Alternative/Industrial band Filter has seen many changes in its line up over the years, but that is not slowing them down a bit. Their new album, The Sun Comes Out Tonight, out on June 4 on Wind-Up Records, is a hard rock opus that will make you forget that rock and roll is dead. Frontman and lead singer, Richard Patrick, wanted to go back to his roots on this album and aimed for the album to sound like 1995’s Short Bus, but done with today’s recording technology.
I sat down with Jonny Radtke, formerly of Kill Hannah. He joined Filter as a touring guitarist in 2011 and we talked up rock radio, the direction and focus of Filter, and what could arguably be the band’s biggest single.
Has the band’s focus changed when creating new music?
Well, obviously this record is the first time Richard Patrick and I collaborated. I’ve been a fan of Filter for years and we have worked with a lot of the same people and we had the same influences. When we got together to work on this record, we had a direction we wanted to take it. We brought my musical style and his together. It was a very effortless and amazing working environment.
Where did the band get the name for the new album, The Sun Comes Out Tonight?
We wanted to come up with a title that re-sparked the creativity. While we are talking about album titles, it became open for interpretation for anyone. It absolutely has a universal theme to it.
How has the band survived as many members came and went?
I don’t know, really. The band was respected through so many of its peers. When I got into this, it was last minute. Everyone wants to be involved in this band.
There is so much content out there right now, that you can always breathe new life into Filter.
Do you think Filter’s single for “Take A Picture” was the band’s biggest hit to date?
I think it was definitely accessible to different kinds of people. It crossed over—you had women, jocks, metal heads—everyone liked that song. As a crossover song, yes it was a hit, but “Hey Man, Nice Shot” was also pretty big.
Why do you think radio is unresponsive to rock music today?
Times have changed. Everything is so accessible nowadays. It’s a double-edged sword. It’s still there. It’s still important to us. I come from a time when radio was there to promote bands. There are some major markets in this country that still play modern rock too.
How was it working with Bob Marlette on this album?
It was great. It was my first time working with him and we actually have known each other for quite some time now. He is a friend of mine outside the music business and we had a lot of laughs between writing these songs.
How long have you been with Filter now?
It’s been two years. Richard Patrick liked my work with Kill Hannah and I jumped aboard Filter as a touring guitarist.
How has your experiences been at this point?
I can look back on some songs and feeling a certain way when recording it. Rich and I were very eager to play these songs live on tour.
How is Richard Patrick to work with?
Great. We both wanted this direction and where we wanted to be. We complement each other very well. Some of these songs came out effortlessly and wrote themselves. When you find that person right to work with, the creativity is endless.