Papa Roach guitarist Jerry Horton says his group's latest album, The Paramour Sessions, is part of an ongoing move away from its early rap-rock sound.
Making a hit album isn’t always easy. Artists need to go somewhere to get away from everything and let true, powerful inspiration explode in their minds. The infamous, haunted Paramour Mansion provides writers with an ideal spot to work in solitude. Papa Roach is no different. The band created its newest album, The Paramour Sessions, while it lived in the mansion. Other bands such as H.I.M., Gwen Stefani and Lucinda Williams have recorded there. Papa Roach, formed in 1993, now has five albums under its belt. Vocalist Jacoby Shaddix, guitarist Jerry Horton, bassist Tobin Esperance and drummer Dave Buckner comprise the band. When the members first got to the mansion, the owner came out and warned them that it was haunted, Horton said. The guys just shrugged it off. But the boys later decided the mansion does have ghosts wandering its halls. “We were in the ballroom, working on a song,” Horton said. “Jacoby was getting the lyrics together, and when he got to the pre-chorus he decided to name the song ‘Crash’. Right after that, the computer crashed, and the power went off.” The band dismissed the crash as a normal occurrence in an old house, fixed it and went back to playing the song. But every time it would get to that spot in the tune, the scenario would play itself over again. The members quit trying after four times. The feel of Papa Roach’s new record is different than that of its previous albums. “We actually stopped rapping after our second record,” Horton said. “We decided that the change needed to happen as an evolution to our music. We’ve evolved our music for each recording. Our earlier indie stuff doesn’t sound the same as our major label music.” Papa Roach has been successful in its musical endeavors. Following in the footsteps of past hits including “Last Resort” and “Scars,” its first single from The Paramour Sessions, “Forever,” is No. 4 on Billboard’s Hot Modern Rock Tracks. Although Horton said he hasn’t seen one of the band’s videos on television for a while, he’s still glad when it happens. “When we first had a video on TV, everyone was jumping around,” he said. “Now it’s somewhat expected.” Papa Roach also likes to reach out to its fans and get feedback. It has a contest on YouTube in which people make a music video for “Forever.” The person who submits the best video will receive a MacBook. Horton said the band always has professional people make its videos, and the members want to see what their fans can come up with. “We thought it was a way for our fans and the community to get involved,” he said. “We want to see what people can do creatively.” Papa Roach will stop in Columbia to perform Wednesday at The Blue Note though it might seem odd for a band with pervasive success to stop in a small town. “We’ve never been to Columbia,” Horton said. “It allows us to reach new people and people who haven’t been able to come to our shows because they were too far away.” This band has proven to be just like its name: A roach that won’t go away. It comes into the limelight with a hit song and then take a hiatus before coming back into the public’s radar. Don’t expect these guys to go anywhere any time soon.