Gig preview: Papa Roach at Leeds 02 Academy
Papa Roach made such an explosive impact when they first burst on to the NuMetal scene back in the 90s, it’s hard to get my head around the fact that the band is almost 26 years old.
Since the Infest album, their debut major label release, the band has had their fair share of ups and downs, but since releasing their latest album offering Who Do You Trust, they seem to be getting back to their roots and hitting out hard at the world once again.
Fresh off of a tour in the United States with Shinedown and Asking Alexandria, I managed to catch up with guitarist Jerry Horton before they set off on their Who Do You Trust UK tour.
“We just came off tour, it was great and we had an amazing time. We’ve done tours with Shinedown before, but never a full tour with Asking Alexandria; We got to hang out and know those guys pretty well, their shows were amazing, the tour was pretty much sold out and it was everything we could ask for.
“Next, we are doing the UK tour, then maybe one or two shows in the States, and then we come back in June for some of the European Festivals.
“We are doing NovaRock, Hurricane festival over in Germany with Enter Shikari, and Parkway Drive, and then we are at Vol Festival and Download.”
Festivals and sell out tours aside, I wanted to know how Who Do You Trust (which was released in January this year) had been received.
“It’s been amazing. Even on this last tour with Shinedown where we were the support band, I mean we didn’t have our full hour and a half huge show, but we were still playing new songs and they just went off!
“We judge how good a song is by the audience reaction, and the new songs were getting just as much applause as the classic stuff, so it’s been received super well, mostly a lot of great comments on social media and the streaming numbers are good, so that’s telling us we are doing something right.
“The streams are better than the last album, and way better than the two or three before that.”
I wanted to touch on the fact that the band was 25 years old, but I also wanted to know if Jerry had ever thought back in ‘93 that the band would have taken the direction it has to be where it is now.
“I think that would be a good assessment. Obviously, there’s no way we could have known back then what direction the band would take.
“The fact that we are still experimenting, and still making music that still has the core elements, except we’ve gone out and tried different things and especially now, we’re at a point where we don’t care about making radio hits, we just want to make interesting music for ourselves and our fans.
“We still have the attitude where we want to experiment and grow, and we want to change.
“I think our fans really appreciate that. We say to all the kids that want another album like Infest that we have already recorded it.
“We have some pop elements that have crept in, but we have veered away from making rock radio hits, if that makes sense?
“ I mean, that’s not where we came from initially. We were more on a punk, hip hop and a little bit of metal thrown in there.
I’m not saying the we have in the past few years lost our way, but we did work with some producers that kept trying to push us towards the rock radio hits, but with these guys that we have worked with on the last two albums, who are younger than we are and they grew up listening to our music.
“They’re very passionate, enthusiastic and they love making music.
“When we started working with them, it was just to write one song, and we enjoyed the experience so much that we wanted to work with them as producers.
“They reminded us of ourselves when we were making the first couple of records, so we wanted to foster that relationship, I mean, their energy was infectious to us, and we kind of got in to this frenzy while we were writing, so we would try everything.
“It was a total blast and an absolute experience for us.”
So where do Papa Roach go from here? “We are still going to be making records, working with Colin and Rab again, but we are going to focus on us a little, perhaps take a little more time recording the next album so that we can sort of reconnect without external influences.”
Papa Roach are playing at the Leeds O2 Academy this Easter Sunday , April 21, and doors open at 6pm. For ticket information go to www.academymusicgroup.com/o2academyleeds