Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ Papa Roach

Papa Roach

“Ultimately, it’s what we do with our fear that shapes who we become. I believe fear is a bit of a sickness that centres in our minds that stifles us from a lot of personal growth. If we overcome our fears, we always get to a better place and can see a better version of ourselves.”


On January 27, Papa Roach will celebrate the 15th anniversary of their triple-platinum album Infest by releasing their eighth album F.E.A.R (Face Everything And Rise). Ahead of its release, A Music Blog, Yea? had the opportunity of giving the band’s frontman Jacoby Shaddix a call to discuss temptations while recording in Las Vegas, creating anthemic and uplifting songs, pursing a career in music, and a message to their fans. Enjoy:

AMBY: Hey Jacoby, thanks for speaking with A Music Blog, Yea? today.

Papa Roach: Thanks very much, Alicia.

AMBY: It’s my pleasure. You’re soon celebrating the 15th anniversary of your record Infest by releasing your eighth record F.E.A.R. First off, fifteen years is a long time and every album you’ve released has been so solid – congrats on everything.

Papa Roach: We really appreciate it. It’s been quite the labour of love over the past fifteen years.

AMBY: You release the album in January and then embark on a UK Tour shortly afterwards, but what does the band have in store to celebrate the record’s release?

Papa Roach: We’re doing a co-headlining touring with Seether in America and are very excited about that because we’re playing a lot of major markets; we’re coming through New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Texas. It’s going to be great to play the new material live and that’s exciting for us. We’re very happy with the material we wrote on this record and I think it’s going to be awesome to play it on stage.

AMBY: You made the record in Las Vegas, which I know you were slightly wary of at first. Did that atmosphere or location have an impact on the creation of the record at all or your mind set?

Papa Roach: Most definitely, it had a huge impact on the creation of the record. We went there with not much material written at all – we just had a chorus written – and showed up to this city which has some of my greatest failures… I wanted to go to Vegas and do it right this time. I think going to a city with so many distractions gave me an opportunity to face that by showing up and committing myself to this music by grinding every day until we had a record that we truly believed in. It made me very focused on the creative process so I would stay out of trouble. It was a great experience and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m so grateful that that’s where we did the record.

AMBY: Funny enough, I guess that location gave you the opportunity to face everything and rise.

Papa Roach: [laughs] Exactly. You know what I’m saying. As funny as that pun is, it’s just so true.

AMBY: You mentioned how you went into the studio with barely anything written. Did you find the method of walking into the studio with nothing worked better for the band?

Papa Roach: It made it different. I think the spontaneity really helped along the process of the record because it was always a constant progression and evolution in the writing. There were three different studio set-ups going on; there was one in the house and two at the recording studio. There was always something new to listen to and there was a constant creative momentum happening and I think that really helped shape the kind of record that it is.

AMBY: The lyrics on the album are very uplifting and that’s something that Papa Roach have always specialized in; from Infest with a song like Last Resort to tracks on the new record, you give fans a sense of hope with the idea that they aren’t the only ones feeling alone or afraid. With that said, why was the opposite of hope, F.E.A.R., initially chosen as the album’s title?

Papa Roach: Ultimately, it’s what we do with our fear that shapes who we become. I believe fear is a bit of a sickness that centres in our minds that stifles us from a lot of personal growth. If we overcome our fears, we always get to a better place and can see a better version of ourselves. We take that negative and turn it into a positive. You know what I mean?

AMBY: Absolutely.

Papa Roach: I find that once I work through my personal demons and fears, I always come out on the other side like a better person.

AMBY: One thing that’s great is how Papa Roach have paved the way for many bands that we hear on the radio today. A lot of our readers are in up and coming bands, what advice would you give to fans of yours who want to peruse a career in music?

Papa Roach: Be prepared to be broke at some time. We struggled from paycheck to paycheck for many years as a rock band and as musicians and that eventually changed for us… but I feel people should do it for the love of music. When musicians get in the game for fame and money, I don’t know man; it all seems so false for me. I’m always drawn towards musicians and writers who do it because it’s in their soul. Be prepared to struggle for a while, because through struggle comes greatness.

AMBY: Speaking of those fans, you’re constantly interacting with your fanbase. Whether you’re telling them about new releases or asking them if they “prefer pumpkin or pecan pie”, it really shows that you care about them all. So to wrap things up, to your fans who will be reading this interview, what would you like to say to them all?

Papa Roach: We love them. Straight up. We love every last one of them. We appreciate their support over all of these years. If you’re a new fan, welcome to the family. If you’ve been with us from the start, thanks for sticking with us. That’s why we do this – sometimes there are a lot of hours out there on the road that get lonely and it’s tough to be away from our families, but when we step on stage and see the reaction from our fans, that makes it all worth it. We’re so grateful for our fans and what they’ve done for us.

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Thank you Papa Roach, for giving us your answers!

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Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout

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