TRAVERSE CITY — Papa Roach is still producing hit songs.
It’s just getting harder and harder to get radio stations to play them.
It isn’t that the band has changed all that much. Their style has evolved some with each of their seven albums, as has their lyrical content — though nothing that would get them banned.
Instead, it’s the changing format of rock radio that’s seeing fewer hard rockers like Papa Roach, playing Sunday night at Streeters Ground Zero, get serious time on the airwaves.
“It’s a hustle for rock bands right now,” said Papa Roach lead singer Jacoby Shaddix. “It’s almost like the dark ages for rock and roll, just in the aspect of the market for rock and roll. It’s a little more underground now, to put it lightly. Alternative radio — a lot of our markets that used to play Papa Roach — don’t play Papa Roach any more, because they’re playing fun., because that’s the new alternative rock. We’ve kind of been forced into the active rock world. We’ve had hits at that format for the last 10 years, and then all of the sudden they’re turning their backs on us. It’s a little bit of a fight.
“The ironic part is those stations that are playing those alternative bands, are calling us up when they’re doing their rock festival. They need the hard rock bands to sell tickets to their festival. We’re like, ‘Hey, we’ll come play your festival if you start playing our music again.’”
The band's market is still out there, though. They'll be joined for their Traverse City show by Otherwise.
“We have good shows up there,” Shaddix said. “Good crowd, good audience, good vibe."
Papa Roach's most recent album already has two top 10 hits — “Still Swingin’” and “Where Have the Angels Gone?” That gives them 20 singles in the top 40 since their 2000 debut album, “Infest.” Eleven of those tunes reached the top 10.
"Still Swingin'" is being used heavily for Detroit Tigers promos on Fox Sports Detroit.
Papa Roach also toured with Otherwise on a European swing with Stone Sour.
“They’ve got a good buzz going on rock radio right now,” Shaddix said. “So we asked them to tour with us on these dates, and they were more than happy to join us. It’s nice to share the stage with a real up-and-comer. And they’re really nice guys, too, so I’m wishing them the best.”
The acts are coming to Traverse City straight from Columbus, Ohio's Rock on the Range — a large weekend rock festival that's held in the Columbus Crew soccer stadium.
“That’s the cool thing about this run, is we’re doing the big festivals and the smaller clubs,” Shaddix said. “So it’s like getting a taste of both worlds.”
The band’s most recent music video — for “Still Swingin’” — was an inspiration from one of Shaddix’s two sons. Hiw 8-year-old came up with the idea of a zombie-themed video featuring himself and his father as bat-wielding killers of the undead.
“My younger son, Jagger, he always like to listen to the new Papa Roach songs and come up with ideas for videos,” Shaddix said. “He can always envision a music video for all our songs. I think it’s funny. He was like, ‘It’d be cool dad if me and you were zombie killers.’ I was like, ‘That’s kind of a cool idea,’ so we threw that at the director.”
Advance tickets to Sunday's Show at Streeters are $27 plus handling. Doors open at 7, with the show starting at 8. For more information, call 932-1300 or visit www.groundzeroonline.com.