Papa Roach traditionally perform in all black on bare stages, so there must
be a significant reason for the 20-foot inflatable baby that graced the
rooftop of the Los Angeles Best Buy where the band performed Tuesday, right?
"I'm going to fall out of its butt," singer Jacoby Shaddix revealed three
days before at the KROQ Weenie Roast (see "System, Papa Roach Rage On Weenie Roast Stage While Jack
Osbourne Holds Court").
Of course, he was joking. There's a legitimate explanation for the stage
prop, a tie-in to the artwork for their new album, which depicts a nude baby
wearing headphones and giving the heavy-metal horn sign.
"It represents our music, which is our baby, and we're releasing it to the
world," Shaddix said. "Also, we want people to put themselves in the baby's
position. They enter the world with no preconceived notions or opinions, and
we want people to listen to our record with an open mind. Even if you didn't
like the last one, give this a chance and maybe it will open you to
Lovehatetragedy, released Tuesday, is likely going to give birth to a
whole new audience for Papa Roach, as the album mostly abandons the rap-rock
of their triple-platinum major label debut, Infest, for a purer rock
"White men can't rap," Shaddix declared. "That's why I stopped doing it. I
can't rap. I can only sing."
Coincidentally, the album's first single, "She Loves Me Not," finds Shaddix
dropping rhymes (which, despite his claims, he can do), but that's because
it was originally intended for Infest. The tune was a bit too
rock-oriented for that album, but it's the perfect segue into
Lovehatetragedy (see "Papa Roach
Distance Themselves From Rap-Metal Peers On New LP").
"It's about the trials and tribulations of being with a woman," Shaddix
said, adjusting his sunglasses, the reflecting kind favored by highway
patrolmen. "It just makes you crazy. Men will never be able to truly figure
out the lady. They are forever perplexing and complicated."
For the video, the band decided not to address the lyrics ("There's too many
drama videos already," Shaddix said) and instead took an idea drummer David
Buckner had about the band performing inside a tilt-a-whirl and ran with it.
Director David Meyers was enlisted to capture the band performing at a
carnival. "We just wanted a rock video with a cool performance and high
energy to match the energy of the song," Shaddix said.
Papa Roach's rooftop performance Tuesday was part of a promotional campaign
for Lovehatetragedy that will also include in-store performances
Wednesday at a new Best Buy in Coon Rapids, Minnesota, and Thursday at tiny
Looney Tunes in West Babylon, New York.
The group also played several club shows across California in the days
leading up to the album's release, including a free gig in Sacramento on
Monday (see "Papa Roach Hit Road To Warm
Up For Anger Management Tour").
"We tried to mix it up play a new song, then an old song, then a new
song to keep the energy level high," Shaddix said. "I've been going
out after the shows to give autographs, and the responses have been very
positive. For fans to hear it live first and then hear the record second, I
think that's special. Kids appreciate that."
After the promotional shows and radio station festivals next week in
Washington and Oregon, Papa Roach will head out on the second Anger
Management Tour with Eminem, Ludacris, Xzibit and the X-ecutioners (see
Although they will be incorporating a hip-hop medley into their set
(possibly including Tupac's "California Love" and A Tribe Called Quest's
"Scenario"), Papa Roach still expect to be the odd men out on the tour,
which is fine by them.
"We're the kind of band that needs challenges," Shaddix said. "If you look
at Lollapalooza, Ice Cube went on that and rocked it. So you know what?
We're going on the hip-hop tour and rocking that. We still got material off
the last record, and we still got a hip-hop influence. Maybe it's not in the
vocals, straight rhyming, but [the new music is still] something you can
And if that doesn't win over crowds, there's always the inflatable baby.