Tomahawk : Mike Patton
Bungle no more?

Jump to page:  

One of those Patton releases will be a collaboration album that he recorded with the X-Ecutioners, the legendary DJ outfit that he met in Canada.
    According to Patton, "It is a crazy record. Kind of a battle record. I do my thing and they reply. Dueling banjosesque."
    The album will come out on Ipecac in September. The last time we chatted he also mentioned possible collaborations with 3D from Massive Attack and Liam from The Prodigy, a project with Franz from The Young Gods, and a possible duo record with DJ Q-Bert. Has any progress been made with any of these?
    "Those projects are nowhere to be found and probably won't happen. I always have people I would like to work with but I don't have enough time in the day and sometimes it is hard to get others motivated."
    Apart from the above, what else can we expect from Mike Patton in 2003/2004?
    "Maybe a movie, maybe a videogame. Surprises I'm sure."

With the rest of the year covered, I thought I would delve back into the past and get some closure on Faith No More. Would he work with any of the guys again or release something new if the opportunity arose?
    "I could work with a couple of those guys, sure they are great
musicians. But not as Faith No More. I got too much else to do. FNM had a great run. There are always offers to go back, but it is more interesting to go forward."

    And do they keep in contact?
    "I run into those guys once in awhile. I consider them friends. A lot of people want to know more about FNM. To me it is really simple, but others can't or won't understand it. It was great! We had a lot of success, then it came to an end and we all have other things we are doing now. Why go back to rehash old memories when there is so much new stuff to do?"

Speaking of rehashing, there has been talk over the past couple of years of a major label Faith No More tribute CD that would feature some of the world's biggest nu-metal acts paying homage to their heroes. Some of the appearances were said to include Korn covering Surprise You're Dead, System Of A Down doing Cuckoo For Caca and Papa Roach doing The Gentle Art Of Making Enemies. Not much has been said about the project recently so I asked Mike if he knew if it was still going ahead?
    "No idea. Don't really care as long as I get my cut."
    With that said and referring back to a previous comment made by Patton in regard to the whole issue, the time has come to "let sleeping dogs lie." The case on Faith No More is now officially closed.

However, one band whose case is not quite closed as yet is Mr Bungle, Mike Patton's longest running group. A band that had operated on a part-time basis over the years mainly due to Patton's commitments to Faith No More, meant that they could only find the time to release one album every four years. When FNM disbanded, many thought that Mr Bungle would become Patton's top priority and that we would see more albums. Things haven't exactly panned out that way.
    During our discussion, Patton sadly revealed what many fans have been dreading for the past couple of years. That is, that we may have seen the last of Mr Bungle:
    "I think it is over. The guys are spread all over the world and we don't talk to each other. I have not spoken to a couple of the guys since the last tour, years ago."
    With Mr Bungle being responsible for producing three of the greatest and most eclectic albums of all time, one hopes that they will come back together for one last hurrah.

Tomahawk - Click to enlargeFrom here we somehow got onto the topic of celebrities:
    "I'm not a real celebrity type of guy. I have a few friends that are famous but they are just friends. Cameron Diaz used to follow Fantômas around. It is still fun to run around with Suge in LA. I hang with Whoopi in NY. I went to school with Kevin Costner. In Texas I kick it with Willie."
    What, no Anthony Kiedis? Fans from way back will recall a feud that developed between Patton and Kiedis that started because Faith No More broke worldwide before the Red Hot Chili Peppers. This apparently got on the nerves of Kiedis who proceeded to bag Mike Patton's stage persona, claiming that Patton was imitating his style, with Patton then retaliating with some unpleasant remarks about Kiedis.
    It seems that these comments have stuck with Kiedis and rumour has it that at the 2000 Big Day Out (Australia's biggest live music festival), where Red Hot Chili Peppers were headlining, there was talk that Mr Bungle would also appear on the bill. With Kiedis still holding a grudge, he ordered organisers to get the band kicked off the bill. Unbelievable! Organisers strongly denied the rumour but the members of Mr Bungle claimed otherwise.

One of the final things we talked about were his influences.
    Patton says, "I'm inspired by everything from music and movies to food and videogames."
    Mike Patton himself has emerged as one of the most influential artists of the past decade, particularly for his work in both Faith No More and Mr Bungle. Does he feel honoured when someone mentions him as an influence?
    "No, I'm still alive. I'm in my 30s. I still have a lot to do. That kind of talk will be great to hear when I'm 80."
    That response leaves no doubt as to where the future lies. We will be hearing a lot more from Mike Patton in the coming years, and that can only be a good thing.

:: Danny Canak

Go to 1 : Tomahawk to TomGo to top of pageJump to page:  
Latest articles

Alone in the dark: Buffy The Vampire Slayer bows out in style with the Season Seven DVD Collection.

Johnny Knoxville plays him in the movie Grand Theft Parsons, but counterculture speaks to the man himself: Phil Kaufman interviewed.