Interview mit Papa Roach


Allschools: How was your day so far?
Tony: Pretty good!
Allschools: What did you do?
Tony: Not much today.
Tobin: Well I've been walking around town,
Allschools: You've been to Berlin quite a lot, is there anything in particular that you remember about the city?
Tony: I personally like the area "Kreuzberg", that's one of my favourite spots.
Allschools: The more alternative part of Berlin.
Tony: Yeah, cool bars and a few music venues.

After Tony and Tobin were talking about some music club/bar that they really liked but couldn't remember the name we started talking about their upcoming record.

Allschools: Your new record will be released in January next year. When was the time you started working on that record?
Tony: In February.
Allschools: So one year all in all?
Tony: No we started in February and then had three months.
Tobin: Yes, it's been ready for quite some time.
Allschools: So why isn't it released this fall already?
Tony (smiling): I don't know! We wanted to make sure that the setup was done right in all areas. Our label team and other people needed more time to properly get everything ready.

Allschools: How do you begin with doing a new record? Do you all get together and collect ideas?
Tobin: This record was done differently from all records that we've ever done. We showed up at the studio with no music prewritten. We wrote the music and recorded the ideas simultaneously which was a little nerve-wracking at first because we had the feeling of pressure and not being prepared, you know? But once we got in there and we just started working the ideas started flowing and we were all super inspired and focused. We had a mission to accomplish and we did! And we did a pretty good job, it worked out great. But usually our songs are already written when we enter the studio, this time it was different and exciting.

Allschools: What gets done first, the lyrics or the instrumental parts?
Tobin: The music, always.
Allschools: Why is it like that?
Tobin: I don't know. We are constantly working on music and Jacoby isn't writing lyrics unless he's inspired by the music. He doesn't write lyrics and sings them to his own music.
Allschools: So you would be able to influence him a little by only making very dark instrumental parts so he has to write dark lyrics matching the sound?
Tobin: I think we have a pretty good balance of all the emotions that are out there (smiling).

Allschools: Have there been any musical influences for this record?
Tony: Electronic for Tobin.
Tobin: Not so much, I'm just over it to be honest but people like that shit and our producers added their two cents. With the exception of "Warriors" I did that. I think we were just trying to make the best music that Papa Roach makes. Everything is an inspiration like our lives and the people we know and of course that bands that we like but nothing really new was changing the style. We were just like "we know what we do so let's just keep doing that".

Allschools: Who produced the record?
Tony: Kevin and Kane Churko father and son.
Allschools: Have you worked with them before?
Tony: No, not once.
Allschools: Where do you know them from?
Tony: We knew a few bands that have worked with them like In This Moment, Ozzy and Five Finger Death Punch.
Tobin: Shania Twain.
Allschools: That was really important to you I guess..(smiling)
Tony: And he does those huge in your face productions and has great skills so we had a couple of meetings with them and we were like "yeah we can work with this guy" now he only has to get us come to Vegas.
Allschools: So his studio is in Vegas? That Isn't bad either, right? Or is it too distracting?
Tobin: It's not the most ideal place, like I don't want to go to Vegas usually.
Tony: For more than a night or two.
Tobin: But that's where his studio is (The Hideour on Las Vegas Blvd).
Tony: Yeah so we were a little apprehensive and kept bouncing back and forth "we gotta go to vegas.." we couldn't get him to come to California.
Tobin: But at the same time it's close, Las Vegas is from where we live like an hour flight so we would just get on the plane every weekend and fly home.

Allschools: You chose F.E.A.R as the title, which also stands for face everything and rise. Could you explain the title for me?
Tony: It's like a two headed dragon.
Tobin: It's something that stuck. Jacoby had it written on the walls in the studio while we were recording and I wasn't really sure what the whole meaning was going to be but when the record was done with all the lyrics, it symbolizes facing your fears and your demons and overcoming all the negative shit that holds your back from being the best person you can be. Everybody has fears and everybody has his insecurities that hold him back and everyone has his struggles that you just have to deal with. This record is just about giving hope to overcome those struggles.
Tony: Compared to the last record "The Connection" Jacoby came from a way different place this time with sobriety and a clearer head so he was very excited to start with fresh power. It was cool to see him, with the last record he was a mess. I've seen him balled up on the couch but with this one he was like "Let's do this!" and it just flowed. There's much more of a positive lyrical outcome on this one.

