Bob Marlette

All posts tagged Bob Marlette

Filter-Sun Comes Out Promo Photo

 

For every art form there are “rules”, for every “rule” there are exceptions.  Richard Patrick has been making such exceptions, and defying convention for 20 plus years now.  Given the tremendous success he has achieved with his band, Filter, it came as no surprise that my interview with he and his guitarist Jonny Radtke was nothing less than extraordinary.

One of the first things every good journalist is taught is to always control the interview.  There are, however, rare occasions where brilliance comes to life by simply listening, and enjoying the rants of a charismatic individual.  I invite you to sit back and relax, and enjoy one of the most unconventional, yet enjoyable conversations with rock n roll royalty as we talk about everything from addiction, to a-dickhead, who nearly killed Patrick’s wife.

AWAY-TEAM: First and foremost, I’d like to congratulate you on the release of the new album, The Sun Comes Out Tonight, which hits stores June 4th.  It’s a great record, I’ve been listening to it non-stop for about a week and a half now, if that tells you anything…

RICHARD PATRICK: Thank You!

JONNY RADTKE:  Thank You!

AWAY-TEAM:  I’m really impressed with it!  Now, I understand this album was originally intended to be released independently, under the title “Gurney & The Burning Books”?…

RICHARD PATRICK:  That was always a working title…

JONNY RADTKE:  I mean we didn’t know, we were…

RICHARD PATRICK:  I told the guy like three times.  I was like, ‘This is a working title.’  And he went ‘Oh Burning Books, and da-da’  I was like ‘It’s not really gonna be called Burning Books’

AWAY-TEAM: (laughs)

JONNY RADTKE:  We were in between tours, when we were initially writing stuff, and we had a few demos under our belt, and at that time it was still premature.  We didn’t know where we were gonna be, like as far as what label we were gonna go with, or whatever.  So it was sort of just us kinda having the freedom to do whatever we wanted, and that interview, the guy just sort of kinda ran with it.  It was just a working title.  Obviously when we went into the studio for real, and we were signed by Wind-Up Records, we had obviously a direction we were headed in.  Something that we kept in mind throughout the recording process.

AWAY-TEAM:  So, I mean is that true?  Were you intending to release it independently, and then something came up with Wind-Up?  How did that come about?

JONNY RADTKE: I mean, we didn’t know…

RICHARD PATRICK:  I think Wind-Up was looking  for a signing.  Gregg Wattenberg (Wind-Up Co-Owner) has always been a huge fan of my voice… I think they were already pretty… no, we got signed before we wrote “What Do You Say”.  We started emailing Gregg Wattenberg, and he had met us once, and said ‘I wanna sign you guys, but I want you to write the fucking rock hit, that like we’ve all been waiting for!’  And it was like ‘Okay’, and we just kinda listened to “Hey Man, Nice Shot” and Short Bus in general.  Then Jonny and I sat there with Bob Marlette and pumped out five different parts that we loved, and as they were putting it together in the computer doing drums and stuff, I just started hearing  ‘Hey, What do you say’.  We sent that to the label, and they were like ‘Great!  Go in, finish the record.  We’d love more hits, but you’ve got your first single, we’ll get this off the ground and, if we have to we’ll just release the single, and you guys can finish the record at your leisure.’  And then they were like ‘No. Finish it, and put on as many radio singles as you can.’  So for us, it was like ‘Okay, let’s make it catchy.’  You know, like “Self-Inflicted” is the other one where we intended to sit down and make something that was…

JONNY RADTKE:  The huge impact.

RICHARD PATRICK:  Yeah, and the “Hey Man, Nice Shot” big chorus, smaller verse, ya know.

AWAY-TEAM:  That kind of answered one of the questions I was gonna get into.  Ya know, a lot of guys will go into the studio with something in mind like, ya know, this is gonna be the heaviest record I’ve ever made or…

RICHARD PATRICK:  Right.

AWAY-TEAM:  And I noticed that, it shows that you went back and listened to Short Bus, and some of the older stuff.

Richard Patrick-Filter

Richard Patrick-Filter

RICHARD PATRICK:  Yeah. Also, Gregg Wattenberg said ‘We need super fucking angry, heavy Filter!  We need that. That’s what the label needs, that’s what your audience wants.  That’s what Filter needs!’  So I was finally… cuz Bob Marlette is a great producer, and I’m not gonna say anything bad about him.  It was kinda like, I want fucking heavy man, I want heavy shit!  I was kinda saying that even on The Trouble With Angels, and we always had this bright shiny, glisteney chorus, and I just remember thinking to myself  ‘I wanna fucking scream my ass off!’  The only song we came close to on that, was “The Inevitable Relapse”.  So this was like, ‘Fuck it! Great! Let’s scream a bunch of different choruses on the record, let’s have that screamed out, aggressive sound that everyone wants!’  That left us with a lot of room for “Surprise”, and “First You Break It”, “It’s My Time”, and “It’s Just You”.  Then there were others like “We Hate It When You Get What You Wanted” that’s straight up industrial.

AWAY-TEAM:  Right.  Jonny, I know you’ve been a friend of Rich’s for a while now, but what was it like actually stepping into the studio for the first time with, not only Richard, but a legend in his own right in Bob Marlette?

