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Papa Roach - 'Either we're dead or we're like Metallica'

‘Either we’re dead or we’re like Metallica’.


A couple of months ago a European Papa Roach trek was announced. Being dedicated fans of this band, Siem and Shaydee were amped for their visit to Holland. The scene of action would be 013 in Tilburg. After seeing them perform four times we thought it was time for a little chat with the band. We hooked up with Universal Music, and an interview was arranged. As we walked towards the venue we saw a lot of people in front of the main entrance, waiting to get in. Some of them eating or waiting, others trying to stay warm, cursing the weather.

When we enter the tour bus we introduce ourselves to Dave (drums) and Tobin (bass) and start to chat a little about the current tour. Tobin tells us it’s been great so far, right from the start in England. The crowd reactions are overwhelming, especially the response to the new album. Dave adds that the gig at the Dutch Lowlands festival this summer was fantastic and that the show probably ends up in their top 5 shows ever. A pleasant introduction to a nice interview.

So we came up with our first question:



We’ve seen you perform live for four times now, and half the times you played a cover. In Paradiso you played a Faith No More song and at the Lowlands festival you played a Stone Temple Pilots cover. Why is that?


Dave: We did the STP song at Lowlands right? Do people know that song?


I think some people were singing along, but not the whole crowd.


Tobin: I don’t think we’re doing it tonight because I don’t think a lot of people know it.


Dave: We didn’t realize that, after we came in Europe and started to ask around like: ‘you guys know who Stone Temple Pilots are, right?’

And they were like: ‘we’ve heard about them.’ But in America people freak out when you play that song. But here, we rearrange the set a little bit. We rather play one of our own songs to get a better reaction.


Ok, now you guys have made three albums. Infest, Lovehatetragedy and Getting Away With Murder. In what way do you think Papa Roach has changed in the last decade, since you’ve been on tour for ten years now?


Dave: Well, we’ve been a band for ten years. We didn’t really start our rock ‘n’ roll excursion until we got our record deal and started to go on tour that way. We used to play shows around California and the west coast but it didn’t really hit full-force until about 1999/2000. That’s when we actually got signed and started going on tour Then it really became our life, you know. So in fact we’ve been doing it for four years, so we sort of still feel new in that respect.


Tobin: But we’re still young and hungry so in the same aspect we’re still excited and it’s new for us, but we have been doing it for…


Dave: A while!! We have played thousands and thousands of shows, so…



And what happened to the hip-hop influences from the pre-Getting Away With Murder period? Are you ever going to come back on that stuff?


Dave: We were actually talking about it the other day. Like, we’ve definitely taken our albums in a certain direction. And we’re gonna continue to go in that direction, you know. But, I was actually talking to Coby the other day about it you know, and people still like it when we play hip-hop. We’ve done a collaboration with Black Eyed Peas for the record that was coming out; Elephunk. It’s a song called ‘Anxiety’ and it turned out great. Also we did a collaboration with Pharrel Williams, for a soundtrack. It wasn’t really a hip-hop song but you know, he’s a hip-hop producer and that was also definitely a learning experience. Hip-hop is definitely something that we can do, and I believe that we can do it well, so basically to get back to the answering of your question: You never know if we might release a couple of tracks here and there that are hip-hop. But not like on a record, maybe some other stuff. Maybe even an EP, or a bonus-track or something.


Maybe something like side-projects?

Dave: Side-projects, yeah. Sure.


Tobin: You never know what to expect. A band like U2 went away for a little while then came back, and went through to a little dance phase, you know. Sometimes you’ve got to take chances and try something new. We’ll always go back and reflect our PR sound which is…fucking rocking out.



We recently heard about Jacoby’s side project, Fight The Sky. Is this the only side-project that is running right now or are there any others?


Tobin: The only thing that is running right now is Papa Roach. There’s nothing going on but Papa Roach.


Dave: Fight The Sky, it’s funny, because it was an idea that turned into a demo that turned out to be something that totally took a life of its own, without anybody even trying. People sort of found out about it. It’s like Coby and Wade and our friend Ali. It’s like their little thing that they’re gonna do, but I don’t foresee that band touring. Maybe they’re gonna put it out in some way.


What’s Coby’s exact role in that band?


Dave: He’s John Doe!! No, he helped to produce the demo, and he’s supposed to be doing vocals but….


Tobin: He’s with us right now! With some other band.


