Saturday, August 28, 2010

Richard Patrick: Filter

"I'm going to write songs about fucking blowing my head off and giving in to apathy," says Filter founder and frontman Richard Patrick during our interview. It's not that he's going to do either, it's just that he understands what anger combined with a sense of hopeless can do to a person's psyche.

In 2008 he released Anthems For The Damned, which served both as a protest against the Iraq war and a tribute to a friend it had claimed. (Anti-war, but very much pro-troops, Patrick has traveled to the region twice to play concerts for those who risk their lives to serve our country.) Two years on, though our president may have changed, the status quo (or lack thereof) remains the same in the Middle East. After too many years listening to grim reports from the frontlines of a war that was misguided from the start, both the troops on the ground and the masses here at home are suffering from a severe case of fuck up fatigue. With dissent now largely falling on deaf ears, and, even worse, serving to remind the proletariat of their powerlessness, Patrick gets why it's therapeutic to embrace indifference, shrug your shoulders and say "fuck it" to the world.

Thus, at least on the surface, the latest Filter release, The Trouble With Angels, channels the middle finger up attitude of Patrick's drug and alcohol dependant youth - and of his band's 1995 breakthrough debut, Short Bus. Featuring songs with titles such as "Down With Me," "Drug Boy" and "The Inevitable Relapse," the new Filter full-length – which is undoubtedly one of the band’s best – explores topics such as addiction, murder and suicide. Inspired by the music, but puzzled by the message, I checked in with Patrick to find out where his head was at.

Read my exclusive interview with Richard Patrick on

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