Papa Roach on their longevity and new album ‘Who Do You Trust?’
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Rap-rock, alternative rock and nu metal are just some of the many musical genres Papa Roach has been pinned to. The boys of the band insist they can’t be encapsulated in only one, and they’re back to prove that with their upcoming album, Who Do You Trust?
The California-based rockers are best-known for their breakthrough hit Last Resort. The suicide-prevention anthem launched the band into nearly instant fame back in 2000.
With more than 20 million albums sold worldwide, three Grammy nominations, 17 Top 5 singles and soon to be 10 studio albums under their belt, Papa Roach truly lives up to its name, and shows no signs of going away.
(L-R) Tony Palermo, Jacoby Shaddix, Jerry Horton and Tobin Esperance of Papa Roach visit SiriusXM Studios on May 17, 2017 in New York City.
The four-piece have been taking names since 1993 and saw success and a great resurgence with their latest offering, Crooked Teeth (2017).
Before embarking on a South American tour, the band stopped in Canada to promote Who Do You Trust? Frontman Jacoby Shaddix and drummer Tony Palermo sat down with Global News to discuss the new record before an exclusive listening party at Toronto’s Live Nation lounge.
Global News: How’s the reception on the album so far?
Jacoby Shaddix: It’s great. We just did a listening session in Coney Island, baby! People f**king loved the record. In a sense, playing new music for the first time in front of people is always like standing in front of the classroom naked. It’s exciting, but it’s mainly nerve-wracking, because people are judging you.
Do you feel like there’s a lot of pressure on this tenth album?
JS: I try to act like there’s no pressure, but yeah, it’s intense.
Tony Palermo: Luckily the last record got a lot of great press and a lot of love. We hope we can get that this time around too. We definitely feel we have an equally good album, if not better, but you can’t really compare them they’re so different. This one is our most eclectic record for sure.
JS: It’s the f**king best s**t yet! Just say it, Tony.
What are some of the themes surrounding Who Do You Trust?
JS: There’s a feeling of nostalgia, but also future f**king P. Roach. Lyrically, it’s the story of the general struggle and how you find peace within these necessary human feelings. Things that we all live at one point in our lives. They unite us. It’s like this odd juxtaposition of maturity and adolescence. I feel that the dichotomy of the record keeps it fresh. Musically, it’s like the most f**king extreme record we’ve ever made.
So it speaks to a hunger to make new music after all these years?
JS: Oh f**k yeah. P. Roach still got it.
TP: It’s almost like a challenge now, but it’s doing what we love. You always hope that you can write a collection of songs that people can vibe on. We’re very fortunate in the sense that we get a lot of love on the radio and from our fans all over the world, it’s both incredible and inspiring.
How do you think you’ve managed to stay relevant with the decline of hard rock and metal?
TP: It’s hard to, because the listeners nowadays have so much to work with. They can only do 10 seconds of a song at a time. So you gotta try and capture the listener. I feel that we still do that.
JS: With great music and an even better live show. Something that’s been an integral part of our careers. When we get up there and play these hits, people go, “Oh f**k, I remember that from that year,” so we’re now shaping up to be one of those legacy bands. We’re becoming the soundtrack for some of these people’s lives and continue to do so. We look at our demographic now and know there’s a future for P. Roach, because it’s still thriving with this youth culture. It’s all kids in the front row. Most of them probably weren’t even born when our s**t dropped.
TP: There’s old guys chilling at the back so they can get their $18 beer. [Laughs]
Tony Palermo of the Papa Roach performs at Mercury Ballroom on April 24, 2018 in Louisville, Kent.
Papa Roach has come a long way since 1993, how do you feel about your career as a whole?
JS: We’ve had our moments when we weren’t so successful, but that’s just art and commerce. You have to take risks. You can’t hit the mark every time. On our last album, Crooked Teeth, we really struck a chord with not only the fans, but the industry. People were like, “Oh s**t, what’s Papa Roach doing? That’s dope.”
We turned a lot of heads and it brought us a lot of great opportunities. It feels like there’s a momentum around what we’re doing again. We’re gonna go out there and work our asses off and rock the people. It’s just a matter of whether the people are connecting with it. But our new single, Who Do You Trust? is banging up the charts. People are really digging it. So even being here talking to the folks in Canada is really important to us. It’s a market we continually try to keep breaking. I mean, we had our first No. 1 song with Help in a while. That’s a really good sign up here.
TP: That’s because we got all the program directors drunk. [Laughs] Nah, we’d invite them backstage after all the shows. They were all hyped on the shows so we’d show them some new music.
JS: It was a cool thing to actually get some face time and create a fellowship with people in the music biz. We don’t want to just be a name on a piece of paper or a pitch. We want to get people invested.
(L-R) Jerry Horton and Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach perform in concert at Razzmatazz on Oct. 14, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain.
So what can Canadian fans expect in the near future?
TP: More lights! [Laughs]
JS: Yes, more lights. We’re going to blind them. [Laughs] But a grade-A f**king rock show, it’s not rocket science. We’re actually in the process of putting together our Canadian run too, so that’s definitely in the cards. It’s all being built right now.
TP: Expect to come to the show and just forget about everything else. You’ll have a kick-a** time. That’s what the people need right now. There’s too much negative energy around nowadays.
What are the plans after the album drops?
TP: January essentially starts the next chapter of Papa Roach. It kicks it all off.
JS: 2020 is also the 20-year anniversary of our first major album, Infest, so we’re gonna do some really cool stuff around that. The next few years are gonna be really f**king exciting.
TP: Daunting, but exciting.
Do you guys see yourself as role models?
JS: Man, that’s an interesting dynamic. I’ve failed and f**ked up, while doing some wild-a** s**t.
TP: A lot of that is pre-social media though, thankfully. [Laughs] So there’s no proof on Instagram stories or anything like that. [Laughs]
JS: Thank God I was insane before social media. [Laughs] But as far as that goes, being a father really changed how I present myself. Besides that, I never intended to assume the responsibility of somebody’s role model, it’s a tricky dynamic.
TP: But you do through the lyrics.
JS: Yeah, that was originally just a way for me to find sanity, but fortunately there’s a lot of people who relate and connect.
The music does it for you. It teaches lessons, don’t you think?
JS: Right! Just don’t do what I did. [Laughs]
Papa Roach performs a concert at Rockefeller in Oslo, Norway on Oct. 23, 2017.
Who Do You Trust? will be released under the Eleven Seven Music label on Jan. 18.
The latest singles Who Do You Trust? and Renegade Music are now available to listen on all streaming platforms.
[This interview has been edited and condensed.]
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