2015, Features, Interviews — January 26, 2015 at 8:56 am

Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach


“We’re gonna play some old school classics and but then we’re going to play all this stuff we’ve been writing all the years but haven’t been coming down to Australia to tour on, so a lot of the fans will be hearing a lot of these songs for the first time live, so that’s going to be special.”

Since the first time you heard the lyrics “cut my life into pieces, this is my Last resort…” you were probably hooked on Papa Roach too… Now over the course of almost two decades, Papa Roach have released album after album or straight up rock and roll. Renowned as one of the best live bands out there, Papa Roach are back with a new album titled ‘F.E.A.R’ and it’s their best yet in our opinion.

While in tour in Chicago, we chatted to Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach about their return to Australia for Soundwave after thirteen years, their new album ‘F.E.A.R’ and much more…

Welcome back to Australia, well soon enough, you’re FINALLY after too many years away heading back to see us, this time on Soundwave, how pumped are you to be coming back?
Dude we’ve been wanting to get on Soundwave for years now, and it finally happened, the timing and everything is working out and we’re very excited to come to Australia and do Soundwave. I know there’s a lot of fans kind of chomping at the bit to see us, and I’m looking at the billing of the show and we’ve got some good billing, so it’s gonna be slammin’ and I’m ready for some sun man, ready for some fuckin’ heat, it’s cold here.

Now, Soundwave wasn’t even a thing the last time you were here in 2002, have you heard much about the festival from other bands?
We have friends that have been down there and they say ‘you’ve got to go down there, the fans come out in force and it’s a rock and roll party’ and we’re built for that, you know what I’m saying? That’s what Papa Roach is all about, we want to come to a festival and we know there’s a shit tonne of bands, but it’s like we’ve got to find a way to cut through all that clutter and make an impact on people and I feel that our absence will kind of help that, so hopefully there’s a buzz around us coming down there and fans want to check us out live cause we’re a band that’s on fire right now. We’re gonna play some old school classics and but then we’re going to play all this stuff we’ve been writing all the years but haven’t been coming down to Australia to tour on, so a lot of the fans will be hearing a lot of these songs for the first time live, so that’s going to be special.

You guys were a major buzz band when announced on the festival as I think every year people have just been waiting to see your name on the bill, so in making up for lost time, will you be playing any Sidewaves while you’re down here?
We’re trying to get the booking agent currently to let us know if we are, we really want to but for some reason AJ the promoter is just dragging his feet until the last minute so we don’t know but we want to. Just call up AJ and let him know that you want Papa Roach on sidewaves *laughs*

As I mentioned, the last time you were here was 2002, do you have a great memory of that previous tour you can share with us?
Oh dude, I mean we were on tour with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and it was like a dream come true, they’re one of my favourite bands of all time, and to be able to share the stage and open up with them every night and after the show we were partying with Chad Smith the drummer which was awesome, and we just had a great time, we were like pinching ourselves like ‘dude we’re in Australia and we’re playing with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, could life be any better?’ That was really a surreal moment for the band and that’s why we’re so excited to be coming back because we had such a great time there then, so it’s going to be a good one.

My ex-wife adores you guys, we used to watch your live DVD’s religiously and she sites you guys as her favourite ever live band, what is it about your show that draws people in?
We’re definitely a high energy band, I took a lot of notes from Freddie Mercury coming up as a front man, I think Freddie Mercury is one of the greatest and it’s not like I’m a rip off but I just really like the way he had a way of making… if you saw the performance they did when they played at Wembley Stadium, he had a way of making that stadium feel like a club you know what I’m saying? I like that he had these huge, massive audiences still have an intimacy to it. So I took some notes from him and just that and I grew up loving Rage Against The Machine, so just that Rage bounce like we just like all those different energies and we just combine it into one and it’s fuckin’ explosive.

The new album ‘F.E.A.R.’ is out now, I have to ask regarding the name and acronym of ‘Face Everything And Rise’ how did you come up with this and what does it represent to you?
You know, it really just speaks my life right now, because my old perspective was ‘Fuck everything and run’ I never wanted to face any of my problems, I never wanted to own up to any of my own failures or my own mistakes, it was always somebody else’s problem and I came to the realisation that I had to clean up my side of the street and in doing that kind of really doing a lot things that I really didn’t want to do, and things I didn’t want to face, and things I didn’t want to admit to myself and I believe there was a lot of personal growth for myself in the process and this record is about that you know? It’s about coming from that darkness into the light and using my failures and my weaknesses to become my strengths, and it’s weird how those things work, my life has been a bit of a rollercoaster and a lot of my brokenness comes from my own doing you know what I mean? So facing those things and putting that into this record and it’s why this record is called ‘F.E.A.R.’

