As American rock band Papa Roach prepare to wrap up the Canadian tour which they kicked off in British Columbia earlier this month alongside Five Finger Death Punch, SIXX: AM and From Ashes To New, vocalist Jacoby Shaddix admits their journey across the land north of the 49th parallel has been a long time coming.
While the group has routinely played in larger Canadian centres, the group’s current trek was uniquely setup. Together with Five Finger Death Punch, the groups asked fans to choose the 14 cities in which they would perform over the course of the tour.
When the votes were tallied, more than 90,000 votes had been cast from coast to coast, leading Papa Roach and company to off-the-beaten path locales like Penticton, B.C. and Medicine Hat, Alberta, but also to other cities including London, Ont. and, tonight, Moncton.
“It’s been quite some time since we’ve undertaken a proper Canadian tour. We knew it was time,” Shaddix says. “Having our Canadian fans tell us where they wanted to see us play really excited us. We’re in a day and age where we have to stay engaged and in-tune with what the people want.”
Shaddix says that in his experience, it is smaller cities like Moncton and Medicine Hat that often prove to be the highlights on such a tour.
“It has been our experience that the shows in those towns and cities that are off the beaten path are often the best shows on a tour. We love playing anywhere that will have us, but the people in larger cities tend to be tougher to impress because they have it all and see it all. It is the people in the smaller places that aren’t shy about letting you know how much they appreciate you being there.”
Asked about the popularity of the tour, both within Canada as well as the United States, Shaddix believes the tour’s success can be attributed to the unique sound that each band brings to the table every night.
“We’ve got a bill on which not every band sounds the same, which I think is a big drawing card for a lot of people. It plays a big part of playing to full houses every night.”
Formed in the mid 90’s, it was Papa Roach’s sophomore record Infest and its lead single “Last Resort” that broke the group on an international level. The album went on to sell more than three million copies in the U.S. and more than 200,000 copies in Canada.
Far from being a one-hit wonder, subsequent Papa Roach albums have fared respectably well, with a combined sales tally of more than two million units. The group’s most recent studio album, F.E.A.R., was released at the start of 2015 and has produced a No. 1 single (“Face Everything And Rise”) in addition to the Top 5 track “Gravity.”
“As a band, we were very lucky that we got a foothold on rock music when we did,” Shaddix says, indirectly referring to the file-sharing practices that ultimately decimated the recorded music industry after the turn of the century.
“It’s a lot tougher going these days, especially for trying to get a band off the ground, but you’ve got apps like Spotify and Pandora, where the fans are the king-makers. It’s a different dynamic, but it’s one in which we have been lucky enough to have continued success. We certainly aren’t going to complain about anything.”
After their Canadian tour wraps up in Halifax on Wednesday night, Papa Roach will enjoy a bit of downtime until the new year. Although he is reticent to reveal much in the way of fine details such as title or release date, Shaddix shares the group has 11 songs recorded for their next studio effort.
“If I could describe our new material, I would say it’s as if Infest made love to our third record and this next album is the baby resulting from that,” he says with a laugh. “It has a super melodic sound, but also has some fire to it. We really sought to shake things up with these new songs. Who knows if the fans will love it or hate it, but time will tell.”
What: Papa Roach with Five Finger Death Punch, SIXX: AM and From Ashes To New
When: Tuesday Sept. 27, 6:45 p.m.
Where: Moncton Coliseum, 377 Killam Dr., Moncton
Tickets start at $46 plus service charges. Advance tickets are available at the Coliseum Box Office, by phone (506) 857-4100 and online at tickets.moncton.ca.