writing The Connection. That record saved my life. If you just hold on through the darkest hour, that light comes from."
"That comes from a place of secrets. You're only as sick as your secrets are. As I'm living this dark life, I tend to shut people out and build this wall between me and them by not reaching back out. If they call me, I don't call them back. If I'm up to no good, I start to isolate. I build this wall around myself. I find myself in this prison, which is not a healthy place to be. There's a comfort for me in isolation, but it's a dysfunction. I have to realize we've all got our issues, skeletons, and secrets. I always find freedom when I bare everything in myself and all of the darkness. If I get enough strength to break down this wall and be honest, I can be part of. Stylistically, I wanted the song to have this snaking groove to it. It's got a tortured vibe to it, but the chorus is so uplifting and epic. That's one of my favorites."
"Broken As Me"
"It really fits. It's like the partner to 'Skeletons'. It's about forgiveness. If I walk around this world with all of these resentments, grudges, and this hatred, there's no freedom. I'm in a prison of judgment. I've found that people who have wronged me, whether it be family members, people in this business, or past friends, I have to understand they're human and nobody's perfect. Maybe they have some demons they're dealing with or the same fucking problems I've got? It comes from that broken relationship. You're trying to mend it with some forgiveness."
"That's my call out. I have my spiritual life, and that's been an evolution for me over the last few years. I tried my life my way. I had to try it a different way. This could be about anyone. It could be about somebody in your life who shows you a way out of this desperation and dark place. At the end of the day, love is king. That saved me from the bottomless pit of despair and that cycle. Being clean on the road and finding clarity in my life for almost three years showed me what really works in my life. I don't have to wake up and regret everything. It's about learning how to let people love me. The vulnerability is the beauty."
"Love Me Till It Hurts"
"I always write about love in a twisted sense because of the relationship I have with my life. It's painful because we're hard on each other sometimes. There's something about this lady. We love each other. Even when things get terrible in our relationship, we stick through it. We're there for each other. We've been together for twenty years now. Obviously, you have your high and low points. I'll be in this one for a long time. The record went from being heavy to more melodic and alternative at that point. It was a cool turning point."
"Never Have To Say Goodbye"
"That song came from a real place. I had a friend of mine who died a few years ago. He was one of my sober buddies. He was one of those guys who looked out for me. He really cared for me. He was the dude who would call me and check in on me like, 'Hey bro, how are you doing out there on the road? Are you alright?' Well, I wasn't alright. I was getting fucked up again, and I shut this person out of my life. Then, I got a phone call from a friend that told me he died. I just felt so bad. I wish I could've said goodbye to this guy. He died of a heart attack suddenly. He was like a father figure to me. That really pained me. I don't want to do that to people anymore. I made a commitment to myself—You can't shut people out anymore because you never know."
"We wanted to switch it up. I felt like I should rap on it. It just was that kind of a track. The guys were like, 'You can lay something down, but you've got to make people cry. If your lady hears this, she'd better be pissed at you!' [Laughs] I went for it. I'm vulnerable on this one, and I lay it all out there. I talk about our darkness in a deep sense. To have Maria Brink from In This Moment on the track was perfect. We wanted to do something different with her. There's something very romantic about the chorus and the way the voices fit together. What she brought to the table was exactly what my wife said to me. There's strength in Maria's part. There's courage in my part. That showcases the dynamic of the relationship between my wife and myself. We’re worth it."
"War Over Me"
"This is one of the early tracks we wrote in the process. 'War Over Me' was one of the titles I brought into the process. I didn't want to make a record in Las Vegas, but Kane and Kevin Churko couldn't come to Sacramento. I had to go to Sin City while I was trying to maintain a clean and sober lifestyle. I had to go there with my armor and protection. I was standing in the middle of the good and the bad and sin and salvation. Those elements were tugging at me. Truly, Vegas was the perfect place for me to make this record because it really strengthened me. If I could go out on the road and keep my life together and stay on the right track here in Vegas and enjoy myself, that's it. It's a war out there in this crazy ass world."
"I know there will be temptation in my life. If I'm faithful, I get rewards from that. When I lay down in bed next to my life, my heart isn't pounding a million miles per hour. That's freedom. When I can come home and look at my family and my kids in the face and know that I don't have anything to hide, that's freedom. I've been fighting between the light and the dark for years. I don't have to lie anymore or run these games that I run. The devil can come at you in all kinds of different facets, forms, and faces. It's a struggle out here man. The temptation is real. I go out in this world, do the best I can, and try to help as many people as I can. When I get outside of myself, I find freedom."
"We got the homie Royce da 5'9" on the track, and he killed it. He laid a little spitfire in the middle of the song. I'm a big fan of his. What he did with Eminem on Bad Meets Evil's Hell: The Sequel got me back into hip-hop. We are the warriors, man. When Papa Roach's crowd gets together, we're fighting for our lives. This is real. I can't wait for the moment when our fans are chanting that. I just feel it."
What's your favorite new Papa Roach song?
See our review of the album here!
Get the album on iTunes!