Newsflash: Filter frontman Richard Patrick is frustrated and confused, and he's written a bunch of new songs about it for his band's new album, The Amalgamut, due July 30.
Of course, the news would be a bit more shocking if Patrick suddenly was penning tunes about falling in love and living in harmony. After all, the one-time Nine Inch Nails guitarist carved his rock-star niche singing about suicide ("Hey Man, Nice Shot") and airplane debauchery ("Take a Picture").
So it's no surprise that Patrick is still sporting an upside-down smile. But The Amalgamut is a bit more focused and thematic than Filter's past offerings. Much of that is due to the events the singer has seen and felt since 9/11.
"I started this one song 'The Missing' on September 9, and the verses were about the complete lack of faith I have in God," Patrick explained from Burbank, California. "I mean, I can't believe in a God that would let this Earth turn into what it is. And then 9/11 comes around and I come back to sing the choruses, and all of a sudden it's about the cruelty of other men. It took on a whole different meaning, and that happened with a lot of the songs."
The first single from The Amalgamut will be "Where Do We Go From Here?," which guitarist Geno Lenardo described as "acoustic verses with this large pre-chorus that leads into a gushing volcano of a chorus." The track is about ... well, you know.
"It's kind of about how confused I feel about my direction in life and what I'm supposed to do," Patrick said. "At least I've always known I was going to be in a band, but there are so many people out there that have no idea what they want to do in the future. One minute these kids are like, 'Well, I guess we're going off to college, and then we're gonna live normal lives,' and then all of a sudden September 11 happens and it seems like there's even more confusion now."
A video for "Where Do We Go From Here?" was shot last month in Los Angeles by Alexander Kosta, who directed Andrew W.K.'s "Party Hard" and "She Is Beautiful." The clip was co-directed by Patrick, who conceived the video treatment depicting the futility of today's youth and the measures to which young people go to keep themselves amused.
"It takes place at a house party," Patrick said. "I walk into it and no one's really paying attention to me, but there are a lot of people there. And then it turns into this big backyard wrestling thing."
Patrick came up with the plot after viewing videotapes of kids beating the crap out of each other just for kicks.
"God bless 'em," he said. "When I was a kid we used to play football without pads, and that was crazy. But these guys are just insane. There's one video of this kid trying to jump over a car. The car gets up to about 60 miles per hour, and this guy jumps in the air but he doesn't clear the car, and he hits the windshield and flies like 40 yards and breaks his leg all because he was trying to do a stunt.
"You gotta be pretty f---in' hopeless to be doing stuff like that, and to me that represents today's lost generation."