Reconstruction requires deconstruction. The institutions must be razed in order to clear space for the future to flourish. You tear down the old and build up the new. Filter founder, singer, guitarist, and producer Richard Patrick knows this dance well. It’s what established the group as a multiplatinum industrial alternative luminary, and it catalyzed their seventh full-length album, Crazy Eyes [Wind-up Records].
“Filter is the mind,” he exclaims. “It’s your interpretation or my interpretation. Our thing is to look at people’s unexplainable behavior and assess it, using sound. It’s a way to approximate the insanity of the human condition. The reason this record is so fucking heavy and strange is it’s exactly the opposite of what’s popular. It’s not pretty. It’s not cute. It’s real.”
Rather than partner with a producer, he took the reins and oversaw production on Crazy Eyes himself. “You recognize it’s us from my aggression and singing, but the instrumentation had to change,” he admits. “It wasn’t about just stacking guitars like we might’ve done on the last couple records. There are way more electronics and sound design.”
He collaborated with old friends such as the man behind 1999’s seminal platinum-certified Title of Record, producer Ben Grosse [Thirty Seconds To Mars, Marilyn Manson], and Michael “Blumpy” Tuller [Nine Inch Nails]. He also worked closely with new band mates Oumi Kapila [guitar, programming], Ashley Dzerigian [bass], Chris Reeve [drums], and Bobby Miller [keyboards], and former Filter bandmates, Johnny Radke and Danny Lohner. Mixed by Brian Virtue (Janes Addiction, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Deftones) and mastered by Howie Weinberg (Van Halen, Mars Volta, The White Stripes).
The first single “Take Me To Heaven” rides a pulse-pounding gallop into an entrancing and ponderous refrain. “I was looking into the eyes of my father when he was passing away, and I held his hand,” Richard recalls. “He glanced at me really quickly, focused on me, had this look of gratitude, and then he slipped away. I was almost like, ‘I hope you’re going to heaven.’ Scientifically, the idea doesn’t make any sense to me, but if there is a heaven, take me there. That’s what happened.”
Ultimately, it all comes back to the fact that Richard remains honest. “I’m completely into this for the music,” he leaves off. “Being yourself is the most important thing. I authentically went places I’d never gone before. That was from my heart. I’m trying to be as genuine as possible to what Filter is. It’s about sounding fucking different, forward, and original.