About Greg Capra

As an experienced producer, board op, host, videographer, live event stage pa and journalist, Greg has played an active role in the music industry, media entertainment and broacasting since 2010. Since it's inception in 2014, Greg created The Grunge Metal Graveyard podcast in the name of bringing real hard rock music, news and more to the masses. Check out The GMG every Thursday 8-10 PM & all Podcasts via GrungeMetalGraveyard.com Like Us via facebook.com/grungemetalgraveyard Contact Info: gcapra81@gmail.com GrungeMetalGraveyard.com facebook.com/grungemetalgraveyard

Richard Patrick Talks Make America Hate Again: ‘It’s A F**k You To Trump For Trying To Alienate Brown People’

From achieving commercial success in the mid-late 90’s with platinum selling hit songs “Hey Man, Nice Shot” and “Take A Picture”, Richard Patrick is not shy, yet humble and confident when speaking in preparation of Filter’s 7th studio album release, “Crazy Eyes” on April 8th 2016. Upon my invite to their NYC album listening party, hosted by Matt Pinfield, Patrick discussed the pre-Filter days as guitarist “Piggy” in Nine Inch Nails to his latest role as head record producer as well as a musician’s approach to an ever-changing lineup.

 RichardPatrick

In explaining Patrick’s ‘break-the-rules’ style of writing, recording and producing, our interview would delve even deeper into his detest of modern-day political & mass-media corruption. What he believes Filter fans desire is the essential return to a non-radio friendly, angry-era that earned Filter its initial mainstream rock success. As Filter prepares for their “Make America Hate” Tour with Orgy, Vampires Everywhere & Death Valley High, I was on hand to learn the very latest in the world of Mr. Richard Patrick.

With your 7th full length record set for an April 8th release, what has your mindset been like during the course of the recording process and currently with its completion?

Patrick: “To speak up and stand by my guns the entire time…To stand by my methodology. That’s why I kind of made myself the producer. I worked with a lot of different, amazing people, but I was always like, “Dude, I’m sorry, you’re going to have to trust me, we’ve got to do it this way!”

With your recent statement regarding the musical direction of your upcoming album “Crazy Eyes,” you were quoted in stating, “The reason this record is so fucking heavy and strange is it’s exactly the opposite of what’s popular. It’s not pretty. It’s not cute. It’s real.”

With that being said, what influences you from a creative standpoint to go against the grain, musically speaking?

Patrick: “You just have to follow your own heart. I listen to so many different kinds of music and at the end of the day you want to make a record that you’re super proud of. I’m not a 22- year-old kid with a pretty smile. I don’t want to make it in the music industry like he does. I want to fuckin’ make something that’s artistic and reflective of my thinking or our generation’s thinking. You know, we live in a crazy time. Every other week, there’s a school shooting. There’s always some nutty thing and I’ve always wanted to kind of understand the crazy…When you turn on the news, they don’t say, “Hey, 2 Million kids went to school safely today…40,000 flights took place without incident.” They don’t say that. Crazy Eyes

For me, we’re all comfortable, we’re all happy, hopefully, but at the same time something will happen and you have to kind of understand that phenomenon. You have to understand what’s going on and I’ve always been fascinated by craziness and lunacy. ‘Crazy Eyes’ was just the most logic answer and I know it’s a good title because a lot of people didn’t really get it and I was like, “Well, let me explain.” That’s what I walk away with from this whole experience.”

Filter is set to kick off its forthcoming US tour, “Make America Hate Again,” Featuring Orgy, Vampires Everywhere and Death Valley High. With such a bold tour title to that of “Make America Hate Again,” where do you feel America currently stands in terms of political correctness, from an international standpoint and where are we headed as a country?

Patrick: “It’s kind of like a warning; it’s kind of like the old, extreme right-wing rhetoric that pulled Hitler to power. He found a group of people that he could blame everything on and he had tons of money when he wrote Mein Kampf. When he became chancellor, every person that joined the Nazi party had to get this book and it made him like a super, rich man. I just see Trump as being the next guy. I just see him as being someone that will say anything to get in office. One minute he hates Megyn Kelly, but before that he said she was an amazing moderator.

You kind of have to have a cynical thing sometimes. Like, Al Jourgenson made a record called, “A Mind is A Terrible Thing To Taste”, and as homage to him, it’s kind of like, Industrial has always been linked to heavy, aggressive, hateful music. Especially Trent and all the other guys and it just was like a tongue-in-cheek kind of mockery. It’s a cynical kind of “fuck you” to the “Make America Great Again” Tour, but with Donald Trump. So, with all of the political, cynicism and with all of the shit that he says, it’s just like, OK, we’re just going to go on tour and make fun of you the whole time.

 Filter Tour 2016

I mean it’s not like it’s some anti-Trump rally, it’s just the name of a tour. The last tour name before that was The ‘Anti-Folk Revival Tour in Drop D’. There’s a sense of humor to this band and I always like to tell jokes in a joking fashion. It’s The “Make America Hate Again” Tour because we’re dangerously close. Like I was saying with Hitler, he’s blaming brown people. Doesn’t matter if you come from Mexico, doesn’t matter. They’re not the problem. The problem is that corporations have way too much power in Congress and the government and they’re rigging the system so that they don’t pay taxes, but we do. We pay for all these crazy wars they come up with. So, to me it’s like a call-to-action. Make America hate on crazy right-wing nut bars that want to fuckin’ believe that Jesus told them to invade Iraq. George Bush, ya’ know?

Since we have a new tour on April 13th called The “Make America Hate Again” Tour. It’s kind of a “Fuck You!” to Donald Trump and all his efforts to alienate brown people. Even though he says he wants to help the middle-class, he doesn’t give a flying fuck. He just wants to hire his fuckin’ buddies to build a wall to keep the Mexicans out. “I’ve got a great idea, we’ll make millions. We’ll build a wall to go across the Southern border. It’s so easy to see, so as a joke, we’re just like, “Oh yeah, Make America Hate Again, yeah that’s what we’re doing.”

