Papa Roach has fought through its fair share of adversity. Famously, they fought through hard times surrounding Ozzfest more than a decade ago when they were getting booed viciously by crowd’s not embracing the band’s style. They’ve also survived member changes, label changes, business changes and a plethora of things for the decade plus that the band has been going. That’s why this past year has been so tough on the band from Vacaville, California. Just recently they had to cancel a run of shows on Monster Energy’s Uproar Festival because lead singer Jacoby Shaddix had a nodule on his left vocal cord and had to undergo surgery. Before that, while the band was working on the new album, The Connection, Shaddix was dealing with personal problems that were making his life miserable at home. His marriage was falling apart, it was making him suicidal, and he was traveling down a path of uncertainty. In a recent interview with AA, Shaddix talked about how his turmoil affected the record and how recording forced him down the road to recovery.
“This time around in the process of making the record me and my wife had split up,” said Shaddix of his personal chaos while making this album. “I had all of these emotions and I was in a lot of pain. It was a trip because music was exactly what I needed to express myself. When I was in the creative process my head wasn’t going so crazy. It gave me some sanity and some clarity in the process. With all of the shit going on in my life it let me be able to take a long hard look at my life, myself, and my actions. I got to re-focus myself. It gave me a second chance to enjoy my life. Music was there to guide me through that chaotic mess. In the end we got the record done and I got to work things out with the wife.”
When the Papa Roach frontman says that the music was helping him through his issues at home, it’s largely due to the fact Shaddix and the rest of the band wrote all of this music in the studio, including the lyrics. Jacoby talked about creating the songs for this album and how it helped him.
“Everything was in the studio,” explained Shaddix on the writing of the record. “I had zero lyrics written for this record before we stepped in. For me personally, it was ‘write the music, listen to it and find out how it makes me feel and then go from there.’ That really helped push me along in the writing process because it just spoke to me. Plus, those hellish life events went on in the process of making the record. For me, lyrically that had a big impact on where I was going with the music.”
When asked if all of the things going on in his life made this the most personal Papa Roach album to date, Shaddix’s answer was resoundingly clear.
“Oh yeah. It’s the most personal because it was happening in real time. When I wrote ‘Broken Home’ I was writing about this pain from so many years ago that followed me around my whole life. When we were writing this record it was immediate, this shit was going on right then and I had to write about it because I was f______ losing it. That’s what makes this album. I put myself out there a hundred percent. I think that’s important. It’s a trip because I come from a place of pain in a lot of songs on this record. Eventually, I have a personal goal for myself to make a record coming from a positive place in my life. I think that can be really explosive too. And I think that would be something that could take P. Roach to a different place, but for now we’re taking you down a dark road,” he said.
Now that the album’s done Shaddix has mended things in his personal life and rededicated himself to the band and his family. As a matter of fact, Jacoby’s son came up with the idea of the band’s video for “Still Swingin’” and his wife helped him design the band’s Red House Studio in Sacramento. Jacoby’s voice is almost fully-healed as well. He recently got clearance to start vocalizing and he said in two weeks he’ll be at full-force. Although it was a career threatening injury and something that was tough on his confidence, he’s regained his voice and now he’s in a more positive place with Papa Roach knowing what he’s been able to do with the group. Based on what Shaddix says about the band’s new album, you can understand why he’s regained his poise.
“Musically, we stretched out and tried some new things. And I hope the fans appreciate the brutal honesty in the music and the lyrics. We really put everything we had in ourselves in the music. I think it’s fairly apparent and I think this is a record that encompasses all things great Papa Roach.”
Starting in November Papa Roach will be playing a collection of international dates including shows in Russia, Europe, and Australia. Fans looking to see the band live here in the U.S. can expect to see them out on the road early in 2013.