In the small Northern California town of Vacaville, four high
school friends, Jacoby Shaddix, Jerry Horton, Dave Buckner, and
Will James, decided to start a band. In 1993, they became Papa
Roach, a band whose influences included prominent Bay Area acts
such as Faith No More and Primus. Papa Roach quickly rose to the
top of the Vacaville music scene with their blending of hip-hop,
groove-funk, and hardcore.
After a couple
of years of playing coffeehouses, pizza joints, and keg-parties,
they were headlining such places as the Cactus Club in San Jose,
the Cattle Club in Sacramento, and the Berkeley Square in Berkeley.
Due to the antics of unpredictable Shaddix, and the raw power
supplied by the band in live performances, Papa Roach captured
the attention of younger audiences. In turn, kids showed their
appreciation for the band by faithfully attending all the band's
shows. In these early years, Papa Roach was able to support the
Deftones on two shows, and have bands such as Incubus, Snot, Far,
Human Waste Project, Downset and Fu Manchu open for them.
In the summer
of 1996, while realizing athat they had something special, Papa
Roach decided to make changes necessary to reach the next level.
First, the band replaced bass player Will James because his commitment
to church summer camp that would have prevented the band from
practicing and playing any shows over the summer. Papa Roach did
not have to go far to find their new bass player. Tobin Esperance,
who was only 16 years old and who had been a roadie for Papa Roach
since age 13, readily became the new bass player. Second, the
band hired a manager, Bret Bair, to help them with bookings, promotions,
and merchandising. With a new bass player and management in place,
Papa Roach decided to enter the studio to record a full-length
Friends From Young Years" was recorded for $700 at E.S.P.
Studios in Pittsburg, California, and was subsequently released
in February of 1997. The CD contains 13 tracks, including the
songs "Orange Drive Palms", and "Liquid Diet".
Without any push from the band or management, many smaller independent
and college radio stations in Chico, Davis, San Jose, Sacramento,
and the Bay Area added Papa Roach to their playlists. To the bands'
surprise, Papa Roach charted number one as Cal-State Sacramento's
most requested band for five consecutive weeks. Papa Roach celebrated
the release of their first album with several CD release shows.
The Vacaville CD release show was attended by 700 kids, while
CD release shows in Berkeley and Sacramento were attended by 400
and 300 kids, respectively.
emerging popularity did not escape the eyes and ears of promoters,
who started booking the band as a support act on many larger national
shows. In March of 1997, Papa Roach played main support to Suicidal
Tendencies in front of 1,000 people in Sacramento. They also either
headlined or supported many of today's up and coming acts in the
aggressive rock genre, including Incubus, Snot, Far, Human Waste
Project, (hed) p.e., Sevendust, WIll Haven and Powerman 5000.
Papa Roach has also played Southern California on a frequent basis,
and is now becoming a regular at such reknowned clubs as the Troubador
in Hollywood, and Soma in San Diego.
In April 1998,
Papa Roach released "5 Tracks Deep", and E.P. containing
five songs which sold 1,000 copies within the first month after
its release. This CD exemplifies the natural growth in musicianship
and song-writing ability within band since "Old Friends From
Young Years" was recorded 18 months earlier. The songs "Revenge
in Japanese" is a perfect example of the Papa Roach trademark
sound where hip-hop verses lead to a catchy radio-friendly chorus.
This results in a song with both energy and emotion that will
attract diverse crowds of people.
Musical evolution. It's what every band strives for, but few successfully
achieve from one record to the next. Then there's Papa Roach.
In 2000, the
group scored triple platinum success with the scathing rap and
metal hybrid Infest. Embracing an "if it ain't broke, fix
it anyway" strategy, the band returned two years later with
the tortured, despairing Lovehatetragedy, a ripping album devoid
of hip-hop beats and raps. But it's the new disc Getting Away
With Murder with which Papa Roach take their most mature and daring
wanted to do something new and continue to grow," frontman
Jacoby Shaddix says. "We've always felt like outsiders, so,
we've just sat in our own little category and done what we believe
really big fans of transformation," adds drummer Dave Buckner.
"But each time we reinvent ourselves, we do it without abandoning
who we were in the first place."
many musicians who have changed their sound in accordance with
the trends of the day, Papa Roach have developed by turning a
deaf ear to the whims of the industry and the advice of so-called
experts. As Shaddix sings in the chorus of the album's first song
"Not Listening," "The more I learn, the more I
are always outside forces trying to tell you what to do,"
Shaddix says. "So, we just put up our middle finger to critics
and other people, and said, 'We're gonna do what we're gonna do.'
We stand up for ourselves as a band, and our message to our fans
is to shut yourself off from anyone who wants to run the show,
and run it yourself."
Now, the show
is running like a finely-tuned vintage sports car. From the time
they formed in 1993 up until the release of Lovehatetragedy, the
band was angry and nihilistic, lashing out haphazardly at a chaotic
and uncaring world. It was easy to get hooked in by their propulsive
riffs and energized beats and become a part of their cesspool
of communal rage, but there wasn't a whole lot of room for good
vibes. The new Papa Roach is much more upbeat and even more captivating.
With Murder is still loud and abrasive, however the real power
and passion in the music lies in what the band has previously
downplayed -- melody and vulnerability. Shaddix sings with more
precision and tunefulness than ever, and while the band exhibits
some of its heaviest and most groove-oriented rhythms to date,
the choruses are jam packed with poignant vocal harmonies that
bond to your skull like Crazy Glue.
track is at once stoic and sensitive, driven by a surging rhythm,
tumbling beat and undeniable refrain. "Take Me" starts
with wall of tinny dissonance before evolving into a staccato,
metallic guitar riff and climaxes with an enthralling chorus,
and "Scars" resonates with aching vocals, a mid-paced
tempo and textural washes of sound that compliment the melody.
still a tough rock 'n' roll band, but we weren't afraid to break
out of our shell and use more melody this time," Shaddix
explains. "When I go back and listen to this record, it just
makes me feel good. People ask me what I'm listening to lately.
I ain't gonna lie, dude. I'm listening to Getting Away With Murder
obsessively. I believe in it so much."
a conscious effort on this album to write really good songs, not
just really heavy songs," Says bassist Tobin Esperance. "We
wanted to have anthems that you can sing along to and good rock
and roll songs that have energy."
you listen to Papa Roach, you get a feeling of passion and energy
as opposed to just melodies," adds guitarist Jerry Horton.
"I think that's what separates us from a lot of other bands
started writing Getting Away With Murder on the road last year,
and finished when they got back to their homes in Sacramento,
California. By the time they started recording demos, they had
over 30 complete songs to work from. And when they began pre-production
with producer Howard Benson (P.O.D., Blindside, Hoobastank) they
had 12 songs chosen and pretty fully arranged. "We knew where
we wanted to go," Shaddix says. "It was just a matter
of honing it and getting it perfect."
everything," Buckner says. "Even if we liked a part,
we kept trying to find a better way to make it work. There were
songs we rewrote five or six times before we were happy with them.
They had different arrangements, different choruses, verses, bridges,
Many of the
guidelines for the creation of Getting Away With Murder stemmed
from lessons learned working on Lovehatetragedy. While Papa Roach
relied on impulse and spontaneity to craft a visceral and immediate
record for Lovehatetragedy, in retrospect they decided the results
were sometimes brilliant, sometimes scattered. For Getting Away
With Murder they wanted to be sure everything was exactly as they
wanted it to sound.