Like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rick Rubin’s Laurel Canyon estate or Incubus and Malibu’s Morning View house, Papa Roach have a special relationship with the Paramour Mansion, located in another Southern California area: Silverlake.
“As soon as we stepped on the property we knew there was something bigger there waiting for us to show up,” drummer Dave Buckner explained.
P-Roach lived on the grounds from October to May, writing and recording what they consider their finest work yet, an album aptly titled The Paramour Sessions (see “Papa Roach Singer Says New Album Is ‘Like A Meat Locker’ “ ). The LP dropped Tuesday (September 12).
“It was frickin’ amazing,” singer Jacoby Shaddix said of the house. “That was the catalyst for what pushed our music so far forward and so far sideways and so far just out there at times.”
In recent years, the Paramour Mansion has been home to both “Rock Star: INXS” and “Rock Star: Supernova,” and movies “Scream 3″ and “Halloween H20: 20 Years Later.” Gwen Stefani and Fiona Apple have also recently recorded at the place, which has a storied past.
The home, which Buckner said is at the highest point inside Los Angeles’ city limits, was built in the early 1920s by silent film star Antonio Moreno and his wife, Daisy Canfield Danziger. The oil heiress died in a car accident the following decade and is buried on the grounds. Like Rubin’s “Houdini mansion” (as it’s commonly known), the Paramour is said to be haunted, most likely by Danziger’s spirit.
“We were recording a song called ‘Crash,’ and every time I would sing the chorus, ‘I’m going to crash,’ the computer and PA would crash,” Shaddix recalled. “We were just connected deeply to this house.”
The connection, however, was mostly a positive one, and Shaddix found himself writing most of the lyrics while sitting at Danziger’s grave. “It just flowed out of me,” he explained.
That said, The Paramour Sessions is not necessarily a dark album. In fact, with some personal situations aside, the band had never been in a better place.
“With Getting Away With Murder, we were coming back from the dead,” Shaddix said of P-Roach’s last album. “That was definitely a trying time for a band, but we survived it. This time around, it’s not going to be served up on a silver platter; it’s still gonna be a fight, but at least we’re above ground. We locked down a solid fanbase. And we regained some confidence and took that in with us and I think it shows on the songs.”
“We were fortunate and also cursed by that ‘next big thing’ stigma, but we rode the ride and we made it to this other place,” Buckner added. “Those minor ripples in the pond don’t affect us anymore. I’m looking at all the other next big things and saying, ‘Good luck, see you over here … if you make it.’ ”
With their newfound confidence, Papa Roach set out to make a record that paid homage to the bands that got them into music: Guns N’ Roses, Led Zeppelin and Poison, or as Buckner described them, “Hair bands, but the bands, not so much the hair.”
“There’s a saying in the band and it’s, ‘We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel, we’re bringing it back,’ ” Buckner added.
“It’s not like it sounds like we’re trying to rehash some retro sh–. It’s current,” Shaddix clarified.
It’s also not exactly how it was meant to be.
“We wanted to make this four to the floor, nasty, savage rock and roll record, and we were writing that and then we discovered all these other sounds, these musical styles that we can explore,” Shaddix added. ” ‘Forever,’ ‘The World Around You,’ ‘Roses on My Grave,’ ‘My Heart Is a Fist,’ some of those songs are just so different from anything we’ve ever written. We had to explore them because that’s what this band’s always been about, always trying to evolve and push things forward.”
The first single is the aggressive “… To Be Loved,” and the band shot the circus-like video last month at a theater in downtown L.A.
“It’s basically just a huge rock and roll freak show,” Buckner said. “But it backs up the sentiment that everyone just wants to be loved. And Steve Perry’s video for ‘Oh Sherrie’ was shot in the same place!”