Indy: For your latest CD [Metamorphosis], your band returned to the Paramour Mansion in Los Angeles, where you recorded the previous CD, [The Paramour Sessions]. You guys had some odd experiences the first time that had at least one or two of you believing in the legend that the mansion is haunted. How was it this time?
JS: This time in the Paramour, there was a lot more peace amongst the band — I mean, personal and in between each other. When we made The Paramour Sessions, it was a tumultuous time for the band. Everybody was in fucking chaos. [Former drummer] Dave Buckner was going through a divorce, [guitarist] Tobin [Esperance] was falling in love with another woman and he was splitting up with his ex-lady. Me, I'm a fucking alcoholic addict ... It was a little more stable this time, which was a trip.
Indy: Over the years, the Papa Roach sound has evolved a good deal, from rap-rock into more of a straight-ahead rock sound. Metamorphosis pushes the melodic element even further. What has taken the band in more of a melodic direction?
JS: I want to make songs that people want to sing along with. We've got to play these songs live, and that's the thing about this record, too, I think in a live environment, everything on this record works.
Indy: Metamorphosis also has more of an organic sound. Was that by design, and was this part of the reason you changed producers from Howard Benson to Jay Baumgartner?
JS: One of the reasons we went with Jay to co-produce the record was just his back-to-basics approach to recording and putting a record down, and not trying to over-produce anything [so that] everything is so slick and super-metered and reserved. We wanted it to have that human feel and make a record with guitar, bass, drums and vocals. That's primarily what this record is.
At Denver's Ogden Theatre, Oct. 26.