Filter frontman Richard Patrick's life has changed considerably within the last four years. He's sober — and has been ever since September 28, 2002, when he checked himself into rehab for alcohol addiction. He's married, having tied the knot with longtime girlfriend Tina Johnson back on October 29. He's moved from Chicago to Los Angeles. He's signed to a new label, and his new band, Army of Anyone, will release its self-titled debut this week. And soon he'll be singing Stone Temple Pilots covers on the road.
For Patrick, change has been a good thing, and the singer says he's looking forward to leaving his past behind so that he can focus on his future with some clarity — something he has been unable to do for years.
"When I checked myself into rehab, I didn't know how much my life was going to change, and every single day I'm surprised," he explained. "I don't really remember my 20s. I remember doing some arena gigs, and I remember screaming a lot. Some platinum records showed up on the wall and it was nice. But everything is new for me now, so I don't have any standard."
Army of Anyone — a band that also features drummer Ray Luzier, formerly of David Lee Roth's band, and a pair of ex-Stone Temple Pilots, guitarist Dean DeLeo and bassist Robert DeLeo — represents, in many ways, a slate that has been wiped clean for Patrick (see "Army Of Anyone Want To Be Judged By Their Fifth Album, Not Their Debut"). And even though both Filter and Stone Temple Pilots — at their respective heights — were selling out arenas, he said that when his band hits the road this weekend for its first headlining run of small clubs, there won't be a major adjustment period for him. He barely remembers the times Filter played stadium shows.
"This is now the experiment, the new way that I live my life, and on every single level it's always different than I'd imagine it," he said. "Everything we do is like a new thing for us, so it's totally fresh every time you open your eyes. These club shows are going to be f---ing amazing. Filter had played some amazing shows in clubs, and everybody wants to play stadiums at some point in their lives. But we're just happy to be showing up to radio stations at 6:30 in the morning and setting up an acoustic drum kit and some acoustic guitars and screaming into their mics."
Of course, Patrick wasn't planning on starting a new band when he first met with the DeLeos to collaborate on a track for Filter's fourth album. It just sort of ended up that way (see "The Newest Supergroup: STP's DeLeo Brothers Join Filter Singer In Army Of Anyone").
"I was told Robert and Dean wanted to work with me on the record, and we were going to write a song together," called "A Better Place," which appears on Army of Anyone. "They came over, and the next thing I know, I'm in a new band. I interrupted the fourth Filter record to do this. I did not need this. Starting this band pissed off some people at my former label. But I had to make a record with these guys. That's how powerful it was."
Patrick wouldn't state one way or another whether Filter's fourth would ever surface. "[Army of Anyone] is my priority, but at the same time, I certainly wouldn't want to call something gone or dead or over," he said. Still, he says he doesn't regret his decision to put Filter on hold for Army of Anyone. And while there are some rock and roll all-star projects that come across as just an obvious unification of two distinct bands, he feels Army have a sound of their own.
"The key is to keep it fresh, to keep it new," he said. "There are one or two moments where it sounds like Richard Patrick screaming over Stone Temple Pilots, and I love those moments. 'Generation' is a song, to me, that really sounds like the perfect identifiable blend between Filter and STP. There was a very conscious effort on our part to strive for a new sound, and I think we found it."
Because working together was so effortless, Patrick said he anticipates the band's second album might not be that far away.
"We're the kind of guys that live one day at a time," he said. "It's really important that you keep churning out great music. I think it would be in our best interest to constantly come up with great music and [be] releasing great music. This is the band to do that. [The DeLeos] have 50 songs each, just in their brains, and then they have 100 more on micro-cassettes that they've kept the last 10 years. So there's no shortage of material."
The band, which will perform on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" on November 20, will kick off its inaugural headlining tour November 18 in Philadelphia. The trek will makes stops in 19 cities — including Boston, Atlanta and Miami — before wrapping up December 19 in Cleveland. Patrick said Army of Anyone will perform Stone Temple Pilots and Filter material on the tour, such as STP's "Interstate Love Song" and Filter's "Take a Picture" and "Welcome to the Fold." He also said the band plans to release a DVD, with footage captured in the studio during the recording of the album, in the coming year.