Allschools: That would have been my next questions, would you say that F.E.A.R is a very positive, uplifting record?
Tobin: There's some pretty heavy dark shit on there but it's not about being negative. It's about how you deal with it and overcome it and see that there's a light at the end of the tunnel. it's a very optimistic record for sure.
Tony: Yeah, dark stuff is out there but it's overcome now, it's almost like a healing.
Tobin: A very therapeutic record. We do that you know? (smiling) smacking each other and screaming "come on dude get over it!, it's gonna be alright!"
Allschools (laughing): Whatever works, right?

Allschools: I read that Jacoby decided to rap some parts of the lyrics instead of singing it. So is it kind of going back to the old Papa Roach days?
Tony: A little bit.
Tobin: Hip Hop has always been an influence for us. We don't even think about it, on an instrument like when I am playing bass or guitar there's a million different ways you can change the sound and for Jacoby it's using his voice in a different way. It's funny how people are like "oh my god he's rapping, they're going to do rap music now" and we're like "no, it's just another way of showing his voice".

Allschools: Fans always want the bands to do something new, exciting but not change their musical style too much. How do you deal with such expectations?
Tony: We just do what we do to be honest. We've never sat down and said "Let's write a song for this group of people". By the end of the recording process you can see different styles infiltrating the sound or the rhythm but we never write for a certain group of people.
Allschools: That's good!
Tony: Yeah, that would suck!

Allschools: Which song of the new record is your favourite and why? And don't say all of them!
Tobin: How about none of them? (laughing) No, I like "Falling Apart".
Tony: I like the title track F.E.A.R..
Tobin: Yeah, promote it! It's our new single and It's coming out tonight.
Tony: It's different, the drums aren't all the way through the song so there are a lot of starts and stops. And when the chorus hits it's just good.
Allschools: So what made you choose "Warrior" as the first single then?
Tobin: It's not the single.
Allschools: Oh really? Because in Germany it was the first song we got to hear.
Tony: It wasn't supposed to be that way. It was supposed to be released as kind of a teaser track.
Tobin: We're going to punch the person who had the idea to do this "teaser track".

Allschools: What will the album cover look like?
Tobin: It's a surprise!
Tony: We gotta keep something to us.
Tobin: To describe it the best: if you would take the place where we recorded the new record, it's the other side of Las Vegas.

Allschools: With online stores like iTunes or streaming services like Spotify getting more and more popular, do you even make money with selling actual records anymore?
Tobin: No.
Allschools: So you're making money by touring.. and that's it?
Tony: And by T-Shirts.
Allschools: So it's good for us because we get to see you more.
Tony: And bad for our families because they don't get to see us that much.
Tobin: I think it's something that quite hasn't figured itself out yet. You just have to adept to the transitions in culture and media and the social networking. The music business has changed so much since we started and you just have to adept to survive.
Tony: I mean we are very fortunate too to actually have the opportunity to tour and have people show up.
Allschools: So you still like what you're doing?
Tony: Yeah!

Allschools: What was the last record you bought in a store?
Tony: I bought some albums on vinyl, some Jazz stuff. Thelonious Monk and some Al Green, old R'nB. But nothing new just older stuff.
Tobin: The last cd I bought? I can't even remember honestly. I totally buy my stuff online on iTunes and stuff. The last one I bought there was Royal Blood. I Just don't take care of my shit very well so having CD's is not good for me. I totally love and respect the days when I had them but it is easier for me now.
Tony: It's not great for touring.
Tobin: Yeah, I remember back in the days I used to go on tour and would have three big ass booklet cases with me.

Allschools: Since there's quite some time waiting for the record to come out in Germany, are there any bands that you would like to point out worth listening to while the waiting time?
Tobin: The new Royal Blood.
Tony: The guys we are on tour with, While She Sleeps. We heard their new record the other night and its banging! Sounds so good! I'm not sure when it comes out but I think it's sooner than ours. I've also been listening to Deftones - Diamond Eyes a lot.
Tobin: I've been listening to Mogwai and Explosions In The Sky. And I just went back and listened to Smashing Pumpkins again. Their record Siamese Dream. The way he sings is really cool very soft and he whispers and then he has this cat like screaming which is just really cool. There are not a lot of singers that sing like that.

Allschools: I read that Jacoby stated in an interview that if he would die tomorrow, he would be glad that FEAR was his last musical outcome. Would you agree to that or do you think that there's still more to reach?
Tobin: I think he was trying to make a statement and make an impact and make people feel hopeful and not alone. When you feel you've done your duty that's good. Sometimes you have to think about what you're doing and think "this could be the last note or this could be the last show you every play". Don't take it for granted. Give it 143 percent.
Tony: Love it! 145 percent (laughing).
Allschools: Those are very good closing words I think. Thank you very much for taking the time!