It’s no secret that Australia is more than pumped to see Papa Roach play their first ever Australian headlining tour in January, so Overdrive sat down with bassist Tobin Esperance to find out if that feeling is mutual.

Papa Roach was last on our shores in February 2015 playing the now-defunct Soundwave Festival, which Esperance remembers fondly. “We had a great response from that festival, so I think that just kind of reminded people that we’re still around, that we still have a good time live onstage, you know? It’s just about creating that energy and I think people have been waiting a long time for us to come back. I mean, the first time we came to Australia was back in 2002 with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and it had been a long time before we came back (it had been over ten years), so it only makes sense that we make it a priority to come every couple years, I think that’s our goal.”

As for what fans can expect from these shows, well that’s simple. Esperance explains, “Well, we’re just going to be so f*cking excited that we’re coming to Australia, there’s just going to be this extra urgency, just to get on stage and have fun with our Australian fans. We had such a blast last time we were there, it’s such a beautiful country and the people are amazing, and just the history of music there is so rich, so it’s just a good time overall. As far as the setlist goes, we always spend a lot of time on the setlist, making sure that it’s got a really good balance of new stuff, old stuff and everything in between, so we’ve got that covered. The rest of it is just making sure that we are all in good spirits and in good shape and ready to show our handsome faces off.”


For the hardcore Papa Roach fans, the upcoming tour offers some pretty extensive VIP packages, both of which include the screening of a “Making of Crooked Teeth” short documentary, followed by a Q&A session with the band. Esperance explains that the Q&A session following the screening is particularly special for him and the rest of the band (vocalist Jacoby Shaddix, guitarist Jerry Horton, and drummer Tony Palermo) as they get to spend some intimate time with their die-hard fans, answering any questions they might have and sharing stories in an exclusive setting.

Turning our attention to the new album, ‘Crooked Teeth’ (out now via Eleven Seven Records), Esperance describes the fan response as having been very welcoming of all the different elements that make up the album. “Born For Greatness, for example, is a lot different than Crooked Teeth, and a song like Crooked Teeth is a lot different than a song like Periscope. We play all three of those songs live, and every one of them gets a different response, but a positive response and people love all those songs. Help was a big song, American Dreams, it just seems like we really won people over, just connected with a lot of people on this record.” He continues, explaining that he feels as if a lot of people connected to the record’s political nature by stating that, “while we were creating the record, the political debates were going on. The whole thing was so dramatic, it was just a shit show. We weren’t trying to be hyper-political or whatever, we were just trying to find our way to express how it felt to be an American going through that whole time period.”

Esperance also explains the meaning behind the album title by saying “It’s like a metaphor for saying that everybody’s got flaws, everybody has issues, everybody’s got skeletons in the closet. Nobody’s perfect, nobody’s got perfect teeth, everybody’s got something a little crooked about us and there’s nothing wrong with asking for help, or expressing that you’re not feeling perfect. I feel like the world’s actually moving in a positive direction where everybody’s trying really hard to make sure everybody is feeling welcomed and wanted and accepted, no matter what. Of course, it’s heartbreaking when you lose people, with respect to Chris Cornell and Chester , I mean, nobody really knows what was going on, but we definitely don’t want that to happen. I think it’s just been a reminder to like, be there for somebody when they’re going through some hard shit and to help them and stay by their side and whatnot.”


With ‘Crooked Teeth’, having been out for the better part of a year, Papa Roach are already looking towards their next project, despite their ongoing tour obligations for the current album cycle. Esperance explains, “we’ve made a conscious decision to go in the studio and keep working all throughout next year, even while we’re touring, just because we feel like we’ve got a really good momentum going, and we’ve connected with some new producers that we’ve been collaborating with, and we wanna just keep out chops up, you know? So the plan for all of next year is just to keep touring and also go into the studio anytime we get a break, so I don’t know when I can promise another new record, but we’ll be working on it all next year.”

Australian Papa Roach fans have a lot to be excited about with what is set to be five massive Aussie shows just around the corner, hints of a follow-up record on the horizon, and the promise of more tours on our shores down the track, Papa Roach are clearly showing no signs of slowing down. If you haven’t already got your tickets to see the boys play in Brisbane at The Tivoli on January 18th, Melbourne at 170 Russell on January 21st and 22nd, or Sydney at The Metro on January 24th and 25th, you best get onto that, because if their Soundwave 2015 performances were anything to go by, you will not want to miss this tour!

PAPA ROACH is touring Australia for their first ever headlining tour next January, presented by CID Entertainment, get your tickets HERE!