The live show is a very important of any artist’s career, but especially for Papa Roach. In fact, frontman Jacoby Shaddix is so confident in their stage presence that he’s declared they are the band that other acts don’t want to follow onstage.
For Nickelback‘s Chad Kroeger, it’s Sevendust and for Bring Me the Horizon‘s Oli Sykes, the answer was Fever 333. For Shaddix, though, it’s no one — he remarked that he’d go up onstage after Rage Against the Machine, and affirmed that no task is too big for P. Roach.
The rockers just recently scored their 10th No. 1 single with “No Apologies,” which is the second song from their 2022 album Ego Trip to top the mainstream rock songs chart following “Kill the Noise” in late 2021. The record is their very first release through their own label, New Noize, after they’d previously put out albums through DreamWorks, Geffen, Eleven Seven and an independent label called Onion Hardcore (home of their 1997 debut Old Friends From Young Years).
We caught up with Shaddix last week in Las Vegas at the G2 Active Rock Gathering conference on behalf of Loudwire Nights host Toni Gonzalez to discuss how radio has helped Papa Roach’s career, what it means to release music through your own label and how he feels about being a part of the music business. Read on to see what the vocalist had to say.
Since we’re at a radio event, can you recall the first time that you heard Papa Roach on the radio and what your thoughts were in that moment?
Absolutely I remember. I was driving in the van with the band down I-5, that’s from Sacramento to L.A. We were headed down there to do some kind of show or performance, I can’t remember what it was. But we were listening to the rock station and they were like, ‘This just in — a brand new band from Vacaville, California, Papa Roach.’ We just all freaked out. We pulled the van over and just cranked the thing to the nine and just went buck-nutty.
I just remember in that van and just thinking, ‘Fuck, dude. We made it.’ Little did I know, we were just at the bottom of another massive mountain.
Do you think that radio will ever be obsolete?
It’s definitely an interesting time for radio. With the way that things are moving forward and stuff like that, it’s like, how do you keep the stations relevant? I feel like, if radio continues to be a tastemaker in regards to finding new music and discovering new music and pushing that music to the fans, and not just relying on the heritage acts, I feel that that’s gonna build a future for the format for sure.
And there’s a ton of dope bands. At this conference here, tomorrow night Beartooth is gonna play… I love Beartooth, I think they’re dope. I think they’re one of those bands that, given the opportunity, is gonna slay at radio.
‘No Apologies’ is the latest No. 1 song on rock radio for Papa Roach — congratulations on that. Does it mean more to you since Ego Trip was released on your own label?
Oh it absolutely means a ton to us. I mean every No. 1 trips me out, it really does, I’m super grateful for it. But this one, I think, being this far along in our career and being at this point where we have our own label and we’re making the choices ourselves and pushing this ball up the hill ourselves — obviously with our team — but it’s very gratifying. This is our second No. 1 on this record so I’m tripping. And who knows where we go from here?
I know that we’re gonna release more singles off this album. We’re doing a whole other year, as far as touring goes, on this record, and we’re gonna release at least two more singles off this record. So a lot more work to do. We’re just getting right — it feels like we’re just getting started just because the album came out a couple of months ago, but we’ve been working this music for a while now.
Next you guys have Aftershock festival, and then what are your plans after that? What are you going to be doing over the next couple of months?
Yeah, Aftershock is gonna be dope. That’s gonna be the homecoming for us and we’ve been really chomping at the bit to get onstage for this one because it’s an important festival, especially being back home in an important time in our career. I think we got a lot to prove, especially sharing the stage with a band like My Chemical Romance — they’re a great band. But we’re coming to bring our A-game and rip it, and we got some tricks up our sleeves too for that one, which is exciting.
As far as after that, we’re gonna take the rest of the year and kind of pull back a little bit. Next year it’s full tilt boogie, we’re going to the U.K. with some friends in Don Broco, we’re talking about a potential second leg of Rockzilla [tour] with Falling in Reverse and Hollywood Undead. We’ll see if that pans out, but we’re super excited about that, we’d love for that to happen. And then just a bunch of touring next year.
But the rest of this year we’re just gonna lay low, especially because during the pandemic, it was like right when touring became readily available to the fans and the bands, everyone was just standing at the starting line ready to go. [Now] bands are having problems getting tour buses, getting trailers or vans and crew guys, so it’s like, we’re just gonna pull back. Plus, we just had slamming tours, so it’s like we don’t want to overdo it. We’re firm believers that absence makes the heart grow fonder, so we don’t want to overdo the touring thing.
Tobias Forge actually just made that point too, that a lot of bands are having problems. But speaking of sharing the stage — obviously you guys have a really strong stage presence, but what is one band that you would never want to go onstage after because their performance is that good?
I’ll fucking go on after anybody dude, I don’t care. I’m that type of guy, we’re the band that people don’t want to go on after. I mean, I’ll go on stage after Rage Against the Machine if I got to, I’ll do it.
I remember when we were coming up back in 2000 and there was a show in Portugal, and we played with Stone Temple Pilots and Queens of the Stone Age. We were the headliners of the show. I was kind of intimidated by it because it’s like, Stone Temple Pilots are iconic, one of my favorite groups growing up, and big fans of Queens of the Stone Age, those guys are just all legends. We just had to get the job done, and we went up there and fucking ripped it! It was great!
No task too big for us to just go and tackle. I’ll grab the leg, Tobin [Esperance] will grab the other leg — yeah, we’ll go kill it.
I love that answer. So Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins recently said in an interview, ‘I don’t know if you can be happy in the music business because the music business is sort of designed to mess with your head.’ Do you agree with this?
Oh man, yeah it’s a filthy trench, the music business. The more I learn about it, there’s just all these little nooks and crannies and crevices that they hide the fucking money, and the artists gotta go dig for it and find it. It’s all perspective, if I let my emotions grab me and take hold, then yeah it’s gonna fuck with my head. But then if I look at it with my analytical mind and my ‘anything is possible’ mind, it’s like, ‘Fuck, it’s alright man.’
My life is good. I’ve been doing this for 20 plus years, we got 11 records. Yeah, we’ve had some highs and lows and yeah we’ve had people take advantage of us. But for me, at the end of the day, we run an honest business, we treat people good and we treat people with respect, and that’s my side of the street. When it comes to the other guys that are dishonest or running games, they gotta answer to that themselves. They gotta sleep with that at night, so for me I just keep a clean conscience about treating people good and just trying to be a good human in this business.
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