JONNY RADTKE:  It was amazing! It was an amazing experience, we started working on stuff before we went into the studio, and it just felt effortless.  We both have the same influences, and we both know where we wanna go as far as songwriting, and what we like and think is cool, and we compliment each other very well.  But at the same time it’s surreal sitting next to the dude looking at me, and kinda like ‘Fuck yeah, we’re working on something together’  It’s awesome, it’s amazing!  And then, I’ve always known of Bob, and it was my first time working with him, and it was the same thing.  The guy just shared our vision, ya know?  He understood the kind of album that we needed to make.  We bounced a lot of ideas off each other, we were around each other every day, and all the creative juices were flowing.  Sometimes you get three people in a room together that… Rich and Bob are accomplished songwriters, and myself; there could be a lot of ego, there could be alot of disagreement, but that wasn’t the case.  We were, Rich and I were always on the same page.

RICHARD PATRICK:  Bob and I are old enough that we can’t tolerate; we’ve had other people that we’ve worked with and stuff, and it was just like ‘Man this isn’t working.’  Jonny is the kind of guy where he grew up listening to either bands that I’ve respected, or bands that I’m from, or bands that I was currently in and he always kind of respected that.  Plus he’s got all the other stuff that I like, that he likes; you know A Perfect Circle, Tool, Pantera, Deftones, Ministry, and he comes from Chicago so there’s the entire scene that was going on there.  So, ya know, it either works or it doesn’t, and in this case it was like ‘Hey dude, let’s make this, let’s do that’ and I was like ‘Yeah that’s great!’ and the songs wrote themselves.  When it feels like it’s effortless, that’s when you gotta kinda just back up and just…  He’s the only person I made a deal with BEFORE we went into the studio.  We had already messed around with some songs, and I was like ‘When this record comes out, this is exactly what you’re getting.  This is it.’  The ownership of the song is perfectly split.  It’s not ‘I’m 60, you’re 40′.  It’s not, ya know…

AWAY-TEAM:  Right, right.  It’s your song, it’s not YOUR song.

JONNY RADTKE:  Right.

RICHARD PATRICK:  Yeah.  And having said that, here I am singing the vocals, and it’s like ‘Hey, what do you think of this melody?’ (changes voice) ‘Hey maybe try that’  So all of a sudden, it’s just a common good of the best idea wins, and there’s no ego, and it’s all been set in stone.  There was nothing to gain from being the guy that wrote the melody and the lyrics, because I’m not going for 50 percent, I’m just going for the common good of the song.  So, a lot of stuff like that.  Everything is easy, instead of just me. (There’s a knock at the door, and in comes catering with a platter)

AWAY-TEAM:  Rich, you’ve been sober for ten years now, which I wanna congratulate you on…

RICHARD PATRICK:  Oh, thank you man!

AWAY-TEAM:  … I know you’ve had songs in the past that have dealt with addiction issues, “This Finger’s For You”  seems like it may be another one, is that true?  What was the inspiration behind that song?

RICHARD PATRICK:  Umm, that was one of those random kind of songs where it was like I’m upset.  I don’t know exactly what started it, but ‘I can’t drink gin. I can’t do some of that.’  I can’t fall back into the old person that I used to be.  The drug years, the alcoholic, drug years I call the “Gonzo Years” where I was literally in a Hunter S. Thompson phase of my life.  I was trying to press the boundary of mind-altering substances to the point where, ya know, I’m in the middle of “Welcome to the Fold” and the bridge was 17 minutes long as it was.  I’m sitting there going ‘Mama gimme my medicine’, and I’m peaking on mushrooms, and I’m trying to describe being a little kid being held up by this giant tree that is my mom, and just freestyling into this weird shit.  Trying to capture what it’s like being on just a ton of drugs, in the same way that Dr. Hunter S. Thompson would for any of his books, or any of his reporting.  But eventually, you end up not really learning anything, you’ve learned everything and now you’re just a drug addict.  So as soon as I started feeling like that I pulled out.  And I use the drug years as fodder for so many amazing songs.  “The Sun Comes Out Tonight” is about being a “falling through the cracks” type of kid.  Good person, but had nothing to do, couldn’t afford anything, I could afford some cheap drugs, and I could walk around the City of Cleveland, Ohio on acid and break into abandoned buildings, and have a look on the city that no one else would have because everybody else is in a club, or in a home, or a movie, or bar or whatever.  So, ya know, I’m really proud that I went through that phase because; and then once you get really addicted to drugs and alcohol, then all of a sudden that’s a personal battle, and you gotta fight out of that somehow.  It takes a couple years, and then you’re finally grateful that ‘Wow, I can’t believe how much I learned!’ 

AWAY-TEAM:  Wow!

RICHARD PATRICK: A lot of stuff right there. (laughs)

AWAY-TEAM:  Amazing stuff! (all laugh)  You mentioned “Watch The Sun Come Out Tonight”, you’ve always been one to sort of defy convention, and I know you did this on The Trouble With Angels, you actually use a bit of vocal effects on that…

RICHARD PATRICK:  Yeah.

AWAY-TEAM:  …which I’m normally not a big fan of, but your voice lends itself so well to it; not to mention that we all know you can sing your ass off without it…

RICHARD PATRICK:  Yeah, that’s a vocoder.  Rick James did a lot of that stuff.

JONNY RADTKE:  It’s basically your voice coming through a keyboard.

AWAY-TEAM:  Yeah, like a synthesized voice.

RICHARD PATRICK:  Yeah, it’s totally an effect, and see that’s the thing.  The first entire record was all programmed drums, on purpose, ya know fingers out (extends both middle fingers).  We don’t need a neve console, we need this fucking computer and we’re gonna make it work.  And then we’re gonna run it through a neve console, and mix it, and that was the idea.  We were just literally leaving Nine Inch Nails, and before when Trent and I were working together in Nine Inch Nails we were listening to bands like Ministry and Skinny Puppy.  I was never gonna be in a rock band again with like, the regular format.  Because once you experience all the different crazy sounds you can make on a computer, you gotta take that.  Now “The Inevitable Relapse”, I took a lot of shit for that, apparently I’m allowed to use drum machines, but I’m not allowed to use an obvious effect.  Because the song is about going to the club to score, and then the “relapse” is “Drink it, Drink it, Snort it, Smoke it.”  I took a lot of shit for that, and undeservedly so.

