When rockers Papa Roach performed during Columbus’ Sonic Temple Art + Music Festival, they were impressed and inspired by more than their peers’ music.
It was their sets’ production value and Papa Roach—singer Jacoby Shaddix, guitarist Jerry Horton, bassist Tobin Esperance and rhythm guitarist Anthony Esperance—took that as a challenge.
“On this tour, we’re going to roll out this whole new production package,” says Papa Roach drummer Tony Palermo, whose band plays Comerica Theatre on Friday, August 30.
“It’s about time for us to step it up and invest in ourselves. For so many years, we were just throwing our gear up on stage and relying on the songs and our inner energy to get us through the set. I mean, amps, dudes on stage, drums—it gets boring. This time, we want to spruce things up. It’s going to be really exciting to get out and actually have a bigger look.”
Papa Roach’s show will also feature songs from its 10th studio album, “Who Do You Trust?,” and hits like “Scars” and “Last Resort.”
“We always play a lot of new stuff,” Palermo says. “We’re taking everybody on a ride. We’re going to be playing an hour and a half, which is about the time Jacoby’s done singing. We don’t think playing a two- to three-hour set is actually that beneficial for our fans.
“We could play so much from the catalog, but we’re going to stick to a lot of the hits and some of the more singalong songs. That’ll make it a special night.”
Like its live show, Papa Roach took a different approach to “Who Do You Trust?” The 12-song album features heavy guitars and catchy hooks on title track and “Renegade Music,” melodic sounds on “Not The Only One,” and hearkens back to Shaddix’s MC roots on “Elevate.”
“We pride ourselves on pushing the boundaries on every record,” he says. “There are one or two songs that take that step out of the box and really push it in a different direction.
“On (the 2017 album) ‘Crooked Teeth,’ it was ‘Born for Greatness.’ That song was not a conventional rock song, but we got a lot of positive feedback. We took that song as a stepping point for ‘Elevate.’ We’ll test our new songs live to feel the vibe. If it’s popping from the crowd’s point of view, we keep it in.”
Palermo acknowledges some fans want to hear just older tracks, but for his—and the rest of Papa Roach’s sanity—the band has to play what it wants.
“We still get the occasional hardcore fan who says, ‘Who don’t you write another ‘Infest’? That was written 20 years ago. We already had that record. People tend to want us to stay where we were. That’s not the way we are.
“We love to evolve. It’s good for us as writers and performers because the whole boredom thing comes into play. We’re constantly trying to push people to make them think and make them advance in their listening. It’s weird when we hear people say, ‘We miss ‘Infest’ or the old P-Roach. We’ve tried to encompass the whole evolution of the band so it’s fun for us, too. But we’re always going to have those sing-songy rock songs that go over great live.”
Papa Roach w/Asking Alexandria and Bad Wolves
Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington Street, Phoenix, 602.379.2800, comericatheatre.com, 7 p.m. Friday, August 30, tickets start at $39.50.