His side-band!


Dave: Yeah, his side-band Papa Roach.


When we saw you in October 2002 performing in Tilburg, you had a second guitar player?


Dave: Haha! Mike Dirty, yeah!


Tobin: That’s just something that we tried. Just to check it out, but now we’re over it.


Dave: Yeah, it sounds like the end of that question.


So it didn’t turn out to be a good idea?


Dave: Not the greatest.


Tobin: It wasn’t the greatest idea, but hey; we’re back and we’re sounding better than ever. We feel good, and I think you’ll see that tonight on stage. The show is definitely at its best that it’s ever been.



And you’re not gonna experiment with other instruments, like percussion or something?


Dave: No. That’s not something that we’ve talked about. It hasn’t even come up yet. We’re sort of happy doing it the good old fashioned way. But you never know where we could take it. Like Cypress Hill has got their percussionist. It could be fun in one of these years.


Yes, it’s definitely one of the hot topics these days. I saw The Offspring at the Lowlands festival.


Dave: They have a percussionist yeah.


Tobin: Yeah, pa pow pa pa pa paw.


Dave: No, that’s Tone Loc dude.


Tobin: Oh yeah, wild thing!! Never mind.


Are you currently in projects of supporting any other bands?


Dave: Like giving our official stamp of approval? Can you name any bands?


Tobin: Papa Roach.


Dave: Yeah, Papa Roach, because the last time we named some other bands, people stopped to listen to our band so; listen to Papa Roach. That’s what I approve right now.


Tobin: Anything that is true to rock ‘n’ roll in its true form you know. Go out and get it, because the rest is just crap. Don’t be fooled kids.


Dave: Buy 'Getting Away With Murder’. Buy it.


Tobin: We have baby’s we need to feed. We need to save the whales.


Yeah, that’s the main reason to buy it.


Dave: Yeah, really.


You seem to have a lot of interaction with the fans. The website is updated very often with studio reports and stuff. What does the contact with the fans mean to you?


Dave: Well, the way we see it your fans are what sustain to you. It’s like that theory. You can ask 10.000 people to give you a dollar, you get 10.000 dollar. Just to put it as simple as that. That’s the reason our fans mean so much, because…..


Tobin: That’s what we should do; we should have a lot of fans bring us a dollar to the show. Then we’d have 10.000 dollar.


Dave: That’s a good idea!!


What would you do with the money?


Tobin: I’d feed the children and save the whales.


Dave: Dude, save the whales and feed the children to the baby seals.


Tobin: No, feed the children to the whales.



Well, I think the Papa Roach fans are very….they put a lot of energy in their favorite band. Right now, there are maybe twenty kids waiting outside.


Dave: For us to come out.


Tobin: Yeah, that’s what we need. A lot of dedicated fans, because a lot of fans come and go. And we want to satisfy the hardcore fans.


Dave: Well, sometimes you’ve got to give them a little extra special attention. Sometimes you just got to give your fans a beer. Sometimes all it takes is when a kid is waiting outside the venue and says: ‘Hey Dave!’ and I think he’s asking me to give an autograph. But he’s like: ‘can you get me a beer?’


And what did you do?


Dave: I got him a beer.


Tobin: Otherwise he would be thinking: ‘Dave, what a jerk’


Dave: ‘He didn’t give me a beer’.


Tobin: If we sold all the beers and charge a dollar, we’d have 10.000 dollars.



Ok. What can we expect from Papa Roach in the future?


Tobin: We’re gonna keep touring and we’re gonna keep putting out records. That’s all I can say. Because that’s what we do.


So we can expect you to be in Tilburg for at least three more times?


Dave: Oh yes, definitely


Tobin: We’re gonna keep going until we feel we’re on top of the game, our goals are getting higher and higher, and we just keep on going. We’re not gonna stop until we’re satisfied. And we’re never satisfied so we’ll never stop. Until we’re dead.


Dave: And then we’ll sell even more records. Either we’re dead or we’d be like Metallica.


Any last words to the readers of


Tobin: Stay true to yourself, keep rocking and buy ‘Getting Away With Murder’.


Dave: I’ve got one last word. I’m just about to repeat to what you just said, to all our fans. We love you and go and get our record ‘Getting Away With Murder .We’ll see you here on tour and we appreciate everything you’ve done for Papa Roach.


Alright, well thank you for the interview. And have fun tonight.