Despite the fact that the ranks of Filter were recently thinned by 50
percent following the departure of founding member Brian Liesegang, chief songwriter
Richard Patrick seems hardly concerned for the band's health. In fact,
during the past several weeks, success has abounded for the Cleveland-bred
industrial act. Filter was recently awarded a platinum certification (one million albums sold) for
its 1995 debut album Short Bus, just as the band was
scoring a modern rock and MTV hit with its collaboration with the Crystal
Method, "(Can't You) Trip Like I Do," from this summer's Spawn
Now Patrick is turning his eyes toward Filter's next record, tentatively
titled Abyssinian Son (after his cats) and penciled in for release
in the first half of 1998. Patrick said fans of the band should not expect
a sequel to Filter's successful debut.
"I don't really consider it a Short Bus follow-up," the guitarist
and programmer said. "I just consider it the next record."
confirmed that he's already written enough songs for the album, and among
the tracks being considered for inclusion are "Precious Girl," "Blood" and
"Cab" (all working titles). He plans to head into the studio, minus
Liesegang, to work on the album during the next several months.
While for Short Bus, Patrick wrote and sang all the songs and played
much of the music, Liesegang was credited as co-producer and programmer, as
well as a keyboardist, guitarist and drummer. Shortly after he left the
band, Liesegang said that it was Patrick's creative domination that
prompted his departure. "Rich wasn't taking a very active role in what I
was doing," he said. "I've been making my own records for the last year,
and so I called up and said, 'I quit.'"
Patrick said that in his view, it was understood that he alone was the
band's essential ingredient. "Everyone at Reprise [the label Filter are signed to], everyone in my
management -- everyone knows that I write all the music, I'm the principle
songwriter. The big important thing that people understand is that Filter
is not breaking up. Filter has always been Richard Patrick."
Though according to Patrick, Filter will always be Richard Patrick,
that doesn't mean he is unwilling to experiment with the band's style. He
said that Filter's sophomore effort will reflect some of the changes he's
been making. "The album is not as stripped as the first one," he said. "The first
one I wanted to be just really stripped and raw. This record I wanted to
be a bit more dense and thick. I don't think dense is the right word.
Just a little more hills and valleys. The harder songs are gonna be hard,
the softer songs are gonna be soft. My singing is a lot more sing-singing
than the punk rock scream."
Patrick added that he was excited by Filter's work with the Crystal Method
on "(Cant' You) Trip Like I Do," and he's even considering recording a
strictly Filter version of the song for inclusion on the new album or as a
B-side. "On 'Trip Like I Do,' I really like the effort that I put into the
last half of the song. I'm not having to scream as much to do what I want
to do musically. I mean, I love my scream, but at the same time I want my
singing to be able to have the hills and valleys that it needs."
As for the other metalish-techno pairings on the Spawn album,
Patrick mentioned Marilyn Manson with the Sneaker Pimps and the Butthole
Surfers with Moby as his personal favorites. He also said, however, "There
were some turds on it," though he declined to name names. Patrick did note
that the Metallica and DJ Spooky take on "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (one of
the songs best-received by critics) was not a highlight for him.
"That was really too remix-y for me, but it's interesting," he said. "When
you put metal with real techno it almost just comes out as industrial. So
it almost just sounded like an industrial mix of a Metallica song. It
didn't seem as collaborative as I was hoping.
"But that's just my opinion. Opinions are like bellybuttons, everyone's
got one." [Wed., Sept. 24, 1997, 10 a.m. PDT]