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Papa Roach bassist Tobin Esperance and drummer
Tony Palermo discuss new studio album F.E.A.R.
(Face Everything And Rise) and band longevity
Jacoby Shaddix (lead vocals)
Jerry Horton (guitar)
Tobin Esperance (bass)
Tony Palermo (drums)
Hometown: Vacaville, California
Genre: Rock Formation: 1993
What were your initial thoughts and feelings after recording F.E.A.R., your bands seventh major label record?
Tobin: We’re really proud of this record. I think people will be blown away with just how sonically heavy and
in-your-face the songs are on this record. I know that people say that every record they put out is the best record yet,
but I really think we mean it when we say this is our best for sure. It has a kind of old school feel to it with that same
young energy that we had back in the day. We made the record in Vegas with a producer by the name of Kevin and
Kain Churko, they’re a father and son duo. We had a great time.
How did the album's artwork and design come together?
Tobin: We actually shot the album artwork for it when we recorded the video for "F.E.A.R." in the desert and that’s
incorporated into the artwork.
Tony: We filmed the video in this spot called The Pentacles; tons of films were done there and it’s a very unique spot.
When we were driving out there, we’re like “where is this?” and then all of a sudden you look over and see all these
crazy rock formations, so we correlated that into the back and front cover.
What's a stand out song in the album that means something personal to both of you?
Tony: I think "Face Everything And Rise" is a great way to come out. I’ve been listening that more. Lyrically, when you
see it written out as an acronym, you’ll see it as “F.E.A.R.,” so it has a double meaning: You shouldn’t have any fear,
you should face everything and rise. I think it’s pretty powerful.
Tobin: There’s a lot. “Gravity” is one. I think that song sticks out on the record period. It features Maria from In This
Moment. “Falling Apart” is another song I’ve been listening to a lot. It has a very spiritual uplifting vibe, so that one
gets me too.
What are some of the other collabs on the album?
Tobin: We have a quick little verse from Royce Da 5'9'' who’s a rapper out of Detroit. He’s one of Eminem’s influences
they grew up rapping together. He’s featured on the last track of the record, just very quickly at the end of the song
As a band you’ve seemed to have dappled in different genres and experimented with different generations of music to
find your rock sound. Is there anything that you haven’t done musically that you would like to delve into?
Tobin: I feel like we’ve done a pretty good job of running the gamut within the confines of being in a rock band while
trying to keep what we do still be rock, while incorporating guitar, bass, drums and vocals; but, still having a modern
element with things because we incorporate electronic elements and synths, stuff like that and other instrumentations
like piano. I don’t think we’re going to change anymore than what we’ve already done, we’ll stay true to what we do.
Tony: We’re not going to come out with an EDM or a country record. (laughs)
I remember the first time seeing Papa Roach was with a group of friends at Little Brothers on High Street in Columbus
around the time Infest was released, maybe 13 or 14 years ago. What do you think is the key to longevity in a band
and remaining prominent since the Infest days?
Tobin: I think internally you have to be able to get along with everyone you’re in the band with and you have to be
able to get along with yourself. You have to physically and mentally keep it together. We’ve managed to do that
through experiences where we haven’t been doing such a good job; we rectify how to deal with each other. I think too
you just have to be really, really stubborn and you just have to put your head down and just fucking go.
Tony: Be persistent.
Tobin: Yeah, just be persistent and put out good music, write good songs and try to make it fun no matter what.
Even if you’ve got to say to someone in the band, “This negative shit’s got to stop. This isn’t going to work unless we
start communicating.” You’ve just got to put all that shit out there and be like, “if we’re going to do this, lets do this right
and have fun.” I think we’ve managed to do that. We have a great fan base that's loyal and that's important too.
Plus, we’ve tapped into all these different markets around the world. We play everywhere from Japan to Russia and
Tony: That being said, there’s still tons of markets that we’d like to break into as well. A lot of bands are going to
Southeast Asia, there’s a lot of great festivals popping up over there. That’s the cool thing too, we’re always open to
different markets. There’s fans everywhere, so somehow we’ve got to get to see them.
Tobin: We’ve showed up in a few places and you just don’t expect anything and wonder if anyone will show up,
but you end up having the most amazing shows and it’s overwhelming.
It's probably a huge motivator when that happens.
Tony: Oh yeah, definitely. Especially for Jacoby, I know it’s motivating and inspiring to write what he’s living.
Tobin: Knowing that people connect with it and knowing that they rely on the music to get through their day. That’s
stuff you don’t think about when you’re first starting out, that impact doesn’t quite register with you. But when you see
the results from the fans and you hear it, it means so much more.
Papa Roach are currently on the road and release F.E.A.R. (Face Everything And Rise) Tuesday, Jan. 27.
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