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How Did Papa Roach Get Their Name?

How Did Papa Roach Get Their Name?

Papa Roach have been one of the more enduring rock bands of the 21st Century, which is not surprising if you know a bit about how the band actually got their name. The moniker actually predicted their lengthy run of success. But how exactly did Papa Roach land on “Papa Roach” as their moniker? While some may know the familial aspect, that’s not all that went into the decision.

How Did Papa Roach Get Their Name?

“We came up with the name back in 1993 when we were like 16 years old – young and dumb,” recalled Jacoby Shaddix to Spin. “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.”

While they were bandying names about, it was the band’s original drummer Dave Buckner that suggested Papa Gato, a moniker that also served as the nickname for Latin percussionist Poncho Sanchez. And while that name didn’t get picked, it did spark something with Jacoby Shaddix.

“I thought, what if we named it after my grandfather — his last name is Roatch. 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.”

Why Was Papa Roach a Relatable Name?

With “roach” part of the name, it offered some obvious promotional options. “We started using the cockroach as our mascot in the sense of like it could just go through hell and still survive,” said Shaddix in a Vice mini-doc.

The singer adds, “You know as a kid that kind of went through the wringer, I identified with that you know. I kind of went through some shit and like this fits. And there we were Papa Roach.”

But the Papa Roach Name Wasn’t Relatable to Everyone

While Papa Roach meant one thing to the band, other associations were assigned by people outside the group. In fact, in a Houston Press interview about their moniker history, guitarist Jerry Horton assured that it wasn’t about weed, but did stated that a number of their fans had been sent home from school for wearing Papa Roach shirts by administrators who thought the name had a certain connotation.

What Else Was in Consideration?

“Other than Papa Gato? Nude was one of ’em. The Groove Merchants was another. We were goofy-ass kids,” said Shaddix to Spin.

As for his thoughts on Papa Roach as a moniker, well, it holds up as well as names from some of their peers. “I always thought Limp Bizkit was a really bad name, but I guess it’s no worse than Papa Roach,” said the singer. “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.”

READ MORE: Jacoby Shaddix Wants Fans to Find Hope in Papa Roach’s Music

As predicted, Papa Roach has stood for longevity. Now nearly 25 years into their recording career, the band has amassed 11 studio albums and a wealth of radio hits including “Last Resort,” “She Loves Me Not,” “Getting Away With Murder,” “Scars,” “To Be Loved,” “Forever,” “Lifeline,” “Still Swingin’,” “Face Everything and Rise,” “Help,” “Born for Greatness,” “Kill the Noise” and “Cut the Line” among others.

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