heavy metal

PAPA ROACH Interview

The Gauntlet: How is everything with rehearsals?

Dave: It is going really well. We are in Burbank right now doing our tour rehearsals for our upcoming tour with HIM and Lostprophets. We are playing five or six new songs in the set. We are just trying to tighten those up. I was telling the guys earlier that as far as I am concerned, I want to play this whole record live. My dream would be where we play this record front to back and then play singles and hits. I am that stoked about this record and to play these songs. But we are going to play five or six so I am definitely excited about that.

The Gauntlet: I haven't heard the entire album yet, but from the songs I have heard, everything sounds pretty good. It is very rock/anthem driven.

Dave: I guess the way I would put it is we get bored after every album and say we did that, what can we do next? So with every record, we take a different approach. Not to say we are done flexing on the hip-hop, it is something we have done and can do very well, but we just haven't been feeling it on the last couple of albums. We chose to give that straight ahead rock edge.

The Gauntlet: Does it have to do with the maturity of the band?

Dave: It might. We are a band that sort of established a precedent. The only thing about this band is we are going to be forever changing. Not any of our records sound the same and it will be like that until the day we call it a career and quit. The crazy thing about it is when we play live, there is something about the energy. The songs all make sense being played together from that energy. There are a few things that attribute to that maturity factor. We are older now and have been around the block. We are more established now and can take that rock flag appropriately. Also just us growing as musicians and song writers contributes. We have learned how to write simpler song structures and give each other more space. A couple things we learned over the years is the more you try to cram in those 24 channels on the mixing board, the more that can go wrong. But when you strip it down to the music, everything really gets to shine. This is something we applied to this record. We wrote all of this record and recorded it in a haunted house on a hill in Los Angeles. I feel that was a big contribution to this record. You can almost feel that energy on the songs. There is something about the house that we were living in that made it on this record.

The Gauntlet: I hear 'haunted house' and I think of spirits floating around and vases being thrown at you. Is that how it was?

Dave: I'll tell you this. We were doing a demo for the song called 'Crash.' When Coby gets through the first verse and to the pre-chorus, he says "I'm gonna crash." Every time for the first day he sang that, the computer would crash, every time. We'd have to reboot the computer. That is just one of the stories. We heard all kinds of campfire stories from the owner. The stuff that would go down when people stayed there and we were no exception. Late at night you'd hear stuff like footsteps and people singing and no one was there. There were also doors that would open and close by themselves. There were certain places in the house that you'd walk through and feel cold air or an electric charge. It really opened my eyes to this. You get this chill down your back.

The Gauntlet: If I was living and working in a haunted house, I think it would motivate me to get the album done in record time to get the hell out.

Dave: Yeah, you would think so. Somehow we all fell in love with that house. We started having these crazy haunted, romantic relationships with the house. It really drew us in. I feel now we are part of the history of the house. It is hard to explain, but it is definitely something cool.

The Gauntlet: Are you superstitious?

Dave: I consider myself a free thinker. I don't try to debunk anything. I try to find a little truth in the unexplained. Maybe I am a little superstitious. There is something to be said about wearing the same clothes every night on stage and having the same set list.

The Gauntlet: Did the ghost of the house enjoy your stay and music? The house is very old and the people buried on the property died in the 1920's so I'd imagine Papa Roach music is new to them.

Dave: Actually, one of the spirits was really young. There was a young feeling there. I don't know what it was or whoever died there. The old owner that died likes men around. That's what she enjoys. The current owner of the house said that the energy at the house had never been more positive than when we were there. She said that the house felt sad when we left. We found ourselves addicted to living there. Coby left the property only two times over the three months we where there. Tobin and I would go and hang out with friends and have parties. We were told that the house tends to draw you in and keep you if it can. I didn't really understand and appreciate it until now. It was pretty gnarly man.

The Gauntlet: Howard Benson was brought back to produce 'The Paramour Sessions'

Dave: This was a first time for us to use the same producer on two records in a row. We get bored and we feel like we need to move on. With every record we have chosen to use a different producer. With every producer, it affects your sound quite a bit. With Howard, we felt like we built up such a good rapport and we appreciate his musicality in general. When it came time to work on this record, we decided to call Howard and he agreed to do it. I feel like we were able to build off what we were able to accomplish with the last record and take it to the next level. Now we are comfortable and familiar working together. We have this psychic connection. There were times when we would finish his sentences. Another thing Howard brings to the table is he focuses on vocals. He has a great sense of harmony and melody. That is a great part of our band. A lot of our songs are sing along and you can hear the vocals. Working with him on that level and seeing how he shapes the vocals and that whole area is amazing. There were just so many things that happened on this record. We were all just on the same page. We hit a stride and everything just clicked automatically.

The Gauntlet: A lot of bands that have the same success from the start have members drift away, start side projects or leave the band. How does Papa Roach stay cohesive?

Dave: I really think we are family. Being in this band is like being with your brother. We started this band in high school as a garage band. I have been in this band with the same four guys forever. We have been through all the great moments and pitfalls together and have been there for each other. It is easier now. We have been through the phase where we almost broke up because we couldn't handle the success. We have gone through checking into separate hotels while on tour because no one wanted to be around each other unless we were on stage. We are on the other side of that. We look at each other as family and brothers. Everyone now has families and kids and it forms another bond. Even down to our crew, they are part of our family. This isn't just a business or a rock band to us.

The Gauntlet: That's one thing I have always noticed about Papa Roach. The band has a strong family bond. I remember going to Papa Roach shows in Hollywood in the 90's before the band was signed and there was a bus load of your family there to support you; cousins, parents, grandparents, etc.

Dave: Yeah, my grandma would come out and mosh at the shows.

The Gauntlet: That's right�she kept trying to get me to jump in the pit with her.

Dave: [laughs] She still gets in the pit at 70 years old.

The Gauntlet: You have a tour coming up with HIM.

Dave: Yes, HIM, Kill Hannah and Lostprophets. It isn't a extensive tour, but it's a great tour for us to get back out there and get our road legs on. Gives us a chance to get our machine going.

The Gauntlet: As the release date approaches, are you more nervous or excited?

Dave: Both, and anxious and proud. There is a whole mix of emotions going on. The whole process of writing this record was very personal. This one digs deeper and further than any others. Other than Incest, this is the most personal. Incest was a diary of who Coby was back then. This record is about the men we have become, our lives and relationships. It is pretty deep. With that, you get nervous as we are really putting ourselves out there. Are people going to like it or will they think it sucks. I see this being positive. It shows that we are putting out an honest representation. It is pretty scary; here is my life, here is my heart, are you going to dig it? I am proud as hell of these songs and of the experience. I had so much fun making this record and didn't want to stop. I was all for making a double length album. I have a good feeling about it. It turned out pretty fucking cool.

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Tags:  Papa Roach  , Daveinterviews

    August 25, 2006

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