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Papa Roach

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papa roach

Papa Roach

Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images.

Papa Roach Overview:

Papa Roach were one of the influential rap-rock bands of the early 21st century, but when that musical style lost its popularity, the group made the transition to a streamlined hard rock sound. Incorporating metal into their melodic rock, Papa Roach struggled to match the commercial peak of their breakthrough record, 2000’s Infest, but they were able to consistently place singles onto the mainstream and modern rock charts throughout the ‘00s.

Papa Roach's Origins:

Papa Roach formed in 1993 in Vacaville, a small community in Northern California. The band went through a few lineup shuffles early on, but soon the group consisted of singer Jacoby Shaddix (who initially went by the stage name Coby Dick), guitarist Jerry Horton, bassist Tobin Esperance and drummer Dave Buckner. For the rest of the ‘90s, Papa Roach toured and recorded EPs to spur interest in the group. Eventually, Papa Roach signed with Dreamworks for the release of their official debut, which would turn out to be the band’s biggest hit.

Finding Fame Through a "Last Resort":

Infest emerged in 2000, flaunting a lot of rap-rock attitude – Shaddix’s rapped vocals were full of bravado and invective, and the band’s strutting, furious style recalled Limp Bizkit and Rage Against the Machine. Simply put, Infest captured the musical fad in all its glory, and the album went double-platinum within three months of its release. Infest’s centerpiece single, “Last Resort,” was full of self-loathing angst wrapped up in Jerry Horton’s revved-up guitar riffs. The rest of Infest wasn’t as consistently compelling as “Last Resort,” but the album established Papa Roach as one of rap-rock’s next big things.

Saying Goodbye to Rap-Rock:

Much had changed for Papa Roach in the two years following Infest’s release. By 2002’s Lovehatetragedy, Shaddix had dropped the Coby Dick moniker and returned to his birth name. In addition, he abandoned rapped vocals for a more conventional singing style. Lovehatetragedy represented Papa Roach’s rejection of rap-rock, which was starting to experience a commercial backlash. Aided by Pearl Jam producer Brendan O’Brien, Papa Roach embraced straightforward hard rock on their sophomore disc. Lacking a breakthrough single, Lovehatetragedy struggled to entice audiences, although critics deemed it an improvement on Infest.

A Sleeker Sound:

In 2004, Papa Roach returned with Getting Away With Murder. Working with co-producer Howard Benson (who would later oversee albums for Seether and Daughtry), Papa Roach sought a sleeker rock sound, and although Getting Away With Murder sold better than Lovehatetragedy, it felt more generic in its lyrical discontent and guitar aggression. The title track and “Scars” were competent, catchy singles, but the band lacked the urgency that made their earlier albums memorable. Papa Roach were no longer a rap-rock band, but they hadn’t figured out what they wanted to be now.

Trying to Stay Relevant:

By the time of 2006’s The Paramour Sessions, Papa Roach were still a hit on American rock radio, but their worldwide popularity had waned. Creatively, the band seemed out of gas – the songs on The Paramour Sessions weren’t bad, but they felt calculated to mimic rock trends in order to keep Papa Roach relevant. Significantly, it was the first of Papa Roach’s major-label albums to fail to even go gold.

'Metamorphosis':

Papa Roach released Metamorphosis on March 24, 2009. Drummer Dave Buckner left the band, replaced by Tony Palermo. Two singles, “Lifeline” and “Hollywood Whore,” hit radio in advance of the album’s release.

Papa Roach Lineup:

Tobin Esperance – bass
Jerry Horton – guitar
Tony Palermo – drums
Jacoby Shaddix – vocals

Key Papa Roach Songs:

“Last Resort” (Purchase/Download)
“Getting Away With Murder” (Purchase/Download)
“Scars” (Purchase/Download)
“Forever” (Purchase/Download)
“... To Be Loved” (Purchase/Download)
“Lifeline” (Purchase/Download)

Papa Roach Discography:

Infest (2000) Compare Prices
Lovehatetragedy (2002) Compare Prices
Getting Away with Murder (2004) Compare Prices
The Paramour Sessions (2006) Compare Prices
Metamorphosis (2009) Compare Prices
To Be Loved (greatest-hits collection) (2010)
Time for Annihilation...On the Record & On the Road (2010)

Papa Roach Trivia:

  • Papa Roach got their name from Shaddix’s step-grandfather, Howard William Roatch.
  • After Papa Roach fired drummer Dave Buckner in December 2007, he sued the band for royalties, claiming he wanted “to dissolve Papa Roach.”
  • Papa Roach have played with Korn, Limp Bizkit, Incubus and Guns N’ Roses.
  • Papa Roach formed in Vacaville, California, which was once known as the Onion Capital of the World.
  • Jacoby Shaddix was on his high school’s football team.

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