Papa Roach’s fifth studio album, Metamorphosis, is a call-to-arms. The multi-platinum, Grammy nominated Northern California quartet has created their album of the decade, and it’s a bold, belligerent and bloody statement. Papa Roach made a gritty, raw, relevant album that pulls no punches.
Since they burst onto the scene with Infest in 2000, Papa Roach has sold over 8 million albums worldwide, becoming an internationally successful hard rock presence. Over the course of their career including 2002’s Lovehatetragedy, Getting Away with Murder in 2004 and The Paramour Sessions in 2006, the band has churned out 7 Top Ten rock singles including “Last Resort,” “Forever,” “Getting Away With Murder,” “Scars” and “To Be Loved”. As rock music has evolved, so too has Papa Roach, and the band remains as popular as ever- 3 of those Top Ten multi-format singles came from the band’s last album.
Co-produced by Jay Baumgardner and Papa Roach (with 6 songs also co-produced by James Michael), the album was written at the Paramour Mansion in Los Angeles. Metamorphosis shows the band’s great talent and growth. Singer Jacoby Shaddix offers, “This record has a huge rock edge with tinges of punk and metal. It has that groove and aggression we’ve always had, but there’s also a new flare.” Bassist Tobin Esperance adds that, “the sound of the new record is electric. It’s balls-to-the-wall, organic rock n’ roll with raw, in-your-face emotion. On the flip side, there’s melody, vulnerability and honesty. It adds another dimension to what we bring to the rock n’ roll game. We get bigger and badder every time.” Guitarist Jerry Horton expounds, “We’re going for a more timeless sound. We aren’t focusing on one particular style. We’re opening ourselves up to everything. We wanted to explore different avenues and modes. There’s bluesy stuff. There’s more progressive stuff. It’s our most diverse and cohesive record, so far.”
Leading the charge is Shaddix – his voice oscillates from a violent wail to an infectious croon and his lyrics tackle everything from the tattered and torn remnants of the Sunset Strip to a country in political tumult. On cuts like “Change or Die,” Horton’s riffs thrash and burn in tandem with Esperance’s impenetrable bass lines, while new drummer Tony Palermo (ex-Unwritten Law) pounds out punk rock beats that give the music a raw urgency. On “State of Emergency,” the guitar scorches through the din, leaving the listener battered, bruised and begging for more. “I Almost Told You That I Loved You” and “Into the Light” have a classic rock feel, and “March Out of the Darkness” begins with an epic acoustic guitar and explodes into a massive melody. The album’s first single “Lifeline” boasts a snaky riff that snaps into a bombastic chorus, and the song takes hold of the listener.
Throughout their decade together, Papa Roach has remained true to themselves and to their fans. Shaddix observes, “It’s a whole different ball game from when we started. However, our passion, conviction and drive remain the same. It still gets me off when we write a killer riff. That’s my drug of choice. Our fans really connect with the honesty and passion in what we do.”
Fans got their first taste of the new songs from the album during the band’s live performances on Motley Crüe’s Crüe Fest 2008 and with a free download of the viral video release for the song “Hollywood Whore” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duuUnO6kxGg), which has had more than a million views since its release in November. The band uploaded the video directly to their fans as a gift for having to wait an additional five months before the release of Metamorphosis.
The hard working career band is one of the best live acts on the touring circuit. From the main stages on OZZfest and Crüe Fest, to stints with everyone from Slipknot to Eminem, Papa Roach dominate stage after stage. “We bring it live,” Shaddix says. “Listening to a record is one thing, but when you come to one of our shows, it’s like the last tribal experience. Playing shows every night is what we’re built for. We make a club feel like an arena, and we make an arena feel like a club. We’re going to tour our guts out this year and bring our music to fans all over the world in the next 18 months.” Since this summer’s Crüe Fest, the top rock festival of the season, Papa Roach has toured with Staind and Seether and has played before 700,000 fans in the past six months.
Esperance concludes, “We’re very raw. There’s no fuckin’ bullshit, tapes or tricks. We aim to make people feel every emotion. We want to make dynamic and adventurous records. Metamorphosis solidifies our identity as a hard rock contender. We’re not going anywhere. You can’t deny Papa Roach.”