Music is cyclical, and right now, we’re undoubtedly in the midst of a nu-metal revival. Though Papa Roach frontman Jacoby Shaddix used to resent that his band was given the label, he seems to have warmed up to it, and is excited that the genre is garnering attention again.
It’s been three decades since Korn formed in Bakersfield, Calif., and they’re often regarded as the group that spearheaded the nu-metal subgenre. They too denied the association with the label for a while, but in recent years, the members have admitted that they’re proud to have been part of a revolution within the world of heavy music.
Shaddix shared a similar sentiment once upon a time. In April of 2022, the frontman confessed to Metal Hammer that he “hated” being called nu-metal back in the day, and being compared to other bands that fell under the umbrella, such as Limp Bizkit. However, he’s happy that there is widespread interest in that style of music again, according to an interview he did with Loud TV at this year’s Hellfest.
“Nostalgia is such a powerful thing, and it’s so cool to see that that era is making its way back around. And part of it is because, you know, time,” Shaddix said.
“And the other part of it is this new generation of bands that were little kids that were listening to bands like Papa Roach or Korn or Deftones or Limp Bizkit or Linkin Park. Those were the bands that they were listening to, so this music kind of influenced them. And now bands like Of Mice and Men or Bring Me The Horizon – you can hear elements of nu metal in that music. And that’s frickin’ sick.”
Shaddix explained that part of Papa Roach’s sonic evolution was detaching from nu-metal and the other bands associated with it, especially because they wanted to prove that they were their “own thing.” But, he looks back on the movement more fondly now than he used to.
“And now, as we look back, as older men, I look back proud on being part of that movement. It’s just dope that it’s finally kind of getting some respect in pop culture,” he explained. “I think that in the time, people just kind of looked down upon the genre. And now, as the years have gone on, there’s some respect upon it, which is dope.”
Check out the full conversation below.
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Nu-metal’s comeback has been marked by a couple of factors. The Sick New World festival, which took place in May in Las Vegas, featured a lineup entirely made of acts associated with nu-metal and industrial rock and metal. Additionally, a Twitter account called Crazy Ass Moments in Nu Metal History shared a Google Trends report in April, which showed that the phrase “nu metal” had experienced its highest spike in searches since January of 2004, insinuating that interest in nu-metal is the highest it’s been in nearly 20 years.
There are even some elements of the fashion that seem to be making a comeback. Baggy and straight-leg jeans are a popular trend in women’s fashion right now, according to a 2022 article by Vogue. Who remembers JNCO jeans?