1: Which shock rocker once asked you to take a bubble bath with him?
“I used to party pretty hard back in the day. We did a show in Dresden, Germany and there were illicit drugs involved and at some point, we ended up back on his tour bus and he had a bathtub. He called his assistant to run a bubble bath and I was like: ‘What the fuck?! Bubble bath?’ He’s all, ‘Do you wanna get in there with me?’ and I was like: ‘I gotta go!’ Every time I’m now asked ‘Who would you like to collaborate with?’, I say: ‘Well actually I’d really just like to make good on that bubble bath with Manson at some point in my life’.”
Did you witness Manson do anything characteristically weird on tour?
“Well….(Long pause) I’m just going to leave that alone (Laughs).”
2: Which rapper did you once wrestle in his dressing room?
“Oh Eminem dude! On the ‘Anger Management Tour’. Eminem and Xzibit – it was the whole posse.”
“That was a great tour. Again, back in the day when I was partying really hard. It was one of the last days of the tour and Dave Buckner [Papa Roach drummer], myself and Xzibit were like: ‘Yo, let’s go crash Em’s dressing room!’. So we ended up in his dressing room partying down and one thing leads to another. Wrestling ensues. But it was just the end of tour party and I think everybody was a little bit out of their heads at that point in time. A lot of fond memories, man. Eminem’s best friend, Proof, ghetto blessed my oldest son Makaile – who was only six months old at the time – by kissing his feet and dropping a freestyle on him. Rest in peace, Proof. For real.”
3: What number did ‘Infest’ reach on Kerrang!’s 21 Greatest Nu-Metal Albums of All-Time?
“(Sighs) I have no fucking clue!”
WRONG. It was three. You were beaten only by Korn’s self-titled debut (number two) and Linkin Park’s ‘Hybrid Theory’ (number one).
“That’s cool! Respect both of those bands – I’ve got a lot of love for them. Rest in peace, Chester Bennington.”
What are your memories of Chester?
“We did Ozzfest together and that’s when Chester and I became really good friends – our wives would visit us and we double-dated a few times, and we had kids around the same time. They were trying to get pregnant at the same time me and my wife were trying to get pregnant. Chester’s wife got pregnant two months after mine. So we bonded over having kids around the same point and we also struggled with some of the same issues as far as substance abuse and stuff like that. I had finally kicked the bottle and didn’t realise that he struggled with it until after I had sobered up and he was like: ‘Yeah man, I’ve been struggling with this thing for quite some time, trying to get my life right’.”
“I think that was one of the reasons why they [Linkin Park] didn’t like Chester to hang out with me – because I was a little fucking rowdy. I didn’t realise he was trying to be sober. So he would come round our crew and we were like, ‘Let’s rage!’. But I’ve since made amends to Chester – and I saw Mike [Shinoda] at an awards show and said: ‘Hey man, I didn’t realise Chester was trying to be clean at the time. I thought we were all just young, dumb and ready to fucking rage’. Fast forward to about two months before he had taken his life, me, Marcos [Curiel] from P.O.D, Rob Caggiano from Volbeat and Matt Sorum from Guns N’ Roses all went out to dinner with him in New York City and had a fucking smash up time. And it was really good to spend some time with him. It seemed as though he was all good – but sometimes you can’t tell and life ain’t good. (Sounding emotional) I definitely fucking miss that guy.”
4: Which record did you claim was playing when your mother walked in on you losing your virginity?
“Oh! It was either Poison or INXS.”
CORRECT. It was Poison’s ‘Look What The Cat Dragged In’.
“Yeah! Poison were there for a lot of my firsts. God, I love those guys. I had the pleasure of being able of being able to sing onstage with them once at Rocklahoma, and Bret Michaels bestowed me with one of his cowboy hats to wear. Bret had known I was a fan so sent one of his handlers to come swoop me up, and we chatted on his tour bus. He was like: ‘Do you wanna come up onstage?’ And my inner teenager started tripping out! I didn’t meet anybody else in the band until I was onstage. So I’m looking to my left, thinking ‘Oh shit! That’s CC DeVille!’ They were my first ‘favourite band’, before my dad was like: ‘You like rock ‘n’ roll? Here, check out Led Zeppelin’ – which pretty much changed everything.”
5: Which indie rocker designed the typeface used on your ‘Lovehatetragedy’ album?
“Oooh…I have no frickin’ clue!”
WRONG. It’s Bradford Cox from Deerhunter.
“Are you serious?! So he was a graphic designer?”
Yep, and apparently he designed a typeface when he was 16 dubbed ‘Polaroid 22’ that’s used on Lovehatetragedy…
“I remember we used a typeface on ‘Infest’ that made us all exclaim ‘That’s sick! We love that!’, and then we saw Avril Lavigne had come out with the same typeface and I was like: ‘Fuck! Now we’ve got to change our shit!’. But I never knew Bradford designed that. That’s news to me – and really cool.”
6: Which Nirvana song did you once cover for MTV on New Year’s Eve?
“I believe it was ‘Lithium’.”
