FILTER's RICHARD PATRICK: 'I Was A Horrible Alcoholic'

September 5, 2023

In a new interview with the 97.7 QLZ radio station, FILTER frontman Richard Patrick spoke about his inspiration for the song "Obliteration". The track is taken from the band's latest album, "The Algorithm", which arrived on August 25 via Golden Robot Records. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "'Obliteration' comes from a place where I was at before I quit drinking. I was a horrible alcoholic and I quit drinking back in 2002 and I've been sober ever since.

"It's pretty bleak when your mind is trying to kill you," he continued. "And so I wrote from the perspective of what it was like when I was using back in the day when I was suicidal and I wasn't a healthy person at all. And I like to be able to go back and reference that, because I think there's other people out there in the world that will hear this and maybe they'll stop drinking or they'll stop hurting themselves, because we all feel bad at certain points in life, and I think it's okay to reflect that and process that."

Asked if this is a song that he has had since 2002 and is just now getting it out there now, Richard said: "No. I put myself in my shoes back in the day when we were writing lyrics. I was writing lyrics with, Sam Tinnesz and Mark Jackson and Ian Scott, the other songwriters on the record. And we were just talking about like how bleak it is when you're an alcoholic and how hard it is. Most people die from this disease — 95% of us die from this disease. Look at the famous ones — Scott Weiland, Chester Bennington, Chris Cornell, Layne Staley, everybody, They're dying from addiction. And there's a very small percentage — there's about five to 6% — that actually can beat it and go on and live successful lives, prosperous lives. And I just feel like when you bring that stuff out in music and you talk about it, you're shedding a light on it so other people that are feeling maybe that they have a chance and they can believe in themselves enough to quit drinking or to quit doing drugs or whatever it is that's ailing them. I think it's just a good way to process being a human being you."

This past June, Patrick told Michael Presti of the 99WNRR radio station that "The Algorithm" reminds him of FILTER's third album, 2002's "The Amalgamut". "It's kind of a little bit of a return to 'The Amalgamut'," he said. "It's so bombastic. There's so many bangers on this record. And 'The Algorithm', it's a little bit more a part of the times."

Regarding the lyrical inspiration for "The Algorithm", which previously had the working title "They Got Us Right Where They Want Us, At Each Other's Throats", Richard said: "I'm still bitching, but I'm not as outwardly bitching; I'm not taking sides as much on this record. I'm bitching and I'm talking about liars and cheaters and thieves. It's just that I'm not literally calling everybody out, like I did on the other two songs that came out last year," referencing 2020's "Murica" and "Thoughts And Prayers". "I'm still complaining politically, but I'm just not so outward. There's another thing — a friend of mine is drowning from alcoholism, and I talk about him in a couple of the songs, a song called 'The Drowning'. But most of it is just me kind of reflecting on humanity and just kind of saying, 'Are you checking yourself on this? Are you watching how we're behaving?' 'Cause our government and the way we are behaving as a [whole] is just the bitchiest, juvenile shit I've ever seen. It's just ridiculous."

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