AWAY-TEAM:  I’d have to agree with that.  Now there are certain people who make their entire career out of that…

RICHARD PATRICK:  Yeah, I mean I understand getting sick of Chris Brown and stuff like that, but dude.  The interesting about that is, here’s this effect and it’s in your industrial rock band for half a second to make you feel like you were in the club, and then it’s all back to normal vocals.

AWAY-TEAM:  Yeah, it’s not very long at all.

RICHARD PATRICK:  Yeah, and it was the first song that was released to the fans, and they shit the bed, and completely freaked out like ‘Oh my God are you gonna do this?’ And I was just like ‘Oh God, here we go.’

AWAY-TEAM:  (Laughs)

JONNY RADTKE:  But now with this song, I think it’s…

RICHARD PATRICK:  That song is, honestly we stole that idea from The Deftones so we’re not even the first band to do that.

AWAY-TEAM:  Over the course of your career, you’ve done a few cover songs, what’s the coolest cover you’ve ever heard of one of your songs?

RICHARD PATRICK:  Well you know what, Brooke White sang “Take A Picture”, and we have the copy because we’re trying to do some stuff with it in film.  It’s actually Brooke White, the song, and Mitch Marlow has done some stuff with it.  It’s an amazing cover, maybe we’ll get that released somehow.  Then there’s all kinds of people doing “Hey Man, Nice Shot”, it’s kinda wild.  Then I met Shaun Morgan from Seether, and I was like (in a low, mean sounding voice) “Yeah I heard your cover.”  (all laugh)  But I was just messing with him, he’s a great guy, he said some good things to me.  It’s a flattering, amazing thing that people would cover your music.  You know who else did it, Lifehouse did “Take A Picture”; so there’s a whole bunch of people out there covering our stuff.

AWAY-TEAM:  One of your covers, “Happy Together”, is now being featured in the movie The Great Gatsby.  

Jonny Radtke & Richard Patrick-Filter

Jonny Radtke & Richard Patrick-Filter

Speaking of movies, obviously you’re the rock star of the family, and your brother is a successful actor, and it’s often been said that every singer wants to be an actor, and every actor a singer.  Have you guys ever talked about anything like that, has Robert ever been like ‘Hey man, let me…

RICHARD PATRICK:  Performance is amazing!  He did, he was trying to get me to be an actor back when I was in my drug phase so I wasn’t into it.  Performing is awesome, and when you have an opportunity to look into a camera or act in something, Jonny and I actually acted in our video.  We had a cameo role in our video for “What Do You Say”, which is a great little short movie.

JONNY RADTKE:  Yeah, it’ll be out soon.  We both had this little acting cameo.

RICHARD PATRICK:  Yeah, it was like ‘Look upset.’ or ‘Look like you’re thinking about it.’  (all laugh)

JONNY RADTKE:  Cook that steak! (laughs)

RICHARD PATRICK:  Cook that fucking steak! (laughs)

JONNY RADTKE:  I think this dude would be an amazing actor!  We fuck around all the time on the tour bus, we’re like brothers.  If we’re not focused on work related stuff, we’re joking about stuff.  He’s got his routines and shit, I think he would be perfect.  You could see him in like a Vince Vaughn, you know that squad of dudes, Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, all those guys, Jonah Hill

AWAY-TEAM:  Well I got to see his Forrest Gump first-hand! (all laugh) [Editors Note:  Prior to the commencement of recording, we engaged in an ice-breaking conversation that culminated in Richard comparing his life to that of Forrest Gump, and doing a hilarious impersonation of him]

JONNY RADTKE:  I’d actually like to see him in a film.  I think he could do it.  I think he could also do dramatic work as well.  Me, on the other hand, I don’t know.  I’m not an actor, and never really thought of myself as one! (laughs)

RICHARD PATRICK:  I think you could easily do it. I think performing is all linked up man!  Writing, performing, creativity; it’s all hooked up in some way.  Even though my brother Robert does not have a musical bone in his body!  Check out Filter-So I Quit  w/Robert Patrick; it’s amazingly funny!

AWAY-TEAM:  I definitely will! (laughs)  You’re also close to an Academy Award Winner in your former bandmate, and friend, Trent Reznor…

RICHARD PATRICK:  T-Rez!

AWAY-TEAM:  He’s just announced that he’s got this creative fire burning inside, and he’s bringing back  Nine Inch Nails to release a new album.

RICHARD PATRICK:  Yeah, which I knew about for a couple months. (laughs) I didn’t wanna say anything…

AWAY-TEAM:  (laughs)  Let me ask you this, I know when you were a member of the band you didn’t really get to record too much with him; is that something you guys have ever talked about?  Maybe doing some sort of collaborating in the future?  You know, not necessarily for either band, but in general?

RICHARD PATRICK:  Yeah, I mean I think it’d be interesting if I sang on something.  He had a thing that he was trying to do called Tapeworm, he asked me if I wanted to do something with that, I don;t know if that ever saw the light of day, but… He’s asked me, and now that I’m older, I certainly would wanna do it.  When I was younger I was too nervous, too crazy, you know it was back when I was drinking, crazy addict reporting from gonzo land! (all laugh)  But the short answer is absolutely, I’d love to do something.  I’d love to sing on something, I’m sure he’s got a bunch of music, ya know.    (Trent, I hope you’re listening!!!)

