Richard Patrick of Filter lets us in: Learn about the guy who’s screaming
Richard Patrick is the vocalist of Filter and the former touring guitarist for Nine Inch Nails. We talk to him about Filter’s latest record The Sun Comes out Tonight, his creative process, and he tells us about being pelted with sausages and cheese.
The Sun Comes out Tonight released on the 4th. It’s your sixth album – what’s changed from previous albums?
A new addition to the band, Jonny Radtke – he came in and played guitar and co-wrote everything with me. It’s a very nice addition to the writing process. Our record company really pushed us to be heavier and I love that. I was like “Yes!” because you start making music like Take a Picture and Hey Man, Nice Shot, and everybody’s got a say all of a sudden.
We listen to our fans: we wanted to make a record that sounds like it was made for Filter fans. This record was great because I’d wanted to make something like Short Bus for a long time. For me, the blending of different sounds is extremely important. All the synthesizer stuff – we just kept pushing it. Hey man, the Vangelis Blade Runner soundtrack still holds up today as an amazing piece of work and they were using synthesizers from the late 70s!
I think that any great movie, any great novel, has a moment where you learn about the guy that’s screaming. I don’t want to portray a character that’s got some kind of mask on.
What’s your process when you’re writing a song? Do you have an idea beforehand or do you just jam and let things fall into place?
Well, there’s always the experimental phase of music, and you’re kind of just putting stuff together. But even when I wrote Hey Man, Nice Shot, my first song that I wrote for the Filter record, I knew that I wanted a huge punch-in-the-face chorus. I wanted impact, but I also like the fact that it was murky in the verses. I kept the subject matter dark. The song Self Inflicted is all about how someone can show up to a theatre in America and just shoot everybody.
Filter has a pretty chaotic lineup with lot of member changes – how does that affect the music?
The band, as a project, changes and grows. I added Jonny Radtke on this record and that’s a relationship I feel is going to be strong for a long time. He’s a very gifted guitar player and he’s also in the same world. In earlier versions of the band I’d have to explain things like the difference between a verse and a chorus and people would look at me like I was crazy. With Jonny it’s already understood.
London is absolutely one of my favourite places to play. We played the Astoria and it was just insane. There was a lot of love for the band the last time we played – it was awesome! It’s been too long and I’m glad we’re doing Reading and Leeds. It’s always exciting to go back to London and play.
Do you have any gig stories?
When I was in Nine Inch Nails, back in 1990, we opened up for Guns ‘N’ Roses in Germany. For some reason they decided to throw sausages and cheese at us, I never quite understood what that meant. You know, it’s a snack so maybe they liked it.
Do you have a favourite song on The Sun Comes out Tonight?
It changes. You know, I’m at the stage where I’ve put it away. I can tell that We Hate It When You Get What You Want and What Do You Say are amazing live. So right now I guess those two songs are my favourites. At the same time I like Surprise a lot – it has an emotional connection for me because it’s about my wife and my kids. I think some of the best lyrics I’ve ever written are in that song, sometimes I can’t even believe I wrote it.
The Sun Comes out Tonight was released on 4th June 2013.
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