"There are no rules as to how we make records" - hmv.com talks to Papa Roach
As Papa Roach return with new album Crooked Teeth, the ninth studio album of their career, we sat down with bassist Tobin Esperance to find out how it all came together...
How did you want Crooked Teeth to move on from what you did on F.E.A.R?
"We wanted this record to be a totally different approach as far as who we collaborated with. We knew we wanted to incorporate more of our old school hip hop influences. Other than that there are no rules as to how we make records."
How does songwriting work in Papa Roach? And is it the same as it was when you started out as a band?
"The songwriting dynamic has changed quite a lot over the years. We do more writing and recording in the studio which is a quicker process than before when we used to jam hours and hours before until something would stick and then Jacoby would write the vocals. Now we try and get the basics of the song down first, in one day and go from there."
You worked with RAS and Colin Brittain on the album, why did you decide to work with them? And what did they give you as a producer?
"After collaborating with Ras and Colin on our first song, which was 'My Medication', and that made the record, the experience was just so much fun and the dynamic is the studio was undeniable and we figured that if we could do this 12 more times we would have a great record."
As producers, they have a totally different approach to arranging and songwriting than anyone else we have worked with. They are younger guys, who have collectively worked with a lot of different artists in different genres and they have a fresher approach to our sound, but this is the first time they have ever made a full rock record. They grew up as fans of Papa Roach so they were a great musical match. Both of us trying to push the songwriting in a direction that was less typical and more memorable in a quirky way."
You’ve got collaborations with Machine Gun Kelly and Skylar Grey on the album, how did those collaborations come about?
"The collaboration with Machine Gun Kelly came after we hung out after the Alternative Press awards, we played him some songs that were still raw demos and thought it would be cool to feature him. Skylar Grey came about after 'Periscope' had already been written and finished and we thought it would be a more song if it featured a female artist and she was one that came to mind."
What kind of album is this lyrically? Is there a common theme running through it?
"Lyrically it is very diverse. There are the darker themed songs, there are social and political themed songs, love songs. Like the music that we've always made, there is always light at the end of the tunnel and the connection with life in general."
When did you settle on the title of Crooked Teeth?
"Jacoby (Shaddix, singer) started calling the record Crooked Teeth the moment the song was done. The only other idea we had was to call it a self-titled album."
What are your plans to take the album out live?
"We are definitely going to step it up with production and also bring out some other instruments to perform with live and utilising an extra member on stage. We are talking about adding a whole new dimension to the band look live whether that's adding video or certain lights with props, we are still figuring it all out but excited about adding more. I think this album deserves to add some additional elements to it."