AWAY-TEAM:  Speaking of former bandmates, Frank Cavanaugh had some pretty harsh comments for you after an incident in which your wife was nearly run off the road because she had a bumper sticker that said “Ban Assault Weapons”…

RICHARD PATRICK:  Yeah. (seemingly puzzled by the comments)

AWAY-TEAM:  Really strange.  The first thing I thought of, ya know Frank’s a military guy, and most military guys I know are staunch conservatives…

RICHARD PATRICK:  Yeah it’s kinda wild…

AWAY-TEAM:  …you’re a liberal. That must have made for some tough times touring, and working together…

RICHARD PATRICK:  I was out of my mind when I was younger.  I didn’t really have any political stance.

AWAY-TEAM:  Have you spoken to Frank since everything?

RICHARD PATRICK:  Ya know Frank

JONNY RADTKE:  I talk to Frank all the time, and right before that happened it was like…

RICHARD PATRICK:  You talk to him on the phone?

JONNY RADTKE:  We text, we email, he’s been a friend of mine for quite a long time. Every time I come through Texas, he’d come to shows.  But yeah, when I saw that comment that Frank left I was like ‘Whoa!’

RICHARD PATRICK:  Yeah, because I had said something like ‘The Tea Party’…

JONNY RADTKE:  We were talking about our opinion on gun control, which is to ban assault weapons, and he kinda jumped on Rich about that!

RICHARD PATRICK:  He jumped on it, he was like ‘I can’t believe you would say we’re all treasounous’, and I’m like “You’re obstructing the constitution.  You’re obstructing getting the government working.  You’re attacking the government.  That’s treason to me.”  The United States operates with a manual, and it’s called The Constitution.  It’s an instruction pamphlet from the people that made the country, and you need to follow it!  Filibustering 250 times in the Senate, to block every single thing that the president wants to try and work on, isn’t what we voted for!  We voted for common sense!  The Bush Administration had eight years, they were filibustered six times.  The Obama Administration is not even through it’s fifth year, and it’s had 250 filibusters in the Senate.  What the fuck is going on?  Because I want a vote on gun control, eighty percent of the people in the United States want a background check.  Every single thing that they’re talking about, in Sandy Hook he fumbled on the second clip, so he was putting the 30-60 rounds, and he dropped the first one and fumbled, eleven children ran out the door.  Got the clip in, killed twenty, so practicality, common sense; the laws of this country are what separate us from anarchy, right?  Society is based on laws, it’s based on rules.  We wanna ban anything beyond eleven bullets, or ten bullets, apparently that’s an attack on the 2nd Amendment right.  Okay, so you can’t have a grenade, you can’t have bazookas, but you can have a machine gun that fires as many times as you want.  So it’s essentially an automatic weapon, somehow that’s an attack on the 2nd Amendment.  Well, maybe we should look at the 2nd Amendment.  This is just three gentlemen sitting here talking about this, my wife, we have a “Ban Assault Weapons” sticker on our car because why not?  They’re not practical! You don’t need them, and if we’re in an arms race with our government, well they have the Atomic Bomb, they have tanks, they have more Abrams tanks than you could imagine!  So if there’s a domestic dispute, they’ve got like 10,000 tanks; roll that into any fucking major city, and you’re done!  I don’t understand what they’re going for.  when I think about Ted Nugent, it blows my mind.  I almost hear a panicked gun nut, not too far away from where David Koresh was!   It’s like ‘Dude, chill the fuck out!!!‘, ya know?  I’ve never owned a gun in my life.  I’ve shot some guns, what’s the big fucking deal!!!  You shoot a gun, ‘Wow I’ve hit the target!’, whoopty-fucking-do!!!  Action movies are great, I love action movies, I don’t wanna go out and fucking kill anybody!  It’s availability, it’s availability to the VT guy, it’s availability to the Columbine guys.  It’s gun show loopholes, you know I went to a gun show once and they were like ‘So have you ever been arrested for a felony?’ and I’m like ‘Oh yeah, absolutely.  Felonious assault with a can of beer.’  They’re like (in his best redneck voice) ‘Dammit son, you’re not supposed to say that!  You’re supposed to lie!’  And I’m like ‘Really?  I don’t want a gun.’  (cue redneck voice again) ‘Oh I thought you wanted to buy this thing.’ ‘No I don’t.  I actually was just looking at it.’ (redneck voice) ‘Alright, well I didn’t hear anything anyways’.  They don’t give a fuck, they just wanna sell guns, they don’t give a fuck who they’re selling them to!  I don’t know, I’m so far left I’m in the middle.  I’m so far left of the Tea Party, I’m moderately in the middle!  I talk to Republicans all the time, and I’m like ‘So what about banning assault weapons?’  and they’re like ‘Okay, it’s practical.’   I’m like ‘You’re a Republican.  What the fuck happened to your party?!!!’  It’s Tea-publicans!  That’s who’s running the government!  They’re using the stunt that, every time school’s in session, they’re pulling the fucking fire alarm!  So every time everybody wants to get together for school, they pull the filibuster fire alarm!  When are Americans gonna figure that out?  These are the same people that (return of the redneck voice hilarity) ‘Know there’s something going on out there in that Area 51, and it’s aliens, I’ma tell ya!’  It’s the same shit, they’re the same fucking folks!  (Redneck voice over the laughter of Jonny and myself) ‘I know that JFK was assassinated by the CIA back it the day!  That’s the real story!  What Lee Harvey Oswald, he was the guy in the grassy knolllll!!!!!!’  That’s who’s doing this shit!  I don’t like it!

