PAPA ROACH Bassist: 'We're Artists And We Grow And We Want To Try New Things'
May 9, 2011
Shannon Joy of the LA Music Blog recently conducted an interview with PAPA ROACH bassist Tobin Esperance. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
LA Music Blog: "Time for Annihilation" was released late last year and is actually PAPA ROACH's first live album. As a band that's been performing now for nearly two decades, how has there not been a live effort already?
Tobin: I don't know; that's a good question. I think the timing was perfect though, for us to kind of do like a decade of PAPA ROACH, to celebrate the fact that "Infest" came out in 2000. In 2010, a lot has changed and we were just kind of transitioning. We had just finished our contract with Geffen at Interscope, and we were making a move to go independent, so I think that signaled a good time to kinda just show everything that we had done in the past and get a little bit of a taste for what we're doing in the present. And definitely, the new songs have a new sound, so it kind of gives the future like the past, present, and future of PAPA ROACH.
LA Music Blog: You recently changed labels to Eleven Seven Music. Now aside from the label being home to a lot of your peers, like BUCKCHERRY and SIXX: A.M., what brought on the change of scenery?
Tobin: We just wanted to get the fuck away from the major labels! They're just too complicated; they couldn't really get shit done. They're so one-dimensional in how they approach things, and it was about the time that we took control. We had learned a lot over the years, and we had built a fan base and respect all over. It was time to take control of our own music and our business and be more hands-on. It was time to work with people who were going to listen to us without it being a big deal. So when the time came for us to transition, we were like, "Sign me up! Let's get the fuck out of here and build this all on our own!" and that's how it should be. Some bands just need to be in control of their own destiny.
LA Music Blog: The band's sound has definitely changed quite a bit over the last decade or so. Do you still enjoy the music you made in the early years?
Tobin: There's something about the things that we've done, and the people that we were back then, and the things that we were going through, and what those songs mean to other people that's what's most important. But you know, I'm sure that in some ways, we're completely different people than we were when we wrote songs that we wrote 15 or 10 years ago. So it's more like we just kind of move on. I know that I do, as far as being a songwriter goes. I'm into other things, other styles of music, and I'm approaching songwriting in a different way than I was ten years ago. But there's something really special about channeling that energy that we had when we were a lot younger, and I think we do a good job of that. I'd be lying if I said, "Oh, I love playing 'Last Resort' over and over again, all the time, and the same old songs that we wrote fifteen years ago, and I just want to keep writing songs just like that." We're artists and we grow and we want to try new things, but I think we always have a very good balance, and we always maintain the essence of PAPA ROACH.