Jacoby Shaddix has never been in a fi stfi ght in his life, but the tattooed vocalist of Papa Roach and proud owner of several Tapout T-shirts is fascinated with mixed martial arts. As a matter of fact, when the rock quartet took breaks from recording its fi fth studio album, Metamorphosis, he watched Urijah Faber and a host of other fi ghters throw down on Versus. Sounds like Shaddix is the real deal and not one of these “Hollywood Whores,” as the band’s new single suggests.
What’s been going on, Jacoby?
I’m home, [and] sore as hell. I’m hurting. I’ve been going to this training place called Overcome in Cameron Park. It’s a gym I go to in my hometown, and it’s just relentless. It’s super high cardio and endurance, so that’s good for me on stage because being a singer, my cardio has to be real good. It’s mainly mitt work and heavy bag, and isometrics and plyometrics, and shit like that. I’m not trying to become a fi ghter or anything. I’m doing it to stay in shape.
Good stuff. So when did you start following MMA?
I got into it about a year and a half ago. I met this fellow by the name of John Lewis. He is one of Chuck Liddell’s trainers, and he fought for the UFC before it was big and popular. I started researching it online, and he took me to the event – the one with [Ken] Shamrock and Tito Ortiz, and Shamrock got beat up hella quick. I saw that, and followed it up with WEC. It’s a very high-energy, rough sport that takes a lot of discipline, and I respect that, and it’s pure fucking entertainment, especially when it’s a good fi ght.
Who are some of your favorite fi ghters?
I really like Georges St. Pierre and Roger Huerta. I saw some exciting Chuck Liddell fi ghts. I dig that guy. Also, Urijah Faber. He’s a real exciting guy. Plus, he’s from Sacramento. Actually, when we were writing our [new] record, we watched him all the time whipping fools’ asses. Oh, and Miguel Torres. He is ferocious because he fi ghts with technique, but then he also fi ghts with his heart, too.
So who would win in a fi ght? Miguel or Urijah?
Ooooh! Damn! Fuck, dude; I don’t know. That would be a helluva fi ght. It depends who slips up fi rst, because both of them can take fools out. Whoever makes the fi rst mistake, just like when Urijah got caught a couple of weeks ago [at WEC 36]. That’s the thing about him: He is an exciting fi ghter and takes those risky moves, and puts himself out there.
Have you been able to meet any fi ghters in person?
Yeah. Chuck Liddell, I met him, and me and my exdrummer [Dave Buckner], we met Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Rampage was like, “Man, all you white boys look the same.” And Dave is like, “I ain’t fucking white. I’m Mexican. What the fuck is wrong with you?” It was hilarious.
Well, you do look strikingly similar to Chuck Liddell. (Laughs) Yeah, right. If you could fi ght anyone, who would it be? There has to be some bitch who pisses you off.
If I could like clone myself, and put myself in the ring and beat the fuck out of myself, then I would be completely fucking happy because sometimes, I just want to do that. Me against me! You know, I’m actually 32 years old, and I’ve never been in a fi stfi ght in my life. I’ve punked my brother and stuff like that, but I never like [fought] at school or out in the streets. I’m just not a fi ghter, to be honest.
There’s nothing wrong with that. What are some similarities between being a rock star and a fi ghter?
They’re both loud, aggressive, and in your face, but it also takes skill to write good songs and fucking slay live rock shows, and it also takes skills to be a top fi ghter. Also, the up and down of people’s careers in fi ghting is like being a musician. It’s like with each record, it’s having a fi ght. You never know what the outcome is going to be. You want to do everything to the best to your ability, but then it’s up to that fateful night, or that fateful release date.