Papa Roach Phone Interview – 9th October 2012
Jim Rangeley: How are you doing?
Tobin Esperance: I’m good, I’m great, I’m fucking feeling good, I’m feeling great.
JR: The new album is incredible
TE: ahh Thanks man
JR: how are you feeling about the release?
TE: I’m proud, actually really proud, I think when you release a full length album like this especially after all these years, you’re nervous at first, and you’re anxious and all that shit. Because you never really know, what we are trying to do is on the same page as what everyone else is trying to feel. And then when it gets out, and the vibe’s positive, and everyone’s into it and you feel really good. And right at this moment we are just proud and we are very very excited to tour and get on the road and play these new songs and play all the songs that people love and connect with. We are so excited and that’s a good thing… doing what we do for so long sometimes you’re not excited, and we still have that fucking fire, like ferocious man, we want to get on stage and have fun.
JR: Do you feel Papa Roach have gone to new places with this album by way of production and writing with the use of synth and electronic influences.
TE: Yeah absolutely, every song we wanted to have an electronic tinge, and that was kinda my fault, because I’m such a big freak, and I love all of that stuff. I think at some point maybe I put down the guitar and bass for a long time and started studying electronic music and messing around with synths and software plugins and getting to know the synthesis side of music. I know that there’s a reason that I’m into this right now it’s gonna fuel and feed my passion for picking up the guitar and the bass and writing songs. And anytime I come up with an idea and it would start off as an electronic thing I knew that there was a way to turn it into a Papa Roach song and it should have big drums and big guitars and it worked. And we had to go where we were at naturally, rather than force how we usually write songs, and we made it fit perfectly.
JR: Part of the pre release package gave bonus content such as Tee-shirts and digital downloads – do you feel this is a necessary part of trying to sell more records?
TE: Certain people always want to feel like they have something that is exclusive and special, you know. We just have to offer those different things for different people. I honestly don’t give a shit about it, I don’t get it. Its just something we just do I think to make the fans happy. To be honest. When you’re an artist and you are trying to make a record you’re not thinking about “oh they’ll get a tee-shirt” and a card that says you’re special and an extra song, we don’t care about that, that’s the marketing part. I mean honestly when we pick certain songs that we want to go on the record, there is a reason why we have picked those songs and that’s the record and what we want to put out. And then certain countries or territories want some added exclusives and a song to go on top, and we’re like “oh ok you’re just totally just adding another song that doesn’t really fit with what we are making the record for”.
JR: You are coming to London in December with Stone Sour – how did that come about?
TE: We’ve known a lot of those guys from way back in the day, when we used to tour a lot with Slipknot, and they’re just another band, that we connected with, we haven’t played with them, or toured or anything with that band and I think that we both have new records coming out and both of our fans are gonna get along great, and together we are going to have a powerhouse and have a good time.
JR: Are you looking forward to get back on the road again on your European tour?
TE: Yeah we’ve been off for a long time, kinda chilling at home for the past couple of months and we’re just feeling the highs of the new record and very very eager to get on stage and just fucking rip the crowds, which is a good thing because when you’ve been doing it this long sometimes the passion and the desire to do what we do it disintegrates but not for us you know, we’ve something to prove always.
JR: The new album will sound amazing live.
TE: We haven’t even started rehearsing, we haven’t even played the new songs yet. I’m just envisioning it in my head… just so excited, there’s no bullshit, no smoke and mirrors, no crazy pyrotechnics, or stupid fucking production, just the fucking fellars playing the songs live, its just gonna feel right, I’m very excited.
JR: Are you already to go back on tour is, is Jacoby back up to health after surgery?
TE: It was scary at first because we didn’t know the severity of the issues with vocal chords. We knew that his voice was gone, it was fucking shot, we were trying to get through this tour and he was losing his voice from over use and stress and what not. We had to make that decision to pull off tour, relax for a few months, have him have surgery and recover. We were just hanging out last week and he fucking sounds great; he sounds so much better. He told me himself, he tried singing a little bit, he wasn’t really supposed to sing loud yet: “I just did a warm up and I sang, and my voice is fucking back, dude and it sounds better”.
He feels like he has more range now than he did before. And I think that’s great because he was really struggling. It was hindering the performance and confidence of the band. And when take something like that you fucking deal with it, you get over it and come back stronger, we’re gonna be top notch.
JR: What music do you plan on taking with you on tour? Pre-show music?
TE: Well I know that a couple of our homies from Sacramento, I’m really big on the home town scene, we always play the good old fashioned school music that we grew up listening to before we go on stage to get us pumped up. I know that Middle Class Rut have a new record coming out, they did some of it in our studio, where we made our record. And Deftones, another Sacto band, and they’ve got a new record coming out, so I’m excited for those guys.
JR: From all your tours that you have been on with PAPA ROACH which is your most memorable.
TE: I have so many great memories, but touring with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers back in 2000… we did a stadium tour in Australia and New Zealand. For me that was like a dream come true, because I was such a big fan of RHCP as a kid growing up, when I was first learning how to play bass, and teach myself guitar, I would listen to John Frusciante and Flea religiously and that was the highlight of my career. And then up until recently we played probably our biggest headlining show ever, it was random, just so random… it was in Poland, we did Woodstock, played to something like 400,000 people. It was massive, it was fucking insane like the crowd was ridiculous. It was so intense you know, it gives me goose bumps just thinking about it. A lot of very very proud moments. We’ve been touring a lot in the eastern block; in Russia and shit like that, with amazing shows. Anytime that we step out and we play places all over the world that we’ve never been to for the first time and we just see how excited people are about the music. It’s the best thing.
JR: Are you planning on going on a larger tour in the UK or festivals in the Summer?
TE: Fuck Yea, Man we always do all that shit you know we always come and play the big shows, we always do the festivals. We’ll be back next year, we’ll be doing the festivals and then in December the 10th and 11th in Brixton, we plan on shooting a live DVD, which’ll be fucking sick. Because we told ourselves the next time we do a Live DVD we gotta do it in London, it’s one of our favorite places to play and done some amazing shows there and the fans fucking go off, its just top notch. We would like to tour more of the UK this year but I have to get home early in December, I’ve got a baby on the way, super excited about that. But next year we are going to tour the shit out the UK. We’re gonna tour the shit out of the whole fucking world. We got 3 years ahead of us with non stop road action.