Papa Roach: 'We're Constantly Changing, Evolving And Growing'

Guitarist Jerry Horton discussed the new album, changing labels, the band's musical evolution and news of an upcoming new Jerry Horton signature series guitar.

Papa Roach: 'We're Constantly Changing, Evolving And Growing'
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Papa Roach wage war every time they pick up their instruments, but it is a war for musical integrity. It's a war for their fans. It's a war for rock 'n' roll. And with the Californian based quartet's latest release, Time For AnnihilationOn The Record And On The Road the new album accurately captures that war, both on stage and in the studio. Showcasing nine live renditions of Papa Roach classics and five newly recorded tracks, the album runs the gamut from blistering live versions of "Last Resort" and "Scars" to the syncopated stomp of new single "Kick In The Teeth" and "Burn". Time for AnnihilationOn The Record and On The Road is the ultimate Papa Roach experience, placing listeners right up against the barricade ready to be blown away. Released via the band's new record label Eleven Seven Music, Time for AnnihilationOn The Record and On The Road signals the next chapter in the Papa Roach saga. Releasing a combination album of live and new tracks is a novel concept for any band even one such as Papa Roach that's never stopped pushing the envelope. Papa Roach solidified their identity as a hard rock contender in 2000 with their breakout debut, Infest. Since then, they've sold over 10 million albums worldwide and destroyed crowds everywhere. Time for AnnihilationOn The Record and On The Road spans their catalog from 2002's Lovehatetragedy to Getting Away With Murder in 2004 to The Paramour Sessions in 2006 and right through to last year's Metamorphosis. While the band were preparing to head out on tour behind the new release, Joe Matera put in a call to Papa Roach guitarist Jerry Horton to discuss the new album, changing labels, the band's musical evolution and news of an upcoming new Jerry Horton signature series guitar. UG: Time for AnnihilationOn The Record and On The Road gives fans the two sides of the Papa Roach experiencethe uncontainable live explosion and the unforgettable studio charm. Jerry Horton: Yeah it is something that we have been, wanting to do for a long time; make a live record. But we also knew that we needed to have something new on there as well, which is why we did the five new songs. We wanted our fans, and our potentially new fans, to be able to have a sort of retrospective of our entire career. And because we're a band that is constantly changing, evolving and growing, we felt had to do something new.

"We wanted our fans, and our potentially new fans, to be able to have a sort of retrospective of our entire career."

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.

"Interscope and Geffen wanted to make their last quick dollar off Papa Roach releasing a Papa Roach greatest hits set."

