FAITH NO MORE AND THE EASTER BUNNY! | How Mike Patton Met Faith No More
1986 was one of the most important years in Faith No More history.
It is the year that they were picked up by the major record label Slash.
It's the year they would first get a taste for extensive touring and the first time the band played outside California, touring would of course later define their career.
During this time the band would begin to forge relationships with other bands such as Soundgarden and Frightwig.
It's the year of Cliff Burton's tragic death, this would certainly change both Mike Bordin and Jim Martin's outlook on life.
And it is also the year in which Mike Patton and FNM first met, a meeting which would eventually change their fortunes and career path entirely.
FAITH NO MORE AND THE EASTER BUNNY!
How Mike Patton Met Faith No More
How Mike Patton Met Faith No More
What follows is the story of how Patton first met FNM, a meeting that would lead to him becoming their singer two years later.
On October 4th 1986, thirty years ago Faith No More played a show at Humboldt state university in Arcata.
This pre 'Introduce Yourself', Chuck Mosley fronted gig has earned a rightful place in the FNM history books for a reason other than the band's performance however.
In the crowd at this show was an 18 year old Mike Patton with his friend and Mr. Bungle band mate Trey Spruance. After their set the band were hanging out when Patton encouraged by Spruance handed a copy of Mr. Bungle's very first demo cassette 'The Raging Wrath Of The Easter Bunny' to Mike Bordin......( Or so we thought!! Recently Mike Bordin recalled that it was Trey who handed him the cassette.)
Here are a collection of quotes from the band members chronicling how Mike Patton joined Faith No More.....
'We played the college up there with Chuck. It was a small college. But there were only like three people in the audience [laughs]. And after the show, this guy comes up to us and says, 'Hey man, I'm really glad you played, thank you for coming. But you understand, school is not in session yet which is why nobody is here.' So we played up there when school is on vacation. But I'm talking to this guy and he was like, 'I got this band, here take my tape.' And that was Trey, and the band was Mr. Bungle, and the album he gave us was The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny.'
"Faith No More played Eureka in a pizza parlour place we played dozens of times. There were 6 people there and 3 of them were my friends. It was really bad, a really pathetic show and I remember them standing around the van really upset. Puffy was really uptight wanting to know where to get weed. Nobody was talking to him, I think he asked us because we were just hanging around. But their situation then never even registered with me, touring was unreal, Warner Bros was like a Tom And Jerry cartoon. At that time I didn't wanna know about any of that shit. I gave them a tape and told them, This is what music from around here sounds like, from this region.”Mike Bordin | Metal forces | 1990
"Mike came to a gig right out in the middle of nowhere in California. Literally so far out, it was almost in Oregon! He gave us a tape, and we were blown away by his voice, it was unbelievable. He was such a ridiculously good singer. There was no comparison with Chuck."
The cassette was passed around the band, some members were unsure but Jim Martin loved it.
Mike Bordin | Noisey | 2015
'He [Trey] gives me the tape and we play it later doing whatever we were doing, and Jim loves it, because it sounds like Slayer, it sounds like speed metal with death growls and all this crazy stuff. And I'll never forget it; Jim turns around and says to us, 'This guy has got to be this giant fat guy with all the power that he's got in his voice!' And time goes by, and then when we were looking for a new singer, Jim was like, 'Let's get that big fat guy from Mr. Bungle!' But the funny thing is, we saw them again when we did a tour of 20 or 30 shows with the Chili Peppers back in the day. It was actually Hillel's last tour, it was very interesting.'Mike Patton | The Real Story | 1993
"He didn't get the tape directly from my hands NO, God NO! It always kinda makes me wonder, because he likes maybe 5 or 6 bands in the whole world. So why would he like Mr Bungle ever in any form? It may well have been savage tape, but the world is filled with savage music so why would he like this one? I always wondered about that, right to this day. How does Mr Bungle fit in with Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, the DUNE soundtrack, the PLATOON soundtrack and Celtic Folk music? I don't get it, although it was obviously some weird misfortune, a twist of fate. It shouldn't have happened that way, but he was the only member of the whole band who liked that tape."Roddy Bottum | Kerrang | 1990
"Mike Bordin really liked his Mr Bungle tape he gave us. So did Jim Martin. I didn't, not my cup of tea."Patton and friends ventured out to see FNM again in 1987, supporting the Red Hot Chili Peppers in San Francisco.
