Time is ticking down and we are two weeks away from Flannel Nation invading the Port of Los Angeles on August 13th. The ‘90s event will be a rockin’ good time with Sugar Ray, Everclear, Soul Asylum, Filter, Sponge, Fastball, Candlebox, and Cracker. We have spent the past few months getting you ready by chatting with the incredible bands that will hit the stage and our latest victim is Richard Patrick of Filter.
We all know Filter from their massively huge songs “Hey Man, Nice Shot” and “Take a Picture.” Richard Patrick has been the face of the band since its inception and remains the constant member. After a stint in Nine Inch Nails during the “Pretty Hate Machine” era, Patrick decided to create his own band – Filter.
In addition to “Hey Man, Nice Shot” and “Take a Picture,” Filter has given us “Welcome to the Fold,” one of my faves, “The Best Things,” and another of my long-standing favorites, the Filter/Crystal Method collab “(Can’t You) Trip Like I Do.” Through “Short Bus,” “Title of Record,” and “The Amalgamut,” Filter has become part of the ‘90s-‘00s music history, but Patrick has not rested on those albums and is currently working on Filter’s eighth record.
In addition to Filter, he has had some incredible supergroup side projects including Army of Anyone with Dean and Robert DeLeo (Stone Temple Pilots) and Ray Luzier (Korn), and The Damning Well with Wes Borland (Limp Bizkit), Danny Lohner (Nine Inch Nails), and Josh Freese (DEVO, The Vandals, A Perfect Circle, and 150 other bands).
Patrick has been fan-oriented through the decades – greeting fans after shows and actively participating on social media. He is always upfront and honest about where he stands (see new songs “Thoughts and Prayers” and “Murica”), and is an incredibly easy person interview.
Traci: Hey Richard! How are you today?
Richard: I’m good!
Traci: Glad to hear it. I spent the past few days stalking you to get ready for this and I have to say I love the Gucci shoes you got for Christmas.
Richard: Oh man. Crazy.
Traci: But work wise, you’ve been scoring films, you won an Emmy last year, you’ve got side projects, collaborations, and you’re working on the new Filter album. So dude, do you ever rest?
Richard: Yeah, we don’t take vacations. We may go to Vegas for Thanksgiving for the fun of it. Take the kids to Vegas and teach them how to gamble. (laughing) I love keeping busy. I love being super busy and there’s no other way to live for me.
Traci: You are working on the eighth Filter album. How’s it going?
Richard: It’s great. It’s super heavy and abrasive. This is the first record where I’m really just kind of making it for myself. There’s always a tendency to listen to the label and the label wants a Radiohead and blah, blah, blah. This is the first record where I’m just going for it and enjoying the process and it’s brutally heavy. There’s one song that’s kind of light, like “Take a Picture,” called “Burn Out the Sun” written with Sam Tinnesz. He actually co-wrote three songs on the record with me and yeah, it’s an exciting process. I love it.
Traci: Are you planning to release it on your own or with a label?
Richard: It’s coming out on Golden Robot.
Traci: I know with today’s technology, some artists are doing it themselves and releasing a song at a time.
Richard: I kind of like CDs and vinyl and stuff like that. A record company helps out with that process more, plus marketing and promotion. Those are things that I like having help with, so Golden Robot, a great little record company from Australia. They’re worldwide, but they’re based in Australia, so they’re really laid back, they’re really chill.
Traci: How can fans best support you? I know streaming may not always benefit bands.
Richard: CDs are great. Streaming works. Though we do see our dollars are coming back to us after the 15 years of total darkness that we had with Napster and the pirating and everything that was going on. Now it’s because of the streaming platforms, so at least we get something.
Traci: I know you were with Nine Inch Nails, but what was your first song, the first Filter song, you heard on the radio?
Richard: “Hey Man, Nice Shot.” I was driving back from Detroit where we were finishing the record with Ben Grosse, and on my childhood station, WMMS in Cleveland, Ohio, they had the “Top Five at Five,” and I was number three or something like that. It was like, “Hooollllyyyy shit! I’m in it. I’m there.” We were very happy, and it sounded great. I remember it sounded all nice and compressed and cool, and I was really happy because I was like, “Damn, it works! You try and you work hard.” Because I quit Nine Inch Nails for Filter, so it was a huge roll of the dice to leave such a huge, massive band and to go off and do my own thing. And it worked. It paid off.