AWAY-TEAM:  I’m a gun owner, but it’s for the protection of my family…

RICHARD PATRICK:  You know what? I’ve probably been a gun owner at some point in my life.

AWAY-TEAM:  It’s crazy nowadays, with the home invasions and shit!  I’ve got a daughter almost the same age as yours, and I need to protect my family!  But I’m a RESPONSIBLE gun owner, I keep it in a safe etc., etc…

RICHARD PATRICK:  I honestly, the minute I get a chance, I’m gonna go buy a shotgun.  I’m gonna buy a shotgun, I want a 12 gauge pump shotgun.  I don’t want the big, huge, ridiculous long one.  I just want the pump one that’s kinda shorter.  Literally just to kinda scatter some bird shot, and that’s it.  I understand the necessity to own a weapon, and lock it up in a safe, and put a lock on the trigger, and your kids can never find it.  It’s only memorized in your head somewhere, or locked away on a hard drive somewhere.  I stand behind my open-ended request to debate Rush Limbaugh and Ted Nugent.  The debate’s gonna be simple, cuz I’m just gonna ask some questions and let them rant on about like (Limbaugh voice) ‘Buh, duh, duh.  It’s just a scare tactic by Democrats.  Global warming is totally made up by the Obama Administration.  Who we all know resides in Kenya.’  You know, it’s just like their crazy wacko fucking shit!  (laughs) I wanna ask Rush Limbaugh to his face, “Dude, I make music.  I’m trying to bring people together, and I’m trying to make the world a better place.  What are you doing?  Cuz I know you’re rich, you’ve already made your money.’  But stirring up the fringe?  How can that be, I know Bill O’Reilly’s like ‘Hey I don’t care, I’m doing it for the money.’  There’s guys that wanna hear the Democratic point of view, the liberal stuff.  The far right is way crazier!  What’s the worst thing a Democrat has done?  What’s the worst thing?  Are they denouncing science?  Maybe they’re denouncing religion in schools, actually I don’t want a fucking church in my school!  I want the church at church!  What is so wrong from the liberal point of view?  Where are the liberal extremists?  What, PETA? Or the people trying to get between toxic waste dumping out in the ocean?  I don’t know, some of the extreme far left, with the burning of those houses for infringing on forests, I get that.  I’m against that, no one should burn someone’s property.  How is it somehow the Obama Administration is the far left?

AWAY-TEAM:  So we’re here for the opening night of the Summerland Tour with your band, Filter, as well as Sponge (whose sound check graced our eardrums throughout this interview), Live, and Everclear.  What’s the band you most look forward to seeing tonight?

JONNY RADTKE:  I can’t wait to see all of them!

RICHARD PATRICK:  Yeah.  I mean, how are we gonna pick a favorite?  They’re all awesome bands.

JONNY RADTKE:  The other three bands have all had great success over the years.  Really cool songs, and we’ve all known each other, for the most part, for many years.  So already today’s been kind of a ‘Hey it’s good to see you again’ 

AWAY-TEAM:  High School Reunion type of thing.

RICHARD PATRICK:  Yeah, yeah.

JONNY RADTKE:  It’s gonna be fun for all the fans, but it’s a treat for all of us too.  For all of us to be back in a room together, and hanging out.

AWAY-TEAM:  Rich, last but not least, I know you just got a new tat a couple days ago…Richard Patrick Sloan Tattoo

RICHARD PATRICK:  Yeah.

AWAY-TEAM:  So let’s see it!  What did you get?

RICHARD PATRICK:  (shows arm)

AWAY-TEAM:  Oh nice, for Sloan. (Rich’s daughter)  That’s cool!

RICHARD PATRICK:  My daughter Sloan.  She is so, she’s just got such an amazing go-getter attitude.  Just fearless, ya know.  First day of pre-school she’s marching into pre-school holding her bags, her backpack was bigger that her, and she’s like ‘Let’s go!’ (laughs)  She walks in ‘Whatta ya got here?’  Ya know, puts it in her little cubbie at school and just like...

AWAY-TEAM:  Yeah, they’re amazing.  They’re life changers!

RICHARD PATRICK:  Yeah, and the funny thing  is that a million years ago, it was that emotional bond that made us more successful, way more so than all of the other bi-peds.  The brain would start to get bigger to grow more emotional.  So having all of these super strong emotional ties, the byproduct of that is what gave us all of this intelligence.  Isn’t that amazing?  So when you have a kid, you’re so connected, and it’s like ‘I have to live as long as I possibly can. I have to take care of myself’ (laughs) When I was 30, I did not care.  I was like ‘I don’t wanna be 40.  I don’t give a fuck.  I’d rather die.  Who cares?’  I was like ‘I’m good.  Became a rock star.  Sold millions of records…’ Then all of a sudden when you have kids you’re like ‘Nope.  I need to see her grow up.  I need to protect her when she’s 30, 40, 50.  I’m gonna eat my spinach.’

AWAY-TEAM:  Yeah I know, it’s amazing what they do to us!  Well hey, thank you both!

RICHARD PATRICK & JONNY RADTKE:  Thank You!

AWAY-TEAM:  It’s been a huge honor, and a great pleasure to speak with both of you, and I look forward to seeing you tear it up out there tonight! (And tear it up they did!)

RICHARD PATRICK:  It’s gonna be great!  We’re looking forward to it!

JONNY RADTKE:  Thanks for coming out!