 PatrickFilter2016

As far as Orgy, Vampires Everywhere & Death Valley High being included on Filter’s upcoming US Spring Tour, are these artists that Filter wanted as part of the tour, a booking agency and record label decision, or a little of both?

Patrick: “We’re of similar ilk age, ya’ know? We’re birds of a feather and we stick together. I think that there hasn’t been a real, kind of heavy industrial tour in a long time and I haven’t chilled out, I’ve gotten meaner, I’ve gotten tougher. I wanted a band that plays heavy music without a bunch of guitars. Even though we love our guitars and we play them as loud as we can, there’s more than Industrial nod to this record. So, I wanted to tour with a band where we could put all our fans in one place and rock out with.”

In Billboard.com’s review of ‘Crazy Eyes,’ they stated the following:
“Crazy Eyes is hardly bereft of guitars but there are a substantial amount of electronics and effects in use. The result features heavy industrial crunch and solemn, ambient songs that reach back to Patrick’s time in Nine Inch Nails and the first Filter album, 1995’s Short Bus.” 

What is your opinion on their summarized depiction of the record?

Patrick: “Trent in 1988 was in a band called “The Exotic Birds” and I was in a band called “The AKT”. We were both really listening to bands like Ministry, With Sympathy, Skinny Puppy and we realized that you could be as mean as shit and you can use keyboards. Most stuff sounded like Kraftwerks or Depeche Mode. Depeche mode was awesome, but they were so specifically Depeche Mode. So, we were worried that we had to be like Information Society or something. When I was in Nine Inch Nails, I jumped on at the end when he recorded “Pretty Hate Machine” and then he released “Broken”. There’s a huge sonic change from those two records and he thanked his live band for being an influence. That credit on that EP was the fact that I was always saying, “We’ve got to fucking make it heavy and mean, man. We’ve got to fucking drop our balls down a little bit and fucking flex our muscles, be mean and fucking make heavy music.

PatrickNIN

I’m not claiming anything, but when you’re hearing that all the time, it was just coming from that point of view of, “Let’s say mean shit, fucking say it, scream and be angry because we were fucking angry. When we started the NIN Tour, we felt we’d never make it. I mean Bon Jovi and all that shit was always going to be there. We hoped it was going to go someplace, but we were downtrodden, pissed off musicians that had been picked on because we didn’t have Marshall amplifiers or something. Eventually we did get some Marshall amplifiers, but we were picked on because we were using synthesizers, samplers, fake drums. We had Simmons pads, we didn’t have real drums. We were all about breaking all those rules.

I miss drunk Ritchie from “Short Bus” screaming at people, “Do it this way, motherfucker!” I miss that guy. It took him to make this record, except that he wasn’t so angry, he just got his way. I worked with Amy Cappello on a bunch of songs. I produced it and co-produced it with a lot of different people and a lot of really great musicians. It was extremely important that I go, “Look, I’m sorry, this is just not going the way I want it to go, so let’s just stop this and start over on something else, let’s create something new. It takes the artist as well as the producer to really have all the final say.

I had to place myself in that position because no matter what was going on in Filter on those first 3 records, I was always getting my way. I was always the guy saying yes or no. To my detriment, in Amalgamut, I think some of the lyrics weren’t good enough and I was at the tail end of my drug problem. I’m not a perfect song writer, but I am song writing problems with dynamics, instrument change and arrangements. When I sang “Head of Fire,” I just kept on going like, “Head of Fire” in the 2nd verse. It just turned into this weird 10-bar extras bar. Normal verses are supposed to be like 8-bars and I just kept going. It went on until like 12- bars and I just kept repeating. I love that. I love not just being traditional.

I love breaking all the rules. In the middle of “Mother Eve,” it breaks down to a cello when he realizes what he’s doing, this person I was trying to understand, I just broke it down and had him sing like he was a little scared kid. I sang like I was this scared kid because I think he realized he was doing some pretty horrible shit. Then he rebuilt his energy and said, “I’ve got my reasons.” Then I’d break down to a cello part. That’s more fun than just, “OK, the intro’s done, let’s do the 1st verse and then we’ll do the chorus.” It just got really redundant on other records. So, for this record, it was just like, “Let’s just do it this way, fuck it. I know it’s not right. I know it’s not the traditional way. Let’s just do something weird” and all of that is why people like it. It’s reflective of that kid who didn’t necessarily know what he was doing, but created something original anyway.”

With so many recent losses in the world of hard rock, what are your thoughts on the recent passing of Stone Temple Pilot’s frontman, Scott Weiland?

Patrick: “I mean it was expected. I’ve been in recovery for a long time and people die every other week. It’s a sad place in America right now where kids are getting hooked on heroin. They go to rehab, then they come back out and then do heroin, overdose and die. That’s why I took to the internet. It was like, “Dude, what the fuck are you doing?” in talking about it in interviews. When I got sober, it was just one voicemail that really, really stuck in my head. It was this old girlfriend going, “You are a fucking loser. You’re fucking blowing it. You’re not getting away with it. You’re a fucking asshole. You’ve treated me like shit. I’ve got one fucking word. Rehab! Go to that fucking shit.”

SW

It was so mean, but it was so like, “Wow, she’s not holding back.” It was so honest that a couple of days later, I was in rehab and that was it. When it comes to Scott, it was not a shock. It wasn’t a surprise and it’s sad because he really was amazing, but he could never just hold onto being OK with himself. He could never self-diagnose himself as a person that was just addicted. There was a week where he was sober and I had seen his last interview. He was completely lucid. He wasn’t stuttering & he wasn’t slow. I think what happened was he went back to his normal amount and killed himself because his heart wasn’t ready for it. Just from observation and from knowing addiction, it looked like he kind of fell apart, went out, did some cocaine and it was just enough to kill him.”

Upon the release of 2006’s Army of Anyone record, considering your prior collaborations with the DeLeo brothers of Stone Temple Pilots & drummer Ray Luzier, what was your experience like working with them and is their potential to create music with them in the future?