Traci: And to leave Nine Inch Nails when it was exploding in popularity too.
Richard: Yea, right before he got massively huge.
Traci: You have explained your history and the story behind “Take a Picture” many times, and as I spent time searching you online for this talk, it struck me; aren’t you glad it happened in the ‘90s? The song is about taking your picture in a low point in your life, but thankfully that was pre-smartphone.
Richard: I am so glad I got sober. Yeah, I was crazy once when I was younger, and I lived a crazy life, and then I got sober and everything was kind of buttoned up and relaxed, and I can laugh about it and goof off. I tell my kids, “Your dad used to be crazy.” And my kids are like, “Drinking.” I say, “Yeah, don’t get into it if you don’t want to.” I just tell them the truth. I couldn’t have gotten away with that this last 20 years; there’s no way. I mean, the other time I got arrested was because I lit a cigarette, but I got out of it. I finagled my way out of it. I’m just blessed that I’ve been given second chances, and I have not taken it for granted. I’ve had a rigorous recovery going on for 20 years now, almost 20 years. And I’m proud because there’s a lot of people that reach out to me online, and they’re like, “How did you get sober? I know you used to drink. How did you get sober?” I went to meetings and went to rehab and the whole nine yards, and I listened to what they had to say, and I did what they told me. They said, “This is how we did it, and if you want to stay sober, just do what we’re doing.” And I just fell in line and did it.
Traci: Speaking about your kids, there is the current ‘90s surge and teenagers are wearing ‘90s clothing. Your kids are tweens/teens; are they into it and think you’re cool, or do they go, “Ugh. Daaaaad!”
Richard: No! My daughter listens to a lot of music, a large variety of music. She was listening to The Smiths the other day. She turned me on to Billie Eilish back when Billie just had “Ocean Eyes.” And I listened to this girl named Rezz, who’s an amazing EMD artist. And Scarlxrd. I actually have a brand new band coming out, kind of like Scarlxrd, called A Place to Kill, which is going to come out within the next six months, as well as the Filter stuff. But no, my kids are cool. I tell them, “So I was in this band, Nine Inch Nails,” and they go, “Okay, we’ve heard of Nine Inch Nails.” I’m like, “I’m Filter,” and they’re like, “Well, Dad, my friends love you. They found you online and they think you’re amazing.” And they reference the “Murica” video all the time. It’s just really sweet. I hope they’re not picking on me. (laughing) I hope they’re genuinely into it. But it’s cool. Oh, and Harry Styles is a very talented kid and pretty amazing. I’m for whatever they want to listen to whatever they’re into. My son listens to Bruno Mars and he has a lot of fun. “Low Riding Funk” or whatever the hell that song is. (laughing)
Traci: “Uptown Funk!”
Richard: “Uptown Funk!” (in a kid voice) “I like ‘Uptown Funk,’ Dad!” Yeah, he loves that song.
Traci: They’re well rounded. I’m super excited to see you guys, Everclear, Sugar Ray, Soul Asylum and all at Flannel Nation. I know you did Summerland with Everclear awhile back. Have you at some point been on tour with pretty much everybody there?
Richard: Yeah, Everclear. I’ve played with Everclear for many years. Many years. And he’s amazing. I love Art. I played with Candlebox and Sponge, but not Soul Asylum. If I did, I don’t remember, but I might have in the past. It’s going to be awesome. I will not be wearing flannel. It’s going to be 100 degrees. But it should be a blast. I’m actually excited about it!
Traci: But if you don’t wear the Gucci shoes, I’ll be pissed. (laughing)
Richard: Yeah, sometimes I wear boots, and I have these on lately. (shows me his kick-ass Nikes) Old school Nike. Because that’s back.
Traci: I’ll allow it and I will be seeing you in a few weeks!
Richard: Getting close. I’m looking forward to it! I love playing live. My live band is very good. We are blessed to have such an amazing, talented group of kids. I’m excited; the show is going to be great!
Thank you so much to Richard and I can’t wait to catch Filter live next month. Joining Patrick at Flannel Nation is the rest of the Filter guys; Jonny Radtke on guitar, Bobby Miller on bass, and Ralph Alexander on drums.
If you have yet to purchase your tickets, what’s wrong?! Everclear, Filter, Fastball, Sponge, Cracker, and Candlebox. The inaugural Flannel Nation, the Port of Los Angeles, August 13th.