Bryan Reesman of the Attention Deficit Delirium recently conducted an interview with singer Jacoby Shaddix of California rockers PAPA ROACH. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Attention Deficit Delirium: PAPA ROACH recently switched labels from Geffen to Eleven Seven. It seems like your record sales were still pretty decent for a major label band. Wikipedia is reporting that your last couple of records did 400,000 units each.
Jacoby: On the last record ["Metamorphosis"] we just cracked over 250,000 [domestically], so it's hard out there for rock bands, especially at a label that doesn't really support rock music. That's the cool thing about what we do — we're not about just selling pieces of plastic. Our fans come to see us live. We have the power, we have the art, we have the music. We're definitely stoked to be on an independent label now because they pay attention to us. If you look at the roster that we were on at Interscope/Geffen: QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE left, NINE INCH NAILS left, MARILYN MANSON left, PAPA ROACH left, WEEZER just left. All the rock bands on the label realized they had to go and it wasn't working.
Attention Deficit Delirium: Do you think that rock is starting to go underground a little bit again?
Jacoby: Most definitely, but I think it's a good thing. It's going underground in the sense that the rock radio isn't the biggest thing in the world, and MTV doesn't play music videos no more, but rock is really living on the streets and it's living on the Internet. We put up our video on Vevo, and we got an insane number of hits, moreso than if we got on MTV as the number one video. It's a different terrain now for the music and the way that we get it to people, and for us it's been really cool because our touring has gotten a lot better over the last few years. Outside of a couple of canceled shows because of a promoter — and I feel sorry for that guy — fans are coming out in force to rock shows.
Attention Deficit Delirium: I read that you guys don't own your catalog or don't own your publishing. Is that true?
Jacoby: We own the publishing, but not the rights to the songs. That's why Geffen released the greatest hits. We can get our catalog back after X amount of years. That's the beast. When you sign to a major label it's a deal with the Devil. But it's all right because we were one of the last of the bands to get really good record deals. Now when bands are going to get record deals, they're signing over their publishing, their merchandise and touring, so record companies are getting a piece of everything off of the younger bands. Thank God I didn't come through on that wave because that's just fucking rugged.
Attention Deficit Delirium: Rock music is about playing live now. Taylor Hawkins from FOO FIGHTERS recently said that he felt Pro Tools really ruined rock music. Bands don't have to learn how to play their songs all the way through now. The cut-and-paste mentality has permeated the recording industry.
Jacoby: It's really a perspective thing. If you look at a band like MUSE, they run tracks but nobody thinks that they're shitty. They are amazing musicians; they just use it to embellish their sound. It's really up to how an artist would use that. But I can see his point of view because there are bands that just rely on it to do their show for them. They couldn't play a show without it, and that's what sucks. But everybody has an opinion about something.
Attention Deficit Delirium: On the first couple of PAPA ROACH albums the band had a slightly more generic image, then with "Getting Away With Murder" the group got a little bit more glam and a little bit more Goth and became much more aware of style. There's definitely been a visual evolution with the band. You're trying to be rock stars now.
Jacoby: We downplayed it. But then I got tired of being in an airport and having people think I'm on a soccer team. I was tired of dressing like a fucking janitor. Plus I got heavily into tattoos. My whole upper body is covered with tattoos now. We're just letting go and play with the image. I think it's fun, and being in a rock ‘n roll band affords me the opportunity to be the freak that I want to be.
Attention Deficit Delirium: The singer from TRAPT off-handedly mentioned to me a couple of years ago that three albums in, his art had become his job, but in a good way. Does being in PAPA ROACH feel like a job to you?
Jacoby: The only time it feels like a job to me is when I've been gone away from home and haven't seen my family in a long time and start to miss them. At points I start to resent it. All I've got to do is get home and see my family for a few days, and that's all I need. Then it all comes back to where it was — my love for music. If everything was a fucking joyride all the time, it would be great, but that's not the case. I could sit here and bullshit you and say it's fucking great all the time, but sometimes I just want to be home.
Read the entire interview from Attention Deficit Delirium.