Papa Roach – Across The Ocean

Papa Roach

It has been a long time but Papa Roach have a point to prove when they hit the stage in Australia for Soundwave. The last time Papa Roach were here it was some twelve years ago supporting the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Across The Ocean spoke to Tobin Esperance from the band about Soundwave and the brand new album which they are really excited about.


Soundwave, Australia, Papa Roach, it must be exciting for the band?

We’re so excited, it is long overdue. The last time we were there was back in 2002 with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I don’t know what has taken us so long but we’re excited, we’re excited that we’ve got a new record. So we will be playing some new songs, we’ll also be playing a lot of stuff off our first record celebrating fifteen years of that record.

It must be great to be touring with a brand new record?

Everything really does feel good and super positive. As a band we’re really excited and we feel good about this record, really proud and we’ve been having amazing shows all over. There’s been a great response from our fans so we will just try and keep that going having lots of fun, bringing all that energy to the stage.

Do you find it exciting releasing an album just as much now as you did with the first album?

It is completely different times and that was fifteen years ago and a lot has changed for us. We’re still super excited and stoked to be able to keep doing what we are doing and love. We’ve had this amazing longevity and support from our fans. It is about maintaining the fun part, loving what we do and trying to take our show to the next level every single time.

It must be good being able to do it on your own terms considering the constraints and other outside influences some bands have?

That’s what we’ve learned is to really take control, learn the business, learn to succeed and being in control and having a say on how you want to do things. We’ve really had to step it up and focus as a band and as individuals. We’ve been through a lot of shit but I think all that has brought us closer together and made us a stronger unit.

Do you think you were tougher on yourselves during the making of this album?

I think we set the bar really high for ourselves and we have a lot of expectations. We like to put in the work. That’s what it is really about for us really, I think the first five years of our career we were young and very typical and just fucking reckless not really giving a fuck about much. It was like a big blur, a big party and now to get that part out of the way, check your ego and have lots of success and then not having the success anymore, getting it back and maintaining the support from our fans through making good music again is something you don’t take for granted. You shouldn’t! This is a gift.

Was the whole process of making F.E.A.R. as difficult as you thought?

The production side was stressful at first because we hadn’t walked in to a studio situation where we didn’t have any songs pre-written. It took us a couple of songs to get the confidence going and it was like yes we can do this. It’s not fucking rocket science it’s just rock ‘n roll. You get an idea in your head and you just build on it and record it as you go. It put a bit of pressure on our Jacoby’s plate because we were churning out the music and it was shit he better start writing some lyrics putting these ideas going on in his head on paper. I think he was a little overwhelmed at first but he had such a focused energy that after he felt good with the first two songs we did it just snowballed. We kept the momentum going and we were on the same age with the producer’s working with Kane Churko for the first time also. It was that new energy going on in the studio and they’re excited to try new things as we were. It ended up working out very well.

Was this approach about keeping it fresh and exciting with little or no preconceived ideas?

Sometimes you can get really worn out when you spend too much time thinking about shit. It’s like trust your gut and don’t over think everything, that’s what we’ve learnt to do. I think a lot of bands after a while realise their strengths and weaknesses then you just go with it.

How would you compare F.E.A.R. to the last couple of albums?

Sonically it is definitely a heavier record and the guitars are fucking loud and in your face. We’re bringing back more of the riffs, the drums are just pounding but at the same time there is this adventurous aspect to it with this sense of dynamics. There’s lots of ear candy and we weren’t afraid to go a little overboard with some of the production stuff. We said fuck it lets go all out on this one, that’s not to say that on the next one we might do something a little bare bones, who fucking knows! We go with whatever we want at that particular time.

What’s like listening and comparing how you sounded on Old Friends From Young Years to your new album F.E.A.R.?

When we made our first record we didn’t know shit about the studio. Producers were telling us about harmonies, structures and arrangements and we’re like what? I don’t know what you’re talking about! What does that mean? Now we know and we have become much better song writers and we know all the tricks. For us now it’s us saying to ourselves what the most important thing for the song is. Even though we know what we can do and what we want to do, how we can do this and how we can do that, stacking a bunch of guitar tracks and stacking a bunch of vocals ultimately boils down to what will represent the song the best. We’re in this position where we can express ourselves and speak our mind and have this connection with our fans it is like we better say something and make it meaningful. We’d better get in the faces of these people and get them moving, dancing, fighting and fucking – having some kind of response or otherwise we’re not doing our job.

The intensity of a Papa Roach show is right up there, do you think will rise to a higher level when you play Soundwave?

For us we haven’t been to Australia for a very long time so to go there knowing that we’re going to be amongst our peers and bands that we’ve grown up listening to pushes you even more. When you look to the side of the stage and you see your homies from other bands watching you then you see people in the crowd who are thinking what’s up with this band, they haven’t been to fucking Australia in twelve years, what are they going to bring to the fucking table? You step on to the stage with something to prove and that’s how we roll. We’re the type of band that gets to the edge of the fucking stage and get right in peoples face to leave a mark.

Rob Lyon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rob Lyon has been writing about all things music for well over ten years in Adelaide clocking up more live shows each year seeing the best going round.

Whether it is rummaging through vinyl at record stores such as Clarity and Title finding hidden gems to scouring the internet to find that album by the next big thing or chasing bands to get that elusive autograph and photo his passion is music all the way.
Rob Lyon

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