When Papa Roach first attracted widespread public attention, on the strength of their thrice-platinum-selling sophomore album, ‘Infest’ (2000), they were handily lumped in with the then popular nu-metal scene. But the group has since transcended both that tag and the movement’s sell-by-date thanks to a slew of successful mainstream hard rock releases. Taking their name from lead singer Jacoby Shaddix’s grandfather, Howard ‘Papa’ Roatch, the band was formed in 1993 by Shaddix, drummer Dave Buckner and guitarist Jerry Horton, adding bassist Tobin Esperance in ’96, and proceeding to record a pair of EPs and 1997’s ‘Old Friends from Young Years’ full-length independently. The latter (as well as another pair of EPs) gradually helped spread word-of-mouth about the group until multi-media conglomerate DreamWorks came calling and the aforementioned ‘Infest’ produced the No. 1 Modern Rock smash, ‘Last Resort.’ In a matter of months, Papa Roach was performing on that summer’s Vans Warped Tour, then upped the ante in 2001 by appearing on the main stage of Ozzfest, before recording their third album, ‘lovehatetragedy’ in 2003. Along with its 2004 successor, ‘Getting Away with Murder’ the album found the band wisely tempering their use of rapping in exchange for more clean singing — a move that eased their transition away from nu-metal as the style fell out of favor. 2006’s ‘The Paramour Sessions’ confirmed that new musical direction and sold another two million copies, but marked the end of Papa Roach’s relationship with longtime drummer Dave Buckner, who entered rehab and was replaced by Unwritten Law’s Tony Palermo. And, by the release of 2009’s ‘Metamorphosis,’ Papa Roach had effectively repositioned themselves as a straight-up hard rock band — heading out on tour with new inspirational touchstones Motley Crue and Buckcherry and partying down with 2010’s ‘Time for Annihilation’ live LP. But the group reinstated some raps for 2012’s ‘The Connection’ (their seventh studio long-player) and promise to keep fans guessing with 2015’s impending ‘F.E.A.R.’
- Selected Discography: ‘Infest’ (2000), ‘Getting Away with Murder’ (2004), ‘Metamorphosis’ (2006)
- Related Artists: Deftones, Disturbed, Alien Ant Farm, Sixx A.M.
- Further Reading: Papa Roach Break Out With ‘Infest’ (Anniversary Post), Papa Roach, ‘F.E.A.R.’ Album Review