Army_of_Anyone_-_Cover_-_2006         Army.Of.Anyone

Patrick: “It was a true band. We’d go into rehearsal hall every other day and play the music. We did the demos kind of like the way I do records, which is just write with a computer and approximate the drums, but then we rehearsed it and were a band. So, it was very much like a band experience. I had never been in a band like that, but it was cool, I love it and maybe one day we’ll do another.”

What is your current opinion on the overall state of the music industry in 2016?

Patrick: “I think Pledge Music is unbelievably fucking cool. You know, you’ve got kids that are willing to put their money where their mouths are. They’re like, “OK, I’ve got the signed CD and it’s not coming out for months. I’ve got the poster.” Then they tune in and they see us making the record and they comment, “Wow, that sounds really cool!” and you start to get a rapport with all these people watching you make this record and you learn from them. They specifically told me, they want “Crazy Rich.” They don’t want fuckin’ together, happy married, adjusted Richard Patrick. They want fuckin’ nuttier! The nuttier that they met on “Short Bus;” they want that young, alcoholic nut bag who says anything he wants. He writes songs about fuckin’ guys that hold press conferences and then blow their heads off. I’m like, “OK, shit, that’s fine.” Then showing it to all the other people, I’m like, “No, we’re not going to make another pretty radio song. We’re going to fucking just go crazy.” That’s the good part!”

In having the privilege to attend Filter’s “Crazy Eyes” album listening party in NYC last week, hosted by Matt Pinfield, how did you feel in response to the positive praise your latest works received by those in attendance?

Patrick: “I was really happy, I mean, I like this record. I listen to this record in the car a lot. This is a record that I’ve listened to a lot ever since it was made. Even though it’s done and I’ve heard every little version of it, I still like to listen to it. It’s fun. You get in your car and you’re just like, “Oh, shit, I want to hear “Nothing In My Hands.” I think the song-writing behind that was really cool. I’m just a proud papa and it’s nice to get that validation from my colleagues in the industry. You get up, you pull your pants down and you’re like, “Here it is!”

In 1993, you departed from NIN & signed with Warner Bros. in 1995 releasing Short Bus with the instant classic hit, ‘Hey Man, Nice Shot.’ At what point in being on the road as a guitarist with NIN, did you feel ready to embark out on your own in writing music on your own terms?

 NINPatrick2

Patrick: “From the moment I was in Nine Inch Nails, I was like, “Man, one of these days, I’m gonna’ do my thing.” Then it just became obvious. I mean it was so geared to support Trent and no one else and maybe if you did all this, maybe you’d get a little credit. And I just believed in myself and knew that I could do it. I quit a band right before the pinnacle of their career and I split to just be my own man. I think that takes a lot of guts, it was really risky, it could have gone south and I just believed in myself and went for it. I’m sitting here talking to you today talking to you about a career that’s lasted 30 years.”

Considering that digital streaming & download services such as iTunes & Spotify have completely reinvented how music is heard and purchased, what are your thoughts regarding physical vs. digital music?

Patrick: “I buy digital music off of iTunes all the time. I Shazam something in an airport or in a club or something; I Shazam it, I buy it. I am fully digital, but you know, CD’s are amazing because you get the artwork, you get to look at the lyrics, you get to look at the behind-the-scenes photos or something. And then of course LP, that’s the ultimate old-school, “Oh, wow, there’s a big, huge picture.” I was a CD baby because the quality was right there. There was no scratching and usually 9-times-out-of-10 it wouldn’t skip. I appreciate CD’s, but I’ve been digital for 10 years.

So, however it gets to you and as long as you’re paying for it because honestly, people have to know that if you didn’t pay for it, you’re not helping the band. You’re enjoying the music for free. You’ve got to fuckin’ pay for the cheeseburger. You can’t just walk into someone’s house and take $15 bucks out of someone’s wallet and then walk out with their song. You can’t do that. You got to know the difference between stealing from being cool to the band and paying them what they’re deserved. Everyone has to make money. Instead of kids buying CD’s, they bought hard drives and just fuckin’ raped everybody. That’s why I love Pledge. I can’t say enough from Pledge Music. I mean it was so reassuring to just get financial reinforcement to go make a record that they liked enough to buy before even hearing it. They had heard bits and pieces online, but they just trusted and believed in us and that was a really great, reassuring thing.”

Fans of the rock community may or may not be aware that you are related to actor Robert Patrick, most notable for his role as the T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgement Day, among various other roles both on-screen and behind the scenes. Were you both creative and artistically inclined from an early age and did either close friends or family members play a role influencing your career?

richard-robert-patrickPatrick: “Robert and I were just crazy. He was growing up in Michigan then I came around and was growing up in Ohio. He was waiting tables and I was not really doing well at school because I had really bad ADHD. So, he was just like, “Look, let’s fuckin’ go for it. I’m going to go off and be an actor. I believe in myself enough, I just want to go do it. I want to be Steve McQueen, man. And I’m just like, “Hell, if you’re going to do that, I want to fuckin’ play my guitar and I’d rather sing, perform and fuckin’ enjoy it. Yeah man, we should do it!” My parents were like, “Wow! You actually did this shit! He sings and I act, ya’ know. So, hopefully I can act this year and get out behind my normal comfort zone.”

In going public about your struggles with drug & alcohol abuse to your success with sobriety, do you feel Filter has been more artistically expressive as a band, pre or post sobriety?

Patrick: “That’s a hard question. I think that part of my success was the fact that I would literally threaten your life if you got in-between me and what I wanted to do with my music. I was so drunk and in-your-face and so ADHD and so unhinged that I kind of got what I wanted. When you get sober, they teach you to go with-the-flow and treat people with respect. So, you can kind of go overboard and be like, “Fuck what you think! I think we should go into a regular, traditional bridge and we should do the regular, traditional chorus instead of being like, “Fuck it! I want to do this. I hear it in my fuckin’ head. You know? There’s a difference, so. Especially on this record, I had to be like, “What were you doing back in the day? You were just hearing what you wanted to do and knocking the mouse out of someone’s hand and you’d sit at the computer, fuckin’ bang on it and probably erase half the song accidentally, but sit there and actually make it work. I needed to have that anger and that edge and I just kind of made it.”

