Papa Roach frontman Jacoby Shaddix joined the SkillBox live stream to talk about the band’s history and the racial justice movement in America.
The conversation was part of Skillbox’s Artists For a Cause initiative, which aims to “increase awareness and raise contributions for COVID-19 relief.” SkillBox created Artists For a Cause in coordination with the Indian NGO Umeed. Each weekend for two months the project is hosting acts from around the world to help raise awareness and precipitate constructive change.
Shaddix spoke about the recent 20th anniversary celebrations for Papa Roach’s breakthrough second album, Infest. This included a livestreamed performance of the album in full, broadcast from a studio in Sacramento. They also held an in-conversation event that brought original drummer Dave Buckner back into the fold.
The conversation then turned to the significance of the ongoing Black Lives Matter demonstrations in the USA. “Right now, it’s a dire situation for African Americans in America,” said Shaddix. “Especially for young black men, they don’t feel safe, they don’t feel protected, and that’s a basic human right, period, to feel safe and feel protected by your people.
“They’ve been marginalised for years. Their voice has continuously not been respected, and it falls on deaf ears of the establishment. It was time a long time ago to listen to our brothers and sisters, but it’s boiled over and finally our African American brothers and sisters are being heard. And I think it’s important to take care of our people. I look at everybody as my brother and sister.”
Shaddix also spoke about the unifying power of rock music. “I am not an exclusive person. I am inclusive,” he said. “And I feel that’s a powerful thing to believe and to be part of; is unity. Because we can sit here and try to find out what’s wrong with this person, or how they’re doing it wrong or whatever, but that’s not a path to healing. It’s a path to divisiveness.”