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Why They’re Called… Papa Roach


Welcome to the weekly feature “Name That Band!” in which we get the inside stories behind the mysterious monikers of some of our favorite artists.

This week: Northern California rockers Papa Roach, whose Time For Annihiliation is out August 31.

Why Papa Roach: “We came up with the name back in 1993 when we were like sixteen years old — young and dumb,” remembers frontman Jacoby Shaddix. “At the time we were listening to lots of bands with funky names — stuff like Mr. Bungle, Primus, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. We were also playing weird spastic funk-punk like they were, so we thought we should have a name that fit in with that vibe. At first we wanted to name the band Papa Gato after [a nickname for] Poncho Sanchez, the Latin percussionist. But then I thought, what if we named it after my grandfather — his last name is Roach. The other guys were like, ‘You mean roach like as in weed?’ But I also thought Papa Roach had a dirty, grimy sense of longevity that really represented where we were as people at the time. Roaches last, you know? The name still fits. We started in 1993 and now it’s 2010.”

Previously Rejected Names: “Other than Papa Gato? Nude was one of ’em. The Groove Merchants was another. We were goofy-ass kids.”

Best Band Names Ever: “Stone Temple Pilots is cool. Deftones is a really good one. At a point in time in my life, those were bands that had a huge impact on me, and I always thought they had slick, cool names.”

Worst Band Name Ever: “I always thought Limp Bizkit was a really bad name, but I guess it’s no worse than Papa Roach. The Rolling Stones was weird to me when I was a kid. I thought ‘Rolling Stones’ sounded like a game for cavemen or some shit. Korn is a really, really bad name. I was a huge fan of theirs, though.”

See past episodes of Name That Band! here.

Watch: Papa Roach, “Kick In the Teeth”