Nu-metal. Sports Metal. Whatever. Papa Roach are simply in America's premier league of rock. After playing a sold out gig at Manchester Academy earlier this year they returned to the city to rock the Apollo. After last nights Deconstruction Tour it seems like the dance boom of the early 90s is finally dead (except for a few minor players) and the kids are ready to turn the knobs to ten and crank up those guitars. We caught up with Papa Roach's Dave - master of the sticks and the guys with the mad hair - to find about about America's longest running overnight sensations.
Q: The last 6 months in the UK at least has just been going really mad. Must just be so surreal?
A: Oh man!!! Everything in this band has just been pretty fucked up crazy like that - its kind of weird. But we just get used to like abnormal things happening around this band I guess. It's been like 8 years. We've been going since '93'. I never thought I'd be in Manchester playing a show at the Apollo. I never thought I'd play Ozfest - you know what I mean.
It wasn't like 8 years in the wilderness and then this. We were doing fine as an independent band. We had fans around California and the West Coast and we were able to tour. It didn't really pay the rent or anything but we could have toured like that for as long as we wanted to. As long as we enjoyed playing shows, which we do, it could have gone like that forever.
Its kind of weird that we did the big signing on the dotted line thing. Its worked out pretty well for us. I thing that we've been able to maintain who we are as people and as a band and not have to compromise anything that we do. We've never been a full on metal band - we've always been more like rock
Q: Since you've made it into the mainstream with "Infest" you've been called Nu-Metal, Sports-Metal, Rap-Metal. You get tired of all the press tags?
A: Nu-Metal is shit, dude!!!! Its fucking bullshit. Rock & Roll is the only thing we claim. That's the only fucking label or title that I will fucking give any kind of credence to. Rock & Roll that's it - everything else is bullshit!!!
Q: Lyrically Papa Roach are more personal than the bands you're being placed with?
A: You'll have to talk to Coby about the lyrics. He's the one who can fill you in properly. I see the lyrics and music together as working to convey the same message. Coby was just writing from his heart and what he knew and we were writing music from are hearts and that's what we play.
Q: So how's it going with the next album. You started yet?
A: First of all we haven't been to the studio for like fucking two years. We've been on the road on this record forever so its going to be good to get back in a practise base. Somewhere where its just the four of us making music together with nobody else around.
We come of the road from this record in October. The two weeks were going to spend in Europe we won't get much done because we've left the recording equipment over in the States. Pretty much for us to get something done songwriting wise we have to sit in a room together - its a fucked up process but we just have to be all together and hash it out that way.
You get to travel the world and see the places you love. But I've been to Paris five times and I've still never seen the Eiffel Tower.
Q: You signed the support act, Alien Ant Farm, to your label didn't you?
A: It wasn't like we started a label and then we signed a band. It was more like we were friends with the Alien Ant Farm for a long time. When we were indie bands we used to trade shows together. When they came up to Northern California we'd headline a show and put them in front of our crowd and then we'd go down there and they'd put us in front of their crowd. We just kind of developed a mutual respect for each other.
We are the ones who turned Dreamworks in the direction of AAF and it was kind of like a thank you. They said we could have an imprint and have AAF on there.
Were actually considering turning it into a fully fledged label. Right now its hard cos' were on the road, but it is a possibility. It would be a cool thing to have our own label with its own resources to promote the bands we like.
Papa Roach play Carling Leeds / Reading Weekend