The album is a straight up rock record, I love it, in the three years since ‘The Connection’ what was the process like in putting ‘F.E.A.R’ together compared to your previous works?
Well when I was writing ‘The Connection’ I was totally out of my fuckin’ head lost in my addiction and so we weren’t firing on all cylinders, the band was jamming writing dope music and I was just not there… and half way through the process I cleaned my act up and came to the party and finished the record. This time around I approached the studio with a clear head and a purpose and very driven and very purpose drive and I knew I had this thing bubbling up inside me for this record and I didn’t know what it was but I knew something special was going to happen in the process of writing the record. That was key for my part of the record was showing up right from the first note and sticking with it and just being able to take criticism and try new things and just not be afraid to fail you know what I mean? Just present my ideas to the band and maybe they don’t like all of them or maybe they like some of them or maybe they like none of them, and being willing to go back to the drawing board at time and I think that was a strength that I gained in the process of this record.

So would you say that the addiction no longer being there, congratulations on that by the way, has that affected your approach to song writing and how it’s evolved over your time?
Oh yeah most definitely man, I’ve got way more confidence as a songwriter, I was always just in so much self-doubt when I was lost in my addiction, I didn’t believe in myself, when I looked in the mirror I just saw a fuckin’ mess you know what I mean? It was just a fucked up place to be, but now that I’ve got my head cleared out it’s like man I’ve worked it man and my ideas are valid in my song writing and my confidence in the approach to song writing was just so much stronger that it was invigorating to the band and I think coming from that perspective, that’s where the fire lives, dude, that’s where the fire is.

Some of these songs sound like they are just written to be performed live, is that something you take into consideration when putting them together?
Mmm hmm… I’m like straight up, I’m like Tobin let me see your jump, bounce, and we were clicking out tempos to the bounce tempo for some of the songs, cause we like to see our crowds bounce, and so those elements were definitely incorporated into the process of making this record. That’s the proving ground for real rock and roll is live, you can go download a song and listen to it, you can fuckin’ watch a video on YouTube, but you don’t truly get the real experience unless you’re there connecting with the band live, and that’s where we’ve proved ourselves, that’s what sufficed us a career, so that’s why we write the music we write.

A song like ‘Last Resort’ meant and still means a lot to a lot of people, when you wrote and released that song, did you have an idea of the staying power it would end up having?
I had no fuckin’ clue, I had no idea man, we were just four kids writing rock and roll in a basement, and I think that honesty and that purity in that track, that just untainted version of ourselves just spoke to people you know what I’m saying? We went in and recorded that and it just changed our lives, like that song still has a profound effect on our career, and it’s a cult classic, it’s a best seller and fuckin… there’s bands that fight their whole career to have a classic like that and we came out with our first song as a fuckin classic, like what?! It’s the monolith, mega track and it ignites audiences every night and it still speaks to people on a real level to this day, and so we’re definitely stoked to have a track like that in our arsenal.

I gather you don’t get sick of playing it…
Fuck no dude, dude you can play that shit anywhere, you can play that shit at a Bar mitzvah and motherfuckers will start going crazy!

You’ve been doing this for over twenty years now, what do you still enjoy about being in Papa Roach?
I love the creative process, I love taking nothing and turning it into something and I love that challenge and I love that gratification at the end of it, you know when you get done with writing a song and you play it back in the studio and you just take it in and you just feel it, and that moves me. The next best part is just getting on stage and playing it and performing it, and I just think taking that idea and just watching it grow and build and become part of a live show.

Also, have you had an ultimate ‘pinch me’ moment that stands out above all the rest in your time together?
Oh man, I’ve had a lot of those moments, man, a lot of those moments in our career. To name a couple, we were doing a cover of a Faith No More song live, and Billy Gould the bass player was at this festival in Germany and I met him and was like ‘dude, we’re covering ‘The General Art of Making Enemies’ come check us out’ and fuckin’ rocked it out and killed it and he was impressed, and that was awesome. Or hanging out with the drummer of Faith No More, you know they’re one of my favourite bands. Playing New Year’s Eve the year the millennium dropped, when the ball dropped on the year 2000, that was another pinch me moment, I mean we’ve just had so many over our career, but as many great moments we’re also had plenty of terrible moments *laughs* it’s gotta balance out.

Lastly, let’s predict the future, finish this sentence for me, by the end of 2015, Papa Roach will…
Be headlining an arena tour worldwide…

Including coming back to Australia again, yeah?
That’s right baby, worldwide baby, come on!


Catch Papa Roach as part of Soundwave 2015 at the following dates:



For tickets and more information head to

soundwavefestival.com / facebook.com/soundwavefestival / twitter.com/soundwavefest


Essential Information

From: Vacaville, CA, USA

Band members: Jacoby Shaddix – vocals, Jerry Horton – guitar, Tobin Esperance – bass, Tony Palermo – drums

Website: http://www.paparoach.com

Latest Release: ‘F.E.A.R’ (Out Now – Sony Music Australia / Eleven Seven) – Check out our review HERE


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