PAPA ROACH Bassist: 'We've Always Naturally Wanted To Write Anthemic Songs That People Can Relate To'

PAPA ROACH Bassist: 'We've Always Naturally Wanted To Write Anthemic Songs That People Can Relate To'

The "Appetite For Distortion" podcast recently conducted an interview with PAPA ROACH bassist Tobin Esperance. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On what has changed in PAPA ROACH's career over the last 20 years:

Tobin: "Mainly, recently because people they say, 'Wow, 20 years!' We're celebrating the 20 years of 'Infest' next year. There's been a lot of reflection on that. Then I realize how time flies and it's gone by so quickly. But as far as what's changing, not a whole lot. Really not much has changed other than we're just a little bit more aware and a little bit more responsible because we're just older and we have a lot more going on in our lives. It's a little bit less aggressive for the sake of jumping out of our skin constantly, having so much energy and not really worrying about the consequences. Where now, we're a little bit more methodical."

On why PAPA ROACH has continued to find success for so long:

Tobin: "I think some of it might have been from the fact that at the time, there was such a tag. They called it 'nu-metal' and it was just a phase. It was this thing that wouldn't last, it was just a trend. I think, for us, because we're such a musical band, we love music far beyond just mixing heavy guitars and rapping vocals that we wanted to challenge ourselves and learning how to write great songs that we're not just the same thing repeated over and over again. That was trying to write ballads or more vulnerable songs, or writing songs that were maybe just far, far in a different thing than what people thought of when they were first introduced to PAPA ROACH. We kind of made all of those sounds, you kind of expect it from us now. But I'm sure at the time, it was, 'Oh no, what is my band that I love so much doing?' Now, I think people know that and appreciate and respect us for that."

On whether PAPA ROACH ever felt any pressure to adjust their sound:

Tobin: "Oh, yeah. I think every band when they go through a phase whether or not they are the biggest thing or whether they had a lot of success or they didn't, people are telling them, 'You've got to do this. You've got to do that.' You start to question everything. We, definitely, I can admit there was a time when I remember I was really unhappy at that time, too. I felt like we were trying to conform into something that maybe we didn't feel was what we really wanted to do and were making the best of it. But we learned and we immediately adjusted and said, 'All right, this isn't the way to go.' That happens a lot in this business, and I think how you deal with it really determines the longevity of a band."

On the fact PAPA ROACH songs are still played on the radio:

Tobin: "We definitely embrace having songs played on the radio. We've always naturally wanted to write anthemic songs that people can relate to and sing along to and remember. That's always worked for us. But I feel like also, too, the live show, how we tour, how we interact with our fans, how we've been chameleon-like in so many ways as far as being able to tour with everyone from MÖTLEY CRÜE and GUNS 'N ROSES, to EMINEM, XZIBIT, and hardcore bands, punk rock bands — taking out some of our favorite bands that we grew up listening to, bands like SNAPCASE and BLINDSIDE, to NICKELBACK, even some tours that maybe you would never imagine us, we've done them."

PAPA ROACH's tenth studio album, "Who Do You Trust?", was released earlier this year via Eleven Seven Music.

PAPA ROACH was recently announced as one of the opening bands for FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's spring North American tour. The trek kicks off on April 8 in Sunrise, Florida, winding down on May 20 in St. Paul, Minnesota.


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