Ah, summer. The biggest concert season of the year, and I can’t think of a better way to kick things off than with the Summerland Tour. This year, Everclear, Live, Filter, and Sponge hit the road for a trek that was both feel-good and hard-rockin’. Filter certainly brought the heavy to this tour, and much more. I got a chance to sit down with Filter frontman Richard Patrick backstage at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia, PA for an always lengthy (and always great) conversation. The band has just released their first new studio LP in three years, The Sun Comes Out Tonight. Filter’s first effort with Wind-Up Records, the disc hit #46 on the Billboard Top 200. Filter began talks with Wind-Up Records Chief Creative Officer Gregg Wattenberg. “Jonny, I, and Bob [Marlette] sat down and wrote “What Do You Say”, and Gregg said, ‘thank you very much, you’re signed. Let’s do this,'” said Patrick. Richard, of course, referring to guitarist, Jonny Radtke and producer, Bob Marlette (Shinedown, Black Stone Cherry, Seether, more). Richard also said that the band is very happy to be a part of the Wind-Up family, and that everything is going great so far.
Richard and I delved into a discussion about the music business – record labels, hit song writing, selling records, etc. He perhaps said the greatest quote I have ever heard about music, and I couldn’t agree with it more. “To be honest with you, music shouldn’t be taken so fuckin’ seriously,” Patrick stated. That pretty much sums it up for me, and I couldn’t have said it better myself. People put so much emphasis on what’s cool, what’s going to be a hit, what will sell, and so on. Another thing that people emphasize too much is “selling out”. Success is what everyone wants, but then when they attain it, they’re criticized for it. “I livce a life where a movie trailer will rent my song for a ton of money and put my kids through school, just to have it in the ‘Red Dawn’ trailer, or something like that, I have no problem with that,” Patrick said. “I have no problem with success.” Richard and I also briefly agreed that we miss the days when MTV actually played music videos, but we didn’t go into it any further because that’s a whole other 20-minute conversation by itself.
Lead singer/guitarist Richard Patrick founded Filter in 1993. Pre-Filter, Patrick was the guitarist of Nine Inch Nails. He toured with NIИ on The Pretty Hate Machine Tour, and left shortly after to form Filter. Nine Inch Nails, along with Ministry and Skinny Puppy, would prove to be heavy influences for Filter. The band’s freshman and sophomore outings, 1995’s Short Bus, and 1999’s Title of Record, were huge successes. Both albums have sold over 1 million copies, certifying them platinum, and ToR hit #30 on the Billboard Top 200. They produced hits such as “Hey Man, Nice Shot,” “Dose,” “Welcome To The Fold,” and “Take A Picture”. All these songs garnered massive radio play, and heavy rotation on MTV. Also in 1999, Filter took part in the Family Values Tour. The second year of the tour, it was the arguably the tour’s most famous year, which included Korn, Limp Bizkit, Primus, Staind, The Crystal Method, and many others. Filter was a prominent fixture in music at a time when metal was ruling the world once again. Moving into the millennium, Filter would release 3 studio albums and a greatest hits compilation (2008’s The Very Best Things). Their most recent record, The Trouble with Angels, came out in 2010. The album hit #64 on the Billboard Top 200, and #7 on Billboard Top Hard Rock Albums. – by Matt Bishop