“I knew Trent before he was huge; when he was living in a tiny little apartment back in Cleveland”, Partrick tells WRIF’s Meltdown in a recent interview as he looks back on his last days as a touring member of Nine Inch Nails.
It has been noted that following his departure right in the thick of “The Downward Spiral” era, the guitarist founded his own successful outfit in the form of Filter, where, as Meltdown notes in the interview, he adopted a very hands-on approach similar to that of Trent Reznor in Nine Inch Nails.
“You can be a pizza delivery guy”
The musician further noted how he’s learned a lot from Trent during their time together and how there’s no bad blood between them, despite the things that were said by certain people shortly before his departure.
He asked whether he was really told to start delivering pizza instead getting more involved with the band, Patrick said (transcribed by Ultimate Guitar):
“Yeah, it was the manager John Malm [who] had said, straight up, ‘Hey, there’s a pizzeria down the way and, and if you’re looking for some extra cash while you’re here in LA, while we’re working on the record, you can be a pizza delivery guy.'”
Patrick recalled how he did have another job in mind, but delivering pizzas wasn’t it. At the time, he’d already written Filter’s iconic “Hey Man, Nice Shot”, and was already in talks about a possible deal:
“I just was floored. And they didn’t know it, but I was talking to Warner Brothers and I had a demo of ‘Hey Man, Nice Shot’. Warner Brothers was like, ‘We’ll sign you right now.’ And I was like, ‘Okay, well, maybe I’ll do that instead of the pizza job.’ But they just miscalculated a little bit. It was it was a little weird back then, I gotta say.”
“Trent really, really held his cards close to him as a songwriter. And rightfully so, it’s his baby. It was just hard to navigate; me wanting to be creative and staying in Nine Inch Nails at the same time. And in a perfect world, I probably should have done both.”
According to Patrick, his departure was strongly felt within the NIN camp. The guitarist claimed that the song “Piggy” from “The Downward Spiral” was inspired by him and named after his own nickname.
“I honestly didn’t think it was going to be this huge letdown. I got a call from Brian Liesegang who was like, ‘Dude, Trent’s writing a song called ‘Piggy’, he’s writing songs about ya!’… I didn’t realize I had that much of an impact in Nine Inch Nails, and I was shocked that I was so missed. I was kind of like, ‘Well, where was the love when I was in it?’ [laughs].”
Still, it’s all “water under the bridge”, Patrick now says, noting how he’s grateful for the experience, and how he got the chance to reunite with Nine Inch Nails at the Blossom Music Center last year.