“We did a mildly decent job. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great. I look back on it and think ‘Arrggh, we could have done that better’. But then again, we could have done a lot of things in our career better! (Laughs) What a cool moment in time, regardless of our performance quality. I was a huge fan of Nirvana. I really wonder what music would look like if Kurt Cobain was still around. But New Year’s Eve 2000, and everybody’s tripping out that the YK2 bug is going to shut every computer down or some crazy shit, and I’m sitting in the middle of Times Square atop some scaffolding watching the ball drop, pinching myself and thinking: ‘Is this really happening?’.
7: You covered Deep Purple’s ‘Smoke on the Water’ in 2010 with which famous guitarist?
“Oh Carlos Santana I can’t fuck that one up! (Laughs)”
“I was intimidated to be in the studio with him, ‘cos he’s a rock ‘n’ roll legend. But right off the bat, he was super-friendly, welcoming and kind. He said: ‘When you record the vocal, if I could use a word to describe it, just make me feel like ‘swamp’. I was like: ‘Huh?!’ And he repeats: ‘I want swamp!’. I mean, I get swamp rock and that a lot of blues was coming from down south in the bayou and swamps. So I pulled the engineer aside and asked him to turn the heat up in the vocal booth until it was blazing hot in there – ‘cos if you’ve ever been down to the bayou, it’s nasty hot. I didn’t tell the producer or Carlos and sang my ass off for two hours, emerging a wet sopping mess with my usually-spiked hair all fallen down. I looked at Carlos and said: ‘Is that the swamp you’re looking for?’. And he was like: Dude! You get it! You get it! You understand!’ So I caught him off-guard and we could have a laugh.”
8: What is missing from the censored version of the ‘I Almost Told You That I Loved You’ video?
“Oh gosh! I mean, Tony [Palermo, drummer] got beat up pretty good. Was it the guy that was hanging from the hooks? Oh, that’s in it? I can’t remember – that was a little cloudy to me.”
WRONG. The video for ‘public viewing’ has the footage of you being whipped removed.
“That’s not in there? I had my wife come down and said ‘You’re going to be my dominatrix’, and she whipped the shit out of me! It’s funny because my kids play it – ‘cos they know I don’t like it. I’m like: ‘Ugh! I’m fucking tired of that song!’. They’re like: ‘Dad! Let’s watch the video!’. And I’m like: ‘Hell no!’ as they’re sitting there watching this video that’s got their mom dressed up like a dominatrix and me sitting there getting whipped like a dog! You don’t think when you’re in the moment: ‘Oh God, my kids are eventually going to see me in this!’”
What was the most debauched party you ever went to?
“Oh God, I’ll just leave that unsaid! Man, I went to some stupid ones back in the day, just rocking up in a bathroom doing blow, and all that gross gnarly stuff. Some of it I look back on fondly and some I think ‘Man, I was caught up in some dark shit’.”
9: You appear in the horror movie The Invited. How do you die?
“I got my throat slit by my wife. When I’m trying to shave, she comes up behind me and slits my throat.”
CORRECT. Have you been offered many acting roles?
“I had an offer to read for the [US version of the Channel 4] show Shameless but didn’t get the part. But the experience of reading for it was cool and made me realise acting’s cool but I don’t have a passion for it. When it comes to me getting in front of the camera, I’m better at being the host rather than an ‘actor’. Maybe there’s something for me to do in the future, but right now, I’m just focussed on P. Roach.”
“Before I hosted the show Scarred, MTV had a few different things in the making. They wanted me to do a show with two college girls where we’d do band makeovers. I felt I was too cool for that, but in hindsight, it could have been fun – it wasn’t too far off-base of our brand, but I wasn’t feeling it so said fuck off.”
10: Which former footballer and unlikely Papa Roach fan recently requested a guest list for your UK tour?
“Oh man! Hold on! I can tell you his name! Jordan [Fish] from Bring Me the Horizon texted me – because I’m not a massive football fan. Is it cheating if I go to my texts from Jordan? Ally McCoist!”
“Jordan texted me saying: ‘Hey man, listening to Talksport – which is like a big football station in the UK. FYI, Ally McCoist is a straight-up football legend – they just played you on his show and he said he’s trying to get on the guestlist’. Once we heard that we had a football legend trying to come to the P Roach show, we had to get him sorted out! I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting him, but Jerry [Horton, guitarist] and Tony met him at the end of the night. We had a fucking great time at those London Forum shows.”
Have you had shout-outs more unusual than from a former Rangers striker and Question Of Sport team captain?
“We often get shout-outs from pop stars – like SZA posted herself rocking out to P. Roach, and there was an Instagram video of Justin Bieber rocking out to ‘Last Resort’. But honestly, that song is part of the fabric of pop culture at this point so it’s almost to be expected. I love the oddball memes floating around. We did a show in LA, and Rivers Cuomo came along with Kerry King from Slayer. Kerry had brought vodka because he knew I loved it. I’m sitting there scratching my head in the dressing room thinking: ‘How cool but fucking odd is this group of people?’.”
The verdict: 7/10*
“Not too shabby! That’s average and par for the course for me. I was never a great student – I never got A’s. So hey, I’m consistent!”
*With a little help from Bring Me The Horizon ringer Jordan.
Papa Roach are currently on tour in the UK.