Papa Roach Take Rooftop Nudity To New Heights

Twenty-foot inflatable naked baby part of promo appearances for Lovehatetragedy.

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

P-Roach."

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

sound.

"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

"Eminem, Papa Roach Line Up Anger

Management Dates").

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

dance to."

And if that doesn't win over crowds, there's always the inflatable baby.