Starting out as a punk- and rap-influenced band, the northern Californian alt-metal group Papa Roach grew into a straight-ahead hard rock ensemble with strong heavy metal leanings. Consisting of Coby Dick, Jerry Horton, Dave Buckner, and Tobin Esperance, Papa Roach formed in 1993 and began releasing EPs soon after, including 1994's Potatoes for Christmas and 1995's Caca Bonita.
By 1996, the group replaced original bassist Will James with Esperance and hired a new manager; the following year, Papa Roach released their first full-length album, Old Friends from Young Years, which became a surprise hit on local radio. The band's regional success led to more prominent gigs, including dates with Suicidal Tendencies, Sevendust, and Powerman 5000, and a deal with Dreamworks Records, which released Papa Roach's second album, Infest, in early 2000.
The album went triple platinum thanks to the success of the single "Last Resort." Two years later, frontman Coby Dick opted to go by his given name of Jacoby Shaddix. A second album, lovehatetragedy, appeared in June 2002. Stylistically, the band had begun to grow beyond its rap-rock roots and the new tracks showcased a slightly more mature, melodic, and straightforward hard rock sound.
That same summer, the band joined a number of rap acts including Ludacris and Xzibit on Eminem's Anger Management Tour. In 2004, Papa Roach released their third studio effort, Getting Away with Murder. Buoyed by the success of the single "Scars," Getting Away with Murder sold well and eventually went platinum.
Two years later, Papa Roach began work on their fourth studio album at the infamous and historical Paramour mansion in Hollywood - once the home of silent movie star Antonio Moreno. Released in fall 2006, The Paramour Sessions featured a heavy L.A. rock aesthetic and generated two Top 10 rock singles, although its sales stalled around 400,000 copies.
Drummer Dave Buckner exited the line-up one year later; after filling the empty seat with Unwritten Law's Tony Palermo, Papa Roach hit the road to support The Paramour Sessions with tour dates alongside Seether and Staind. They remained on the road after joining Motley Crue's Crüe Fest in 2008, but the band also found time to return to the Paramour mansion, where they launched songwriting sessions for another album.
Released in early 2009, Metamorphosis found Papa Roach reprising their interpretation of metallic hard rock and reuniting with Infest producer Jay Baumgardner. ~ Heather Phares, All Music Guide
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