Papa Roach


2001 interview

You guys just got off the European tour, what was your favorite site-seeing trip there?
Coby: Remember the castle we went to?
Dave: Yeah, I'd have to say we went to a…what was it called? Worchester?
Coby: No, Warwick Castle.
Dave: Warwick Castle in…what city was it in?
Coby: I dunno.
Dave: I don't remember. Somewhere in the UK. It was right after the London show we went to this castle.
Coby: They were, "Do you want a sound check," we were like… (shaking head)
Dave: "No, let’s go to the castle."
Coby: "Let's go see the castle." It was really cool.
Dave: Yeah.
Coby: And then also, the Red Light District in Amsterdam was pretty wild, too.
Dave: Amsterdam is a great city.
Coby: Yeah, Amsterdam was a crazy place to be. So two very extreme opposites, but very out there.
I saw on your web site, you said that your music is more real than pop music. How is your music more real?
Coby: Well I dunno.
Dave: Where did you see that?
It was probably your web site. I saw an interview. It said that your music is more real.
Coby: I would regret saying that. No I wouldn't regret saying that…**** that. I think that pop music right now, when you watch The Making of the Band and all that stuff. To me it's like they are talented and they are entertainers, but it's the content of the music and the energy and everything—it’s crap. Not crap. I mean, I just don't like it. It's songs about the same thing every time. You know what I'm saying? Every song is a love song or what's that song? (starts singing to Dave) "He loves me, he loves me not"…Shut up. I don't care. To me it's annoying. Because I think for us, we've took so many years as being organic and natural, because we do music from the heart and from our souls and we write our own music. It’s like prefabricated pop music.
Dave: They have people writing songs for them, teaching them their dance steps, telling them what to wear. We are the exact opposite from that. We write all our own music. We wear what we want, whatever.
Coby: We say what we want to say.
Dave: Everything that we do comes from here. (points to heart) It's not an act. It's not for show. We're just out there expressing ourselves.
Coby: But then you look at it and we kinda treat it like WWF too. I can sit here and slag NSYNC or slag O-Town and all these bands. But when you break it down, they are just doing their thing.
Dave: Yep.
Coby: And they are having fun with it. We're doing our thing and we are having fun with it.
Dave: Yep. But there just has to be that drama there, like we gotta butt heads. (pounding his fists together)
Coby: That's P-Roach. We're just rock 'n' roll. If I were a WWF wrestler who would I be? I'd be Rowdy Rowdy Piper.
Dave: Would you wear a kilt?
Coby: (in an Irish accent) A kilt with no underwear.
Dave: Well basically, I don't know if you can tell but we take our music very seriously. But we don't take ourselves or our image that seriously. We are not afraid to be like "Hey Man." We're just big dorks.
Coby: They have like that image of us.
Dave: Like we're bad.
Coby: They are the broken homeboys, like they are so pissed off at the world. Really it’s like the music that we use to overcome those issues and deal with them and then move on in life. That's how we treat it.
You also said during one of your shows that you wanted people to get in touch with every emotion. Is there any emotion during the show, they probably shouldn't get in touch with?
Coby: Violating.
Dave: ...other people's space. Sometimes you'll run into some kind of dip-**** ******** who thinks it’s cool to feel up the female audience members when they are crowd surfing. And that is something we are definitely not down with. Coby in fact had to stop the show a couple of times when he's seen it happen to basically chastise whoever it was. One time, some dude pulled off a girl's shirt.
Coby: No, it was just the other night, a girl was crowd surfing.
Dave: And he pulled off her shirt.
Coby: And he ripped off her shirt and when she came on she had a shirt and then when she came to the front of the stage she didn't have a shirt on. I don't want a girl to walk away from a P-Roach show going, "I don't want to go to one of their shows again because I get harassed." We don't support that at all. It's kind of wacked.
Dave: That's one thing that we ask of our audience. When we play, everyone has fun and gets crazy, but please respect other people's space and please respect other people's rights. It's not cool to violate other people just because they are crowd surfing. It's not the right thing to do.
Do your songs offer an answer or do they sort of fuel the fire?
