- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 20, 2002

As the only rock act on Eminem's hip-hop tour, Papa Roach has a daunting challenge ahead but guitarist Jerry Horton is not afraid.
"I've been thinking about it this way," he says by telephone from his home in Northern California. "When Eminem's single came out, it hit number one in the pop charts, number one in hip-hop and number one in alternative. It's not just rap fans listening to it."
The band hopes that its music will cross the supposed gap between lovers of rock and lovers of rap, as well. The only problem is that Papa Roach appears to be leaving its own rap-rock style of music behind.
"Well, for the people who haven't heard it, it's more rock," he says of Papa Roach's sophomore album "Lovehatetragedy." "It's got a lot more melody. The rhythms are a little more complicated, even though it covers a wider range of dynamics."
Papa Roach opens up for Eminem's Anger Management tour at Nissan Pavilion tomorrow night.
In the background, the loud thump of construction can be heard, and Mr. Horton apologizes for the excess noise. It's fitting that his house is getting renovated, as the success of "Lovehatetragedy" is sure to keep band members in the black.
The disc, released in late June, is now at No. 13 on the Billboard 200, having peaked at No. 2. The band's debut, "Infest," released in 2000, has gone triple platinum. Success has been something of a surprise for the band, which also includes lead singer Jacoby Shaddix, drummer Dave Buckner and bassist Tobin Esperance.
"We thought we were going to be touring in a van," Mr. Horton laughs. "Now we're gone all the time."
The hard rock sound of "Lovehatetragedy" shouldn't be a complete surprise. The band wrote most of the songs while playing Ozzfest, that summer mecca of headbangers everywhere.
"It wasn't really something that was thought about too much," Mr. Horton says of the concept. "During Ozzfest, we had a studio in the back of the bus. We were back there a lot recording ideas."
Fans will be surprised to hear that Mr. Shaddix (who formerly went by the stage name Coby Dick) can actually sing, as parts were written closer to his vocal register this time around.
"I think Jacoby, on this record, wanted to accentuate the melodies," Mr. Horton says. "Now that we've gone there I don't think we'll go back [to rap-rock]."
The band even covers alternative rock pioneers the Pixies on "Gouge Away," a straight-ahead tribute that appears as a bonus track on "Lovehatetragedy."
"Starting out on this Eminem tour, we're going to be a little different, just because there are so many guitar parts," Mr. Horton says. "I'll just have to pick and choose what the best thing is to play."
The band has been playing together for close to a decade, but remained obscure until 2000's "Infest" and its radio-friendly, hard rock-rap shoutfest "Last Resort." Since then, the members have been touring nonstop, something that has caused tension in the past.
"We fight all the time, but we always make up and move on," Mr. Horton says. "We're like brothers."
Papa Roach will travel to Europe in the fall, before returning to the United States in the spring for a headlining, arena tour.
"We're really just going to do what comes natural to us," Mr. Horton says. "We're not going to start doing polka songs or anything. We're still going to be us and try and change and keep things interesting for fans and for ourselves."

WHAT: Papa Roach opening for Eminem on the Anger Management Tour
WHERE: Nissan Pavilion, 7800 Cellar Door Road, off Interstate 66 and Route 29, Bristow, Va. (near Manassas)
WHEN: 6:30 p.m. tomorrow
TICKETS: $31-$44
PHONE: 202/432-SEAT

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