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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Rellim Tour featuring Filter and Trapt cancelled

In light of Tuesday’s announcement that Filter frontman Richard Patrick had entered an undisclosed rehabilitation center for an undisclosed addiction, the Filter and Trapt performance at the Barrymore tonight has been cancelled. Refunds are available at the point of ticket-purchase.

Patrick’s only statement was, “I want to apologize to all my friends and fans for having to cancel these upcoming shows, but right now I’m concerned about my health and want to get back into the best physical and mental condition to go back on the road next year.”

Filter and Trapt granted The Badger Herald interviews just days before the Madison performance, and there was no indication that troubles were surfacing in the Filter camp. Preparing to tour behind their third full-length record, The Amalgamut, the guys in Filter have had an “all out” mentality since bursting onto the scene in 1995 with the industrial-tinged Short Bus.

Rough and raucous, Short Bus was born out of a partnership between former Nine Inch Nails members Richard Patrick and Brian Liesegang. Filter quickly built its name around the lead single, “Hey Man, Nice Shot,” but the honeymoon didn’t last long.

Clashing egos and diverging musical styles forced Patrick and Liesegang to split. Patrick stepped up to be the sole frontman of Filter, and it was his singular vision that guided the band for some time.

1999’s Title of Record deviated from the raw tones of Short Bus and was criticized for the uncharacteristically fluffy “Take A Picture,” but the album was a significant step forward from Short Bus in terms of its accessibility and melodies.

Enter The Amalgamut, a unique blend of massive guitar riffs, piercing screams and underneath it all, the systematic and relentless melodies that have made Filter a hit thus far. Opening with the magnetic punch of “You Walk Away,” which utilizes a shifting and relentless chorus, The Amalgamut rarely sputters in its delivery and potency.

The explosive chorus on “My Long Walk To Jail” is uplifting, while the somber tone of “The Missing” and “The 4th” offer a departure from the somewhat-overwhelming aggression of somewhat-new sound may have been the result of a new approach to the record. This time around, Patrick enlisted the help of guitarist Geno Lenardo, bassist Frank Cavanagh and drummer Steven Gillis, and the results are some of Filter’s best to date.

Bassist Cavanagh explained, “On Title of Record, it was mostly Rich, like the first record. Me and Geno wrote a couple songs. We toured for almost two and a half years [with Title of Record], came off tour and went right into our practice studio where we recorded the record, and we had about six songs done in three weeks. It was a lot more of a band thing this time.”

The ferocity and heaviness of The Amalgamut suggest that Filter entered the recording phase with a much different attitude than the group did with Title of Record, but as Cavanagh explained, “We never make songs to try and make it harder or softer. It’s just what we kind of like. What we were into then was harder music, so we decided to make harder music.

“We still make softer stuff when we’re in the mood, but it wasn’t predetermined or anything like that. We just did it.”

The collective effort of The Amalgamut was a result of collaborations in the studio.

“The way Geno does it, he’ll come up with a whole song in his home studio and bring it in. Me and Rich just get together and jam. With ‘So I Quit,’ we’d been rocking out for two and a half, three hours maybe. We were trying to write something, and I told him to check out this riff I was working on,” Cavanagh explained.

While The Amalgamut is a somewhat abstract title, it just seemed like a natural choice for Filter, according to Cavanagh.

“We did a lot of touring in Europe, and The Amalgamut is basically what Americans are. We all say, ‘I’m Irish-American, Italian-American or African-American’ or whatever, and you go over to Europe and they’re like, ‘You’re American, man.'”

Known for its searing live performances, Filter has stepped up with its latest disc. The band has a full understanding of the disappointment its fans feel, but the key is for Patrick to get healthy so he can get back out on the road.


Trapt, an impressive, hard-rock foursome from California with the same eclectic approach to songwriting as Filter, was set to open the ill-fated show. Trapt is planning to launch its own tour shortly.

Formed in Los Gatos, California, in the mid ’90s by lead singer/guitarist Chris Brown and bassist Peter Charell, Trapt wasn’t offered a good deal until Warner Brothers approached the guys with an exclusive contract last September.

Numerous setbacks and years of hardship would have deterred most bands, but the guys in Trapt are “Headstrong,” and hence the lead track and single from their self-titled Warner Bros. debut is titled thusly.

“The love of music kept us going and the drive to make this our lives. I didn’t want to go to college. I was going to college, and I dropped out. I gave that up, and I was going for music, and that was the bottom line. ‘I’m going to make it’–that’s the attitude we all had. I think you have to have that attitude of all or nothing. We just jumped over all the barriers in front of us,” Brown explained.

Landing a record deal is not the end of the line for Trapt, though, as recording contracts bring new pressures and responsibilities. Although Brown admits that he feels those pressures, he and the rest of Trapt feel at ease with their recording contract.

“Warner Brothers gave us complete creative control on our music, and that was the whole thing we were searching for. That’s why it took us so long to get a record deal. We wanted to get the right deal, where we could make the record and not have someone standing over our shoulders telling us that we should do this or do that. We got to do the record we wanted to do, we co-produced the record, and that was the whole point,” Brown explained.

Then there’s the music, arriving in stores Nov. 5. The self-titled major-label debut from Trapt is an enjoyable hybrid of California melodies soaked in heavy distortion and dense melodies. Brown is searching for something more than the music, though.

“My whole thing is that I want to get a message out to people. You gotta have good music, but you have to have a message too. Rage [Against The Machine] was awesome at that. My whole thing is not to be political, but to tell people to follow their dreams and their hearts. Be headstrong and stubborn in your own way, and make your own mistakes.”

Lead single “Headstrong” embodies the entire attitude of Trapt. Shifting between harmonic squeals, tight chord progressions and a scaling backbone, “Headstrong” is the perfect introduction to a band that represents itself through its music.

“Made of Glass” bounces between California harmonies, then is nicely interrupted by a swirling chorus that is among the best on the album.

“These Walls” has a more upbeat tone, as the chorus is hard pop but still edgy enough that it doesn’t sound watered-down, while “Still Frame,” with its aggressive guitars and vocals, stands in contrast to its predecessor. “Stories” has an emo-acoustic feel without all the shtick of Dashboard Confessional.

Like most good music, the songs on Trapt were in part inspired by a tumultuous relationship.

“There was one girl, in particular, and every song that I’ve written about a girl was about this girl. We had some crazy drama. She wanted to do her thing, and we broke up, and I tried to get her back, and it was impossible. At some point you have to give up and say, ‘At least we had something.’ You just gotta remember that and not be scornful or angry,” Brown explained.

The tattered relationship helped assemble the album, Brown explained.

“We wanted to make an album with 11 songs that could each represent us at any one time. If you’re into Trapt, you’re going to like all of the songs. I don’t like it when bands have the same style song on every song on the record. You gotta branch out and do different things. ‘Echo’ sounds completely different from ‘Stories,’ which is totally different from ‘New Beginning’ or ‘The Game.'”

Eager to hit the road and promote the new record that the group fought so hard to make, Trapt is looking forward to scheduling a new tour in light of the Filter debacle. The band members hope that their blend of rock will inspire their fans while they continue to live out their dreams.

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