Filter Frontman: ‘We’re Back to What Made Filter Great in the First Place’
After diverging from form a bit on ‘Anthems for the Damned,’ Filter vocalist/guitarist Richard Patrick is adamant that his industrially-tinged hard rock band is back on track, doing what turned heads in the first damned place with ‘The Trouble With Angels.’
“We’re back to our roots and our mindset,” Patrick told Noisecreep. “We had gone off the normal thing that Filter does [with our last album]. I made a tribute to friends of mine killed in the Iraq War, and it was super political. I wanted to get back to what made Filter great in the first place. I listened to ‘Short Bus,’ ‘Title of Record’ and focused. This album is what I came up with, and I think it’s up there with best stuff we’ve ever done.”
Patrick’s innate love of music is what has kept him going, despite his five-year break from Filter, during which he did the short-lived Army of Anyone project. “When I was six or seven, I just realized that I liked music a lot more than my twin sister and my brothers,” Patrick said. “Once you start building this life, you always want it to be there. It’s so much fun to stand in front of thousands, to sing a song and the crowd all knows the lyrics. I don’t take it for granted now. I may have in the past, but I love the world we created.”
Getting back to what made Filter great involved regaining his sense of humor and looking to news headlines for inspiration. “The last album was all about the war,” Patrick said. “I took it seriously and on this record, I lightened up and got my sense of humor back. I wrote like when we used to drop acid and run around cemeteries. We did wild shit when we were kids. We have a song that is inspired by Jaycee Dugard, what it was like being kidnapped for 18 years and topics like that.” Sort of like how their ‘Short Bus’ smash hit ‘Hey Man, Nice Shot’ looked at Pennsylvania politician Bud Dwyer, who shot himself during a live news conference. “‘Hey Man’ questions a lot of weird things humans do,” Patrick mused. It sure does.
Patrick got his start playing live guitar in Nine Inch Nails, in a gig he held from 1989 to 1993. He is still remembered for working with Trent Reznor. Reznor’s new project is called How to Destroy Angels, which is eerily and coincidentally similar to the title of the new Filter record.
“I don’t keep up with him that much,” Patrick said when asked about his current relationship with Reznor. He also contended that the similarity with the Angels theme is “weird, isn’t it? I did an an interview last fall and talked about it, so I was first. [laughs] He was inspired by a Coil song. But the theme of one my lyrics is about how religion, for all the good stuff its done, there is a lot of bad stuff, too. The pope, with child molesters being harbored. The Spanish Inquisition. There is a lot of trouble with it, the trouble with angels. There is no real correlation and it was total coincidence.” There was no ‘I did it first’ feeling for Patrick, who said, “My nickname was Piggy … and he wrote a song called ‘Piggy,’ so there were correlations in the past, but this is literally coincidence.”
Filter will tour in support of ‘The Trouble With Angels,’ which is out in August, so expect to see ’em debuting new tunes in your town. “It’s going to be a blast,” Patrick said. “I love playing live and it’s great. We just get out there and do it. People show up and they are astonished at how heavy we are.”