Relentlessly energetic rock quartet Papa Roach are always thinking ahead to their next gig, but to mark the release of their fifth album Metamorphosis – which hits stores tomorrow – they first decided to take a look back, and celebrate ten years of throwing down some of the wildest rock shows in the business. Frontman Jacoby Shaddix talks about the new album, touring and more in an exclusive interview after the jump!
The band decided the best way to commemorate this ten-year milestone would be to play intimate gigs at clubs that held historic significance for the band – a smart move that had fans from coast to coast clamoring for a limited supply of tickets. Although those gigs, as well as their acclaimed main-stage performances at Crüe Fest, represented most fans' first taste of the new songs, singles like Lifeline and Hollywood Whore have had the web buzzing for months... and despite the release of Metamorphosis being pushed back from last fall, it's well worth the wait.
With admittedly big shoes to fill after the phenomenal success of 2006's The Paramour Sessions, the new material pushes their dynamic in new directions – and benefits from a more organic, less polished (but still musically tight) sound that draws equally from punk, thrash and progressive rock, all the while remaining consistent with the raw power the band brings to their explosive live performances.
One look at their 2009 itinerary will tell you these dudes literally never stop touring... it's a point of pride for them, really. Knowing that, it was a stroke of luck for us to borrow a few moments from Jacoby, who told us more about the making of the new album, about looking back to the band's roots, and ahead to a very busy future.
FEARnet: The first of your 10th Anniversary shows was held at the Troubadour in LA. What's the historical significance of this club for the band?
Jacoby: We chose to do the club show at the Troubadour because it was that very stage that got us signed 10 years ago. Ironically, our new drummer Tony Palermo did lights for us the night we landed a deal! It's definitely a staple in Papa Roach history.
How did those two special shows turn out?
The shows went great! We've been touring arenas and sheds since summer of '08, so it was nice to play a couple intimate gigs for the fans. The shit was off the chain.
Metamorphosis was originally slated to street last fall. What was the reason for moving the release to this month?
We wanted to have the right setup. We actually finished the record on the road while we were on Crüe Fest, in different studios across the country. It was different for us, but it was a cool experience... we pushed ourselves to the limits and came out with something we're really proud of.
The album title, and songs like Change Or Die suggest you've gone through a transformation... what changed the most with this release?
It's really a compilation of our progression through out the past 10 years. We've been through a lot of changes – new drummer, new management, new issues, social awareness, etc... Metamorphosis is our rock record of the decade.
The new tracks sound more spontaneous, less “produced,” and really capture the energy of your live sound. Is that something you set out to do?
Yeah... we went in with producer Jay Baumgardner, who did our first record Infest. We wanted to keep it dynamic, yet simple and raw. We are always challenging ourselves musically and wanted to make a record that wasn't too polished, but was still accessible. Jay helped us get the core of the songs down, and all of the great tones. We also pulled in James Michael from Sixx A.M. for some co-production; we were on Crüe Fest together and we hit it off. He's a great producer, but also an artist, so it was cool throwing ideas back and forth.
You've brought together a wider variety of musical styles on this album. Was that also intentional, or did this just naturally happen as part of the collaborative process?
It's a combination of both. We've always tried to change it up; we like the challenge of keeping it fresh. When we came out with Last Resort, we hit it big and wrote a classic; we didn't want to make a parody of ourselves, so instead of pigeonholing Papa Roach, we've always tried to expand. We go with what we're feeling at the moment, no matter how different it may be... we are musical whores! If you stay close-minded, you just deny yourself the endless possibilities.
What was it like working with Crüe's Mick Mars on the track Into the Light?
It was crazy! Mick is a really cool guy, funnier than shit. We asked Mick if he'd be into it, and he was like, "Really? I'd love to!" I was thinking to myself: Holy shit, Mick mars is going to play on our record... and he's excited about it! He came in, laid down his signature style and killed it!
Now that you've reached such a landmark, what's next on your agenda?
Tour our asses off for the next 2 years! I guarantee if you come see Papa Roach live, you will be converted. We really pride ourselves on our live show... it's what we are made for.