In terms of song-writing and considering you’re a guitarist, vocalist and self-produced musician, are you geared more towards the digital Pro Tools approach of recording or are you more analog driven?

Patrick: “Pro Tools! I’ve been Pro Tools since 1993. We bought our first gigabyte hard drive, it cost $4,000.00 because our ADAT tapes were eating up the fuckin’ tape and we were like, “Fuck!” You had to wait 5 seconds before you could start recording. You couldn’t just hit a space bar. I remember our computer would crash and we’d have to wait 15-minutes while it was booting up again. And then you’d lose like he mood you’re in and you’re like. “What were we doing?”

PatrickStudio

I want it all right now. Like, take this out right now. Truncate that, fix it, edit this, move this, this amp sucks, go back into the plug-ins. No amplifiers on this record. We use fuckin’ plug-ins. It’s your ears that tell you what’s good or bad. It doesn’t matter how you mic a fuckin’ old 1968 old twin reverb. Who gives a fuck? It’s about getting in there and making it sound good right now, let’s go! “I’m hungry! I want to go get some lunch. Fuckin’ make this perfect, I can’t leave hear until it’s perfectly crazy or fucked up. Yeah, it’s always been just me, a dude and a computer. The first 3-songs I wrote, I was with Lumpy and John Radtke. That was, “Nothing In My Hands,” “Your Bullets” and “Head of Fire.”

What is the basis for how Filter approaches writing music? Has it always been centered around the guitar or do other electronic elements come into play?

Patrick: ”Well, you need something to play notes and chords. So, for me, I just grab a guitar, I just grab a little acoustic guitar I have and think, “Let’s get a cool sound.” Then we’ll mess with that and it will inspire something. There’s never the same road. It’s always, every time it’s always a different road.”

With the commercial success of 1995’s Short Bus record, did you ever have the gut-feeling that “Hey Man, Nice Shot” would inevitably become such a huge hit single?

  Short BusbuddFilterCover

Patrick: “I had no idea. I knew it was really cool to me and I was like, “Fuck, this is something I would listen to.” There’s a lot of shit you come up with where you don’t even want to be in the same room when someone tries to play it. They all sit there and they don’t get it and you’re like, “Ahh fuck, I hate this!” “Hey Man, Nice Shot,” I’d be with my buddies and be like, “Listen to this shit, I can’t believe I did it!” I’m really happy it’s a huge it. That’s what we all want. For me, I just want to touch people’s ears. I want to touch people’s lives. I want to give them something they can release to towards their anger.”

The black wave-like Filter symbol can be found on the cover of both Short Bus and ‘Crazy Eyes.’ If you could elaborate on the meaning behind this symbol?
Patrick: “The Zoom Zoom. One goes right, the other one goes left. It’s a yin yang. An artist came up with it and I just always liked it. I thought it was like the NBC logo or those old logos, TWA. It’s just a cool symbol for the band. We kind of went some other places with it, but then I felt that that logo and symbol were the things I like. I want to make a backdrop that’s just one, big, huge, red backdrop with a white circle and the symbol right in the middle. It’s like full-on propaganda looking thing. My general manager’s like “It’s a Zoom Zoom! It goes Zoom this way and Zooms that way!”

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Richard Patrick On Influencing Nine Inch Nails’ Broken: ‘We’ve Got To Drop Our Balls & Flex Our Muscles’

I recently conducted an interview with Filter frontman Richard Patrick for Alternative Nation at the listening party in New York for Filter’s 7th studio album, Crazy Eyes, set for release on April 8, 2016. We will be publishing the complete interview later this week.

In Billboard’s review of Crazy Eyes, they stated the following: “Crazy Eyes is hardly bereft of guitars but there are a substantial amount of electronics and effects in use. The result features heavy industrial crunch and solemn, ambient songs that reach back to Patrick’s time in Nine Inch Nails and the first Filter album, 1995’s Short Bus.” I asked Patrick about this quote, and he looked back at his early days in Nine Inch Nails.

Patrick: “Trent in 1988 was in a band called “The Exotic Birds” and I was in a band called “The AKT”. We were both really listening to bands like Ministry, With Sympathy, Skinny Puppy and we realized that you could be as mean as shit and you can use keyboards. Most stuff sounded like Kraftwerk or Depeche Mode. Depeche Mode was awesome, but they were so specifically Depeche Mode. So, we were worried that we had to be like Information Society or something. When I was in Nine Inch Nails, I jumped on at the end when he recorded Pretty Hate Machine and then he released Broken. There’s a huge sonic change from those two records and he thanked his live band for being an influence. That credit on that EP was the fact that I was always saying, ‘We’ve got to fucking make it heavy and mean, man. We’ve got to fucking drop our balls down a little bit and fucking flex our muscles, be mean and fucking make heavy music.’

I’m not claiming anything, but when you’re hearing that all the time, it was just coming from that point of view of, ‘Let’s say mean shit, fucking say it, scream and be angry,’ because we were fucking angry. When we started the NIN Tour, we felt we’d never make it. I mean Bon Jovi and all that shit was always going to be there. We hoped it was going to go someplace, but we were downtrodden, pissed off musicians that had been picked on because we didn’t have Marshall amplifiers or something. Eventually we did get some Marshall amplifiers, but we were picked on because we were using synthesizers, samplers, fake drums. We had Simmons pads, we didn’t have real drums. We were all about breaking all those rules.

I miss drunk Ritchie from Short Bus screaming at people, ‘Do it this way, motherfucker!’ I miss that guy. It took him to make this record, except that he wasn’t so angry, he just got his way. I worked with Amy Cappello on a bunch of songs. I produced it and co-produced it with a lot of different people and a lot of really great musicians. It was extremely important that I go, “Look, I’m sorry, this is just not going the way I want it to go, so let’s just stop this and start over on something else, let’s create something new. It takes the artist as well as the producer to really have all the final say.

