We recently caught up with Filter’s frontman Richard Patrick as he readied for his sound check backstage in New York’s Gramercy Theatre. He’s an amazing talent, and a guy who never hesitates to share an opinion. Over our thirty minutes, we hit on a bunch of timely and often contentious issues, which he was more than eager to opine on…
If you are a big time Republican supporter, you might want to skip a few sections, but I wouldn’t, He’s an interesting guy with a lot to say.
The new album Crazy Eyes
I love it. I’m really into the new stuff. The last album, the guy from the A&R Department was like “Stick to rock, it’s fun.” I love rock but on this record I asked if they minded if I changed things up and I said ‘Let me produce it.’
I’ll go away and write it all by myself and record it, and they said “Okay.” And when I started handing stuff in, they were digging it, and I said “I think the record is done,” and they agreed, and the record was done. It was easy. I think when you let the baby have his bottle, you get better results, at least for me.
(The new album is fantastic. Check out Brian Furman’s Crazy Eyes review HERE.
Filter is the party you listen to at the end of the night. I like music that you can listen to in your cars that’s just fucking slamming and fun. I listen to all kinds of stuff in my car and I wanted that forward momentum, with that bad ass darkness, but still some optimism.
Festival Sound troubles
(I saw their set at Welcome To Rockville and the sound mix was off at first, so he flipped his monitors toward the crowd so that they had a better experience). They had my vocals muted going through the monitor board and it only effected the front fills, but sometimes that happens at festivals. It’s run and gun and you just go for it. When you’re doing festivals, even with the digital technology you gotta kind of hope the guy remembers to plug it in. But that’s the way it is, we’re used to that shit.
We have many more Welcome To Rockville Filter photos Filter Photos HERE, as well as a bunch of galleries for other artists Rockville Bands HERE (just do us a favor and Like our page when you check out our photos)
Festival Set Dilemmas
For the people at Rockville, they should know that if we come back, you get to see the whole hour and a half set (versus a 30 minute festival slot). We’ve got seven albums and ten hits over the years and we’ve got way more music to hear. I wasn’t even going to play “Hey Man Nice Shot.” I was like “Fuck It, they’ve heard it.”
Of course, my band mates were like “C’mon dude you have to play ‘Hey Man Nice shot.’” I love that song and we always play it and as you saw, I sang the shit out of it. I’m not picking it up fucking 20 years later without the same amount of passion; I’m singing it with way more passion.
Real Rock ‘n Roll
I don’t think that singing about serpents and darkness and demons and all that shit is fucking cool. I am so over the fucking heavy metal bands who hide behind that shit. I love heavy metal and always have. Pantera made it real because it was all about “Fuck you, punk.” You see all of these bands pussifying after a few years and they lose their rage and decide to move to Malibu. They don’t have anything to bitch about, but I keep it real. I want to get angrier as I get older. I want my records to progressively get heavier and meaner. And now that I have movie scores, I can get even freer with my music.
The Musical Brotherhood
My daughter went to see the Pentatonix last night. They were so sweet to her. Their manager, Mark Pollack is one of my best friends. Backstage, Kevin (Olusola) picked her up and dipped her, it was so cute. It’s wild, us musicians hang out together and help raise each other’s kids, because a lot of times we’re not there. We have to stick together and be there for each other.
The Writing Process.
For “Take A Picture” I had those words first and my girlfriend at the time (Darcy Wretzky of Smashing Pumpkins) said “write that down, that’s good.” Someone then tried to record it without me, thinking “I know what Richard would want,” and I was like “fuck that” and I started over. It was much faster, and I got to the point where I started to sing “Could you take my picture because I won’t remember,” and it was an epiphany. I thought, “this is perfect, this is going to be huge.” And then I started writing the lyrics and it was all just weird poetry. Two lines that would make sense and then new lines that were a total change from what I was talking about. And then the next line, “I feel like a newborn.” What was that? But it tied back to the line “I’m naked on an airplane.” It was just all in the ether, it was all in the air.
It’s a song about Freddie Gray. Riots are for people who feel voiceless. This is what music should be about. About upheaval and anarchy. Even when I tried to be as gentle as possible with “Soldiers of Misfortune,” the rest of the record was heavy as shit.
Yeah, it’s totally about gay marriage. It’s about people having the right to marry whoever they love, and to keep religion out of our government. Sexuality is very diverse. It’s not “I just want to fuck girls, or I just want to be with guys;” there’s grey zones.
(At Rockville, Patrick wore a T-shirt with Trump’s face and the Filter logo splattered across his mouth) It’s the Make America Hate tour. You got this shitty guy who’s divisive. Some of his supporters are thugs who beat up protesters, and that’s just un-American. You should be allowed to make a stink or disrupt. It’s a lot of division and a lot of hate and I just don’t like him. I’m an activist, and I’ve been voicing my opinions for a long time and I’m worried about my country.
I don’t know why she takes such a beating. She’s actually a very trustworthy person and I think she’d be fine as the leader of the Western World. She’s anti-gun and I appreciate that; I don’t want my kids being shot at school.
Republicans and Sex
(I have to give Patrick credit, as he never pontificates to the fans onstage – out there, he lets the music do the talking, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t have some pretty strong opinions) Republicans suck and the Republican party is falling apart. And then there’s Ted Cruz, who hates queers. He’s probably pent up. And the congressman (Dennis Hastert) who just got arrested for molesting boys acted like he never did it and then became this hard line Republican to compensate for it. Maybe he just needed to experiment with some other guy in college to see what he wanted… With children involved, I don’t care who the fuck you are, your dick should be cut off.
Humans need to get off of their religion security blankets and get off people’s dicks. They need to just enjoy being alive for 70 years, and if you want to get married to a dude get married to a dude and you want to get married to a girl, marry a girl. The spiritualism of it is not why I married my wife, I just wanted her to feel secure.
I think I just might bring a gay pride flag out at Carolina Rebellion and see what happens. I think they’d be good with it, we’d unite. I spent time in the Carolinas, and wrote “Hey Man Nice Shot” in Myrtle Beach. My parents had a vacation house down there and I went in ’91 after the first Lollapalooza. I was like “Mom, I need to quit Nine Inch Nails and write a song and I need a place to write it. She sent me to the guest house and I sat there and wrote it.
Take A Picture
Everything was all about Korn and Limp Bizkit releasing this heavy shit and it was getting old. So I wrote a song about how drugs make me feel. It’s about my Dad and a bunch of stuff… it was a written stream of conscious. There was no meaning behind it. I was like, “Take a picture, because I won’t remember.” It was a funny thing I said after I had done something stupid. Then it was like “Hey Dad, what do you think about your son now?” And then there’s all of this stuff about being left alone. When I got sober I thought “My God, it’s all one massive call for help.”
15 Years Later
Now that my Dad has passed away it’s taken on a whole new meaning. “Hey Dad, what do you think about your son now. Did I make you proud?” Did I finally do that? And when my Dad was dying he said “I always want you to know that I’m proud of you. You know what I think Rich, the song makes me think I’m proud of you. You’re a survivor.”
When my kids were born, I’d sing to them “Hey Son, what do you think about your Dad now?”
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REMINDER: We have many more Welcome To Rockville Filter photos Filter Photos HERE, as well as a bunch of galleries for other artists Rockville Bands HERE (just do us a favor and Like our page when you check out our photos)