Richard Patrick is not a dick

Army of One
Richard Patrick made his name in two of Cleveland's biggest rock exports of the 1990s, backing Trent Reznor in the early, infamous Nine Inch Nails lineup, then as the frontman of his own Filter. Now he's fronting half of the Stone Temple Pilots in Army of Anyone. Army will be at House of Blues (308 Euclid Ave.) Thursday, December 14, playing new songs and old favorites, including Filter's "Hey Man Nice Shot" and "Welcome to the Fold," and STP's "Big Bang Baby" and "Piece of Pie." Patrick talked to Scene for a feature story in this week's issue. Some people from back in the day say he's a dick, but he was cool to us, even when we busted his balls a little. Guitarist Dean DeLeo also answered some questions, too. Good guy. Here are some leftovers that didn't make the final cut: Like Nine Inch Nails, Filter wasn't exactly a Cleveland band, but Patrick wanted it to be. During a distinguished run as the Nails' touring guitarist, he contributed more than his share to the booze-fueled mayhem that made the group infamous during the first Lollapalooza. Then he wrote "Hey Man, Nice Shot" and submitted it to Trent Reznor, the transplanted Pennsylvanian and NIN mastermind. Reznor didn't like it much, but the record companies did. Tired of life as a backing Nail, Patrick set out in his own hate machine. But before he could tour to support Filter's debut, Short Bus, he needed some backup. "I was going to build my band from Cleveland guys," recalls Patrick. "And I went to the Grog Shop and the Symposium and the Euclid Tavern, and I tried to include so many people. And there was so much animosity and jealousy and venom from those bands. There was a guy that actually punched me in the face because I talked to his drummer, and he thought I was going to steal him... No, I'm not going to name names. So I grabbed a bass player, Frank Cavanaugh, and I moved it all to Chicago." Long after most alternative-era bands had cooled, Patrick scored his biggest hit with 1999's "Take A Picture," from Title of Record. The song drove Filter's second disc, like its first, platinum. The song was a crossover smash, but the bouncy, acoustic hit eschewed the band's industrial tendencies. True to form, the record company didn't like it. Neither did some of his fans. Some people maintain that it's one of the decade's great pussy (read: sissy) songs. We asked Patrick if, in retrospect, he agreed. "A pussy song?" says Patrick. "What? I love all different kinds of music. And much to the chagrin of my label, I went from 'Welcome to the Fold' — which has the lyric 'I'd kill your father to destroy his seed' — from that hatred to 'Would you take my picture? Does my dad love me? I have a drinking problem' — this incredibly bare-naked, revealing song on one record. That's gonna challenge any artist's audience. The problem that Filter had is that I don't write the same song over and over. I'm going to challenge you to feel the feelings I feel, because they're not all about anger. I took a real big risk, and showed some real soft-underbelly side to my writing. And the real Filter fans were completely blown away, because it turns out that they, like me, have Pantera records, but they also have Beatles records and Zeppelin records, which are heavy but get lighter. And that was my goal. And it was funny, seeing 15, 25 year old men in the mosh pit — and then 40-year-old women singing 'Take My Picture' on the encore. And my record company was a little confused, but I said, 'I'm an artist. I'm not going to be heavy for the rest of my life. And when people say it's a pussy song — I've never heard that, actually. It did incredibly well for me." -- D.X. Ferris
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