“I was verbally assassinated by Sharon Osbourne”: the trials of Jacoby Shaddix

Metal Hammer

In 1999, Jacoby Shaddix was leading a life of extremes. From Friday to Tuesday, he was the vocalist in Papa Roach, a band he’d formed six years prior during high school and whose rap-rock, Deftones-inspired sound was finally starting to gather some steam. Then, after cramming the long weekend with gigs, he would return to his “dirty job” as a janitor in a Californian military hospital, where he spent the rest of the week mopping blood off the operating room floor, sweeping up bone fragments and collecting body parts for the incinerator. “It was my last job before I was a rock star,” he grins today. 

Life came at him fast. Less than a year later, their now- classic 2000 album, Infest, and indestructible single, Last Resort, had made Papa Roach nu metal royalty and global superstars, although, by the time they headed into the studio to record 2002’s Lovehatetragedy, they sensed the tide was turning. “We had a feeling nu metal was dead,” he says. “That’s when I set out to prove myself as a valid rock singer, so I really focused on melody.”

Now, more than 20 years after the genre’s commercial peak, Jacoby is still a permanent, inspirational and larger-than-life fixture in our world, the face of a band who has surpassed all expectations and steadily embraced new sounds, and who’s hit rock bottom on more than one occasion, only to rise from the ashes. This is the story of his life.

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