Ever since Papa Roach released Getting Away With Murder back in August, fans across the country have been fiercely debating the merits of the record in chat rooms and newsgroups. Some (OK, most) argue that the album signifies a departure in both style and content, that it’s the dreaded “mature” album that almost every band releases, yet most never recover from.
It’s not like it was a baseless argument. Check frontman Jacoby Shaddix’s battles with sobriety (see “Papa Roach On Getting Sober And Getting Away With Murder“ ), liner notes that quote from the creed of the Skull & Bones secret society (“Who was the fool, who the wise man, beggar or king? Whether poor or rich, all’s the same in death”), and a politically charged first single, the babes-and-bombs epic “Getting Away With Murder” (see “For Papa Roach, What’s A Protest Video Without Some Hot Girl-On-Girl Action?” ). All the signs were there: Papa Roach were attempting to make that much-maligned “artistic statement,” and that made much of their fanbase worried, dissatisfied or even downright angry.
And that was before they saw the video for “Scars.”
The clip, directed by video vet Steven Murashige (who’s worked with Incubus, Rage Against the Machine and the Ataris), featured a whole lot of green screen and computer animation, a swarm of metallic dragonflies and a guy who literally sews his heart shut. It was artistic and edgy, and elicited such responses from the P-Roach online community as “It sucked,” “Worst. Video. Ever” and “Who does Papa Roach think they are now, Radiohead?”
Needless to say, fans weren’t too happy with the video. And, honestly, neither were Papa Roach.
“We wanted to make a video that was real high art, like a Franz Ferdinand or Incubus video, so we did this one all on green screen,” Shaddix said. “We took a leap of faith with this artistic style, and it just didn’t come across. It didn’t seem to connect. It’s a real good video, but when you get into all that computer stuff, it just loses its heart.
“We’re going to shoot another video, something that shows what our fans like about our band: our performances. We’re going to make a clip that evokes emotion and has heart,” he continued. “It’s nothing against Steven — his treatment read really well, with all the animation and stuff — but [the video] just didn’t convey the emotion behind the song the way we’d like it to.”
The band has narrowed the choices for the new version of the “Scars” video down to three possible treatments, and will shoot the clip over the next two weeks. Then the group will head over to Korea to entertain U.S. troops at the end of January (see “Papa Roach Put Aside Anti-War Feelings To Play For Troops” ). And then, perhaps to assuage their concerned fans, Papa Roach are finalizing a back-to-their-roots “six- to eight-week” tour of smaller venues, to begin in mid-February.
“We want people to know that we’re not going anywhere, so we’re going out on the road again to play smaller clubs — to get closer to our fans,” Shaddix said. “We’re going to bring some up-and-coming acts with us [like Rasta-rockers Skindred]. We want to take out bands that can open for us and set the stage on fire, so we have to get up there and go off every night.”