I had to place myself in that position because no matter what was going on in Filter on those first 3 records, I was always getting my way. I was always the guy saying yes or no. To my detriment, in Amalgamut, I think some of the lyrics weren’t good enough and I was at the tail end of my drug problem. I’m not a perfect song writer, but I am song writing problems with dynamics, instrument change and arrangements. When I sang “Head of Fire,” I just kept on going like, “Head of Fire” in the 2nd verse. It just turned into this weird 10-bar extras bar. Normal verses are supposed to be like 8-bars and I just kept going. It went on until like 12- bars and I just kept repeating. I love that. I love not just being traditional.

I love breaking all the rules. In the middle of “Mother Eve,” it breaks down to a cello when he realizes what he’s doing, this person I was trying to understand, I just broke it down and had him sing like he was a little scared kid. I sang like I was this scared kid because I think he realized he was doing some pretty horrible shit. Then he rebuilt his energy and said, ‘I’ve got my reasons.’ Then I’d break down to a cello part. That’s more fun than just, ‘OK, the intro’s done, let’s do the 1st verse and then we’ll do the chorus.’ It just got really redundant on other records. So, for this record, it was just like, ‘Let’s just do it this way, fuck it. I know it’s not right. I know it’s not the traditional way. Let’s just do something weird’ and all of that is why people like it. It’s reflective of that kid who didn’t necessarily know what he was doing, but created something original anyway.”

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Richard Patrick On Scott Weiland’s Drug Use: ‘He Went Back To His Normal Amount & His Heart Wasn’t Ready’

I recently conducted an interview with Filter frontman Richard Patrick for Alternative Nation at the listening party in New York for Filter’s 7th studio album, Crazy Eyes, set for release on April 8, 2016. We will be publishing this interview in parts as separate news articles, and in this article Patrick discusses what he believes killed late Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland, and the future of Army of Anyone, his supergroup with STP’s DeLeo brothers.

With so many recent losses in the world of hard rock, what are your thoughts on the passing of Stone Temple Pilots frontman, Scott Weiland?

I mean it was expected. I’ve been in recovery for a long time and people die every other week. It’s a sad place in America right now where kids are getting hooked on heroin. They go to rehab, then they come back out and then do heroin, overdose and die. That’s why I took to the internet. It was like, “Dude, what the fuck are you doing?” in talking about it in interviews. When I got sober, it was just one voicemail that really, really stuck in my head. It was this old girlfriend going, “You are a fucking loser. You’re fucking blowing it. You’re not getting away with it. You’re a fucking asshole. You’ve treated me like shit. I’ve got one fucking word. Rehab! Go to that fucking shit.

It was so mean, but it was so like, “Wow, she’s not holding back.” It was so honest that a couple of days later, I was in rehab and that was it. When it comes to Scott, it was not a shock. It wasn’t a surprise and it’s sad because he really was amazing, but he could never just hold onto being OK with himself. He could never self-diagnose himself as a person that was just addicted. There was a week where he was sober and I had seen his last interview. He was completely lucid. He wasn’t stuttering & he wasn’t slow. I think what happened was he went back to his normal amount and killed himself because his heart wasn’t ready for it. Just from observation and from knowing addiction, it looked like he kind of fell apart, went out, did some cocaine and it was just enough to kill him.

Upon the release of 2006’s Army of Anyone record, considering your prior collaborations with the DeLeo brothers from Stone Temple Pilots and drummer Ray Luzier, what was your experience like working with them and is their potential to create music with them in the future?

It was a true band. We’d go into rehearsal hall every other day and play the music. We did the demos kind of like the way I do records, which is just write with a computer and approximate the drums, but then we rehearsed it and were a band. So, it was very much like a band experience. I had never been in a band like that, but it was cool, I love it and maybe one day we’ll do another.

Army_of_Anyone_-_Cover_-_2006         Army.Of.Anyone

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Interview: Anthrax’s Charlie Benante Discusses World Tour And New Record

GMGLOGOHeader While attending the NAMM 2016 Convention in Anaheim, CA last week, I was honored in being presented with an opportunity via AlternativeNation.net, to interview, one of heavy metal’s best drummer’s, the one…the only…Charlie Benante of Anthrax.

As the band is currently embarked on a massive 43 date world tour and set to release their 11th studio album, ‘For All Kings,’ on February 26th, Benante took the time out of his busy schedule to speak with me.

FAKHow do you as well as the entire band feel to be celebrating Anthrax’s 35th Anniversary in what will be your 11th studio album, ‘For All Kings,’ set for a February 26th release?

Benante: Well I know we’re all pretty stoked about the record and the way it turned out. I think we made a really good record and the feedback so far…the people who’ve heard it kind of agree, so that’s a really good thing. I love good momentum. It makes everybody happy and in this time that we’re living in, especially musically speaking, if you can make a record that has more than 4 or 5 songs deep and it has a good variety of songs. You don’t frontload it with those first couple of songs. You continue the record taking the listener on a journey, musically speaking. I think you’ve really got something there.”

From 1st conception & recording ‘Worship Music’ to its completion in 2011, did you expect to receive such high praise from various rock & heavy metal media outlets? to name a few: Guitar World, Metal Hammer, Revolver, That Metal Show. When you were on That Metal Show, Eddie Trunk certainly expressed nothing less than how impressed he was with the record.

anthrax-worship-musicWere you also surprised when Worship Music received a Grammy nomination for Best Rock/Metal Performance (or) did you have a strong feeling it was going to happen?

Benante: “We had no expectations for that whole record. It’s really hard to say what a record’s going to do or how it’s going to be received. Basically you’re doing the best you possibly could do and until it’s out there and until people are hearing good feedback, I guess that’s how you know you’ve done something good. We’re so close to it that it’s hard to look outside because we’re inside of it, so it’s really nice when you hear good feedback on the outside.”

We live in a time where everybody has an opinion and everyone’s opinion can be featured somewhere, whether it’s an online column and everybody has their form because of the internet. I just find it really shitty that someone who never really produced anything, musically speaking, can just say, “I don’t really like it.” It just sucks because you put so much work into a record and someone disapproves.”