Coby: The thing is, music is very influential to people. For me as a lyricist, singing for the band, I'm not here to be someone's answer to their problem. I'm not trying to give you the answer. Maybe in essence, you hear one of our songs or it touches you and you can relate to it, from there it opens you up to deal with that issue in your life by yourself. Instead of looking at me for the answer, look inside yourself for the answer. When I look to music, it’s like I relate to it when I saw bands taking those negative things in their life and putting them into music and overcoming those issues and that’s kinda how I've treated this last album.
But you can't help the fact that probably some kids look up to you for some answers. Do you find that?
Dave: That's why we always try and say **** a hero, be yourself. The answer is within you. We've made some music and expressed some things that you may be able to relate with…
Coby: (spills beer on his cheek, laughs) I have a drinking problem. (tosses some beer over his shoulder) Sorry.
Dave: Nice. You know some of the things we talk about you may be able to relate to or it might make you feel a certain way or whatever. But ultimately, if there is an answer it is within you. You have to find it within yourself.
Coby: We don't want to sound preachy.
Dave: Yeah.
Coby: We don't want to preach to people. That's the thing.
Dave: It's kinda weird, but I think you get it most (pointing to Coby) because kids are like "this song sounds like it's about me."
Coby: Yeah. I got countless letters about kids who relate to "Broken Home." That song is my life, right there, in a song.
Dave: It's not like some kid is going to go "that drum beat…it’s like my life."
(Coby and Dave laugh)
Coby: (in a silly voice) That drumbeat explains all the wrong things in my life.
Your "Last Resort" video was awesome, just the whole theme and how it works. How did all of that video come together?
Dave: Thanks.
Coby: Well, Marcos, the director, related to that song because somebody he was close to had committed suicide. There was a book that he got that had pictures of kids alone in their room.
Dave: It was called In My Room, or something like that.
Coby: Yeah, it was just pictures of kids in their environment, in their room alone, by themselves. He took the idea of...we're a live band, we wanna have that live essence. You take a kid from where you don't want to be where he wants to be. Alone in his room, by himself or right into a rock show. It's good.
Cause it's like saying they are individuals as a crowd, with so many lives going on.
Dave: Yeah, they like zero in on certain kids or whatever. The cool thing about it is, too, is that we have our real fans in the video. All we did was put out an APB on the Internet. We're like "Hey we're going to do a video in Sacramento. Everyone who is a fan of P-Roach in the Northern California area, show up here at this time." We got a thousand kids show up.
Coby: Yeah, we had to turn a bunch of kids away because there wasn't enough room. But it came out really cool.
That was like the widest angle lens ever...
Coby: Yeah, it was like…Whooshhhh!!!! (making a motion of how wide the camera lens was)
Dave: Yeah, it was totally blown out.
Coby: It was massive. Yeah, I actually knocked my head on that thing really hard.
Dave: And actually, the kids' rooms that you go into were actually real kids' rooms.
Coby: Yeah.
Dave: It's not sets or soundstages or anything. We actually went around Sacramento to all these different kids houses and shot the video. It was pretty cool.
You guys knew each other in high school.
Coby: Yep.
Did you like each other?
Coby: Yep. I wanted to play drums and so did he (pointing to Dave) and he actually had a drum set. And I had a couple of drums. I remember I had a couple of drums and I was "I'll bring them over" and he put together a massive drum set. It was like the mad swarm of Guns N' Roses-style drumset. And then I was like "I'll play bass. I can play bass." I remember we recorded a conversation back in the day. I don't know why I recorded it and I don't know where that tape is, but we were saying "We should start a band." I played bass. Actually I got my bass stolen. I couldn't afford to buy another bass so I was "I'll be a singer." All I had to get a microphone and that was it. That's how it happened.
You didn't look at each other in high school going, "Oh that guy’s a dork."
Coby: You were kinda a geek (talking to Dave). I was kinda a geek too, dude.
Dave: Aw, who gives a ****.
Coby: Now we are cool geeks. People think we are cool, but we are really geeks.
Dave: Band geek.
Coby: Exactly. At heart too. I played clarinet for nine years. So I am a band geek.
High schools right now are under attack. What kind of pressure are kids under do you think?
Coby: Aw man, it’s getting weirder and weirder.
