The Classic Nine Inch Nails Song that Dissed Filter's Richard Patrick

The Classic Nine Inch Nails Song that Dissed Filter’s Richard Patrick

Trent Reznor: Ebet Roberts/Redferns. Richard Patrick: Bill Tompkins/Getty Images

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Nine inch nails brain Trent Reznor And Filtered Richard Patrick has had a long and complicated relationship over the years.

Patrick was a famous member of Nine Inch Nails pre-Filter – he left in 1993 while recording The downward spiral.

In an interview with the Stop! Drop & Talk PodcastPatrick explained what made him walk away from the creative powerhouse:

“The straw that broke the camel [of leaving Nine Inch Nails] Trent said, “Hey look, Rich, I know you need a little extra money”. Listen. Down at the end of [the street], there is a small pizzeria, and they need drivers. So maybe you can go earn some extra cash there. And I’m, like, ‘Wow!’

That’s when I wrote “Hey Man Nice Shot” and five record labels were ready to sign me. And I was like, ‘Hey, man, I hate to tell you this right now, but I quit. And I’m really sorry. But I quit. I won’t sell pizzas and I won’t drive for a [pizzeria].”

Things were so tense between the two that Patrick believed the classic Nine Inch Nails song, “Piggy,” was written about him, and not as a compliment.

he once explain in an interview that Piggy was his alter ego when playing and hanging out with Trent:

“Well, Nine Inch Nails is Trent’s band. Trent tries to make his music the best way he can imagine. What am I doing in there? I’m not a great guitarist, I’m a great performer. Piggy was a great character, he was this crazy skinny guy on stage, I made him laugh.

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Trent, I used to make that motherfucker laugh 24 hours a day and just be his sidekick, his pig, his goofy “come here pig, what do you think? Ehh shit” you know And I would do anything I could to be his, the extension of his chaos I would be his right hand man and he wouldn’t want to get in trouble but I would and he would say “Piggy, what are you think about it?”

Thus, Patrick understandably took umbrage at the song upon its release, saying:

“When a guy writes a song called ‘Piggy’ about you, there’s obviously some tension or shit left over. My nickname was Piggy. He’s [Trent] writing songs about me… you know, I wish it wasn’t so complicated and weird. I wish it was a little more fun. Maybe one of these days we’ll talk and it’ll be fine, but it doesn’t seem like a friendship, that’s for sure.

Fortunately, Reznor and Patrick are on better footing these days.

When Nine Inch Nails were finally able to celebrate their 2020 Rock Hall induction, they did it in spectacular fashion with former members Chris Vrenna, Donny Lohner, Charlie Clouser and Richard Patrick joining them for a heartbreaking set in Cleveland. Since they were together with Patrick, it seemed only fitting that they cover Filter’s classic, “Hey Man Nice Shot”. And they covered it:

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