JACOBY SHADDIX: PAPA ROACH's Goal Is To Try To Stay' Musically 'Current, But Also Stay Authentic'

June 16, 2024

In a new interview with The Rockman Power Hour, PAPA ROACH frontman Jacoby Shaddix discussed the band's musical evolution and constant need for reinvention. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It's been a wild ride, and we've had some dark ages in PAPA ROACH through the years. And when we came with that album, 'Crooked Teeth', that single 'Help' was on it, and it just catapulted us back into this new space again. And we started working with these two producers, some younger producers, on that album. We really made a concerted effort. We were, like, 'Dude, we've worked with all the greats, some of the greatest rock producers, Brendan O'Brien, Howard Benson, to name a couple.' And I was, like, 'All right, we learned a lot from them, but where do we go?' And for us, it was, like, 'All right, let's go find the underground young talent,' because we've learned so much in making records that we know what we've gotta do when we go in there. And so it was nice to have this fresh blood that was just, like, 'Yo, let's shake this thing up and let's reinvent.' And we're, like, 'That's what we're talking about. That's the energy.' 'Cause sometimes you'd be in a room with a producer and have an idea and they're just, like, 'Oh, that's never been done before. And I'm, like, 'Yeah, that's never been done with us. We need to go try it.' There was this adventurous spirit that was in the room that we're, like, 'Finally. These guys get it.'

"It's been a great run for us, the last few years, and just continually trying to shake this thing up and come with something that feels authentic, but yet pushing into new territory," he continued. "And, yeah, on this last record, we did have four No. 1 singles, and that really blows my mind, especially that we are the record company. It was a bold, brave move for us. But we were ready for that move. And to make music that is still connecting in a real and authentic way is — it's what I imagined when I was a young kid in this weird way. I've always been a big fan of FAITH NO MORE and RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS. Especially RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS have really done a great job of taking their fans on this journey with them. And that was a goal for us — to try to stay current, but also stay authentic. Not current and generic — current and authentic. And it's a challenge, man. I'm up for it.

"We just went into the studio and we've got eight more songs right now. And I'm, like, 'Oh, just wait. We've got fire in the hole, dude.' I can't wait to just light the cannon."

Regarding how he deals with calls from some PAPA ROACH fans to return to a more "old-school" sound, Jacoby said: "I've got a funny story for you. Throughout our years, people have always been, like, 'Oh, why don't you go back to your old-school style?' And I'm, like, 'Okay, we've been around, we've been doing this thing for 20-plus years.' I've gotta ask them, like, 'What's old-school PAPA ROACH to you?' And they're, like, 'Oh, well, that album 'The Connection', that's old school.' Because they became a fan of PAPA ROACH in 2010. So old school to one PAPA ROACH fan can be 2010 PAPA ROACH, or another one could be the year 2000 PAPA ROACH. Which old school are you talking about? And so it's funny, man. You can't please everybody. And I think that's just fine. I feel like for us, that creative space is to just always try to impress ourselves. I feel if we step in the studio to only make music that's gonna please the fans, I feel like there's no forward progress in that. Some bands can do that and repeat this 'rinse and repeat'. But for me, I'm just, like, 'Ugh…' I can't do it. I think that's another reason why I don't have any side projects, because I scratch all the itches I wanna scratch within PAPA ROACH. We wanna make a record feel like a playlist and not just like the same thing over and over. It's that journey and that discovery in the process of that, that's where the magic lies for me.

"I saw — I think it was Noel Gallagher [OASIS] talking about creativity," Jacoby added. "And he's, like, 'Look at fashion houses, man. Fashion houses don't repeat the same thing. Fashion houses are always progressing what they're doing. And I identify with that. 'Cause it's, like, I wanna keep progressing what I'm doing and evolving. And sometimes we fall flat on our face and our fans don't get it. And then sometimes we're wildly successful, but I think that that risk is… Therein lies some of the magic, is in that risk."

This past January, PAPA ROACH shared a brand new live version of their hit single "Scars" featuring a guest appearance by Chris Daughtry.

"Scars Featuring Chris Daughtry (Live)" is not only a fresh take on one of the band's biggest hits, but it also serves as the latest release on the band's "Leave A Light On (Talk Away The Dark)" EP.

In February, PAPA ROACH's "Leave A Light On" became the band's 10th career No. 1, and its fourth from PAPA ROACH's latest album, "Ego Trip", on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Airplay chart.

"Ego Trip" debuted at No. 6 on the Top Hard Rock Albums chart in April 2022.

Previous PAPA ROACH radio hits include "Between Angels And Insects", "Gravity", "Getting Away With Murder", "She Loves Me Not", "Falling Apart", "Help" and "Last Resort".

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