How are you holding up with your bout of carpal tunnel post-surgery? Have you had slight symptoms of it in the past or more recently, say around 2011?

Benante: “I struggled with carpal tunnel for about 15 years to the point where I was going anywhere from acupuncture to chiropractor to actually getting a shot or two of cortisone to dipping my hand in a bucket of ice water during a show to buying a can of air. You turn it upside down and spray it on your wrist to get the frozen aspect of it and hopefully it wakes your hand up so I could get the feeling back in my hand. I couldn’t deal with anything. I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing because of the situation. My Paiste rep, a symbol company, referred me to this doctor in LA. I went there and had a consultation done. So, he examined exactly what the problem was and I went for the operation and it was a success.

My problem now is I can play fine, I play great, but once I get past the three-week period on tour, it starts to get fucked up again. Not the way it was, but I need to take a little bit of a rest from it. A good friend, Jon Dette will come and fill in. I’m so happy that we have someone like Jon Dette. I jokingly would say that he’s my right-hand man, which is true because it’s my right hand.”

What date was it on the ‘Worship Music’ tour when you realized you were physically unable to play drums? Was drummer, John Dette your first choice to temporarily fill-in for the last tour & will he fill in on this tour as well?

Benante: “Yes he will. John will come out for just a few shows. You see, with the whole ‘Worship Music’ thing, you have to understand that we played over 300 shows on that tour and in the middle of all this, my mom got sick and she passed away during that whole Worship Music Tour, which took me out of the game for a bit to go be with her. Towards the end of the carpal tunnel thing, it just became too much for me and that’s when I decided to have the surgery. It was a very emotional time, but I didn’t want to hold the band back, so they went ahead with shows. During the time my mom was sick, Jason Bittner came in, did some shows and then Jon Dette came in and then basically stayed.”
Jon_Dette_-_Anthrax
Once you confirmed Dette as your replacement and took time off to heal, did you know you were eventually going to emerge with having written 20 new songs, some of which would end up on ‘For All Kings?’

Benante: “I just went into my studio and started to compile stuff. I was so happy with what was coming out that good momentum just carried over and when I would listen back to some of the riffs and some of the ideas, I was completely happy because I felt like, “wow, this was a breakthrough!” The ideas and the songs were really strong and I couldn’t wait to show everybody the stuff. I had demos that I’d send out of the songs and I’d get, “Great, can’t wait to get in a room and actually play this and work on the album.” So, it was good all-around because they knew even though I wasn’t with them for some of the shows, I was being productive, which was really important because I didn’t want to just sit on my ass. Once I was able to use my hand again, I would go right into it.”

You are highly revered as one of rock and metal’s greatest drummers. What steps have you taken in your music career that have equated to earning this spot and reputation as a drummer?

Benante: “I think you set up certain standards. I’ve always kind of believed in the Neil Pert way of making records where I’m trying to step it up every time I do something. You’re trying to better yourself. You’re also trying to make your audience or your listeners more interested. So, if you can up it, I think that’s important.”

Since the departure of lead guitarist Rob Caggiano, was Jon Donais of Shadows Fall someone you had in the back of your mind to recruit?
JonDonaisBenante:
“Rob pretty much took care of that situation. He asked Jon before we even knew what his decision was going to be and he did it. We all knew Jon, we all like Jon. So, it was a pretty smooth transition.”

What is the overall energy like now that Jon Donais is the official 5th member and does the band feel a sense of comradery?

Benante: “I think he fit in very well with us from the start. He’s a great guy, great guitar player, easy to work with and he just loves metal!

Scott Ian recently interviewed with EMP LiVE TV about 2 months ago. In terms of what fans could expect to hear on the next record, he was quoted in stating “It’s A Fucking Metal Record.” As for yourself, you have referred to it as “Aggressive and super-thrashy.” Did Jon Donais have any influence on the band taking this creative approach?

Benante: “Nope, I think it had to do, especially with the first 3-songs that were written for the record,  “You Gotta Believe,” “Evil Twin” and a song called “Zero Tolerance” and when it came off of that whole “Worship Music” cycle, a lot of those bands that were helping us, like Exodus and Death Angel, just had an old-school thrash vibe. I think sub-consciously it just came in and I think it just stayed with me and those were the first 3-songs that kind of came out. After that, there were a few other tunes that were written and then like 6 or 7 songs that gave us a sigh of relief. Then there were other types of music, like the song “Blood Evil Wings” and all songs that are a little different than those other songs I mentioned. I’m happy because to me, a record should be a variety under that umbrella of hard rock and heavy metal, you know?”

The lyrics in the 1st track, “Evil Twin” state:

“You represent your discontentSlaughtering the innocent
Insolence
You’re no martyrs
The arrogance to reinvent
The holy words their meanings rent
Evil twin
You’re no martyrs”

Considering the song and lyrics pertain to modern day terrorism & the song calls out religious and political extremism, what initially inspired the band to write this song? Who’s idea was it initially?

Benante “Everybody is afraid to touch the topic of religion, especially with the extreme muslims. It’s such a touchy subject. You can attack any other religion and nothing bad will come about, but I think those that are extremists, the way they are taught or the way, as I’d like to say, “brain-washed.” they’re not of sound mind, They’re of a different mind. I think you should enjoy this life that you are given on this earth because we really don’t know what it is in the afterlife. We can definitely prove that this life is this life here because we wake up every day and do the same thing that we do.  The afterlife I’m not so sure about. So, I don’t understand why you’d want to hurt other people in thinking that you’ll go on in the afterlife to have bliss. I just don’t understand it.”

From the tragic loss of Pantera’s late, great Dimebag Darrell in 2004 to the more recent attacks at both The Charlie Hebdo building & The Eagles of Death Metal concertWhat are your thoughts on live event safety as a concert-goer and in terms of a band’s on-stage safety?

Benante: “It’s something that I am very aware of. I will always look to my left and right most of the time (laughs). I am very concerned about the audience, for their safety and ours. I think especially coming this Summer with festivals, somewhere like France, it’s pretty scary. I don’t understand why someone would want to fuck up such a fun time. We are concerned about safety.”

