With the five new songs on the album, how did they come to be written? They were all written very recently. We came off the road in December of last year and in January of this year we went straight into our studio in down town Sacramento and wrote the five songs. Then in February, we went over to New Jersey to record them with producer David Bendeth. Throughout Papa Roach's career thus far, the band have worked with different producers. For this new album, what did producer David Bendeth bring to the overall process? He is a great musician, and a great fusion-jazz guitar player. It is something that he has done for over twenty years so he knows a lot about music. And not just things that any other producer would know, but he has a lot of experience that is not the norm for what a pop-rock producer would or should do. I don't want to use the term outside of the box' as its clichd, but he has more clever solutions to problems that come up during recording such as far as key changes, arrangements and things like that. And he really understood us as a group and as individuals and was able to push us a little bit which is always a good thing for the song. Moving onto the subject of gear, what did you use for the recording of this new album? The main amps that were used were a Marshall JCM 2000, a Dual Super Lead and a head made by a company called Naylor. We also used a Bad Cat amp and for some extra metal sounds, we threw in a Peavey 5150. Guitars wise, it went from a couple of Epiphone Les Pauls, to a couple of my Schecter guitars, to a Gibson ES-335. David [Bendeth] had an old Strat and an old 1950's Telecaster which I borrowed and which was really nasty but sounded great. For a lot of the overdubs we used an arsenal of modified Telecasters and these obscure guitars that had quirky sounds and which belonged to one of the guys that worked with David. Are you still using the Schecters when it comes to the live environment? Yes, I even have a new signature series coming out this year. It is based on the Solo-6 guitar which is a single cutaway and it has this custom sort of hot rod themed paint job on it. It is flat black on the front and Candy Apple Red on the back so is pretty cool. And for the amps live, I am still using the Marshall pre-amp and the power amp. Though, actually, I am using two different power amps and two different cabinets. It is kind of complicated really set up wise, but it has been one of those, try this and try that' dial in scenarios for me and it has been working fine. Geffen Records recently released a greatest hits compilation of the band's biggest hits, titled ...To Be Loved: The Best of Papa Roach but the group have told fans not to go out and buy that album due to the fact that the band no longer owns the rights to the songs Well they [record label] have always had the rights to the songs as that's how it goes with any major label deal. But we just recently parted ways with Interscope and Geffen and they had got wind of us releasing Time for Annihilation and decided without our knowledge or consent, to release a Papa Roach greatest hits set on the back of what we were doing. So there was a situation where we did all the work to put together the live album, the writing and recording of it all on our own, and we are now getting ready to go out on the road to promote it, and they decide that they want to release their own greatest hits. Not only that, but release it just before ours was scheduled to be released. And we felt like they just wanted to make their last quick dollar off Papa Roach so it created a lot of confusion with our fans and people in general. And we decided to put the word out to all our fans about it and let them know what the situation was.
"We wanted our fans, and our potentially new fans, to be able to have a sort of retrospective of our entire career."
Having now gone from being a major label act to one of being an independent act, how has the group adjusted to its newfound indie status? It actually feels really good, and I think for the first time since we first got signed, we were actually able to choose as to what label we wanted to be on and the people we wanted to work with. For the longest time we were on Dreamworks and that was cool but then when Dreamworks got bought out, and we kind of got pushed over to Geffen and Interscope. And there weren't a lot of people there that were really focused on rock or who really loved our band. So I think now with Eleven Seven Music and the kind of label that they are, which is, an independent rock label, they understand totally what we want. And they're more than willing and capable of, listening to all our ideas, be able to implement those ideas and not have their standard plan of what to do with a rock band take priority. They've also kept up with modern times and are not necessarily just focused on selling CDs. There are tons of other ways to promote a band and other ways to get to people and so that's what they focus on more. The band has consistently evolved with the each successive release. Is this a natural progression or something that is planned in order to keep the band relevant? It has been natural to our band ever since we started. We started in 1993 and back then we had mostly punk-rock and kind of geeky-funky influences with a little bit of metal thrown in. It was a really strange mixture as I came from a different background musically than the rest of the guys but over time we meshed together a little better. Then later it came to stuff like Mr. Bungle and a few other bands locally that we were sort of being influenced by. Then after that, bands such as The Deftones and Korn came onto the scene and that had an influence on us too. Like a lot of young bands we just let our influences come through our music. It took us awhile to finally find our sound but by the time 1999 came around, that was when we finally found our sound, not our full sound, but the characteristics that would define Papa Roach whether that be the groove or the riff or whatever. Papa Roach are one of the few bands still around from the nu-metal era, but unlike Korn and Limp Bizkit who have not really deviated from their signature style and sound, Papa Roach have completely transformed itself musically and image wise over the years. It is something that we feel is more about the journey than it is about the reward and also not necessarily the thirst for success. We're on a musical journey and we sort of take a risk each time we put a record out because we don't know if our fans are going to like it or not. We face the potential of alienating our fans who like the old stuff or of attracting some new fans so it's a fine line we have to walk. So we've constantly changed and it is definitely something we feel is necessary for us and for our fans because we don't want people to get bored with what we're doing. And that goes for our selves as well as we don't want to do the same thing over and over again. Just before wrapping up this interview, I want to ask you, you've always been noted for adhering to a straight-edge lifestyle in the past, so do you still practice it? Yeah pretty much so but it is not something I claim to represent. But I am still doing my own thing and enjoying it thoroughly. Interview by Joe Matera Ultimate-Guitar.Com 2010
"Interscope and Geffen wanted to make their last quick dollar off Papa Roach releasing a Papa Roach greatest hits set."