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

68 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    velocial
    Love Papa Roach, they deserve alot more respect than they get. Blows my mind they open for almost every concert I go too, true love for the fans every time. I think it's about time they headline, and I'll be first in line!
    devovinium
    Everyone that says Papa Roach suck or that they are a "Kiddie Band", have no taste in music. While I will agree that the lyrics quoted
    My name's Coby Dic. Mr Dic if you're nasty. Rock a mic, with a voice that's raspy. And I'm poetic in my operations. My god given talent is to rock all the nations.
    are childish sounding at the time I was 15 and that was fine. However they have really matured over the years and I think its very evident in their latest release Metamorphasis. Its a solid, great album and a perfect testament to the "evolution" of the band and maturity. If the last album you heard from them was infest or even Getting Away With Murder, Metamorphasis is completely different and new.
    George22222
    Yeah going from a rap/metal image in 2000 to an emo image 3 years later is really "Evolving". Give me a break... Whatever is popular let's go with it...
    Killerlicks66
    hi im papa roach and im gonna be lazy as **** and just copy whatever band is popular at the time and make money.... FUCK YOU papa roach Sacramento doesnt want you back we have the deftones
    peter0unger
    yea I agree playing 3 or 4 bar chords, adding in cliche lyrics about hating people, demoralizing women and being an anarchist to society or whatever the crap they sing about and calling it a song time and time again is definitely "evolving." it's okay some of us live in alternate reality's in our heads
    themetalpig
    Unfortunately Papa Roach has released nothing decent since Getting Away With Murder. LoveHateTragedy is my fav.
    sk8ertillidie
    Well I saw papa roach about 2-3 years ago. They were actually a good show. No idea about now though, assuming they suck now by the comments.
    thebigal
    Cant say it anymore, these guys have gone downhill bigtime since infest. Infest was great, every album after that has gotten progresivelly worse. there last release was hopeless
    everjump
    It's nice to see a band trying out new styles and new ways, but I stopped to care about them since the "Getting Away With Murder"-album.
    Shread_6009
    god papa roach came out when i was just a kid, and every ****ing kid in my school would sing/play last resort where ever we were, because it was "angry" "dangerous" "depressing". annoyed the **** out of me. also listen to the intro of "Fearless Vampire Killers" by Bad Brains, papa roach ripped that song off note for note
    2fast748
    I thought Infest was a really good album when it came out but I don't think it stands the test of time. Bruce Dickinson isn't a fan either. Generic Nu-Metal mostly.
    Skinny91
    cortes239 wrote: Constantly changing, evolving, and growing? This band isn't original at all. They create what is in. Anyone ever listen to Atreyu? They used to be metalcore and then when they turned radio friendly they got all lame. I swear when I heard this band on the radio I thought it was lame Atreyu. There are the bands that break and norm and there are the bands that cling on for life and create whats in. Sorry PR, you aren't original
    I agree, when I heard Lonely I was in shock at how it sounded. It has absolutely no passion in it, sounds like they just gave up. On Papa Roach, I enjoyed Infest and a few songs of Metamorphosis, but frankly I don't think it was a natural progression, just them floating on whatever rock genre was popular at the time.
    Gary.Blizzard
    It seems the only people who aren't bashing them are people that have seen them play in person. I've liked Papa Roach for a while, and they gave an incredible live show. Very energetic.
    jhart08
    TheLifeguard wrote: Anyone bashing Papa Roach has clearly never seen them live.
    very true...saw them with Crue in St. Louis, and aside from Motley crue they put on the best show hands down
    moose1512
    wish people who didnt like the band stayed of articals about the band, UG should just admin these posts and delete any of these idiots yelling, this band sucks ect. You are NOT a proper musician or fan of music if you say these things. You should be open to all styles and genres comments like "poppy shit" are unwanted, pointless and childish. Please post something intelligent or get of these forums. All bands progress to some degree, papa roach have gone from a nu metal start and now are progressing into a more modern style of rock, if your not a fan go listen to the old stuff, simple as.
    Black Orchid
    moose1512 wrote: wish people who didnt like the band stayed of articals about the band, UG should just admin these posts and delete any of these idiots yelling, this band sucks ect. You are NOT a proper musician or fan of music if you say these things. You should be open to all styles and genres comments like "poppy shit" are unwanted, pointless and childish. Please post something intelligent or get of these forums. All bands progress to some degree, papa roach have gone from a nu metal start and now are progressing into a more modern style of rock, if your not a fan go listen to the old stuff, simple as.
    The amount of common sense contained in that remark is refreshing.
    hattbroz
    i grew up listening to them but sadly, they are not making good songs since lovehatetragedy. its poppish and cheesy
    ethic
    MrJackson wrote: I feel like i've read the exact same headline about other bands like a million times before. it should say "Yet another band is changing, evolving and growing"
    It's especially lame considering the entire concept of evolution is adaptation to an environment. Congrats, band. You're fitting in .
    VegetaSWE
    they make some good songs...but they need to evolve there songwriting...becouse there lyrics sucks
    snaaake
    Last record I heard by them was Getting Away With Murder. I also saw them live around the time it was released, sometime in 2005, I think. It was amazing, and Jacoby really has a great voice. The direction they've been going in isn't really for me, but if they bring the same drive and energy to the table that I remember, then I'd definitely be up for seeing them again.
    Patrijz
    Live there pretty cool, but it's pretty generic music to listen too... and the new songs are just as generic and show no growth in any way, in my opinion. And people complaining it's 'kiddy' music, I don't judge music by it's audience, but if I like it... You should too.
    cortes239
    Constantly changing, evolving, and growing? This band isn't original at all. They create what is in. Anyone ever listen to Atreyu? They used to be metalcore and then when they turned radio friendly they got all lame. I swear when I heard this band on the radio I thought it was lame Atreyu. There are the bands that break and norm and there are the bands that cling on for life and create whats in. Sorry PR, you aren't original
    Metallichemical
    I have to say, I really think this band is a litlle underrated.What I've heard from the first album is good, Infest is great and Metamorphosis I thought was a very solid, exceptional piece of work.Getting Away With Murder was good, though not up to par with the others. I can't really judge Paramour Sessions and Lovehatetragedy since I haven't heard much from those, though.
    Joowst
    I really like Infest, still listen to it a lot. but after that they changend and for me not in a good way. they didn't need to evolve if you ask me. should have stayed with their nu-metal roots
    Covin
    Sounds like writer's block to me. Let's get the few songs we could pump out and just pair 'em up with "newly released" live recordings to get some cash from our fans and to say we're releasing a new album. Don't forget us, cause it might be awhile before we put out something legit!
    DaddyTwoFoot
    Of all the bands out there that are "waging a war for musical integrity," Papa Roach aren't exactly who come to mind.
    XgustofX
    chacin_christia wrote: PAPA ROACH 4EVERRRRR!!!!! GREAT RECORD CONGRATULATIONS
    Please tell me you're not serious.
    Mr_Cbone93
    i might like papa roach if i found some good songs by them. imo they pick really shitty singles. except for scars and scars and time is running out