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Papa Roach

Papa Roach

Words Paul Watson

Six shows into the Papa Roach tour, guitarist Jerry Horton shoots the breeze with us before heading off to a soundcheck in New York City.

So how's the tour been going, Jerry?

It's going great man, a lot of them are selling out. We've done stuff with Seether in the past but never really a proper tour, but we're co-headlining this tour with them, and the opening bands are really good too, they rip it.

You're a straight rock guitarist, who are your influences?

Starting out, I was more of a metal head than anybody else in the band. I was listening to Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Testament, those kind of bands, and the other guys were listening to punk and funk, and Chilli Peppers, Mr. Bungle, you know, really off the wall stuff that I had never really paid attention to. So when I joined the band and discovered all this other stuff, some I didn't understand at first, but I suddenly understood the thought process behind it, and kind of became familiar and able to appreciate it. I started to take those other bands as influences as well, you know, like John Frusciante... It's not something you really hear outwardly in the [Papa Roach] music, but there are certain aspects of his playing that make it in there. And then just to go back to the classics, Page and Gilmour and those kind of guys, too.

That's an eclectic mix... Tell me about your wireless guitar setup.

We had used other wireless systems before, but it had always seemed that there was a compromise. They would generally reduce the signal, and it wouldn't sound as good as a cable. Then we tried Lectrosonics, and it was just night and day - we genuinely couldn't tell the difference between the cable and the wireless, and it was pretty amazing, so yeah, it's an integral part of the rig. I don't know what they've got going on over there but there's some voodoo in that little system, and it's really cool.

Do you have a favourite rock and roll moment... that I can print, that is?

[laughs] Yeah, it’s all good! Probably when we played Polish Woodstock. We had never heard of the festival before, and when we got the offer, it said it had a 500,000 capacity, and we immediately thought that had to be a typo, and we thought it was probably 50,000, but that was cool, we could do that. So we get there, and during the day there was a huge area the size of something like Download would be, and there was maybe 5,000 people scattered about, off in their little circles playing in the dirt and mud, and we're looking at each other saying, 'we flew all the way out here for this?' Up until we played, it was all Polish bands, and the band before us had maybe 10,000 people watching. And then, it was like the scene out of The Lord of the Rings, people were pouring out of the woods out into this clearing, and it ended up being 350,000 people, and it was mind-blowing. We couldn't fathom that there were that many people in one area!