Filter Singer Sorts Through Life To Find His Muse

Richard Patrick discusses new songs, touring and hints at collaboration with Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst.

Filter leader Richard Patrick wasn't slacking off in the four-year lag

between the band's first album, Short Bus, and the recent follow-up,

Title of Record.

For one thing, the singer said he built a recording studio at the same

time he was involved in a destructive relationship that almost killed him.

" 'It's Gonna Kill Me' was about when I thought that [a woman] was gonna

kill me because she was feeding me so many pills," Patrick recalled Monday

in a Yahoo!/SonicNet online chat. "She was into the [prescription anti-anxiety

drug] Xanax, but I'm not a pill popper, so I saw my way through it."

"It's Gonna Kill Me" (

HREF="http://media.addict.com/music/Filter/Its_Gonna_Kill_Me.ram">RealAudio

excerpt) is on Title of Record, which also features the

rock-radio hit "Welcome to the Fold" (

HREF="http://media.addict.com/music/Filter/Welcome_To_The_Fold.ram">RealAudio excerpt).

Patrick and company are touring the country on this year's Family Values

tour, the raucous rap-meets-thrash-meets-electronica roadshow headlined by

rockers Limp Bizkit and also featuring Run-D.M.C. and electronic act the Crystal Method.

"Family Values for us has been absolutely f---ing wonderful, a dream come

true," Patrick, 31, said. "It's great touring with them. We can do whatever

we want. [Limp Bizkit singer] Fred [Durst] is overwhelmingly supportive of

Filter. Ten thousand screaming kids a night — I couldn't ask for more."

Patrick said he and Durst have already talked about future collaborations. "Fred

and I wanna do a slow, dirty version of Jane's Addiction's 'Jane Says,' "

he said.

Patrick and multi-instrumentalist Brian Liesegang founded the aggressive,

metallic Filter in 1993 after Patrick completed a stint as guitarist on

Nine Inch Nails' first tour. The duo's debut, Short Bus (1995), was

recorded in a small house in Cleveland and quickly became a gold record

thanks to the hit "Hey Man Nice Shot" (

HREF="http://media.addict.com/music/Filter/Hey_Man_Nice_Shot.ram">RealAudio

excerpt).

Saying he wanted to pursue more electronic sounds, Liesegang left the group

in 1997 just as the single "(Can't You) Trip Like I Do," a collaboration

with the Crystal Method, began to take off. Filter are now

a quartet, with guitarist Geno Lenardo, bassist Frank Cavanagh and drummer

Steven Gillis.

Reports of strained relations between Patrick and Nine Inch Nails

mastermind Trent Reznor were misleading, the Filter leader said. "Trent and

I are friends. And we will work together on a [side] project called Tapeworm,"

Patrick said.

Patrick said he delayed production of the new album for about a year and a half

while he built his recording studio, Abyssinian Sun. "But it was worth it

because the album truly surpasses anything that I could've done within that

time," he said.

Patrick's relationship problems during that period inspired more than one

track on the album. "It got so bad that one night I found out that [my

girlfriend] slept with someone else," he said. "I punched through a wall

instead of hitting her and broke my fifth metacarpal. Shattered it, had 17

stitches on my hand, but before I went to the hospital I sang 'I'm Not the

Only One' (

HREF="http://media.addict.com/music/Filter/Im_Not_The_Only_One.ram">RealAudio excerpt). I had an amazing time with that chick, that crazy,

freaky girl.

"Listen, I've never felt more love lost [than] in making this record —

ever in my life," he continued. "I bared my soul on that record. ... The

only thing that I can do as a singer is to pour my heart into my music,

which makes me real, which is what kids identify with. It's real. Hunter S.

Thompson ... Charles Bukowski, Hemingway — those are my favorite

authors; they lived their lives. My job is to live my life and record it in

music."