There are many different styles of hardcore, balls to the wall, no bullshit warriors and freedom fighters out there in this madworld that may not have had any significant impact on the course of history, but who, generally speaking, are f***king passionate with overwhelming force about tearing through the bad guys limb with the gifts they discovered within themselves and the platform to deliver. Hell, these pinnacles of awesomeness are reached by ordinary, hard-working and downright outrageous souls just like you and I; and although the man I am speaking of has built a worldwide audience, is known for selling platinum self-produced albums and transcending the boundaries between rock, industrial and electronic music as the frontman of the stellar American industrial rock band, Filter, Richard Patrick’s disposition is both inviting, human, raw and powerful. And I caught up with the man himself to discuss Filter’s latest studio album release, ‘Crazy Eyes’, amongst many more various topics that break unconventional methods of living with utmost, sheer rebellion.
It’s 12:30pm on a Thursday afternoon and I jump in on a scheduled conference call with Richard Patrick on the other end who immediately begins dropping the F-bomb left and right for having to wait on hold with elevator music floating through his phone for thirty minutes prior to our scheduled time due to a previously scheduled interview falling through. I kicked off the conversation with a bold question asking Richard what his perception of the record industry was today. He responded with a profound statement, saying that he could choose to be brainwashed by the industry to create a mediocre, 3-string, sellout records full of bulls**t, but the members of Filter choose to look out for the little guy, keep it real as role models to help their fellow man and deliver for the love of music (rather than a wad of cash).
Photo by Jessica Golich
Rounding on to second, the topic of politics charged up out of nowhere and a massive “f**k” filled rant was instantaneously unleashed. Mr. Patrick is an outspoken liberal who cares about the women who did not get the right to vote prior to August, 18th 1920 and leaves no trace of shame pertaining to expressing his views pertaining to racism, the state of our democracy today, poverty, ISIS, conformity, Donald Trump, etc. Richard ruthlessly stated that he perceives the second amendment needs to be amended and adjusted for today’s world, and how a society based solely on rules/laws that do not necessarily mesh with our modern times is part of the problem, not the solution. Richard Patrick is a living, breathing church of facts in our ever-expanding universe who is using his ability to talk to more than one person with lyrics straight from the heart and voice concerns within the reality of our everyday living.
Richard enthusiastically and eagerly shared with me his liberal agenda which states three simple golden mantras that he lives by:
- Be cool to each other
- Be cool to the planet
- Everyone deserves a fair shot.
Photo by Carl Ball
The former touring guitarist for Nine Inch Nails and lead singer of Filter, just released his seventh studio album, ‘Crazy Eyes’, on Wind-Up Records which showcases an entirely fresh lineup with bassist Ashley Dzerigian, guitarist, Oumi Kapila, drummer, Chris Reeve and keyboardist, Bobby Miller. The album bends the rules and is a stronger album than it’s predecessors with subtle differences in tension and dynamics that keep is fresh, raw and engaging throughout. The album is a sonic rollercoaster carrying some of the heaviest and downright brutal Filter material thus far. Filter is still firmly within their industrial-metal tradition, but with songs such as the album’s opener, “Mother E”, and the album’s signature track, “Take Me To Heaven”, which carries a driving beat along with the immediacy and downright vulnerability stemming from the exposure of emotion pertaining to Mr. Patrick’s father’s passing, ‘Crazy Eyes’ delivers a dose of lethal authenticity and truly sticks to Filter’s roots.
Filter has been touring the nation on the ‘Make America Hate Again’ tour with the goth metal band, Orgy, Vampires Everywhere! and Death Valley High over the past six weeks. It was 11:20pm when Richard and his band took the stage at the world famous venue, The Roxy, on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. I was instantly punctuated by the unfurling of Richard Patrick’s voice as he stood in front of a precisely placed piece reflecting his own shadow as he emoted sheer passion from his high-pitched, scratchy throat.
Photo by Carl Ball
Filter kicked off the set with their 1999 hit, “The Take”, of their second studio album, ‘Title of Record’, which showcases pent-up aggression for being undermined within a cruel industry. Filter floated throughout their seven studio albums and dipped into the vault for concertgoers with smash hits and fan favorites such as “Take A Picture”, “(Can’t You) Trip Like I Do”, “Kid Blue”, “Jurassitol”, “Welcome to the Suck”, “You Walk Away”, “American Cliche”, “The Best Things” and “Hey Man, Nice Shot”.
Richard Patrick stopped dead in his tracks and got down on his knees in the middle of the set to rip off the tape connected to setlist on the stage to give it to a raging fan in the front row begging for a souvenir to take home, which showcases the humanness Richard has maintained throughout his remarkably successful career thus far. Richard encouraged the use of smartphones, tore apart a Jack White show that he recently attended for stating that cell phone photography/videography was not encouraged, and even grabbed concertgoers cell phones from the crowd to film himself passionately singing into their pixelated screens only to hand the device back to the frenzied fan.
Photo by Jessica Golich
Richard’s stage presence is downright electric. Filter has earned thousands of fans that believe in everything that Richard delivers and the delight of a true core that has Richard and Filter’s ever-shifting band members around the world since 1993. Although Filter has wrapped up their ‘Make America Hate Again’ tour, the band is currently gearing up for a summer tour and festival overseas. Rockstar status has not taken the heart and soul out of Richard Patrick, and he makes it well known that he certainly will not compromise his word for a billboard hit.