Filter emerged as one of the most popular bands in the mid-'90s post-industrial alternative scene. Vocalist and primary member Richard Patrick had been a guitarist with Nine Inch Nails during the Pretty Hate Machine and Broken eras. In 1993, Patrick decided to leave NIN to form his own band. He met Brian Liesegang through a mutual friend and the pair began to record together. Patrick handled vocals, guitars, bass, programming, and drums, while Liesegang covered programming, guitars, keyboards, and drums. Since they both experimented with electronics early in their careers, the band's early sound was reminiscent of a more-muscular brand of industrial than that of NIN. Their debut album, Short Bus, released on Reprise in 1995, was recorded by the two at a small house on the outskirts of Cleveland. Short Bus became a surprise hit, thanks to the MTV and the alternative radio hit "Hey Man, Nice Shot"; by the end of the summer, the album had reached gold status. In order to tour behind the record, the duo recruited guitarist Geno Lenardo, bassist Frank Cavanaugh, and drummer Matt Walker. Liesegang departed in 1997 over creative differences, but Patrick retained the Filter name for 1999's Title of Record, which eventually went platinum and spawned another radio/MTV hit in the single "Take a Picture." The album also included new drummer Steve Gillis after Walker left to work with the Smashing Pumpkins.
Filter's third album, The Amalgamut, followed three years later, after which the band went on a bit of a hiatus. Around 2005, Patrick announced the formation of a new band, Army of Anyone, which he created with former members of Stone Temple Pilots and David Lee Roth's touring band. However, Patrick did not abandon his original group -- Filter returned in 2008 with Anthems for the Damned. A compilation, The Very Best Things (1995-2008), followed in 2009 and then the group delivered The Trouble with Angels -- an unapologetic return to the sound of Short Bus -- in the summer of 2010. The Trouble with Angels performed well enough -- it debuted at 64 on the Billboard 200, reaching number seven on the Top Hard Rock Albums chart -- to attract the attention of the hard rock label Wind-Up, which released the band's next album, the Bob Marlette-produced The Sun Comes Out Tonight, in June of 2013. The album incorporated an updated sound, adding some harmonies and electronic elements close to musical progeny Linkin Park. While recording their follow-up, Patrick's supporting band changed and he was joined by Oumi Kapila (guitar, programming), Ashley Dzerigian (bass), Chris Reeve (drums), and Bobby Miller (keyboards). In January 2016, Patrick released the single "Take Me to Heaven," which was included on Filter's seventh LP, Crazy Eyes. ~ John Bush & Neil Z. Yeung