Papa Roach’s Jacoby Shaddix Talks ‘F.E.A.R.’ Album, Tour With Seether + More
Papa Roach are getting ready for 2015 and the release of their ‘F.E.A.R. (Face Everything and Rise)’ album. The group already issued the title track as their lead single. Frontman Jacoby Shaddix recently took a few minutes to talk about the disc with ‘Loudwire Nights’ host Full Metal Jackie. Check out the chat below.
In terms of songwriting and musical execution, what makes ‘F.E.A.R.’ an album that will impact everything this band will do in the future?
Deep question, Jackie. Hard hitting off the bat! I’d definitely say the sonic quality of this record is really going to steer the ship to what we do in the future. Working with Kevin Churko and Kane Churko, just their recording style, the sounds that they get and the way the drums sound — everything down to the final mix, it’s just really in your face.
We wanted to bring back some classic elements of P Roach on this record that I think will help make it a timeless record for us. That’s the big riff, we always want to focus on the big guitar riff, the catchy guitar riff and so we try to explore that on every track on this new record. But it’s a very dynamic record, to be completely honest. It’s very sprawling and it moves from rock influence sounds to metal, punk, hip hop and electronic influenced sounds. It’s a petri dish of all things that we love.
What changed most from how you initially envisioned ‘F.E.A.R.’ should sound and the way it eventually turned out?
We went in with nothing, no demos recorded at all so it was a trip. Every other record we’ve recorded a bunch of demos and we come to the producer with a vision of what we wanted to create. This one we just walked in there with blind faith — “Alright, we can do this.” The producer really believed we could, and Tobin our bass player was like, “Ah, we got this man.” We’ll just show up and start writing some riffs and it’ll unfold itself as we record the record. But also, each track we were very intentional with what we wanted to achieve with it.
With songs like ‘F.E.A.R.,’ it was all about the big riff and the bounce to it or songs like ‘Skeleton,’ that’s one that’s dark and creepy with a big bouncy chorus. Essentially it unfolded itself as we recorded the record and once we got to the end process of it we’re like, “What’s missing?” We’d always try and find to fill in those blanks.
Why is it important to challenge yourself as an artist? What was the biggest challenge you gave yourselves when it came to making this?
First and foremost, it’s always important for us as musicians to challenge ourselves. Especially from where we stand and the type of music we make, we’re always trying to evolve and push things forward. Some of that comes from influence from bands outside of us, bands that we like and bands we dislike. Oh, we like this but we can’t stand that. So we try to always elevate what we’re doing and make progressive music. But as far as this record goes, I think the unpredictability of not knowing what this record was going to become and as we recorded it, it reared its head. I was fearful of that but it worked out in the long run.
Were you thinking visually when writing ‘Face Everything and Rise’ or was it only later that the idea for the video came about?
We were in the last two-thirds of the writing process and I still wanted to write a song called ‘Face Everything and Rise’ but there just wasn’t a song that really fit that lyrically. It’s kind of a complex statement to make work for just any song or rhythm. It just seemed to fit on this track. I covered a lot of ground emotionally on this record and what I had realized in the process of the record was that the environment I was recording and living in, living in Las Vegas really made me face a lot of my fears. This was a city of some of my greatest failures.
I wanted to paint a picture of what I saw in the desert. That came to me in the process of writing the song and also conceptualizing the artwork, photo shoot and the music video ideas. It just all kind of spiraled from that song in particular. I didn’t want to make a record in Vegas. It just wasn’t a city I thought was conducive to the life I’m trying to live. It’s a city of some of my greatest failures but apparently I was put there for a reason. It made me face all the things I feared the most and came out on the other side a better person and just that landscape, being in it just seemed right — I needed to be in the aesthetics of the art work and the imagery for the video. It all seemed to fit.
How will touring with a band like Seether bring out the very best in Papa Roach?
We’ve done a tour with Seether before and we had a great time. When we come up with other opportunities to tour with other bands, it’s hard to decide exactly what we’re going to do. Our record cycles and touring cycles seemed to line up perfectly. We wanted to do a co-headliner with another solid rock band and Seether was that band. We got nothing but love and respect for those guys and I think it’s good because our bands don’t sound the same.
It’s going to be a good night of diverse rock music and whenever we step on stage with another solid rock band, it always pushes us to put on a better show, a better live show. Also, that comes from within, I think that’s just intake to who we are as a band. We kind of have this reputation to uphold and it’s like, we’ve been known to be a good solid live rock band. We gotta do work to keep up with that reputation. We’re excited to get out there and just play new music, I think that’s what’s going to get us to step it up essentially.
Thanks to Papa Roach’s Jacoby Shaddix for the interview. The ‘F.E.A.R.’ album is due Jan. 27 and is currently available for pre-order at iTunes. You can also catch Papa Roach on tour with Seether, Islander and Kyng at these locations. Tune in to Loudwire Nights With Full Metal Jackie and Tony LaBrie’ Monday through Friday 7PM through midnight online or on the radio. To see which stations and websites air ‘Loudwire Nights,’ click here.