anti-Trump events

Punk Rock and Politics

Monday, April 18, 2016 Jennie Velasco

Filter's new album Crazy Eyes is here to be the voice of the pissed off and betrayed
The new album, Crazy Eyes by Filter was released last week.  The multi-platinum band is also following up with a tour to come to Chicago.  To speak to Richard Patrick the founder of Filter and father of Nine Inch Nails was an honor to my industrial metal teenage self.  The album itself is fresh eyes on an old Filter sound, but Rich didn't think that it was necessarily proof of Filter coming full circle to their debut album Short Bus




"I said to everybody that I wanted to make the music that I feel.  And the difference (with this album) is that I'm actually a little bit stranger in real life, I'm a little more outspoken in real life."
The album has been described as politically charged, and although I knew that it was, Rich had opened my eyes to just how deep Crazy Eyes goes into the social injustices that have been occurring in America.  The track "Nothing In My Hands" was in direct relation to the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson.  "Mother E" gets inside the head of a mass shooter, both confused and angry. And progress was also addressed, the song "Pride Flag" is an empowering anthem for the current age and supports last summers Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage.

I asked Rich why he thought it was important for him to address these issues, "Its punk rock.  My favorite band is The Clash.  I listened to the London Calling album for 5 years straight.  John Lennon wanted to end the war in Vietnam, Skinny Puppy talked about issues.  To me thats amazing, peoples ability to make change."  We even went into a conversation about Bono's efforts to create global change with love and charity.  And although Rich is a fan he says, "90% of the world is angry (at what is happening).  I am angrier, meaner, and way more punk."

"Mother E" is the opening track to the album, and it is supported by an explosion of sound and unrestrained anger.  At times when the track dips into more quiet, almost spoken lyrics, it brings a haunting representation of the internal dialogue of a mass shooter.  Other tracks are reminiscent of the early industrial Filter sound from Short Bus and Title of Record not to be at least slightly compared to Nine Inch Nails whom Rich is a founding member of.  Songs like "City of Blinding Riots" and "Welcome to the Suck (Destiny Not Luck)" have subtle touches of digital influence also subtly equal to Filters collaboration with The Crystal Method.

Filter is touring with bands Orgy and Vampires on the Make America Hate Again Tour which Rich says, "is a jab at Trump." He says that fans should expect mayhem at their shows.  "We are doing as much new music as possible.  My favorite moments come from live performances.  If you want to have it perfect, buy the album.  Mistakes make the experience interesting.  There is order, but there is always and issue and a little bit of chaos in there."  But its not all loud, fans should expect moments where the band really "chills out the mood."  On their first performance on the tour, Rich said he not only slowed down the vibe, but he re-wrote "Take A Picture" live.  "That is what live is all about," Rich explains, "I may not even remember how I interpreted that song, and might not even be able to do it again."  The spontaneity essentially encompasses the live experience, and he recalls a time he saw U2 live and Bono forgot the lyrics, in that moment, the crowd sang the song for him.  "Even after so many years, trying to come back from your mistakes still happens."  Regardless, if the live show will be anything like their new album, you should prepare for explosive screaming and familiar industrial metal.

After a long discussion of politics and jabs at Trump, I asked him who he was supporting in the Presidential race and it was far more simple, "a democrat, they get it."

Filter will be live at H.O.M.E Bar in Arlington Heights April 21st
For info on their tour check out their website http://officialfilter.com/tour/
See their video "Take Me to Heaven"


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