As the late '90s arrived, a hybrid of hard rock with rap and hip-hop elements began to emerge and take hold at radio. One of the acts to catch things just right was a Vacaville, California upstart band called Papa Roach and on April 25, 2000, they saw their star skyrocket with the release of their Infest album. The seeds for Papa Roach had started a few years earlier, first with 1994 EP followed by their first full-length album, the self-produced, independently released Old Friends From Young Years. Supporting some up-and-coming West Coast acts and a couple of EPs later, they began to turn a few heads and eventually caught the ears of the Warner Music Group, who contemplated signing the group and backed a five-track demo CD. While Warner didn't sign them, four of the tracks on the demo got the ball rolling on what would eventually become the Infest album and would eventually lead them to DreamWorks. The band set up shop at NRG Studios in Hollywood with producer Jay Baumgardner and the pairing would work out well for both the band and the producer. Guitarist Jerry Horton credited Baumgardner with pushing the band's creative side in an interview with Guitar.com around the time of the release. "He actually made me be more creative," stated Horton. "He'd come in and say, 'Okay, you're done with your basic stuff, but this part needs another one, and put some effects on it.' The other thing we learned from him is if you have an idea for a song, get it down right away. If you don't like it, you can always take it out later. I don't think I would have gotten a lot of ideas if it weren't for him pushing and kicking me to 'go do it.'"
Papa Roach — Live (2000)
https://youtu.be/DZN7RZ-44lU Though Baumgardner had worked on discs prior to Infest, his "to do" list started filling up after. He counts Alien Ant Farm's ANThology, Drowning Pool's Sinner, Coal Chamber's self-titled album and more recent disc's like Bush's Man on the Run, Lacuna Coil's Broken Crown Halo and Papa Roach's Metamorphosis among his producing credits. Meanwhile, Papa Roach have gone on to have one of the more successful careers in rock over the last decade-plus following that initial pairing with Baumgardner. Around the time of the release, Horton revealed to Guitar.com that many of the tracks started with bassist Tobin Esperance and had a hip-hop oriented feel to them. He stated at the time, "The breakdown sections and the way they're arranged with the beat, the riffs, the rhythms and some of the melodies [has that vibe]. 'Last Resort' has hip-hop as well as classical elements. Some people have even said that it's noodle-y lead riff sounds like Iron Maiden, but we don't listen to Iron Maiden so we couldn't have made that connection. The song actually comes more from listening to Nas." Horton would later tell Loudwire that the "Last Resort" riff was initially written on piano and he later transcribed it for guitar.