In this edition, we take a look at the man himself Michael Allan Patton. Most known for his work with Faith No More, Mike Patton has roots that run deep with no end in sight. An earlier edition concentrated on the iconic band Faith No More. Today we concentrate on the iconic frontman from his early beginnings, his many projects and collaborations.
Residing in Eureka, California, Patton formed Mr Bungle with guitarist Trey Spruance and bassist Trevor Dunne late 1984. Jed Watts was the original drummer in 1985, replaced by Henry Wagner in 1987, with Danny Heifetz the final replacement in 1989. The name was taken from a sixties educational program, Lunchtime Manners where a young boy named Phil watches a puppet show with the bad mannered Mr Bungle.
Four demos were released beginning with the death metal inspired, The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny (1986), while its follow-ups Bowel of Chiley (1987) and Goddammit I Love America! (1988) both showed jazz, funk, swing and ska influences. The final demo, OU818 (1989) was a combination of the earlier demos with some new tracks. It was The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny that caught the ears of Faith No More‘s guitarist at the time, Jim Martin. The rest was history.
Although Patton, was busy with Faith No More since the release of The Real Thing, time was made for Mr Bungle to release the self-titled debut in 1991. The album was produced by jazz experimentalist John Zorn, who Patton would work with later in his career. The album featured greats such as Stubb (A Dub), Girls of Porn and Travolta (Quote,Unquote).
Faith No More‘s second album with Patton on vocals, Angel Dust (1992) was the last to feature Martin and the following album King For A Day… Fool For A Lifetime (1995) featured fellow Mr Bungle member Spruance as his replacement. The follow-up for Mr Bungle, Disco Volante (1995), featured heavily experimental tracks such as Desert Search for Techno Allah, Ma Meeshka Mow Skwoz and Merry Go Bye Bye.
Spruance was replaced by Jon Hudson on guitar and Faith No More were to release what would be their final album, Album of the Year (1997) until reuniting in 2009 with the release of Sol Invictus. (2015) Mr Bungle released what would be their final album, California (1999), featuring quirky tracks such as None of Them Knew They Were Robots, Goodbye Sober Day and the Air Conditioned Nightmare.
Although it was the end of Mr Bungle, Patton had other ideas up his sleeve. Fantômas was formed in 1998 with Buzz Osbourne of Melvins fame, Dave Lombardo of Slayer and Dunne, Patton‘s bandmate from Mr Bungle. Dale Crover, also of Melvins was the touring drummer.
Fantômas released four albums, Fantômas (1999), The Director’s Cut (2001), Delirum Cordia (2004) and Suspended Animation (2005). Check out the Slayer medley below with Lombardo behind the kit.
Tomahawk was formed in 1999, after Patton and Duane Denison, guitarist of The Jesus Lizard swapped tapes with thoughts of a collaboration. Also recruited were former Helmet and sometime The Mark of Cain drummer, John Stainer, and Melvins bassist, Kevin Rutmanis .
Tomahawk released four records, Tomahawk (2001), Mit Gas (2003), Anonymous (2007) and Oddfelows (2013). B-Sides were released on the single, M.E.A.T (2014).
Patton co-founded the independent record label Ipecac with Greg Werckman in 1999, however his first two solo records were on John Zorn‘s Tzadik label. These included Adult Themes for Voice (1996), featuring bizarre recordings in a hotel with nothing but his voice and Pranzo Oltranzista (1997). Patton‘s third solo record, Mondo Cane (2010) was released on Ipecac, with the easy listening Italian record exhibiting the man’s diversity.
Lovage was a project led by Dan The Automator, featuring Patton and Jennifer Charles on vocals and they released Music to Make Love to Your Old Lady By (2001).
Dillinger Escape Plan released the Irony is a Dead Scene EP (2012) with Patton on vocals, samples and keyboards.
Patton collaborated with Norwegian multi-instrumentalist, John Erik Kaada releasing Romances (2004) and Bacteria Cult (2016) under the Kaada/Patton moniker. Watch the bizarre video below from their latest effort;
General Patton vs. The X-Ecutioners (2005) was a collaboration with Patton and New York hip-hop DJ trio The X-Ecutioners.
Peeping Tom (2006) was another project of Patton‘s on Ipecac where he collaborated with big name acts such as Rahzel, Massive Attack, Norah Jones and Kool Keith.
Patton has shared his vocals with countless musicians such as Bjork, Dub Trio, Melvins, Sepultura among many others and provided the monster voices in I Am Legend (2007) and Metalocalypse (2008), acted in Firecracker (2005) and provided the score for films such as A Perfect Place (2008) and Crank: High Voltage (2009). Most recently, the Nervermen (2016) project was released and collaborations continue with Deltron 3030 and Tētēma, Patton‘s project with Australian experimental pianist and composer, Anthony Pateras. Tētēma released Geocidal (2014) and will make their first debut performance at Mona Foma on January 21st in Hobart, Tasmania.
Patton is a true genius and the roots of his endless ideas have branched out worldwide and into the living room of every fan waiting to get their next Patton fix. To finish, here’s we’ll leave you with footage of Patton onstage with the man that put out his first two solo albums and produced Mr Bungle‘s debut, John Zorn.
Catch Tētēma at Mona Foma! Purchase Tickets here:
If you missed it check out the Faith No More edition: