Tony Palermo
Photo by Jess McPhee.

Papa Roach “We don’t want to become a different band but we wanted to create something new”

Papa Roach’s new album Crooked Teeth is off to a hot start and just before their gig in the UK capital we had the chance to sit down with drummer Tony Palermo. We got to talk about past and future of this band that after nearly 25 years doesn’t seem to stop nor disappoint their fans. Find out all the latest news and what they have in store for us…

How’s coming back to the UK?

Tony: It’s awesome! In the last five years every time we come back it gets bigger and bigger, we have some dedicated fans here. The UK crowd is just one of the craziest ones together with South America and Germany.

papa roach

Photo by Jess McPhee.

You guys have recently started touring again, how does it feel to be back in the game?

Tony: It’s been great. You know Jacoby just went through vocal surgery, his second one, and that was pretty scary again. The first one worked out quite well for a few years but then, unfortunately, he developed another polip which is like a blister on your vocal chords, so we had to cancel some shows in the States for a bit. But we knew he had to recover before we would be able to come back to Europe and to the UK because there’s no way we’d have been able to cancel these. So yeah, coming back and headlining feels great, our set time is one hour and a half long so we get to play a lot of stuff. We are playing a lot of new songs as well and so we get to bring people on a deeper journey rather than just playing for an hour or less. We are able to play songs that we haven’t been playing for a long time and people seem to be very stoked about it.

What’s the crowd favourite old school song during your live shows?

Tony: Well it’s gotta be ‘Last Resort’, that always excites the crowd. We usually play that later in the set, although we got sick to end the shows with it so we decided to change it up a bit. ‘Between Angels And Insects’ is another great hit among the old school songs.

You got a new album out called Crooked Teeth, how’s the response been so far?

Tony: It’s been amazing, we like to take chances and push the boundaries in the band’s musical evolution and this time is no different. Songs like ‘Periscope’ are not so rock but a bit more poppy and I think people are taking the change really well because they expect us to come with something new and different and that’s what we are giving. For instance, songs like ‘Periscope’ and ‘Crooked Teeth’ are so different from each other’s and I don’t think that there are a lot of bands that can pull that off. It feels so good to be able to be in a band and be able to pull stuff like that off, that’s one of the reasons why I believe we’ve always had a pretty high respect in this business coming from press, radio and other bands too. It was very exciting when the record dropped off, you sometimes don’t know what to expect because you obviously feel great about it and can’t wait for the world to hear it and the reaction was awesome, I think we turned a lot of heads. Maybe some people that used to listen to the band kinda dropped off and put us in the nu-metal category and I think now with this new record we are changing people’s perception.

papa roach

Photo by Jess McPhee.

Now you have more like a mix of sounds, right?

Tony: Yes, it’s a mix and especially headlining shows we are able to go into different areas, like including pop to the harder stuff.

What’s the main difference then between this album and all the previous ones?

Tony: We worked with a couple of new producers who have been in the business for a bit but had never done a full-length record before so our management and label were kinda worried about it. But we had such a good time writing and working with them that we decided to hire them on for the whole record and it was pretty incredible the amount of creativity and positive influence. They were coming out with the most ridiculous ideas and we were like “you want us to do what!?” but after trying it we were like “that’s actually pretty cool” so they turned our heads too and they made us think even more outside the box, staying true to ourselves of course. We don’t want to become a different band but we wanted to create something new.

You guys have also been part of the Nu Metal golden age together with bands like Korn, Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit and have influenced and helped many kids like me to go through our teenage phase and life difficulties keeping our heads up, how do you feel about it?

Tony: You know, you grow up admiring and respecting bands and then you finally get to a point where you are in a band that people actually respect and it’s weird because you are used to feeling that way for other bands, but considering how Jacoby writes his lyrics and its content is always very deep and personal I can understand why people can relate to that. Talking about our great days, bad days, relationships of all types have helped the longevity of the band. I see people crying during certain songs we play live, I can’t tell you how many times people come up to us saying “your music has saved my life”. That goes to show the power of music and the power of the lyrics like I said before everybody can relate to everyday life, we are all living it and feels good to know we are doing the right thing. Every meet & greet we meet at least a few people that are very thankful and to hear that it’s pretty incredible.

What’s next for Papa Roach?

Tony: We are gonna finish this UK/Europe tour and then we go back to the States and in December we are playing some Christmas radio shows and then we’ll take a break for the holidays, go to Australia in January and then there’s a couple of US tour next year too. Hopefully, we’ll come back here in summer either for some festivals or headline shows. As we are doing these shows we’ll be writing, we actually went in the studio not long ago when we had some time off and started writing for the next record so we have five or six songs already kinda demoed and ready to revisit. We have another single coming out in the UK, it’s called ‘American Dreams’ and that’s about to drop soon. So it’s shows, shows, more shows and writing.

Papa Roach with Claudia Mancino

Tony Palermo of Papa Roach with RAMzine’s Claudia Mancino

About Claudia Mancino

Rock 'n roll has always played a big role in my life, since I was trapped in that small town in the South of Italy... Lucky enough to have met and partied up with some of my favourite rockstars throughout the last years in London.I now write about them too, crazy uh? Contributing to some of the main rock and metal magazines is not only a passion, it's much more than that! My biggest aspiration is to work in the music industry as a PR or doing marketing. Animals and girly stuff lover. For those about to rock we salute you!

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