For more info including Tour Dates and to purchase music and merch visit Filter’s Official Website.

Special thanks go out to Richard and Jonny for so graciously giving me their time, and to Julie Lichtenstein at Wind-Up Records for making it all happen!

 

 

[Originally Published 5/24/2012]

It appears that Merriam-Webster is going to have to revise another word in their dictionary. perseverance-(noun)see BLACK SUNSHINE’s Matt Reardon. After three long years, several record deals, and a staph infection that nearly cost him his leg the extreme skier turned rock ‘n’ roll frontman bursts onto the scene with his latest band BLACK SUNSHINE. Recently Away-Team’s Jason Rybak had the chance to sit down with Matt to discuss BLACK SUNSHINE’s inevitable path to becoming this planet’s next big, bright stars. However, you may need to grab a cold beverage and pull up a chair…this is no short journey!

AWAY-TEAM: Congrats on the upcoming release of your new album, and your current tour. You guys rocked tonight.

MATT REARDON: Thanks, dude! Tonight was cool, it was a good show. It was nice to be on the big stage.

AWAY-TEAM: Like I said before, to see the response…and the fans standing outside of your merch tent for hours, that was awesome.

MATT REARDON: I mean the response, the only thing that’s being spun on the radio around here is “Once in My Life”. Everybody in the front knew the words, I was just amazed. That’s the coolest compliment you can get as an artist, to watch people sing your songs.

AWAY-TEAM: Yeah, I mean that is what you do this for…that’s what you’re looking for as an artist.

MATT REARDON: Oh yeah, and even the songs that they didn’t know, they were just all… everyone was all into it. It was cool.

AWAY-TEAM: And that was the same thing with me, I had really only heard “Once in My Life”…and that’s a great song, but your other shit just rocks. I was blown away.

MATT REARDON: We wanna have an album that takes you on a journey. But, you know, I’m a huge fan of this latest SHINEDOWN album. It comes out and fucking kicks you in the teeth. It makes you just like… after the first two songs you’re like, “Holy shit man!”. It gives you a breather and it picks back up again, and that kind of quality musically where you can take people on a journey in their lives…

AWAY-TEAM: Was that the driving force for enlisting Bob Marlette as a producer?

MATT REARDON: I think Bob saw a lot of potential in my vocal chords, like he did with SHINEDOWN; I’ve had that comparison with them quite a bit, and that’s a big compliment.

AWAY-TEAM: You’ve got huge vocal control, never having seen you live before, I was quite impressed.

MATT REARDON: Thanks man. We just did like fourteen shows in a row. We were doing radio at like seven in the morning. I can’t believe they’re (re: vocal chords) still working out good, I’m still learning all the time but uh…working with Bob was a situation where I just kind of knocked on his door pretty much, and found a way to sneak in the back door, and you know… just talked him into giving me a chance. I kept sending in demos, and finally I sent him “Once in My Life”, “Burn to Shine”, and “Tears” and he was like “Okay, what label are you on? Let’s do the album”. ‘Cause I kept getting record deals, and then the deals would fall apart, and record labels would fall apart and…

AWAY-TEAM: You know I had read that, that you’d had about three years of…

MATT REARDON: Mmm,hmm.

AWAY-TEAM: …meetings and trying to land record deals?

MATT REARDON: I had several record deals in that process. But, I also had several record deals that just wouldn’t do anything, because it just didn’t have the people behind it, and the right energy, and the right kind of mindset that, you know the music business doesn’t work so good without that. And we wanted someone like Kevin Zinger, and a good radio guy like John Kuliak, and just people that were forward thinking and wanted to step outside the box and shake things up a bit.

AWAY-TEAM: So, uh, how’d you all meet?

MATT REARDON: “Toast” (drummer Matt “Toast” Young) and I… I moved from Vermont to Lake Tahoe, I was on a mogul tour and I ended up in this tiny town of Truckee, CA and I was on a open mic one night and “Toast”, who was on drums was like, “Dude, you’ve got a great voice”. I was playing acoustic and singing like some TESLA song or something like that, and he was like “I have a band”, and he was just starting. I knew he was the drummer, and he invited me to play guitar with him. And I was in a band at the time, called FUNGUS, with Shaun Palmer who’s kind of like a Shawn White, I guess I could say. Shaun Palmer’s got his own video game, and I was his guitarist. It’s one of these things where I was a pro skier, he was a pro snowboarder, our bassist was a pro skier and we just had this whole family style thing going around the local scene. “Toast” and I bonded really, really good, and we played off and on; and he went out and became a drum tech for like the best drummers in the world…and I always had a lot of respect for him. He didn’t give up on his dreams. He always wanted to be a drummer on the pro level, and he had every bit of talent to do so. Here he was working with Josh Freese, and Matt Sorum, and Brian Tichy.

And then umm, the bass player… I had a record deal in Arizona where they moved me back from Germany, and it was this Christian rock deal where they threw a bunch of money at us, and I moved back there and I met Chris Serafini from being out in the clubs and I was a big fan of this producer who had a band called LET GO and he was the bass player for that, and I was like ‘That guy can flat out play’. He’s a good hang, he’s a good mountain biker; “Toast” is a great snowboarder and skier. That was just umm… over the period of years meeting people like that.
And then I was shit-faced drunk down here in Florida in Miami, I’d just finished doing seven days of recording with KK Downing from JUDAS PRIEST and Yngwie Malmsteen. They just randomly found my voice, or my demo on uh, a Union management desk, you know Union Entertainment they handle NICKELBACK? And uh, it was real random, when we finished the record, I was just kind of baffled. I had just gotten a job to headline Laguna Seca Raceway for Red Bull, and my guitar player that I had been using just got the job for Miley Cyrus. And they were like “Dude, you should go down to the Keys. There’s this kid that plays violin, he plays drums, he plays guitar, he plays bass. So I drove down there, and went into Dirty Harry’s, I think it’s called. And he was in the house band, he was playing like violin…and he had been on tour with the Van Zandt‘s as a multi-instrumentalist. And just solid, just good people, good southern style; and I flew him out two days later. We did a gig like ten days later in front of 7,000 people. That’s ultimately the story behind each and every person.

