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Hey Man Nice Shot

by

Filter



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This song is about R. Budd Dwyer, who was the Pennsylvania state treasurer. He was tried and found guilty of racketeering, bribery, fraud, and conspiracy. On January 22, 1987, he called a press conference where he pulled out a gun, put it in his mouth, and pulled the trigger. He died instantly as cameras rolled and people in the room screamed. At least one TV station ran the footage on their local news.

Filter frontman Richard Patrick, who wrote the song, explained in our 2013 interview: "Everyone says that at some point for something. They may throw a piece of paper into a garbage can from ten feet and they're like, 'Hey, man, nice shot.' It's a strange way to talk about R. Budd Dwyer and suicides and stuff. It's almost like a little callous and almost sarcastic."
Filter took a lot of heat from people who felt this song was glorifying suicide. In response, the band released this statement: "The song 'Hey Man Nice Shot' is a reaction to a well-documented public suicide. It is not a celebration or glorification of taking one's own life. The phrase 'hey man, nice shot' is a reference to the final act itself, an expression of guts and determination of a person standing up for what they believe is right. We are extremely sensitive and respectful to the family and friends of Mr. Dwyer. We have both lost friends to suicide and felt nothing but sympathy and loss for the victims, and those involved in such a tragedy."
Richard Patrick tells us that this song hit like a bolt of lightning. Here's the story:

"'Hey Man, Nice Shot' was the 'aha moment,' where you're like, 'That was so easy.' Coming up with the riff and chorus was one of those things like, 'Well, how the f--k hasn't anyone ever done this?' Like, in the last 500 years of music, how in the hell has someone never just pieced this together? Because it makes so much sense, such a perfect little never-ending riff that you could just play forever and ever and ever and it would never get old.

Then we had that in the computer for a long time. I really had to focus on the verse, and so I just made the verse as sparse as possible. I threw in some atmospheric overdubs and stuff. The pre chorus was cool. You can tell that I wanted to build the song. I really didn't even notice I was creating a hook, because I didn't want it to sound like, 'Oh, this is a hook.' I was so far removed. I mean, the fact that I had anything remotely sounding like choruses to me was almost like selling out, because I was so into Skinny Puppy and the music that I was listening to was so avant-garde that I was like, 'You can't write choruses anymore, man. That s--t's been done.' It was so puritanical and I'm so far removed from that...

And so when I wrote the chorus, I was like, 'Well, there you go. If I'm going to do it, I'm going to just kill. I'm going to hit it out of the park.' And that bass line spoke to me immediately when I wrote that. I thought, 'That sounds like the Chameleons, but it's pretty bad bass.'"
This was the first single from Filter, who were formed by lead singer Richard Patrick and multi-instrumentalist Brian Liesegang. Patrick had been working with Trent Reznor as a touring guitarist for Nine Inch Nails when he came up with this song. As Patrick told us, Reznor loved the song when he heard it, and they recorded the demo at Trent's house. Richard considered making it a Nine Inch Nails song, but decided to go his own route, and released it with Filter. "I was like, 'Okay. Maybe I'll do that and be my own boss and not have to be the hired gun,'" he said. "Because the hired gun thing is tough. You're part of someone else's vision or dream."
Other popular uses of the song include the movie The Cable Guy, episodes of the TV shows The X-Files and Supernatural, and as the opening theme for the broadcasts of Channel 9's National Rugby League.
An alternate mix of this song called the "Quarter Pounder Remix" features a guitar section played over the verse and trumpets played before the chorus. (thanks, Donovan Berry - El Dorado, AR, for above 2)
This was featured in the movie Driven, which is about Champ Car auto racing. Cars were racing at 175 mph in a driving rain while this song played. (thanks, Tom - Milford, CT)
Many people thought the song was about Kurt Cobain, who shot himself in April, 1994.
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More Filter songs
More songs about political figures
More songs that deal with gun violence
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Comments (17):

