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Richard Patrick of Filter Talks About Hitting Rock Bottom

Richard Patrick, Filter

Filter is performing tonight at Streetfest 2012 and lead singer Richard Patrick stopped by the KLAQ Morning Show today and talked about everything from his days in Nine Inch Nails, to the controversy surrounding ‘Hey Man, Nice Shot’ and his struggle with drugs and alcohol.

Richard talked about the song, “Take a Picture” being written about him getting drunk and naked on a plane.

“When you take a lot of drugs and alcohol, you can lose your mind and black out and do some crazy stuff,” Richard said.

I hit rock bottom and I scraped for four years.

“The second time I got in trouble on a plane, I lit up a cigarette. And when I got in trouble, I started acting like Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.’ So they removed me with SWAT, threw me in the back of a paddy wagon, and I hear as they’re slamming my head into the hood of a police car, ‘That’s the dude from Filter,’ ” Richard said.

Richard said a friend of his heard it on the radio and said, ‘Take that man to a psych ward right now because he is ill with alcoholism.’ I consider that rock bottom. I hit rock bottom and I scraped for four years.”

“Being on the cusp of insanity and pulling it back and talking about it and utilizing that experience to make art was a great gift I had once I got sober. I don’t recommend it for anybody. I didn’t use drugs to be inspired. For that fleeting moment, those chemicals in your brain are absolutely perfect. You artificially feel like you won the lottery,” he said. “Most of my friends who were drug addicts are dead. I can’t believe my heart could withstand the amount of cocaine and the amount of drugs that I did.”

Richard said that when he went into rehab, his doctor said he had about 74 percent capacity for breathing, his kidney was failing and his liver was in rough shape. He was 34 at the time and told he needed to change his ways immediately.

“I was scared to death. I came back six months later from my physical and my lungs were at 95 percent – I quit smoking. I haven’t had a cigarette in 10 years. The doctor said, ‘You’re the biggest turnaround I’ve ever seen in a person,’ ” Richard said.

Richard said when he was at rock bottom, his brother, Robert Patrick, who is starring in “Gangster Squad” with Sean Penn, looked at him and said, “Dude, you’re yellow. You smell like urine. You’re not processing the alcohol.”

Richard said he thought, “This is not the way I’m supposed to live my life.”

Richard said he’s now been sober for 9.5 years.

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Filter at Streetfest 2012

If you want to see the band live, head to Streetfest 2012 tonight, where Filter will be taking the stage at about 8:45. Richard said “We love El Paso, we played here last year, we’re really looking forward to tonight and having a good time.”

You can check the band out on Facebook and Twitter as well.


Get a sneak peek at what you’ll here tonight below:

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