Dave: Try not to get shot. I don't understand what's going on with these kids coming in and shooting up their school and ****. We actually have a song about it…
Coby: We have a song called "Dead Cell" about the Columbine kids, about those kids. They (the shooters) are born with no soul, no realization of what's right and what is wrong. And it’s crazy because American television singles out the nerd and shows all the jock kids crying. The people that they hate. The people that they put down. And then they think, they watch TV and go, "I can hurt those people" and that's how I think they think they can get back at them who put them down so long. It really sucks that kids are doing that. I also think it has a lot to do with the availability of weapons. Because it doesn't happen in Europe. The NRA is fighting to keep your rifle in your house, but then your kid takes it to the school and shoots up. I don't know…that ******* sucks.
Dave: I don't know, dude. If you want my take on it. I really don't understand what is going on but I think that kids need to realize that is not the way to solve your problem, man. Not to take a gun to school…
Coby: Yeah. It just sucks.
Dave: I just don't understand. The whole thing is just so mind blowing to me. I can't really comprehend it. Like why?
You went through a broken home right?
Dave: Yeah.
Coby: I was pretty much with an absent father. My father is never there. Same situation as with him (pointing to Dave), with Toby.
You were under all this pressure, why didn’t you snap? Have you found a healthy way to deal with it?
Coby: Yeah. I've never been in a fistfight in my life. I'm not a fighter, I don't believe in physical violence either against other people. I'm lucky. I'm a lucky one. I've found a way to deal with those negative things in my life. And overcome them and deal with them. Some kids are unfortunate, it just keeps piling up and ****** keeps happening to them and then they do snap. That's life, I guess. Ewww!
What's this generation seeking?
Dave: **** I don't know.
Coby: I wouldn't like to be a part of it. It's weird because it's getting crazier and crazier everyday. The kids. I'd rather just not relate with it. I'm 24, I'm not a kid anymore. I think I have grown up-grown up in certain aspects. In other aspects I've grown down. (laughs) Kids are just crazy.
You guys are on the Dreamworks label, do you get into Spielberg films for free?
Coby: Yeah. We get all Dreamworks films for free.
Dave: We get DVDs for free.
Coby: What did Val bring us (talking to Dave)…oh, Almost Famous.
Dave: Oh that’s a good one.
Coby: When I watch that movie I laugh so hard I cry, dude. It’s so funny. When they are in the airplane and they start confessing to each other, and the drummer's like "I’m gay" and then the plane evens out and they are all just like "Oh…" They just told the deepest, darkest secrets of their lives. It was a cool movie. That’s a good flick.
Well that’s good perk. Get to hang out with Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenburg or David Geffen?
Coby: No…
Dave: Not quite.
Coby: I don't think they know who we are. "Papa Roach, I think that’s a band on the record label we own."
"Are we getting 20% of that?" That's all they want to know.
Coby: Yeah. They are getting their chunk. That's cool.
Dave: It's cool, man. I think we've found a good home with our label. It's helping us get our music out to more people than we would if we were selling them out of the trunk of our car.
Coby: That's how we did it man.
What do you think of clean versions of your albums?
Dave: That's something that we choose to do. We decided on our own to put a clean version out, just because it was brought to our attention that certain retailers-Walmart, or whatever-wouldn't carry the real version. There are both versions out there, and if we had a choice, we'd prefer you choose the real version. But for whoever that person is in that small town somewhere who has to shop at Walmart to buy their music, we would want them to get the CD too.
Coby: Cause Walmart is everywhere. It was crazy...we went to Europe. There are no Walmart kinds of stores—supermega stores-in Europe. We came back to America and we just walked into Walmart, just to walk around…Wow.
Dave: Damn it’s like everything you need.
Coby: Fifty different kinds of shampoo.
Dave: All right there for you.
God Bless America. Last question. We have a motto at Hard Rock. "Love All Serve All." What does that mean to you?
Coby: "Love All Serve All." I like that. "Love All Serve All."
Dave: "Be excellent to each other."
Coby: Be excellent…Quotes from Bill and Ted.
Dave: "Party on, dudes."
Coby: Yeah, definitely. Be good to people. Serve people. Try and be positive. That's what we try to do. "Be positive and negative at the same time." (in a silly voice)

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