Filter lights up Summerland

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First Posted: 6/10/2013

When listening to hard-hitting industrial rock hits “Hey Man Nice Shot,” “(Can’t You) Trip Like I Do,” and “Take a Picture,” it’s easy to see why Everclear frontman Art Alexakis asked Filter to be part of the Summerland Tour, which recalls the familiar sounds of ’90s rock radio.

Just before Filter’s first show of the tour in Ft. Myers, Fla., singer Richard Patrick spoke to The Weekender about that era, how a famous film producer kickstarted his career, and the inspiration for his latest album, “The Sun Comes Out Tonight.” The band will also appear for a meet and greet at the Gallery of Sound on June 16, hours before Summerland comes to Penn’s Peak.

THE WEEKENDER: The Summerland tour has focused a lot on ’90s nostalgia. Do you feel nostalgic for that time at all?

RICHARD PATRICK: It was an amazing era for music. Anybody with a guitar was kind of on top. Now the Top 40 has changed quite a bit. But the reality is everything has its reign. The world’s big enough that you can have success in any different genre now because it’s not all dependent completely on radio. For us, we’ve got a record out right now that’s current…and we’re in the Top 20s right now, too. It’s kind of like whatever works. For us, it’s just having a good time playing with friends.

If you think too much about the old days or the new days, you end up not paying attention to right now, the future. So right now I’m just enjoying a record with so many solid songs on it. I’ve never been more proud of a record.

W: Is that your goal when you’re writing songs, to write those catchy hits?

RP: When I wrote “Hey Man Nice Shot” originally, it was just purely like, “This is what I want to hear.” I want to hear a huge chorus, like the biggest chorus you could ever have. I didn’t know it at the time, but something hooky like “Hey Man Nice Shot,” that phrase, is extremely hooky. I wasn’t even really looking for that.

My favorite bands, like the Rolling Stones or U2 or even Pantera, they know what a chorus is… It’s just kind of listening to your instincts and writing songs that are f—king satisfying.

I’m lucky that I grew up wanting the hit, …wanting to enjoy the big chorus and the big payoff.

W: Do you find yourself inspired by the same things now as you did then?

RP: I’m inspired by all the things I was inspired by when I wrote those. All of that, inherently, is still in my mind, and I just have new things to complain about. When I bitch, it’s because someone’s f—ked me. I got f—ked over. I know some scummy people, and one of them took a bite, so I have that I can talk about. “We Hate It When You Get What You Want” – it’s all about having people do whatever they want to you to take what they want out of you, and anyone can feel like that. You have to let people know that they’re not alone.

I’ve heard people say, “I got into music because I wanted chicks and money and cars and blah blah blah – that’s never been my modus operandi. My thing is when I was growing up, I didn’t have success in school; I’m extremely ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). The only thing I liked was music – music and movies, and it was mainly music. So I would disappear with my little Walkman. I would disappear into that world of music and have that escape at the ready, and now I’ve got…people on Facebook who contact me or Myspace even back in the day who are like, “I heard you and got sober.” “I heard this song and it made me think of my dad who left me when I was three. He abandoned me in a hotel room when I was three and I want you to know that your song ‘Take a Picture’ really means something to me. It gives me hope.” And that right there is the greatest. That’s it. That’s what I got into music for.

W: You mentioned your love of movies. Is that why you’ve had so many songs on movie soundtracks?

RP: My mom and dad are movie fanatics – that’s part of the reason why (my brother) Robert and I got into movies. It’s part of the reason why Robert became an actor.

The first person that looked into my eyes and told me, “Hey, quit Nine Inch Nails if you have to and do Filter because that song ‘Hey Man Nice Shot’ is amazing and I want to use it for a movie.” And his name was Joel Silver… I was like, “Word. Absolutely, OK. Done, sir!” It was someone that I really respected who went on to go be the producer for “Matrix” and all kinds of s—t.

W: Has that had an affect on your songwriting?

RP: I always think like movie soundtrack; I always think, “How would this fit in a movie?” Listen, I was a nerd. My favorite record probably to this day is the Vangelis soundtrack to “Blade Runner.”

W: You’ve been involved in many other musical projects over the years. What makes you keep coming back to Filter and these songs?

RP: This is my baby. It’s just so beautiful being the leader of a band; it’s so incredible. It’s so incredible just having this freedom. With Filter, if someone wants to leave or they want to go, that’s fine… As long as I can be the boss kind of thing with really super great, talented people, it just gets amazing. This record is completely divided – everything is divided between (guitarist) Johnny (Radtke) and I because he really is a gifted, talented musician.

I listen to him all the time; he’s a really smart kid, and it’s nice to be able to collaborate. See, if I were in a traditional thing where we all signed a piece of paper that says we’re all stuck with each other, I’d be in a situation like my guys in STP (Stone Temple Pilots). “We want to play a show.” “Well, I’m watching the Lakers.” “OK, but there’s 1200 people in this arena and they want to go see the show. I know you had a lot to drink last night, so is it that, too?”

The thing about the DeLeo brothers is they are consummate professionals. They’re really, really proud of their craft and their professionalism. Everything they set up is just a big huge question mark. When they go off with Chester (Bennington) from Linkin Park, I can’t blame them.