PAPA ROACH's TOBIN ESPERANCE On 'F.E.A.R.': 'It's The Biggest, Heaviest-Sounding Record We've Ever Done'September 25, 2014
Ransom Fee Media spoke to PAPA ROACH bassist Tobin Esperance at last month's Leeds festival in England. You can now watch the chat below.
Speaking about PAPA ROACH's eighth studio album "F.E.A.R. (Face Everything And Rise)", which will come out in early 2015, Tobin said: "It's a heavy record, but there's something very spiritual about it too. It's definitely that 'light at the end of the tunnel' kind of thing. It's positive. It has some moments where it's really heavy, but it's a positive record.
"F or the first time ever, we just walked into the studio with no songs written and we literally just started from scratch and wrote a song and then recorded it, and said, 'That one's done,' and moved on to the next one. Which we've never really recorded a record like that before. But it really captured the energy, the spontaneity of all of our ideas, just right there on the spot. We weren't forced to overthink anything; we just laid it down and moved on to the next one."
He continued: "We know what works for us. We're the type of band that we recognize our strengths and our weaknesses and we still allow ourselves room to try new things. And I think one thing that's definitely noticeable about this new record is, sonically, it just sounds fucking huge — it's just monstrous. It's the biggest-, heaviest-sounding record we've ever done."
The follow-up to 2012's "The Connection", "F.E.A.R." was recorded in Las Vegas, with Esperance saying: "To be honest, we stayed away from the [Las Vegas] Strip. I've done it all, and I've seen it all, and I've taken full advantage of all the things that Las Vegas has to offer, but we were very much focused when we were writing this record. I think that's why it came out so well and it worked. We all lived in a house together that was outside Las Vegas, and it was more about us just experiencing a different side to Las Vegas that most people don't know about. Like going out in the desert and tripping out, and climbing around on rocks and shit. Just doing weird stuff like that. That's more of a tip that we were on this time."
PAPA ROACH frontman Jacoby Shaddix will co-direct the video for the band's new single, the of "F.E.A.R. (Face Everything And Rise)" title track. Speaking to DutchScene, Jacoby said: "Me and my partner from Luminous Pictures [Ezio Lucido, which] is another endeavor I'm involved in — it's a filmmaking company, but also we do music videos — this will be the first music video that I co-direct. And so, from the creative side, I came up with the concept for the video and the artwork."
He continued: "It's pretty cool, man, 'cause the band is trusting me to co-direct this music video, which is the first time we've done something like this. And I've been trying to encourage [PAPA ROACH guitarist] Jerry [Horton]… Jerry is going to shoot the photography for the album cover. And so, it's, like, we just kind of wanna take everything back into our hands instead of going, 'OK, cool. I wanna hear your interpretation.' Well, no. I wanna visually let you see what's in my heart when I'm creating this music."
Horton said in an interview conducted last month at England's Reading festival that the band worked with two producers, Kevin Churko and Kevin's son Kane, saying, "We did the first five songs with Kevin, the dad, and then the last seven with the son, because [Kevin] had a prior engagement with IN THIS MOMENT… It was a different sort of workflow, but we got into it and it was cool. And I think we came out with some really good stuff."
Shaddix told Kerrang! magazine that "F.E.A.R." is "probably the most positive record we've written," adding, "There's obviously been an element of hope within the despair of the music that we write, and I think that that's always key, and that's very important to what we do, is to always have that element of hope, and that's laced throughout the record."
Shaddix, a recovering alcoholic and drug user, said he was nervous about camping out in Las Vegas during the recording sessions for the new album. He explained, "I've been sober for a few years now, and it was just, like, 'All right, how am I gonna go to Vegas and stay focused?' And I just had to put my spiritual armor on and just go out there and do my best to be creative."
Shaddix described the new album as "all things good PAPA ROACH — it's big, banging riffs, it's a very guitar-heavy record . . . It spans across the board, from heavy to reflective, to just in your face, out of control. It's just everything that we believe is great about PAPA ROACH."
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