And then once we got the record deal there was no like…I mean, I listened to some of the people in Hollywood…they were like “Dude you need a dude with tattoos”, so I was working with a couple different people so the look was right and then I was like ‘fuck this man!’ I want family style and good people, and now we all own the business, and we’re all like business partners together, and umm…yeah it’s EASY!

AWAY-TEAM: That’s gotta be a great feeling. Essentially you are running a business, and to be able to do it with your “family”? That’s great!

MATT REARDON: We wouldn’t be doing this if I’d had listened to all the fuck-heads in Hollywood sayin’ “Oh he’s gotta look like this, he’s gotta do this” I mean umm…

AWAY-TEAM: (sarcastically) Yeah, there’s gotta be the look.

MATT REARDON: Yeah, but there’s also a feel that you can’t buy.

AWAY-TEAM: And a voice that goes along with it, and you’ve got that voice.

MATT REARDON: You know it’s funny, we were almost signed by Universal/Republic, the like top rock radio guy was like “I have the band that we’re gonna sign”. He ended up signing like eight bands that did nothing and they spent millions of dollars on them. And it’s kind of nice because that certain gentleman is in our camp now working our stuff at radio independently for us. And the one guy, there was two, but the one guy at the end of it all was like “Well they’re over thirty, it’s too radio friendly, and I don’t hear a hit”, and that same guy just heard it and he didn’t know, he only knew my last name…that same guy heard it under BLACK SUNSHINE and was like “This is a hit!” And he heard the same song, same shit-different day, two and a half years ago…

AWAY-TEAM: Under REARDON? (the name of Matt’s former band)

MATT REARDON: Yeah. And he said it was too radio friendly and he didn’t hear a hit, and I wrote that down. I was like ‘That’s the dumbest shit I ever heard in my life.’ It’s good though we’re working with good people, we have a good team. This is Uncle Vern (points to Tour Manager Vern Stratton), he and I have stuck together through and through. He takes a lot of shit!

AWAY-TEAM: So the debut album…

MATT REARDON: Mmm-Hmm

AWAY-TEAM: It’s been out there that it was the product of a horrific accident you suffered while you were skiing…

MATT REARDON: A couple of songs on it, yeah.

AWAY-TEAM: Tell me about that, how was the recovery, and all the surgeries and all of that? How’d that go?

MATT REARDON: I didn’t really have a horrific accident, to be honest with you. If you’ve seen a poster of what I do, or you know what I do, if you’ve seen the videos…

AWAY-TEAM: Yeah, yeah.

MATT REARDON: So, I went into a hospital to get a routine procedure, I was down in New Zealand, and when I went into the hospital in France I contracted a staph infection from the hospital. Which then became, you know, I went from like hero-to-zero where it was a little bit like umm, I woke up the next day and they’re like “We might have to amputate your leg, if this spreads any further. You have a serious problem with a staph infection”. A staph infection, you get in a hospital. They sew you up and then you get it from being in the surgery room, and I had like the worst strain that you can get. And there’s one anti-biotic called Vancomycin, that saved my life, and they opened me up like seven times and they cauterized everything, so I lost all the nerves in my leg, and umm, they burned everything to the point where I was like I had this gimp leg with no muscles. I couldn’t ski again, I couldn’t walk again, the right way and I ended up finding the right doctor. Took a second mortgage out with my parents to help pay for it, and I ended up getting like eleven surgeries, and an artificial meniscus, and grew my own cartilage in a Petri-dish for a year and they put it back in. So it was like surgery-after-surgery-after-surgery. That was just to where I could walk correctly, and you know, I couldn’t even push in a clutch in a car. I wasn’t supposed to be able to ski again, or run, or walk and I’m just fine. So it was a long process, and very character building but I’m actually skiing better now than I ever have in my entire life.

AWAY-TEAM: So you seem to be a bit of an adrenaline junkie…

MATT REARDON: (laughs) I like a challenge.

AWAY-TEAM: What’s the bigger rush, jumping out of a helicopter? Or taking the stage?

MATT REARDON: It’s really, you know, it’s a lot in the same. When you’re in Europe doing the freaky shit with the helicopters, it’s like when I get down to the bottom I’m just so jacked! It’s the same when I walk on stage, but it’s kind of funny I’m getting really comfortable with walking out onto bigger stages. And it’s cool, ‘cuz I’m understanding the energy that you can control and translate out into a crowd. And we’re just learning the big stage, I’ve done some bigger stages in Europe, but tonight was like a big pinnacle for us. And they’re just two different animals, those two things; but they’re one and the same you know what I mean? I don’t know how to describe that really. You know, when you ski a big face in Alaska or a first descent, and you have an avalanche chasing you, you just cheated death, you beat Mother Nature and you kind of feel larger than life. You get the same feeling when you walk off after nailing a big show.

AWAY-TEAM: So I understand you worked on a movie soundtrack? Mount Saint Elias? Tell me about that.

