Skip to main content

Mick Jones: Papa Roach

Originally published in Guitar World, July 2009

Guitar World recently caught up with Papa Roach's Mick Jones where he talked about the band's latest album, Metamorphosis.

Papa Roach were so inspired by L.A.’s Paramour Mansion, that they named their 2006 album, The Paramour Sessions, after the famed recording studio/luxury estate. When they returned there recently to make their latest album, Metamorphosis (DG CInterscope), they found the place a little different than they remembered.

One night, as guitarist Jerry Horton was heading to his room, he noticed that a hallway, accessible in 2006, was now blocked by a door. “For whatever reason, I felt compelled to open the door,” he recalls. “It was pitch black in there. And then I heard somebody say in kind of a deep voice, ‘Can I help you?’ No one could have been in there.” The startled axman quickly closed the door and scurried off to his room.

Apparently, the event helped inspire the group, giving it an adrenaline rush that is evident on Metamorphosis, particularly on the hit song “Lifeline.” Horton says, “The house and my experience that night made us overreact, and those sorts of things lent themselves to the recording process.”

Full of high-energy, back-to-basics tracks, Metamorphosis demonstrates what Horton calls Papa Roach’s desire to “bring back the riffs.” The guitarist says the band focused on simple arrangements and minimal overdubs. Horton, who is working on a signature ax with Schecter Guitars, even let someone else play one of the album’s solos: Mötley Crüe’s Mick Mars.

Frontman Jacoby Shaddix had approached Mars while Papa Roach were on tour with the Crüe and invited him to play on the song “Into the Light.” Horton says, “When the time came, I thought, I’m here with Mick Mars! I told him, ‘We’re totally honored to have you play on this. And he was like, ‘Well, I don’t know about that, but I’m excited to do it.’ That was cool moment.” And not nearly as spooky as the night that Horton heard a whoever.