Nine Inch Nails: Why Richard Patrick Quit The Band

Why Richard Patrick Formed Filter & Quit Nine Inch Nails

Richard Patrick used to be a member of industrial band Nine Inch Nails from 1989 to 1993. After several years he became disillusioned with the inequality in the band and formed his own outfit Filter. Check out the full story below!

Prior to forming the band Filter in 1993 and Army of Anyone with the DeLeo brothers from Stone Temple Pilots, Richard Patrick would play guitar in the band Nine Inch Nails. While Trent Reznor would lead the band, Patrick would play on their debut album, appear in their early music videos and tour with the band over the course of 4 years from 1989 to 1993.Today, lets talk about his time in the band, how Filter’s first big hit almost became a nine inch nails song and why he quit the band.Stay tuned for the full story.

Prior to finding industrial rock music, Trent Reznor was just another unknown musician who had a background in classical piano. Born in Rural Pennsylvania, he would move to Ohio after his first year in college and started playing in local bands. One of Reznor’s early bands, wasn’t industrial, it was a new wave pop act called Exotic Birds. A musician who was in Reznor’s circle at ths time was guitarist Richard Patrick who played in another nu-wave band called Act. They would soon strike a friendship and started going to Skinny Puppy and Ministry concerts.

In fact one of Reznor’s earliest gigs was working as a Roadie for Ministry. Soon enough, Reznor stared to record his own music hoping to land a major record deal.

Patrick would tell Spin Magazine “Trent had a collection of songs he was fishing around. He was curious; he tried things. He was like, “I think I can rap a little,” and so he does on “Down in It.” He was like, “I like Depeche Mode,” and he writes “Terrible Lie.”. Reznor would end up signing a deal with TVT Records who would put out the band’s debut record Pretty Hate Machine in 1989.

Reznor asked Patrick to join the band and the guitarist would contribute on the band’s debut record, even if it was minimal, playing the guitar feedback part at the end of track “Sanctified”.
Patrick also appeared in the videos Nine Inch Nails did for Pretty Hate Machine including “Down in It”, “Head Like a Hole”, and Wish. The album would also set a record becoming one of the first independently released album at the time, to go platinum selling in excess of 3 million copies.

While the band was riding high off the success of Nine Inch Nails debut album and playing the first lollapalooza in 1991, Patrick soon realized their was a great amount of inequality and disparity in the band. He would tell Spin Magazine.

there was a point in time where Trent just kind of looked at me, and I said, ‘Wow, you’re going down to New Orleans to go live in this beautiful house that you’re getting, and I’m gonna go back to my mom and dad’s house.’ Patrick would reveal to author jon wiederhorn that he was making about $400 a month playing in Nine Inch Nails, Meanwhile he would frequently see Reznor destroy tens of thousands of dollars of equipment.

When Patrick revealed his concerns about not making enough money, Reznor told the guitarist according to Stop, Drop and Talk Podcast, ‘Hey, listen, Rich, I know you need some extra cash. Listen. Down at the end of [the street], there’s a little pizzeria, and they need drivers. So maybe you can go make some extra cash over there. And I’m, like, ‘Wow!’

At the same time, Trent would urge Patrick to write his own record to get out of his awful financial situation and not solely rely on Nine Inch Nails. Patrick would take that advice and started to record his own music. He would tell The Stop, Drop and Talk Podcast
I got close to kind of getting a record deal, and [Trent] didn’t know it at the time, but I had already lined up Warner Brothers. And I was in Los Angeles to kind of work on [Nine Inch Nails‘] ‘The Downward Spiral‘ [album]. I’m only getting on this ball one time, and if I don’t step out on my own now, I’m never gonna do it he’d say.

According to the book Louder Than Hell, It was during Patrick’s final days in Nine Inch Nails around 1993 that the guitarist wrote the song Hey man Nice Shot. He originally presented the song to Reznor, who took a liking to it and wanted to work on it. However, one day later Patrick received a call from Reznor’s manager who told him he had to relinquish all publishing rights to the song, but he would still be credited on the track. Patrick wisely declined the offer and kept the song and it was that moment that appeared to be the final straw for the musician who decided to leave the Nine Inch Nails..Patrick would reveal to author Jon Widerhorn, the importance of Hey Man Nice Shot revealing “that song has literally paid my mortgage, paid for my lie for the past 15 years.”

Soon enough Patrick’s set of songs he had written would attract the attention of several major record labels. He would decide to leave nine inch nails for good forming his own Band Filter and signing to Atlantic owned reprise records

Despite wanting to leave the group though , just like a lot of us, familiarity feels comfortable. Patrick would tell Spin Magazine:

For the longest time, I was like, ‘I hope I did the right thing,’”. “Trent was asking me to stay on for another tour, and I was just convinced that this was the only time I could really just escape and try my own thing. I had taken a risk that I was going to make it on my own, and not gain notoriety as the guitar player for Nine Inch Nails anymore. I had some f–king great songs, and I had specifically asked the record company not to promote the fact that I had been in Nine Inch Nails. I told myself, ‘You’re done riding Trent’s coattails. You are gonna make it on your own.” he’d say.

In the late part of 1994 Richard Patrick was finally out of Nine Inch Nails and hold up in Canton, Michigan going over the final mixes for what would be Filter’s debut album Short bus. Unbeknownst to Patrick that pointat this time that one of album’s unreleased tracks was already hitting rock radio across the country. That unreleased track would be Hey Man Nice Shot, which was set to appear in a billy zane movie titled Tales From the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight.
That song would become Short Bus’ lead single and one of filter’s best known tracks.

It would turn out that one of the radio promo reps working at his label shared the song with different stations around the country and it would be a DJ in Colorado Springs who played the song at 2 in the morning . The song received a huge response and soon was starting to be played all over the country. To capitlize on the success of the single, Filter’s debut album’s release date would be fast-tracked. Hey man nice shot peaked at number 10 on the alternative rock charts and Short bus would go on to be certified platinum peaking at number 59 on the billboard 200 charts. So you guys are maybe wondering what’s Patrick’s relationship with Reznor like these days? Well, he would reveal in the same podcast that he and Reznor have a friendly relationship now and they do talk and text regularly and their kids even have playdates. So that does it for today’s video guys thanks for watching. Be sure to hit the like button and subscribe and we’ll see you again on rock n’ roll true stories. Take care.