You seem to be the American Bruce Dickinson or renaissance man (if you will), drummer, guitarist, lyricist, songwriter, band leader, overseeing Anthrax’s marketing, merchandising, artwork & now with recently announcing ‘Benante’s Blend’ in early-mid 2015.” The coffee comes in two different varieties: ‘Be All End All’ blend which is a dark roast with a real kick, and the ‘Forever Metal’ blend, a milder coffee. ‘Benante’s Blend’ is currently available via your website, www.charliebenante.com/Store/

images(12)Tell us a bit about your appreciation as the coffee connoisseur you are and the decision to begin selling your own coffee line?

Benante: “Back many years ago, Dave Mustaine & myself released two coffees. I was 100% into it. It was a great moment and then something happened somewhere and it just stopped happening. I always said, “I’m going to continue this!” It took me a couple of years to find the right people to help me do it, but I did and I met with roasters and told them what I was looking for. We got together and tried each bean and kind of came up with a few together and we put it all in a pot and made it work. It just tasted great and I said, “This is it! This is the coffee I want.” And I just sell it online. Of course I’d like to branch out and get it into places, but I’m doing it very organically.”

How do you and the band feel to currently be on a 4-week/43-date tour with Lamb of God in celebration of Anthrax’s 35th anniversary. You also have opening support acts, DeafHeaven & Power Trip. Tell us a bit about how this Anthrax and Lamb of God tour came to fruition?
LOG Anthrax FlyerBenante:
“We’ve known each other for quite a long time and were contacted about doing it. We agreed it would make a great package and a good tour for fans to see. As far as the other bands go, I’ve been a Deafheaven fan for a bit now and the band Power Trip, I love them too! I think they’re great! Overall, I think it’s a great package!”

As of March 1st, you’re set to tour with Iron Maiden in Monterrey, Mexico & on April 28th with Megadeth in San Juan, Puerto Rico? What are your thoughts on touring with both bands in 2016, especially with Megadeth given that both bands are 2 of THE BIG 4?

Benante: “The Maiden thing is going to be pretty cool. You know, it’s South American shows, they’re going to be huge shows, so I’m very happy about that.”

Worship Music certainly had interesting artwork displaying zombified, deformed creatures gravitating towards the Anthrax symbol. With a similar theme on the “For All Kings” cover, who was the artist who created the art for both records?

Benante: “The cover concept I worked with Alex Ross on. Basically, it was just my vision of how I wanted the covers to be and how I wanted them to look. I collaborated with Alex on them. For instance, this new one, I’m trying to tie-in the last three covers: “We’ve Come For You All,” “Worship Music” and now this one, they’re all in the same world. So, when I met with Alex, he started discussing it. My first idea, he didn’t really like that much, so I scrapped that and then I talked to him about this other concept that I had and that’s when he said, “Well now I think you’ve got something.” We bounced back and forth; he made the composition and felt it was better to have the kings positioned in a way where it shows the depth of the hall, the stained glass window with the beam shining through. So, he went with that and it just turned out amazing. I love it and can’t stop looking at it.”

              61VGO0PfmbL anthrax-worship-music FAK

What is your opinion on physical media versus digital downloads & streaming services?

Benante: “I don’t like streaming. I hate all that crap. I’d rather be a fan and have the piece in front of you where you could read the liner notes and everything about it instead of just consume. Enjoy it that way. It’s just a digital file. I know that’s how things have gotten, but I appreciate to listen to it the way it was intended to be listened to. The way the intro to the record starts. I just want you to stare at the cover, get absorbed in the whole vibe and let it take you on that journey.”

In your opinion, what is the current state of heavy metal music? What newer bands do you believe are currently making an impact?

Benante: “Some bands that are doing something new and something different. I’ve always been a Ghost supporter. I love the band Deafheaven, who’s out with us. I love the band Rival Sons. So, there are some really good bands. You just have to search a little bit.”

What are your thoughts on the recent passing of Motorhead’s, Lemmy Kilmister and the webcast memorial that was recently posted via YouTube?

Benante: “I played at his 70th birthday two weeks prior to his death. It was pretty shocking when I saw him. He didn’t really look that well and I thought to myself, “Lemmy doesn’t look so good.” Then I got the word and thought it was pretty shitty. We lost someone that was very important to this whole thing that we call metal and hard rock.”

How do you feel about the cancelation of Eddie Trunk’s, That Metal Show?

Benante: “It was pretty sad. I had a feeling it was coming and I think they did too. Maybe it gets picked up by some other outlet and maybe it can be better than it was. I just think it was a good show. It was kind of fun and I always equated it to a sports show for music. So, maybe it will get picked up.”

