Category Archives: Nine Inch Nails

Interview: Filter’s Richard Patrick Talks Collaborating With NIN Members & Praises Alternative Nation

Having conducted seemingly zillions of phone interviews over the years for either mags, sites, or books, there are a select few people that you can always count on to deliver a good interview. And one gentleman I always look forward to chatting with is Filter’s Richard Patrick, having interviewed him previously for Songfacts (check it out here) and for the book ‘Survival of the Fittest: Heavy Metal in the 1990’s’ (of which an exclusive excerpt/ordering info can be detected here). Recently, Richard spoke to Alternative Nation about Filter’s forthcoming seventh studio album, ‘Crazy Eyes’ (dropping on April 8th via Wind-Up Records)…and his fondness for a certain website.

Let’s discuss the new Filter album.

The record is called ‘Crazy Eyes’ – I produced it. I worked with a lot of different people. Oumi Kapila co-produced some songs, Blumpy – Michael Tuller from Nine Inch Nails – co-produced a couple of songs, Danny Lohner co-produced songs with me. It’s kind of where I sit in the world of electronics. It was way more focused on electronics and less on guitar. The last two records have been these big, huge guitar records – heavy, dense, all-consuming guitar records. And I just decided that I love the guitar, but I didn’t want it to suck up all the frequencies. If you make them smaller and you make them a little bit more designated in the frequency when you’re mixing it, the electronics can come out a little bit. And that was the focus – way more electronics. It’s got new and old industrial vibes to it.

“Take Me to Heaven” is the first single.

That song was written in a time period when my father passed away. And as a lyricist, where do you start? You’ve got to kind of ask the big questions. When my father was passing away, I looked into his eyes, and he looked at me, and focused right on me. He looked grateful, and he passed away. I remember thinking to myself, “Did he see me? Was he grateful that I flew in and saw him for the last time? Was he grateful that he was passing away? Was he just high on medicine?” You know, the “end of life medicine” they give you is like morphine and stuff like that. There was all this question in my life – “If there is a heaven, is it real?” People talk about it – they’ve been talking about it since the Bronze Age, at least. And science leaves a pretty solid conclusion that once blood stops flowing inside your mind, it just shuts off. That question, “Who am I? Where am I? My existence, is it real? Take me to heaven, watch me go by.” It became about, “If there is a heaven, please take me, because I’d rather go with you than stay here.” This record, I don’t like giving away all the magic – I want people to come to their own conclusions on the lyrics. But to me, it was written at a time when my father passed away. I’m proud of that song.

You mentioned that you enjoy the Alternative Nation site [before the interview began].

It just keeps popping up on my newsfeed, and I see it’s accurate and it’s informative, and you send out two or three news stories a day or something. You keep me up to date on bands that I like! Rolling Stone will keep you up to date on Miley Cyrus – I don’t want that. I want the bands I like. I like finding out about all the stuff and I instantly see it on Alternative Nation. So I’m happy to be on that site – that’s cool.

Richard Patrick Recalls NIN Exit: ‘Are You F***ing Telling Me That I’ve Got To Get A Job As A Pizza Boy?’

In another Alternative Nation exclusive excerpt from my book, ‘Survival of the Fittest: Heavy Metal in the 1990’s,’ is a colorful quote from Filter/ex-Nine Inch Nails member Richard Patrick, who recalls when he realized it was time to exit NIN, and head out on his own:

“I was already being courted by five labels, and Trent was paying me like, 400 or 600 bucks a month. I was like, ‘Dude, you’re driving a $400,000 Porsche.’ What kind of ended it was the manager called me up and he was like, ‘Hey Rich, we know you’re not coming to the studio enough and maybe you’re working on your own thing or something. But just want to let you know, there’s a pizza shop that needs a driver, and it’s right down at the end of Cielo Drive. You’ll make some extra money, and you’ll learn about responsibility, so you don’t have to be such a crazed lunatic.’ And I’m like, ‘Wow. Are you fuckin’ telling me that I’ve got to go get a job as a pizza boy, when Trent is driving a $400,000 car, when he’s living in the Sharon Tate mansion, which is $25,000 a month rent? Are you fuckin’ kidding me?’ And they were serious!”

