The bugs that never die

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Not mainstream, but still a blast. /image: radiox.com

Not mainstream, but still a blast. /image: radiox.com

Papa Roach visits the queen city

Article: Dana Morenstein – Contributor

It’s always fun going to a rock concert, even if it’s a band you don’t normally listen to. Although Papa Roach definitely has a dedicated following—no doubt because their live shows are the bomb—they aren’t really the first band you think of in terms of mainstream charting rock music.

They were nominated for a Grammy award in 2001 for Best New Artist, have sold more than 20 million albums worldwide and have been certified Platinum, yet the band’s popularity seemed to decline after their third major label album, Getting Away with Murder, was released in 2004.

Their musical sound has changed considerably, too, throughout the years. Once described as rap metal, some of their newer songs could be classified as pop or mainstream.

When asked if he thinks the band’s changing musical style throughout the years has affected their band’s popularity, bass player Tobin Esperance said, “There are certain songs that definitely have some pop to it. We’re all fans of pop music. But we have a lot of heavy songs too. We love playing all different types of music, we aren’t going to just stick to one thing. We became better songwriters, too, and I think sometimes when you know too much about how to write a good song or you’re expecting something to be on the radio, it comes out sounding a little too safe. I think we’ve recognized that sometimes it’s not always fun to do things that way.”

“We’re a live band. We play a lot and we tour all the time. It’s all about the music that really is energetic, we have fun, and we’re going to concentrate that when we write this next record.”

If he could go back, though, would he have done anything differently?

“Yeah. I think I would. I don’t particularly like to look back on things and wish I could have done them differently but moving forward, I just want to enjoy it and have fun. We were really young and we experienced a lot really quick and we didn’t expect it and maybe we weren’t ready for it. But everything happens for a reason. We’re just lucky enough to still have a career and [have had] longevity.”

No one can argue that. The venue was packed and fans were waiting anxiously to see them. When the stage lights came on, a hush of anticipation came over the crowd. Then they went wild. Guitar riffs began, heavy drumming and bass, then Jacoby Shaddix, the band’s lead singer, started performing.

Shaddix crowd surfed, jumped off the stage to sing alongside his fans, cheerfully sprayed a drink into the audience, cursed occasionally and said the typical Regina joke that residents must be close to getting tired of: “Hey Regina—the city that rhymes with fun!”

Shaddix is definitely the epitome of lead singer showmanship. The talent and energy of the band members add to his insanely polished vocals. They know how to play, there’s no question. People were genuinely enjoying themselves, jumping up and down, dancing, singing along and, essentially, feeding off of Shaddix’s energy and giving it right back to him in spades.

You could tell by watching them that Papa Roach is a band who truly enjoys performing and that they appreciate being up there on stage, doing what they love.

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