I heard from a friend in Cleveland, Ohio that this song was co-written by guitarist/songwriter Nils Teig. The band left him uncredited. His work is featured at a MySpace page. Filter never hit those heights again after parting ways with Nils Teig.
- Tracy, Fort Lauderdale, FL
i guess this could be suitable for any type of suicide whether it be oding or some shiz like that. but is the fact of having the balls to do so xP
- JD, Paoli, IN
Do not judge his final act, please, on who the man was. Watch the final moments of him and witness, that he didn't want to hurt anyone. Remember that. That was who he was. http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=860c9b9f3b&p=1
- Jeff, Casa Grande, AZ
It's about Bud Dwywer. from pennsylvania. He was charged with something that no way pertained to him. But, the new electives said it would be so. And Bud, took his own life rather than face that bulls--t of inequities. It was very, very sad. A damn fine man had to resort to this violence against himest to proetect his family because some horses--t politicians wished to make a name for themselves by going on a witchhunt for more votes. Budd was the best of people, hands down. And, I cry to know that he was forced to got out that way rather than be raped and pilidged by being sentenced to a life sentence for doing his job and his family left bereft of benefits. Do not trust polictians, mark my words. NICE SHOT!!!!!!!!!! Budd. You will be remembered. Rest in Peace.
- Jeff, Casa Grande, AZ
everyone i talk to thinks its about cobain but somehow (maybe an interveiew i heard) I found out it was about the senator thing. Awesome story and song. great song to have all these snitches listen to. i once told a guy who was turning states on me to listen intently to the song. then i told him what the song was about and how the guy did the right thing. better to kill yourself than to snitch out your friends!
- steve, gladwin, MI
This song is amazing. I made it my airsoft team's theme song. amazing bass line. the song featured in Futureweapons. when i first heard this song it made me think of Army Snipers, not suicide you negative bastards! but yah these guy are right, budd dwyer.
- Cory, Victor, NY
Good song. It was played on the first season of Supernatural in the episode "Skin"
- Sarah, LA, CA
I agree with matt from atlanta. I have always pictured this song being about the kennedy assassination. other perspectives make some sense as well, but that first verse is so congruent with many peoples thoughts on what his death really meant for america.
- kris, spo-vegas, WA
I saw recently saw Three Days Grace in concert, and during their song 'This House is Not A Home' they started singing the corous of 'Hey Man Nice Shot' and then finished out the song.
- Q, SRH, AL
They also used this song in a 1994 movie called Demon Knight.
- Izaak, Monroe, WA
thank you i have some friends still lving in TN were they move after the storm destoryed our homes. we lived in New Orleans. they were trying to see which one of them were right about the name of a band and they just could remember the first 2 lines "hey man nice shot hey man nice gun"
so they call me since i'm back in NO and asked me.so i went to ask.com found your website and told them. thanks for helping
- tim, new orleans, LA
Since the first time I heard this song, I've always thought it was about Lee Harvey Oswald. The line about the early ending and how "they all got strong" could refer to how certain forces within the government used the JFK assassination to further their own ends. Whenever I hear it I envision the footage of Oswald being led down the hall by the Dallas police -- the one where he claims to have gone to the Soviet Union and that he's being held without being allowed to consult a lawyer. I guess good songs lend themselves to many interpretations.
- Matt, Atlanta, GA
Awesome song. The bass line in the verses is what makes it sound so cool IMO. The bass line sounds very complicated but is actually fairly simple.

This song was featured in Beavis and Butthead, and is one of my favorite moments on that show.

They are watching the video which is full of fuzzy saturated colors and Butthead complains that the video is completely out of focus. Then the loud chorus kicks in and Butthead replies "well at least the music is in focus!". Butthead gives Beavis this long drawn out stare, and you expect him to start ripping on how stupid Beavis is. Then he says "uuuh... oh yeah". Hilarious, but you probably have to have been there :)
- Tim, Seattle, WA
The song was also featured in an episode of La Femme Nikita
- Job, Philadelphia, PA
You can see the Budd Dwyer footage here: http://www.deadmime.com/movies/bwdwyer.mov
I recommand playing the song in the background while watching
- Eric, Detroit, MI
This song was featured prominently in the X-Files episode "DPO".
- Kristen, Detroit
I love this song and play it far more than any other song. I know on the surface it seem dower but there is a lot of hope and inspiration to be found in it. It reminds me of the self-consuming nature of evil like the orbouros.
- Max, Cleveland, OH
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