MIKE PATTON is, in his own words, a 'lifer'.
Kerrang! | Issue 1124 | September 2009
"Pretty much every day at some point I'm either writing or recording or somehow making music," he says. "It just happens." Which might go some way to explaining why being a Patton completist has been both an exhausting and expensive business - were you to obtain everything he's been associated with over the past
17 years, you'd be hit with a bill over 65 records deep, and ones that would bear names as diverse as Sepultura and Bjork. Then Patton has always been a one-man army of Doing Things Differently. Despite a status as one of the greatest frontmen in rock with Faith No More - an outfit that married the creative, the cynical and the commercial with a visceral, unit-shifting panache - the singer has never been one to rest on his laurels, or even reference them. At the height of their success, Patton was still recording with his original outfit Mr Bungle - a head-warping collective with a three-album legacy of rampant musical schizophrenia and unnatural ideas.
When FNM split in 1997, he eschewed mainstream career rehashes in favour of a cyclone of side-projects, guest spots, and collaborations, as well as forming a record label (Ipecac) and two full-time bands - Fantomas and Tomahawk - both of which have shown a refreshing contempt for traditional, Audio-Revolver levels of supergroup vanity. With a musical output that has seen his incredibly dexterous vocal range applied to anything from ghetto-style beat-boxing to larynx-shredding demonry, it's his constant desire to push at boundaries, to astound and confound his audience, and to keep the past as simply that, that has set Patton apart from his contemporaries. With his latest project, Peeping Tom, taking a surprise dive into the realm of pop, where he goes next is anyone's guess. But then, that's part of the fun.
Mike Patton mix tape
'SQUEEZE ME MACARONI'
FUNKED UP, psychosis from the Mr. Bungle debut that displays Patton's somewhat individual approach to the equally individual subject of food porn. Best hold off on that dinner invitation.
'STUBB (A DUBB)'
ANY BAND that can fit a record shop's worth of ideas into a single song, keep it tuneful and still manage to add a rather unsavoury bestiality lyrical theme has to be onto something.
'DESERT SEARCH FOR TECHNO ALLAH'
EASTERN-TINGED, WURLITZER INCLINED, tabla-flavoured, electro thrash madness from Bungle's unashamedly contrary second outing. Dark, weird and mystical.
ASSUMING LEAD vocals on this collaboration with Sepultura, 'Mine"s whisper-to-scream metallic carnage will have you wondering to this day why the fuck Igor and co didn't ask Patton to join after Max Cavalera left.
THE FIRST ever Fantomas song, available on compilation only, sees Patton on all instruments for an interpretation of a T-Rex tune that's about as glam-rock as a paintstripper facial. Impossibly unhinged.
THE COMBINATION of Patton, Slayer's Dave Lombardo, Melvins' Buzzo and Bungle bassist Trevor Dunn was hardly going to be a peaceful affair. Sure enough, '#6' equals one minute and 12 seconds of fingers-in-plug socket audio lunacy.
UNCHARACTERISTICALLY STRAIGHT-LACED number from the final Mr Bungle album that showcases both a previously unseen talent for The Big Ballad, and Patton's standing as one of the finest singers in music.
INVENTIVE AND unpredictable to the last, it's a shame Mr Bungle had to end here, even if this sweeping piece of cinematic gloom couldn't be a more appropriate soundtrack to roll the credits to.
'THE AIR-CONDITIONED NIGHTMARE'
A SONG sharing more in common with the golden California pop of The Beach Boys than Bungle's previous material, as some sun-kissed vocal harmonies from Patton bring on the good vibrations.
'JOCKSTRAP, you rap/G-string, / sing', intones Patton, bringing further freakery to this moonshine-addled, rock 'n' roll outburst from the most poisoned of backwaters.
WHO KNOWS what Jerry Goldsmith would make of Fantomas' speed metal ramraiding of his theme to the original 70s horror classic, but with Patton's vocal demonry pushed to the max, doubtless the film's antagonist Damien would approve.
'HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER'
A SLOW burn, deadly atmosphere surrounds Fantomas' reworking of the theme to John McNaughton's controversial movie, with Patton snarling 'It's either you or them' over a grating soundboard of murderous guitars.
'TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME'
IN WHICH Fantomas pay homage to David Lynch as they subvert Angela Badalamenti's tush score with some creepy trip-hop malevolence and stunning vocals from Patton.
'POINT AND CLICK'
A BROODING, sinister number that builds to a crushing, mega-chorus crescendo. As much at home here as it would have been on the last Faith No More album.
A COLLABORATION with brainsick noise-core merchants Dillinger Escape Plan that sees Patton running the gamut of his hyperactive vocal lexicon against some equally schizophrenic musical chaos theory.
SEETHING SLICE of rock malice from the second Tomahawk outing that pits Patton's venomous delivery against Duane Denison's caustic guitar and a snaking, hypnotic bass
pulse. Mean and moody.
LOVE IS in the air on this collaboration with Norwegian eccentric KAADA, but with Rattan's ghostly vocals and general spooky ambience, it's safe to assume it ain't the roses and chocolates kind.
'WHERE IS THE LINE'
HE CAN scream, shout, squeal and sing to the heavens. Now he's a human drum machine for Bjork on a song comprised entirely of vocals. A remarkable celebration of what's
possible with the human voice.
'IT'S MY party, there's no one but me here to start it/My party, there's blood on the ceiling, the carpet', sings Patton, suggesting that his 'mojo' might be a little different to that of Austin Powers.
'HOW U FEELIN?'
RIDICULOUSLY UPBEAT, catchy number that brings the party with a host of spongey funk grooves and Patton's equally cheerful chorus refrain of 'Apocalypse is nearin'/
Wontcha tell me how u feelin?.' Twisted bastard.