Courtesy of Travis Barker’s cultural renaissance and the prominence of artists like Machine Gun Kelly …
Often when you listen to an artist’s Greatest Hits album you instantly know that the artist themselves has had very little say in the release and it probably came to life in a label boardroom.
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That isn’t the case though when you listen to Greatest Hits Vol 2: The Better Noise Years; the second greatest hits package from Californian alternative metal outfit Papa Roach. No, when you listen to this album you can feel a heart and soul that is lost on most greatest hits albums. After talking to frontman Jacoby Shaddix for a few moments it starts to become very clear why this compilation is different to most.
“It has been a real fun ride for us to do this,” he says with excitement in his voice as we begin to talk about how the idea came about and the hands on approach the band took with the project. “Just to be able to sit down and hear the evolution of the music was fun. We were able to see the places that we visited creatively and it was just one big walk down memory lane.”
“We are so happy with the way this has come out,” he says expanding on the time and effort that the band took to make sure that this was the perfect product for their fans. “We took a lot of care and detail even into the packaging of this thing because we knew that this was going to become a collector’s piece. We have some remixes on there, we have some acoustic pieces on there as well so it is a really professional and special piece and to be honest I am just still really blown away by the fact that we can even release a Greatest Hits Vol 2. I am just like what the fuck?”
When the conversation turns to talking about the fact that the music industry is so competitive these days that some bands don’t even make it to the point of releasing one greatest hits compilation let alone two, Shaddix’s tone changes. “It is just so humbling,” he says speaking from the heart. “I look back to The Greatest Hits Vol 1 and it didn’t even feel right putting it out then. I was like we are only ten years into this thing and you want to do a Greatest Hits–what? But now we are 20 plus years into this thing it really feels right so we are celebrating this thing like a mother fucker.”
I always had this grand illusion that I was going to be a rock star as a kid. Then when I became a rock star I had this other grand illusion that we were going to have a career and now we are here. And sometimes I do think that it is delusional and that illusions of grandeur can fuck with your head but it also takes a certain part of that to do this thing.
[ Jacoby Shaddix ]
This album is also proof that Papa Roach are not just some flashy one hit wonder band–this album is proof that the band has had strength and the longevity to make it through an ever-changing industry and that is something that Shaddix says he was hoping for since day one.
“I always had this grand illusion that I was going to be a rock star as a kid,” he says reflecting not only on the early days of the band but back to his childhood. “Then when I became a rock star I had this other grand illusion that we were going to have a career and now we are here. And sometimes I do think that it is delusional and that illusions of grandeur can fuck with your head but it also takes a certain part of that to do this thing.”
“There is just so much work to do with this,” he says continuing. “There is so much passion that we have put into this thing and when you find yourself in those spaces where you feel that you just can’t go anywhere you have to dig back deep into that space where you find yourself remembering–this is my fucking dream. And so my dream did come true.”
All dreams have to start somewhere and for Jacoby Shaddix that dream of becoming a musician started when he was just a kid watching his idols. “At a very early age I fucking fell in love with hair metal,” he says with a laugh. “I was listening to bands like Motley Crue and it just turned me onto music. I remember being in my garage and turning over trash cans and pretending they were drum kits and I would put them on the wooden bench so it felt like I was on a drum riser. Then I would be out on the front lawn with a baseball bat pretending it was a guitar. Man, when I look back those were the beginnings and then I fell in love with punk rock when I was a teenager, then metal, then alternative music–Beastie Boys, Nirvana, Social Distortion and The Deftones were a big influence on me.”
“I remember being at a Deftones show in a moshpit,” he says reminiscing. “I remember looking up at Chino on the stage and thinking this is what I want to do, this is my calling!”