Interview: Filter’s Richard Patrick Talks Collaborating With NIN Members & Praises Alternative Nation

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Having conducted seemingly zillions of phone interviews over the years for either mags, sites, or books, there are a select few people that you can always count on to deliver a good interview. And one gentleman I always look forward to chatting with is Filter’s Richard Patrick, having interviewed him previously for Songfacts (check it out here) and for the book ‘Survival of the Fittest: Heavy Metal in the 1990’s’ (of which an exclusive excerpt/ordering info can be detected here). Recently, Richard spoke to Alternative Nation about Filter’s forthcoming seventh studio album, ‘Crazy Eyes’ (dropping on April 8th via Wind-Up Records)…and his fondness for a certain website.

Let’s discuss the new Filter album.

The record is called ‘Crazy Eyes’ – I produced it. I worked with a lot of different people. Oumi Kapila co-produced some songs, Blumpy – Michael Tuller from Nine Inch Nails – co-produced a couple of songs, Danny Lohner co-produced songs with me. It’s kind of where I sit in the world of electronics. It was way more focused on electronics and less on guitar. The last two records have been these big, huge guitar records – heavy, dense, all-consuming guitar records. And I just decided that I love the guitar, but I didn’t want it to suck up all the frequencies. If you make them smaller and you make them a little bit more designated in the frequency when you’re mixing it, the electronics can come out a little bit. And that was the focus – way more electronics. It’s got new and old industrial vibes to it.

“Take Me to Heaven” is the first single.

That song was written in a time period when my father passed away. And as a lyricist, where do you start? You’ve got to kind of ask the big questions. When my father was passing away, I looked into his eyes, and he looked at me, and focused right on me. He looked grateful, and he passed away. I remember thinking to myself, “Did he see me? Was he grateful that I flew in and saw him for the last time? Was he grateful that he was passing away? Was he just high on medicine?” You know, the “end of life medicine” they give you is like morphine and stuff like that. There was all this question in my life – “If there is a heaven, is it real?” People talk about it – they’ve been talking about it since the Bronze Age, at least. And science leaves a pretty solid conclusion that once blood stops flowing inside your mind, it just shuts off. That question, “Who am I? Where am I? My existence, is it real? Take me to heaven, watch me go by.” It became about, “If there is a heaven, please take me, because I’d rather go with you than stay here.” This record, I don’t like giving away all the magic – I want people to come to their own conclusions on the lyrics. But to me, it was written at a time when my father passed away. I’m proud of that song.

You mentioned that you enjoy the Alternative Nation site [before the interview began].

It just keeps popping up on my newsfeed, and I see it’s accurate and it’s informative, and you send out two or three news stories a day or something. You keep me up to date on bands that I like! Rolling Stone will keep you up to date on Miley Cyrus – I don’t want that. I want the bands I like. I like finding out about all the stuff and I instantly see it on Alternative Nation. So I’m happy to be on that site – that’s cool.

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Bio: After having his articles posted from other outlets on Alternative Nation (and before that, Grunge Report) for years - heck, he was even interviewed by GR back in 2009! - Greg Prato finally began contributing articles to the site in 2014. He has written for various sites/mags over the years (Rolling Stone, All Music Guide, etc.), and is the author of quite a few books. And as evidenced by such titles as Grunge is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music, A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other: The Story of Shannon Hoon and Blind Melon, and Too High to Die: Meet the Meat Puppets, he also has a deep fondness for alternative rock n' roll music. You can check out info on all of Greg's books here, see what he's up to on his Twitter page here.