Filter's Jonny Radtke discusses Summerland Tour and 'Great Gatsby' promo

pdonohue@beaufortgazette.comMay 30, 2013 


    WHEN: 8 p.m. June 4

    WHERE: New Brookland Tavern, 122 State St., West Columbia

    COST: $15; $17 at the door


Fresh off a three-month tour with the popular alternative rock group Filter, guitarist Jonny Radtke headed into the studio with Richard Patrick, the band's co-founder and only original remaining member, and producer Bob Marlette to see if they could write the band's next record together.

The two had known each other for a while but had never tried writing together. What happened surprised them both.

"It was one of those things where we knew instantly that we made a really good team," Radtke said. "It was effortless. Our songwriting styles and our processes are very similar so we were always moving in the same direction, had the same ideas and were on the same page. It just worked."

The result of their collaboration is "The Sun Comes Out at Night," the sixth studio album from the band, which scored big in the 1990s and early part of the 2000s with hits such as "Hey Man Nice Shot" and "Take a Picture."

The record is due out June 4, the same night Filter will headline a show at The New Brookland Tavern in West Columbia.

Radtke discusses the new album, a use of a Filter cover in an ad for "The Great Gatsby," and the band's upcoming tour with Everclear, Live and Sponge.

Question. Why was "What Do You Say?" the first single released off "The Sun Comes Out at Night?"

Answer. We knew that we wanted something sort of ... anthemic, for lack of a better term, and "What Do You Say?" has that feel to it. It has a great hook and a really catchy chorus that sticks in your head. We also wanted to keep in mind how that song would be to play before an audience who can chant and really work with you on the song. So, that was the idea behind the song and we handed it to the label and they really responded positively to it.

Q. What is your favorite song on the record?

A. "Surprise" is definitely one of those songs that comes to mind. I came up with that riff, then Rich chimed in with something else, and Bob and I really took it to the next level. We laid down the vocal and, of all the songs on the record, "Surprise" is one of those songs that wrote itself. It is definitely one of our favorites.

Q. The band's show in West Columbia comes in between stops on The Summerland Tour with Everclear, Live and Sponge. What is it like playing on a big tour like that and headlining your own shows on the weekends?

A. That's really something that we tend to do a lot. Touring can be stressful sometimes, no matter what, but we really wanted to book those headlining dates because we'll be able to test out a lot of the newer songs, the sets will be longer, and we'll get a chance to see our hardcore fans. We're also really excited about The Summerland Tour. We're all friends with those bands and we've all known each other for a while. I toured with Everclear when I was in Kill Hannah a few years ago, so it'll be nice to tour with them again. It should be a great summer.

Q. Filter's cover of The Turtles' "Happy Together" was used in a TV spot for "The Great Gatsby." How important is placement like that in today's music business?

A. It's very important. I do music licensing for a living. When I'm not playing in bands, I'm writing for commercials, TV shows and movie trailers. We really didn't know too much about the trailer. We just got word that a movie wanted to use it and we said sure and were blown away when we found out. The trailer was so flawlessly edited and the song was placed perfectly. People really flipped out for it. People saw the trailer, went to iTunes and were like "Holy (expletive)! It's Filter." We're thinking about incorporating it into our live set. Placement like that is so important for artists in terms of exposure. It really does help.

Follow reporter Patrick Donohue at


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