  AnthraxTMS AnthraxTMS2

Official Anthrax Tour Dates

  Date Venue Location
  Jan 31 Orbit Room Grand Rapids, MI
  Feb 02 Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland Kansas City, MO
  Feb 03 Anthrax Fayetteville, AR
  Feb 04 Revention Music Center Houston, TX
  Feb 05 Bomb Factory Dallas, TX
  Feb 06 Concrete Street Pavilion Corpus Christi, TX
  Feb 08 Anthrax Instore Signing Austin, TX
  Feb 08 ACL Live at the Moody Theatre Austin, TX
  Feb 09 Diamond Ballroom Oklahoma City, OK
  Feb 10 Anthrax Albuquerque, NM
  Feb 11 Instore Signing Las Vegas, NV
  Feb 11 Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas, NV
  Feb 12 Hollywood Palladium Los Angeles, CA
  Feb 26 Scott Ian, Frank Bello Q&A + Signing New York, NY
  Mar 01 Anthrax w/ Iron Maiden Monterrey, Mexico
  Mar 03 Anthrax w/ Iron Maiden Granjas Mexico, Mexico
  Mar 04 Anthrax w/ Iron Maiden Granjas Mexico, Mexico
  Mar 06 Estadio Jorge Magico Gonzalez San Salvador, El Salvador
  Mar 08 Anthrax w/ Iron Maiden Versalles, Costa Rica
  Mar 11 Anthrax w/ Iron Maiden Santiago, Chile
  Mar 13 Anthrax w/ Iron Maiden Cordoba, Argentina
  Mar 15 Anthrax w/ Iron Maiden Buenos Aires, Argentina
  Mar 17 Anthrax w/ Iron Maiden Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
  Mar 19 Anthrax w/ Iron Maiden Belo Horizonte, Brazil
  Mar 22 Anthrax w/ Iron Maiden Brasilia, Brazil
  Mar 24 Anthrax w/ Iron Maiden Fortaleza, Brazil
  Mar 26 Anthrax w/ Iron Maiden Sao Paulo, Brazil
  Apr 28 Anthrax w/ Megadeth San Juan, PR
  Apr 30 Anthrax @ Fort Rock Fort Myers, FL
  May 01 Anthrax @ Rocksville Jacksonville, FL
  May 07 Anthrax @ Carolina Rebellion Concord, NC
  May 21 Anthrax @ Rock’n Derby Schaghticoke, NY
  Jun 11 Anthrax @ SwedenRock Sölvesborg, Sweden
  Jun 12 PARKING BODART Leuven, Belgium
  Jun 17 Anthrax @ HELLFEST Clisson, France
  Jun 19 Anthrax @ Graspop Dessel, Belgium

 

 

 

 

Review: Lamb of God, Anthrax, Deafheaven & Powertrip Bring The Noise At Starland Ballroom

(GrungeMetalGraveyard.com)
For the live rock music scene is alive and well as old school thrash meets modern day metal. As one of The Big 4, New York natives, Anthrax and Virginia veterans Lamb of God perform to the metal masses as they embark on a 43 date tour with supporting acts, Deafheaven & Power Trip. The international leg of the tour will feature Iron Maiden on multiple shows and Megadeth performing a one-off April 28th. As WSOU presented Tuesday night’s 1/26 show at AEG’s Starland Ballroom, a packed house of Anthrax and Lamb of God fans proved that heavy metal is alive and well in Sayreville, NJ.

LOG Anthrax FlyerFrom Dallas, Texas, Power Trip kicked off the night with their signature style of hardcore speed metal. Lead vocalist, Riley Gale immediately got the crowd going and it wasn’t long before a full blown mosh pit ensued. As a fan of grunge, hard rock and heavy metal, I must say I was instantly impressed by their live energy as the band proved themselves earning much respect and new fans.

Power TripTaking the night into a darker, more melodic direction, Deafheaven took the stage as frontman George Clarke’s evil scream vocal-style and signature hand motions captivated the well-rounded metal crowd. Drummer Daniel Tracy left a searing impression with his lightning fast tempos, tasteful transitions and brutal blast beats. Off their new record, New Bermuda, an enthusiastic crowd response was witnessed during their performances of “Brought to the Water,” “Luna,” their one-off single “From the Kettle Onto the Coil” and Sunbather’s “Dream House.”

DeafHeavenAppearing at Vintage Vinyl in NJ prior to the show for an exclusive signing of their new custom playing cards in promoting their highly anticipated February 26th release, “For All Kings,” Anthrax proved yet again, the genuine love and respect they share with their fans.

ANTHRAX SIGNINGLights went out as the pre-recorded epic opener “Worship” (Intro) played, off of “Worship Music.” Creating a calm before the storm-like feeling, these furious-5 hit the stage with “Fight Em ‘Til You Can’t.” Proudly displaying their signature pentagram logos on both sides of the stage, Benante, Ian, Belladonna, Bello and newly recruited Shadows Fall shredder, Jon Donais, the band fired on all cylinders as the well-oiled metal machine that they are.

jon_donaisAs part of their set, fans enjoyed classic Anthrax hits, “It’s A Mad House,” “Caught In A Mosh,” and closed with their own “Run To The Hills,” equivalent, “Indians,” The band also performed 3 “Among The Living” classic hits, including “Got The Time” and Trust’s “Antisocial.” In a humble yet epic tribute to the very legacy of Pantera late, great Dimebag Darrell & Ronnie James Dio, fans throughout the venue would witness the on-stage banner images in remembrance of both fallen metal gods.

received_1115395905140328As Anthrax laid down the law with an unrelenting, killer set list, it wasn’t until Lamb of God took the stage, that the gates of hell opened. Despite LOG’s uncertain future back in 2013 due to lead singer Randy Blythe’s “manslaughter” incarceration in Prague, Russia, the band inevitably returned to what they do best, owning their set with an aggressive, unrelenting, groove driven energy and stage presence. One might argue that Randy Blythe is a modern day Phil Enselmo as his signature screaming vocals captivated both Anthrax and LOG fans, alike.

20160126_222714Midway into their set, a humble Blythe acknowledged their roots in foremost praise of Anthrax, carrying them out 12 years ago along with New Jersey’s E-Town Concrete and their brothers in Godforbid. “Ruin” was the song of gratitude to each band that paved the way to their mainstream status. In honoring those that put their lives on the line having served in the U.S. armed services, Blythe paid tribute to many of those fallen before tearing into their signature hit, “Now You’ve Got Something To Die For.”

20160126_22375720160126_230027From speaking with various rock fans to full-blown metalheads, whenever Lamb of God has come up in conversation, I’ve always heard the same statement, “They’re incredible Live!” That declaration couldn’t be any more accurate as the band delivered an impressive and tight performance. From white strobe lights to socio political and religious video imagery, Lamb of God showcased their signature style of aggressive, unrelenting heavy metal to a massive metal crowd.

Anthrax’s Set List
Intro
Fight Em
Caught In A Mosh
Got The Time
Antisocial
Evil Twin
In The End
Indians
Among the Living

Anthrax’s Current Lineup
Jon Donais
Joey Belladonna
Scott Ian
Frankie Bello
Charlie Benante

Lamb of God (Partial Song Setlist)
Intro
Ruin
Overlord
Now You’ve Got Something To Die For

Lamb of God Lineup
Randy Blythe
Mark Morton
Chris Adler
Willie Adler
John Campbell