The Band |-| History

Filter is:

Richard Patrick

rich For all intents and purposes, Rich is the main man of Filter. After Brian Liesegang's departure, Rich took total control of the band. He sings main vocals, plays the guitar and bass, and writes, produces & programs the majority of Filter's music.

Rich Trivia:

Rich owns two Abyssinian cats named Soda Pop and Pony Boy. Filter's Chicago studio is named Abyssinian Sons.

Rich is originally from Cleveland, Ohio and created his first recorded music on an 8-track in his mother's basement.

Despite all the on-going controversy between the two, Rich and Trent Reznor were friends at one time. Rich played guitar in the touring band for nine inch nails. He also played drone guitar on nin's single "sanctified" (pretty hate machine).

Birthday: May 10, 1968

Geno Lenardo


Geno was originally a touring member of Filter during the days of Short Bus. He was invited to play guitar for the band after meeting Brian Liesegang at a Chicago recording studio. Geno's perseverance (and hundreds of phone calls to Liesegang) won him the spot in the band. After Liesegang left, Rich invited Geno to return to Filter.

Geno Trivia:

In his time between Filter albums, Geno plays guitar and produces music with Chemlab.

Geno co-produced Title of Record and co-wrote "It's Gonna Kill Me," "Skinny," & "I Will Lead You" with Rich.

Don't get into a fight with Geno -- he doesn't back down. After an audience member threw a cup of beer that smacked the guitarist in the face, Geno lept into the crowd to fight the offender (who was too chicken to reveal himself).

Birthday: October 26

Frank Cavanagh


When Frank and Rich first met each other, they nearly broke out into a fight. Frank insulted Rich as a member of nin and threatened to fight him. A few weeks later the two met again, but this time they hit it off, and Rich invited Frank to join the band. Frank played bass for Filter in the touring ensemble during the Short Bus days like Geno. Rich asked Frank to return to the band for the recording of Title of Record.

Frank Trivia:

Frank co-wrote "Cancer" with Rich.

Frank's guitar picks are different from the other members' of Filter. His picks are black and usually feature his favorite number, 13 (which he sometimes adds to his autograph).

In Frank's pre-Filter days, he played with a band called Outface.

Birthday: April 9

Steve Gillis


Steve joined Filter in the drum department for the recording of Title of Record (thus replacing former band member Matt Walker). The band picked Steve out of Chicago's underground music scene (which Steve continues to perform in when not in the studio or on tour). He performs the live drums and percussion pieces of Filter's music.

Steve Trivia:

Steve has often been cited by fans as the friendliest member of Filter (but aren't they all?), and the first guy to sign autographs and talk to fans after the shows.

Birthday: July 2

Alan Bailey

Alan is the newest member of the Filter touring band. He will play guitar during the band's promotional tour for The Amalgamut.

Alan Trivia:

Alan was a college roommate of Geno's.

Filter was:

Brian Liesegang

After meeting Rich in nin, Brian was a co-founding member of Filter and was responsible for the heavily computerized sounds on Short Bus. In the early days, Rich and Brian were inseparable friends, but later on, the friendship crumbled and Brian left Filter. He currently works as a producer and has most recently produced an album for another Chicago band, Veruca Salt.

Matt Walker

The original touring drummer for the band, Matt won his place in Filter after he broke one of his sticks while playing "Dose" in his audition, yet continued to play his parts (hope you enjoyed that run-on sentence). He left Filter after touring for Short Bus and currently plays in the Chicago band The Cupcakes.

The Filter Timeline

In the beginning there were just two guys who loved music...

Richard Patrick and Brian Liesegang meet as touring band members of nine inch nails. The two musicians become friends, spending time together talking about their musical ideas and goals. During a trip to the Grand Canyon on the way to meetings in Los Angeles the two decide to form a band together.

Rich and Brian create their demo tape with four songs and title it "Erkenntnis Theorie." They want to keep their own work anonymous so record labels do not directly associate the music of Filter with the music of nin.

After signing a record deal with Reprise Records (the label Frank Sinatra created), Rich and Brian build a home-studio in Cleveland to start work on Filter's first album.

"A good shot, man"

The first official release from Filter is "Hey Man Nice Shot". The song becomes somewhat of a rock anthem and vaults Filter into popularity. One year after the song is written many people mistakenly think it is about the suicide of Kurt Cobain. Rich has to constantly repel and correct these notions.

To promote the first album, Short Bus, released in 1995, Rich and Brian need to go on tour -- but first they need a live band. Short Bus was entirely and solely created by Rich and Brian on guitars, drums, keyboards, and computers. To go on tour would be impossible with only two members.

Rich and Brian assemble a live band consisting of Geno Lenardo, Frank Cavanagh, and Matt Walker. The three new guys are left alone in the studio for three weeks to learn to play the album live while Rich and Brian go to Europe to promote Filter.

Rich and Brian return from promotion work and Filter goes on tour around the world and around the U.S. The band documents the tour on a camcorder and along with music videos for songs on the album and band interviews, releases the film as a home video for their fans Phenomenology: 1,137 Days on the Short Bus.

"One is the loneliest number"

In 1997 Rich and Brian part ways. After years of indivisiblity, the foundation of Filter crumbles. The two musicians do not part on good terms. Rich accuses Brian of stealing thousands of dollars of equipment while Brian accuses Rich of keeping equipment that no longer belongs to him.

Rich regroups and moves his studio, Abyssinian Sons, to Chicago. Rich reforms Filter with returning guitarists Frank and Geno, and the addition of Steve Gillis on the drums.

He is asked by Chris Carter to contribute a song to the soundtrack for the first X-Files movie. (See "One" and "Thanks Bro") Rich is at first reluctant but then produces a modern cover of the Three Dog Night oldie for the soundtrack which achieves gold status. This is the first song released by Filter after Liesegang's departure.

During these years, Filter's music appears on several other movie soundtracks including The Crow II:City of Angels, Spawn & The Cable Guy.

As the time passes, fans grow anxious for a new Filter album. Rich doesn't disappoint.

Change the Filter

Production continues on the new album, but this time around Rich collaborates with his band members instead of working solo. Geno and Frank co-contribute to and co-produce parts of the album with Rich and longtime Filter producer Ben Grosse and programmer Rae DiLeo.

It's time to take another

Title of Record is released. Old and new fans rock to the first single, "Welcome to the Fold." With the release of the second single, "Take a Picture," the music of Filter expands to new audiences as a crossover hit.

Towards the end of 1999, Filter performs at radio festivals to promote Title of Record although the band mainly plays soundtrack songs and tracks from Short Bus.

On the road again (and back in the studio)

In early 2000 the band tours to fully promote Title of Record in Europe, Asia, and Australia then returns to America for two months of live shows (for some reason, Pennsylvania was a highly-favored state).

A man of many talents, Rich takes a step behind the camera and directs the video for the third single off of Title of Record, "The Best Things."

Summer of 2000 finds Filter splitting time between the road playing more radio festivals and in the studio working on the next album.

All Quiet on the Western Front

Rich and the band work full-time in the studio in order to release a new record. After a second road trip to the Grand Canyon, Rich is inspired to pen several solo works for the third Filter album.

The year starts quietly but promises to rock out

A new album, The Amalgamut, is expected in July. Filter tours on Locobazooka throughout the summer to promote the third studio album with new guitarist, Alan Bailey.

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