For Papa Roach, picking the next single is easy when they're on the road. They just go with whatever the audience sings along to the loudest.
On the band's current tour, that would be "Take Me."
"It's a hit with our fans, so we'll see if we can take it to the radio and make it a hit," drummer Dave Buckner said. "I think it's a cool song to segue out of 'Scars' because it's got that big anthem hook."
"Take Me," in which Jacoby Shaddix sings, "Lit my pain on fire/ And I watched it all burn down/ Now I'm dancing in the ashes/ And there's no one else around," also happens to sum up the excitement Papa Roach are feeling on their latest outing, where the band is playing smaller venues than five years ago, but selling them out.
"This is a song that reaches out to people, saying, 'Take us, let us in, understand us, believe in us,' " Shaddix said. "That's where our band is at right now. We're just the lone soldiers out here on tour doing it our own way. It feels good because it's a part of our career that we totally skipped in 2000, the part of your career where you go out and just work and build and pack houses off of kick-ass songs and a kick-ass record instead of all the hype."
Shaddix admits there were times after the timid response to Lovehatetragedy when he considered disbanding Papa Roach, but in the end it made the band stronger.
"Coming on this ride and going up the hill again, I'm appreciative of everything," Shaddix said. "When we were blowing up on 'Last Resort,' we didn't know what was going on, and we were just kinda like, 'Wow, we are megastars right now.' ... When we get to that point again, I'm going to enjoy every bit of it.
"If you get to the top, which is where we were at, you can't stay there forever," he added. "And being true to your art, it's like we're in this sh-- for the roller coaster ride. We ain't putting out a formula, like same song over and over and over. We're taking that risk and evolving our music and fortunately, on this album, people are embracing it. We just stuck to our guns and stayed true to what we believed in, and it's working out for us."
"Take Me" was sent out to radio stations while "Scars" was still in the top 20 of Billboard's rock singles chart (see "Disappointed Papa Roach Fans Take Note: 'Scars' Video Gets A Do-Over"). Papa Roach, in support of last fall's Getting Away With Murder, are currently on the second leg of their spring headlining tour, which wraps up in late May. The trek is hitting a mix of big and small cities, from New York to Springfield, Missouri.
"Sometimes when you go to New York, L.A. or Chicago, everyone's rolling in and out of there all the time," Buckner said. "But when you [go to] Fargo, North Dakota, people are like, 'Oh my God! P. Roach is here! Oh my God!' It's like you're the Beatles. Not to say Chicago doesn't go crazy, 'cause Chicago is a great rock city. New York is a great rock city, but you can tell that they don't get it all the time [in other cities], so they are hungry for it."
In other Papa Roach news, the band is offering a copy of its first independent record, Old Friends From Young Years, to fans who join their fan club through www.paparoach.com. The group is also developing a clothing line called Insect.