Yeah, but did you ever fear saying something like that would make them watch you?
I am sure that someone is taking notice, I am sure there are some people that have monitors. Let them watch me, I don’t care. The sad thing is, how much of the country does the Bush family own? I know the Bush family, they own part of Fox, they own part of Clear Channel and Clear Channel owns the radio stations. I mean, I am on the radio talking about… okay well do they know that people are on the radio criticizing the Bush administration? That’s why you need a President that’s not from a business. It’s a conflict of interest. Any court in the world would say, ‘Wait a minute. You used to work for Halliburton Mr. Cheney. You are sending kids to fight for oil and you work for Halliburton.’ Halliburton has an open-ended contract to supply the army with anything they need. Any court in the land would say that’s a conflict of interest. You cannot represent the country and also be in bed and a former employee with one of the biggest profiteers of the war. Things need to be changed. If you’re a juror, you can’t know the defendant; well if you are going to send people off to die in foreign lands should you know the company that is going to profit to boot from that decision? God, that’s unbelievable!
Getting back to the music more, do feel that your time with Army Of Anyone reinforced what Filter is to you?
My brother Robert[actor, X-Files, Walk The Line once told me, ‘Every time Filter gets going, whether or not you go to rehab, you kind of stop Filter from gaining ground in the music world, why don’t you just focus on Filter?’ It seems like whether its rehab or some kind of other musical project, it always seems like I am kind of turning my back on poor Filter. So for the next five years, I am devoting all the time that I have to the one band that has really given me the most, and I promise great records, and I promise amazing performances. I’m completely on point, and I want to give the audience a great rock experience, I really do.
I want to blow people’s minds with my music. Filter has always been the band that has really been there for me and I really want to fucking deliver, like the record I just did. I want to always keep my records that amazing and that good.
There are all new members in the band. Was it an easy process finding them?
Yeah, I went with all new guys on the touring aspect. Yeah, I have a new guitar player named Mitch Marlow who is in a band called He Is Legend. He is really skilled, he is this really great guitar player, I am really psyched that I have him. He brings a whole lot to the live show. Then there’s this kid Mika Fineo on drums, they were like, ‘Hey man, we got this kid who is 26-years-old, and he is almost as good as Josh Freese.’ So Josh Abraham [producer, Staind, Slayer] really helped me out finding him. Then I have this new bass player who I am really proud of, John Spiker, he is an amazing bass player.
You collaborated with a few people in the studio like John 5 [Marilyn Manson] and Wes Borland [Limp Bizkit, Black Light Burns] what’s that like for you, is it inspiring, or do you feel like you might be relinquishing a little bit of control?
I have to say that it’s really great. Like John 5, John knows exactly what I want, and guitar playing that I can’t play. I’ll be really honest I can’t play guitar and sing and play everything, it’s like a skill that John 5 has that he could just come in and rip up these amazing riffs. He wrote ‘The Take’ and he wrote ‘What’s Next’ with me.
When you’re a leader of a band, and you want an element of something that you can’t really do, you just call up a friend who can. That’s the beauty of Filter. Filter changes and morphs it’s like a website, things happen with it. It grows. For this record, I didn’t want to use Geno Lenardo[ex-guitarist] anymore, I just wanted to try someone new, and John 5 came in and took it to a whole different level. A completely new direction, but it’s always gong to be Filter, because it’s always going to be me singing and it comes from my point of view.
I talked to Dean De Leo when the Army Of Anyone record came out, and he was saying that there were some issues with the record label. How did you sidestep any aggravation this time around in that department?
I gotta tell you the major label system is completely fubar. It’s absolutely chaos, and we didn’t want to subject ourselves to their insanity. They are literally rats on a sinking ship and they are going nuts. When you own 100 percent of everything, you can hire people to run your record company, and at the same time, you make all the profit. So, you are actually making more money just by being on your own.
Filter’s got a big enough name that I could break even within the first week of my record sales, even if the record sales aren’t as much as say some big huge band. So, I have learned how to make a lot and be thrifty with a little. My record was a pretty inexpensive record, you just have to keep your studio decent, and work with people want to make money off the record itself then just wanting a bunch of cash up front. You got to be thrifty and you got to be really intelligent to make a buck in this industry. I mean 9 times out of 10 when a 16-year-old kid gets a CD, they bought it for the artwork. So that kid gets the CD, and then Jimmy comes over, and Jimmy says, ‘I am going to buy the record, but can you just burn me a copy?’ That goes to 12 other kids, and then they listen to it, get board of it, and then, never get around to buying the record. Even though they have the intellectual property and didn’t have to pay for it at all.
If you go to a website, and say I want cheeseburgers, and the cheeseburgers appear magically, and you didn’t have to got o MacDonald’s, guess who is going out of business? No one wants to pay for music, no one is paying for music, they don’t think they have to. The sad thing is you are not going to get…it took three records for Bruce Springsteen to make it. The first Bruce Springsteen record, it failed, it didn’t sell more than five thousand, which was considered a failure back then. He spent months in the studio making ‘Born To Run,’ the song, not even the rest of the record, the song.
So the reality is do you think that Bruce Springsteen could spend millions and millions of dollars and do that in today’s market? Look at U2, it took them five records to make it in the United States. Five records! If you’re not Paramore with like one gigantic hit on your first record… Look at Gnarls Barkley, he had that massive hit and if he doesn’t have hit like that, people are going to forget about him. Music is a very scary industry right now. Do you know how easy it was to put a phenomenal band together for Filter? I had a line out the door! You know why? Because all these kids ten years ago would have been signed, now these kids can’t find anything. So the only thing they can do is maybe, possibly go on with an established band.
So the reality is that I am blessed that I have all these amazing guys in my band, but the reality is that they should have made it already. Instead they are pushing thirty and they are geniuses, the only thing that I could tell you is that I made a home for these kids. They are phenomenal musicians that are going to help make Filter’s music even better.
You have some dates with the Stone Temple Pilots, so do you think there will be a…
A little Army Of Anyone action? Probably not, we are just really looking forward to getting back to our respective bands. It’s like you know what, we gave the world Army Of Anyone, we toured with it for a year, and the original plan was to get back to our old bands. So we want to do that, and being back in our old bands is pretty much all consuming.
Filter will be performing for their record release party at the Mercury Lounge in NYC on May 13. For more visit officialfilter.com