Papa Roach: Last Resort was 'controversial' because of mental health lyrics
Papa Roach’s Jacoby Shaddix has recalled how ‘controversial’ their song Last Resort was when it was first released, revealing it was heavily censored.
The track, which was released in 2000 and sky-rocketed the band to fame, has had a long-lasting legacy, largely due it referencing mental health and suicide in a realistic and non-glamorised way, which fans all over the world have related to.
Speaking to Metro.co.uk alongside TikTok star Jeris Johnson for their new version of the track, Last Resort Reloaded, Jacoby admitted people were shocked by the ‘dark content’ but he still sees it as a ‘celebration of life’.
‘When we first dropped the song, the song was just so edited [censored]. It was like, obviously, you couldn’t say “f**k”, but they cut out the word suicide, amongst many other words within the song.
‘It was controversial bringing that topic up. And really, the song isn’t about suicide, it’s about being on the brink of it. It’s about being at the edge, and how do we respond to suicide. And really, it’s about opening up and being honest about your feelings.’
Referencing the backstory to the song, which Jacoby wrote about a roommate of his who had tried to take his own life at the age of 17, he described it as a ‘traumatic experience’.
‘Years later, I want[ed] to put this in a song and that s**t just spoke to millions and millions and millions of kids, millions of adults across the planet. And I’ve met thousands upon thousands of people through the years that have told me that that song saved their life.’
He continued: ‘Music speaks to people in some really dark spaces. It’s a trip because it’s like, there’s such a dark content and a dark element to the song, but there’s such a celebratory element of the song as well. And I think that’s what Jeris really captured with the re-imagination of this track is like the celebration of f**king life.’
Jacoby enlisted Jeris for a collaboration when he stumbled across his incredible version of Last Resort on TikTok.
The pair have quickly become close friends, with Jeris having grown up listening to Papa Roach.
But being a fan meant that when he joined forces with the band, the pressure was well and truly on.
‘I was like, “Oh s**t, what did I get myself into?”‘ he recalled. ‘Just the magnitude, the impact the original song has, and being like “Yeah, we’re gonna pick you, kid, to co-release a f**king version of Last Resort 20 years later that’s brand new” and I was just like, “Wow, okay. I guess this is actually happening.’
Explaining it was incredible to work with Papa Roach, Jeris continued: ‘The pressure went away quickly. But there definitely was a moment where I was like, “Oh my god, what the f**k am I doing?”‘
Meanwhile, having Jacoby as a mentor has been priceless for him.
are u ready @paparoach
‘He’s just become Uncle Jacoby to me. He’s offered me so much wisdom and advice and we’ve had so many dope conversations, just working in the studio together,’ he explained, adding that he’s been teaching the star how to make TikToks.
‘It just really hit me – this guy’s a real life f**king rockstar. He has done everything that I want to do, so it’s just been an amazing experience.’
With Jeris smashing it on Last Resort Reloaded, Jacoby is still stunned at the legacy the song has built up, even years later.
‘When we first dropped it, we didn’t expect it to be the kind of hit it was,’ he explained.
‘It’s really afforded us the opportunity to have a career and we’ve been able to put records out and have some great successes since then, and some not so great successes. It’s been a bit of a roller coaster for us.
‘Over the last five years, we’ve seen Last Resort come back in meme culture […] The long and short of it is I’m f**king blown away.’
He continued: ‘Honestly it’s surreal for me. I’m in P Roach, I’ve been doing this s**t for 20 years and it’s like, these moments I’m still grateful for.’
Last Resort Reloaded is out now.
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