Hey Richard, let’s talk about Filter’s new record ‘The Trouble with Angels.’ How did everything come together?
Bob Marlette is the producer so we did everything right at his house. He has a big studio at his house. We brought about 10 or 15 ideas. Everything seemed to write itself. Bob is just so gifted. He and I sort of pieced everything together. Then, right around December, we started thinking about drums and we recorded everything else in January. I think we started mixing in February. Then it was done! After that, we started talking to some labels and finally decided to go with Rocket Science. We like how those guys think.
When you were working with Bob, he helped to construct how the songs would be laid out?
Oh yes. I call him the “finisher”. I bring in these ideas on a 4-track and go, “I think I want to try this.” Then he’ll go, “That’s cool, you need a bridge here and you need a chorus here.” And then we’ll whip up melodies and stuff. I’ll sit there with him and write lyrical ideas too while he’s working.
This record literally felt like it wrote itself. It was such a fun record to make.
Just by going by the titles of the songs, the record seems a little dark. You have songs like “Drug Boy”, “Absentee Father”, and “No Love”. Was this album supposed to be a little darker than your last album?
Yes, we wanted to do something that was a return to ‘The Amalgamut,’ ‘Title of Record,’ and ‘Short Bus.’ We went out of our way to make sure that happened.
The fans started saying we were mellowing. So, on this new record I wanted to get back to the insanity of my youth and the insanity of being an American in America. I wanted to talk about heavy shit like suicide and fucking drug use. I really wanted to be like, “This is the record I could have made right after ‘The Amalgamut.’” That’s what I wanted it to sound like.
So, what is ‘The Trouble with Angels’?
Our quest to understand the universe has brought us to some pretty fucking dark places. I think religion is more of a hindrance than it is helping. If we could accept the scientific facts that are sitting right in front of us we would be better off — instead we’re inventing shit like angels and demons.
I left secrets all over [the new record]. The m400 on the album cover stands for the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s imprisonment. And, the angel inside the pop-up cover looks like she’s either drowning in scientific notation or she’s trying to fight against it and stamp it out.
We wanted it to literally look and feel like those first Filter records, but at the same time, hinge it in the modern age. This whole record has legs, it’s deep. It’s not just one or two singles, it’s deep, and I believe that by the time you get to “No Love,” it’s like, “Well they’re just not fucking around.” The album is just one great song after another, hopefully.
Let’s talk about The Public Record, you’re allowing fans to contribute and remix all your songs, right?
I encourage them to completely rewrite it! Basically, I provide stems and they can download the stems into Pro Tools [or any DAW of their choice], and they can get in there and rewrite or play over whatever they want. I’m interested to hear people rewrite the lyrics. I’m trying to collaborate more with my audience. I want them to know that I’m diggin’ it.
Late in July you guys came out with the video for “The Inevitable Relapse” and it’s pretty crazy, was it all your idea?
It was Alicia and Jesus Rodriguez. It was a collaborative effort with literally this amazing group of people. I just told them, “You know this isn’t necessarily for TV broadcast, this is for people that are going to look at my website, so let’s not be such pussies and let’s say what we want to say, ‘Drug addiction is like a beautiful woman who kicks the shit out of you but you keep comin’ back for more.’”
Amber and Ben did an amazing acting job, and what I’m thinking about doing is turning it into a sequel or a trilogy. We’re thinking about doing a video for “Fades Like A Photograph” and we’re also thinking about doing a video for “Drug Boy.”
So, the new album is out now, they can download the song “Drug Boy” right on your website, and you guys will be heading on tour soon?
Yeah, we’re piecing stuff together and just kinda coming up with different things. I need the audience to get out there and fuckin’ participate. Everyone should get the deluxe version of the CD as well because it comes with five more tracks (a remix and four brand new songs). If you play the ten songs, it flows perfectly through until you hit the final song called “Plume,” which is just gorgeous.
Dude, I’m so fuckin’ proud of this record. The rock-loving audience just needs to hear this record. I appreciate you taking the time to do this.
Thanks very much Richard and have fun out on the road!
Pick up Filter’s new album The Trouble With Angels