MATT REARDON: It’s a buddy of mine who is one of the world’s best mountaineers…we used to be on a team together for about eight years, this guy Axel Naglich, he plotted to ski the longest ski run in world’s history. The place where you do that is Alaska so you can ski down the fjord to the ocean from 20,000 feet. It’s a dangerous, gnarliest, and one of the guys that taught me how to play guitar; which I wrote a song about him on my first album, which has been kind of an anthem for people that have passed away, which is called “White Room”. He died on that mountain, and I knew about the mountain from that. Then Axel contacted me, and I’d worked with Red Bull before he said “Hey man, I’d like you to… ‘cuz you know me, I’d like you to write a song. Because we’re gonna spend all this money on Nothing Else Matters from METALLICA with the orchestra…Do you think you could do something like that?” I was like “In my sleep, no problem”. So I submitted a few things, and then, they were like “Alright”, and then Red Bull was like “Fuck it, let’s hire the Vienna Orchestra”. I happened to be in France, doing a film at the time, they flew me to Slovenia…and we worked with a composer there and mapped it all out…and then they liked that first thing, which was an insane type of ballad, kind of crazy, it’s called “Second to None”, and then, then they were supposed to license CREED’s Higher, and they were like “Let’s have Reardon do it. He sounds like CREED.” So then I wrote a song called “Higher Ground” and then uh, they produced it and they liked it, and they just kept taking more. We just won Sundance for best sports documentary. It actually has won, almost every film festival that it has entered. If it hasn’t won, it got second place; and only once it got third place. That’s out of like, seventy different film festivals worldwide right now.

AWAY-TEAM: That’s some heavy shit man. So when you write a song, does it go back to your sports roots?

MATT REARDON: With this guy, I know him, but… does Jack Johnson sing about surfing? No, he sings about life, you know, the trials and tribulations, and what you go through. And I knew what was going through his head, ‘cuz I’ve done some gnarly shit, but, nothing like what he did. Because what he did was gnarlier than Mt. Everest times ten. He did it with skis on his back, and he did some fuckin’ crazy shit. But umm, it’s one of those things where you just tap into your own energy, and what feels best.

AWAY-TEAM: You can put your energy into somebody else’s?

MATT REARDON: Oh Yeah, I’ve been submitting country music, lately. Because I like country. It came across my desk and somebody was like “Can you write a country song?” I was like, ‘of course I can’, I started out in Louisiana I grew up on Hank Williams Jr. It’s about real stuff, real things that are happening in life, not just some pissed off music, ya know?

AWAY-TEAM: Growing up in Louisiana, how the HELL does a Louisiana boy end up becoming a world-class extreme skier?

MATT REARDON: (laughs) My aunt and uncle lived in Connecticut, and my dad was starting over, again for the second time in his life. He had his partner embezzle all his money, so me and my dad shared a room, shared a bed in my aunt’s house. I finished high school, he was getting back up on his feet; and my uncle took me to see a ski movie, I was like ‘I wanna do that, I’m gonna do that’. He took me skiing, and then I got hooked, and I bought a pass, and I was detailing cars for a living in high school, and bar backing. Got a job, and worked, worked, worked…didn’t get into the college of my choice, was trying to go to UVM, and then umm, I ended up getting a bar back job and joined the Killington Mogul Team. I trained in aerials…

AWAY-TEAM: What part of Connecticut?

MATT REARDON: I graduated from Avon High School.

AWAY-TEAM: Are you kidding me? I used to work in Avon all the time. I’m from Holyoke, MA!

MATT REARDON: Right on! (punches fist)

AWAY-TEAM: Matt, thanks for your time, and good luck. I know you’ll go far.

MATT REARDON: Thanks dude, I appreciate it.

From battling the forces of nature, to becoming a natural force in the rock ‘n’ roll world, Matt Reardon and Black Sunshine are ready to unleash an ass-kicking on our eardrums. Are you Ready??? For more information on BLACK SUNSHINE, Tour dates, music samples and details on how to pick up a copy of their debut album, head over to BlackSunshineBand.com.

AWAY-TEAM’S Jason Rybak with Matt Reardon.Special thanks to Matt for his time, Uncle Vern for making it all work, and to James at Kerosene Media for setting us up with this opportunity.

Black Sunshine- S/T

Break Silence

Rating: 9 out of 10

 

 

After recently seeing Black Sunshine play a tremendous five song set, I couldn’t help but anxiously await my copy of their self-titled debut disc. As my luck would have it, it came while I was on vacation, so unfortunately I had to wait a few more days to get my fix. Let me just say, it was well worth the wait. Singer Matt Reardon told me “We want our album to take you on a journey”, and the boys did not disappoint.

This Bob Marlette (Shinedown) produced journey begins with the hard-hitting apocalyptic anthem “Holy Gasoline” (in which drummer Matt “Toast” Young absolutely kills the double bass), and climbs higher through “Burn to Shine”, the first single “Once in My Life”, and finally reaches the summit that is “Slave”. From there, you begin your descent into the peaks and valleys of this journey, starting with the melodic rock ballad “Cannonball”. When you first hear “Cannonball”, you can’t help but think you’re listening to Creed, but Reardon quickly reminds you he’s no Christian rocker with the upbeat and debaucherous “Hell Yeah”. For all of you Scott Stapp haters out there, be advised that while Reardon’s voice does at times sound like Stapp’s, his delivery comes with a more gritty Dave Mustaine force, as is evident in “Flying Sideways”.

This up-and-down ride continues throughout the remainder of the eleven tracks on it’s way to directing your finger towards the “Repeat All” button. This album, which hits shelves this coming Tuesday May 25th, comes highly recommended.