Soon after, Patrick formed Filter, and scored a big hit with the track “Hey Man, Nice Shot.”

You can read an entire chapter from the book here (which recounts how guitar solos nearly vanished from rock music by the mid ’90s), another excerpt here (in which Scott Weiland discusses the affect of Kurt Cobain’s death), and find ordering info for the paperback/Kindle versions here, and the Nook version here.

survival of the fittest cover

The Todd Rundgren Album That Both Nine Inch Nails & Tame Impala Fancy

I recently interviewed the great Todd Rundgren for Long Island Pulse Magazine, and when asked which one of his recordings he felt was most overlooked, he responded:

“Overlooked? I don’t really track that stuff so much. The funny thing is I put out an album like A Wizard, a True Star after Something/Anything? and that creates a big kind of stink, because I’m not following up on the previous success, and I’m hardly even recording singles anymore. And then as it turns out that album is having some influence on a young generation of artists today, and that’s why I’m doing remixes for Tame Impala and Nine Inch Nails and stuff like that—almost solely because of people’s fascination with that record. So I’ve come to realize that maybe things don’t succeed in the time period that you put them out, but a record is a record. A record is forever—at least in modern terms.”

Originally released in 1973, A Wizard, a True Star seemed to befuddle critics and the record buying public at the time (up until this point, Todd was known primarily as a pop tunesmith, as evidenced by his hit single, “Hello It’s Me”), as the music took a sharp turn towards abstract-prog-psychedelia. Although the album peaked at only #86 on the Billboard Charts and failed to spawn any hit singles, it did include a tune that has become a fan favorite/concert standard, “Just One Victory,” and has amassed a cult following over the years.

Todd recently released his 25th solo studio effort overall, the very EDM-esque Global, and is currently on tour, of which live dates been be viewed via his website.

In Flames’ Anders Fridén Says Layne Staley ‘Described This Black Hole With Enormous Passion’

Recently, yours truly interviewed In Flames singer Anders Fridén for the Songfacts site, and when I asked what his fav songwriters and singers were, he chose a few that are surely well known by Alternative Nation admirers.

Songfacts: Who are your favorite songwriters and also singers?

Anders: Trent Reznor is a big inspiration for me. I would love to sit in the studio with him, pick his brain, or just be a fly on the wall, seeing how Nine Inch Nails’ productions go down, or any of his productions, really. I think Martin Gore from Depeche Mode is an amazing songwriter. Layne [Staley] from Alice in Chains, he was a big inspiration for me in the beginning. I thought his lyrics were very dark, but yet very beautiful and sad, I mean, if you can put those two words together. He described this black, black hole with enormous passion.

Songfacts: A word I always use to describe Layne Staley’s singing is “soulful,” which some people I guess don’t really associate soulful type singing with heavy metal or hard rock.

Anders: No, but he definitely gets to the point. Also as a singer. I don’t aim to be the best singer in the world – I know I’m not. And when we record, we’re not after perfect pitch all the time. It’s more about getting the right emotion. I want the listener to feel something: “Does this feel right?” “Yeah.” “Okay. Cool. Then that’s a good take.” Because I think sometimes perfect pitch can be awfully boring.

But if you have some soul in there and you want to hear the person sing – that’s something that Layne really, really did.

Anders discussed his admiration for Layne’s singing further in the interview, which can be viewed by clicking your clicker here.

In Flames’ latest album is titled Siren Charms, and the band is currently touring the US with All That Remains and Wovenwar. A list of remaining dates can be viewed here.

Nine Inch Nails’ “The Perfect Drug” Gets Mashed Up With Taylor Swift, And It’s Pretty Good

It seems like Trent Reznor just can’t escape his Nine Inch Nails tunes getting mashed up with pop songs and being catchy as hell. First there was that “Head Like a Hole” mashup with Carly Rae Jepson’s infectious “Call Me Maybe,” and now 1997’s classic “the Perfect Drug” has been combined with the Taylor Swift megahit “Shake It Off.”

