Papa Roach Opens for Avenged Sevenfold

By Shane Weller

Papa Roach, a band that has sold more than 10 million copies over the last decade, will be rolling through the Pan Am Center on Saturday opening for fellow rock behemoths Avenged Sevenfold and Buckcherry.

We caught up with Papa Roach bassist Tobin Esperance about the band’s new album, “Metamorphosis,” finding their new drummer and taking a break from binges.

Q. Are you playing all new songs on this tour?
This tour we play for like 45 to 50 minutes and every song is a single, every song is a f*cking hit, every song is f*cking insane. We’ve been playing “Hollywood Whore” and “Lifeline” as well, and those two songs, the whole crowd sings along.

Q. How did you switch your style up for your new album “Metamorphosis”?
I’d say the major changes on this record is we’ve got a new drummer, Tony (Palermo) from Unwritten Law. And we’ve had a new team of people working behind us, and that fueled our confidence and our attitude into going in and making this record. And what was going on politically, we had the election coming on while we were writing and back home the economy at its worst. Just this downfall – people losing their jobs, their homes. All that sh*t kind of affected how we were writing our music.

Q. Was letting go of your drummer Dave Buckner a hard decision or like getting rid of dead weight?
It was a very hard decision getting rid of all that dead weight.

Q. How did you guys pick Tony?
Well, actually we did it as a favor. Back in the day when we started playing clubs in L.A., we were doing a showcase for some labels and we didn’t know it then, but Tony was the light guy there and we’re playing the show. We’re like, “Who’s doing this amazing light show? We’re probably going to get singed off this light show!” And sure enough we found out it was Tony Palmero, so we asked him if there was any way we could repay him, and he was like, ‘Well, I play the drums and I hear you’re looking for a new drummer so maybe I can just be your drummer,” and we were like, “OK, that works.”

… That’s actually a true story, but not how he became our drummer. We shared the same drum tech, and when Dave had to make his departure for a little bit, we needed someone to fill in. Our drum tech knew Tony from playing with Unwritten Law. He came out and he ended up being really cool, really laidback, great drummer, f*cking happy-go-lucky motherf*cker – likes to party – and we just hit it off. The more and more we played together, we were like, “Instead of having to audition every motherf*cker who wants the gig, let’s just keep Tony.”

Q. You talk a lot about partying. Has it caught up with you?
Oh f*ck, yeah it has. F*ck, I’m like on a cleanse right now. I drank too much rum and Natural. F*ck, man, caught up with me. I felt like sh*t for two days, so I’m done. I don’t think I drank last night – nah, I didn’t, I’m so proud of myself for taking the day off. You have to do that sometimes. You start feeling like sh*t and looking like sh*t and I thought, “Damn, maybe I should drink some water right now.”

Q. Anything you would like to add?
I just want to warn all the Las Cruces fans and El Paso fans that I want everyone to start working out, start getting in shape, and bring your diapers ’cause were going to rock the sh*t out of you. We bring a lot of energy, and we need the fans to keep up with us. So I’m going to gear up, maybe run like three or four miles real quick and I want everybody over there get ready for the rock ’n’ roll show – I can’t have you being tired when we’re on stage, so I’m warning you.



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