You’ll probably want to hate it. You really will. However, you’ll listen to it and realize that somehow it works quite well, almost a little too well.

Watch it below!

Livestream Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ Q & A at the Billboard Hollywood Reporter Film & TV Conference

Starting approximately 11:30 PDT today, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and Atticus Ross, English producer and composer known for his work with the band, are to answer a Q & A session for the Billboard/Hollywood Reporter Film & TV Conference in Universal City, CA. The session is said to be moderated by Hollywood reporter Shirley Halperin. They are scheduled to primarily discuss their new  collaboration on the soundtrack and score for 2014’s Gone Girl.

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have collaborated on all of Nine Inch Nails’ album since 2005’s With Teeth, acting as producer and programmer. Ross also contributed songwriting to 2008’s Ghosts I-IV album. The duo  composed the music for 2011’s American adaptation of Swedish novel and subsequent film series, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and the soundtrack for The Social Network, which got Reznor an Academy Award for Best Motion Picture Soundtrack, which admittedly he doesn’t care too much about.

The 12th Billboard Hollywood Reporter Film & TV Conference, in Universal City, is a conference designed around the panel discussions of the contemporary television and film industries, as well as music’s role in the two worlds.

Nine Inch Nails received a nomination for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014. Trent Reznor has a personal history of disregard towards award institutions, an attitude shared by many members of the musical generation that brought us alternative rock from 1989 to 1994.

Atticus Ross also has completed the score for the currently unreleased biopic on Beach Boys frontman Brian Wilson, Love and Mercy.

Trent Reznor Says He’d Rather Be Nominated For An Oscar Than Win A “Bulls*** Grammy”

In a new feature with the Hollywood Reporter, Trent Reznor, frontman for Nine Inch Nails, voiced his displeasure when it comes to the Grammys:

“Having won a couple Grammys for stupid shit — best metal performance — it’s hard to feel good about the integrity of that. If that’s how much you’re paying attention to what you’re giving out, why should I think that really means anything? When the Oscar [nomination] came up, it felt very different. I can’t tell if that’s because I’m older or it felt like it’s coming from a more sincere pedigree. … And particularly in a field we’d just gotten into, to see that, “Hey, you think [we] deserve this?” It felt nice.”

In related Reznor news, in a new interview with HitFix to discuss Gone Girl, Trent Reznor talked about his process in creating music with collaborator Atticus Ross for Nine Inch Nails and film scores:

“For us the hardest part is we start by thinking quite a lot, and thinking what not to do. In other words, it’s two guys in a room, filled with gadgets, and we have access to great ideas, and we have a bunch of ideas. What do we take off the table?”

Reznor added, “We found that by creating some limitations, we end up focusing on the result. It gives different projects, may it be Nine Inch Nails projects or different films, the goal is it has its own identity, so it doesn’t just feel like more crap we’ve churned out with the title on it.”

Watch Nine Inch Nails Perform “Hurt” on Austin City Limits

Nine Inch Nails’ first ‘Austin City Limits’ TV performance featuring their 8-piece “Tension 2013” touring line-up premiered Saturday night. Early in the show Trent Reznor told the crowd, “We’re gonna play a bunch of new stuff, a few old things, and try to have some fun with it.” The energetic show includes many songs from NIN’s 2013 album Hesitation Marks as well as expansive versions of classic material.

The full concert has been removed by PBS. Watch NIN encore with “Hurt”:

NIN ACL Telecast Setlist:

All Time Low
Came Back Haunted
Copy of A
The Frail/ The Wretched
The Big Come Down
In This Twilight
While I’m Still Here

Bonus Songs (not on original telecast):

Nine Inch Nails has toured as a 4-piece featuring Trent Reznor, Alessandro Cortini, Robin Finck, and Ilan Rubin since February 2014 and are currently on tour with Soundgarden. The ACL show was taped on November 4th, 2013. The full setlist below was edited to fit the 54 minute telecast:

NIN Setlist