Mike Patton | The Real Story | 1993
"I never heard from him [Puffy] and the next time we saw them was when they played with The Chili Peppers in San Francisco. I remember it was one of our first San Francisco experiences, y'know, 'Oakies go to the big city' thing. It was a fuckin' nightmare! We were gawking around like we were on Mars. We were going to a big show in the city, we were driving, no parents, no chauffeur, and we parked right outside The Fillmore in an ugly neighbourhood. We came outside after the gig and our tyre had been slashed. We were staying with Trey's grandparents , who were preachers, so we changed to the spare and drove to his grandparent's place, left the car and decided to deal with it the next morning. Where we came from, you parked where you wanted, but I guess we'd parked in someone's driveway and the car was gone. So we thought, 'someone's stolen our car!' God-fuckin'-dammit, we hated the place, we hated the people, we just wanted to leave! We called the police and they told us to try City Tow, which we didn't understand. What had we done to anyone? It was, of course, there and the tyre had gone flat again. They wouldn't tow us to a service station. They just wanted us out. We found a tyre place nearby and just got the fuck outta there. I remember we were just yelling at people, yelling anything at them 'YOU SUCK!' We were driving across the bridge, all bummed out. And I looked over to my right and in this BMW was a business man jacking off! He was waving his dick at us, grinning, and it was like, ‘FUCK! LOOK AT THAT FUCKING GUY!' We were his stimulus, young country boys! We got the full city treatment. We only came back to the city for shows. We saw Venom and Metallica once. I suppose I was just living a miserably content life. knowing there was nothing I would be able to do about it and not willing to go out of my way to change it at all. I never thought or planned anything l never looked through any 'big windows' like that. Even now I don't. I think it's a big fuckin' mistake. I don't WANNA know!"Mike Bordin | Noisey | 2015
'So this tour comes to San Francisco and we're playing The Fillmore, and I see Mike Patton. So I go to him, 'Hey, Jim really likes you and you should sing in our band.' But then Mike says to me, 'Oh we don't sound like that anymore.' [laughs] So he gives me another demo tape, which was Bowel of Chiley, and it was like fucking Madness meets James Bond. It was this secret super spy ska music, and it was awesome. And I was like, 'Oh dude, I'm so glad you don't sound like that anymore, because who wants to be one dimensional?' And he was like, 'Yeah, man.' That was the one thing that gave him maybe even a second of thinking about joining our band, that we would be available or open to evolution. Because I didn't say, 'Oh fuck that, you gotta sound like The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny, because that's what you do!' I just think in that regard right there, that's really the thing that happened with Mr. Bungle. They evolved, and we applauded it. Well, three of the four guys in the band applauded it [laughs]. And by the time we were considering him to replace Chuck, he was already on to something else [laughs].'
Fast forward a year to the autumn of 1988 and Faith No More were on the hunt for a replacement singer after a rather unpleasant sacking of Chuck. Patton, who was studying English and working in a record store got calls from Jim Martin and Mike Bordin asking him to audition.
Mike Patton | Kerrang | 1989
"People were calling us and saying, 'Yeah, I heard your tape from Jim Martin and I was like, 'What? Who's Jim Martin?' Then one day I get this call from this old-man-sounding guy: 'Hey man, wanna come down and jam? This is Jim from Faith No More. I just really resisted at first, I was really flobbergasted, like, 'Wow, I can't do this' I wasn't In a situation that I wanted to change."Jim Martin | Kerrang | 1989
"We auditioned about five other people, and it was pretty clear that Patton had superior natural ability. We called him and told him to come down; we wanted him to go to work immediately. He was very hesitant, like: 'I can't do this right now; it's not a good day. I have a school box social to go to. And tomorrow is show and tell. If I had plenty of advance warning, I might be able to come down for a little while, but today is not good.' I told him he was at a crossroads in life one way was to become a singer, the other way was to be a record store clerk in a shitty little town in Northern California. He really was like that. Very clean and shiny, nice kid. Milk and cookies type."Mike Patton | The Real Story | 1993
"Yeah Puffy called, the band diplomat. And I think the reason I did it was opportunity, to have a laugh, I'm not sure. I know my first reaction was 'I can't'. I was going to school, I was in a band, maybe I could do it on my Summer vacation but I didn't want it interfering with what I was doing up there. As I remember, Puffy was greasing me in a peculiar way like,. ‘We really like your tape and we're thinking of a couple of guys, maybe you could come down and practice."Bill Gould | The Real Story | 1993
" I was against the idea. But then he came down and tried out. We told him to just sing with our music, whatever the first idea off the top of his head was to just sing it, and he had a million ideas. He totally understood what we were doing in a real physical sense. He took cues off the music and sang over it. We tried out a few other guys, but he was the one although I felt a bit guilty about it. Guilty because it seemed too easy. It seemed like he was gonna get exploited to death; a young innocent with long hair. Too easy to sell! But he could sing, he knew what we were doing and he was the most natural choice."
Patton hesitated at first but eventually made the 10 hour journey to SF with Trey and Trevor Dunn.
Mike Patton | The Real Story | 1993
"I got off the phone with the guy and immediately got on the phone with Trevor and told him the funny joke. This guy from Faith No More called me and asked me to join and of course I'm not going to do it.' It was like someone calling and saying, 'hey wanna work in the mail room at The White House. Yeah right what are you talking about?' I was very negative towards the idea. But l knew the band and knew there was no way I could fit into that scheme of things. I liked their second LP, but the first one was just bad hippy music. I hated it. The guy who egged me on to see them was Trey, who really liked their first record. And somewhere along the line I thought it wasn't going to hurt to do this. I felt it'd be an interesting musical experiment, it was two separate worlds. I didn't want it to be an audition thing though, 'here let me sing your songs'."Mike Patton | Decibel | 2013
" I resisted it. I honestly did. Oddly enough, some of my friends in Mr. Bungle were like, 'Just do this. It doesn't mean you have to leave our band'. At that time, I was more concerned with completing my degree and finishing school. I didn't see Faith No More as some yellow brick road to success or failure anything. I just thought I would try it. The music wasn't quite what I was about at the time but I took it as a challenge."Trevor Dunn | Decibel | 2013
"At the time Mr. bungle was just a garage band. We played a few shows in town, but none of us had any great visions of being rock stars. We knew our music was weird. But Faith No More was hardly known at that time as well they were a local band in San Francisco. They did have a couple of records out, though. And the idea of being in multiple bands was nothing new to us. I quit working in a pizza Joint so I could join a local bar band, which ended up being my job all through college. So, joining Faith No More was just a great opportunity for Mike. We were all fans of theirs, so the rest of us were excited about it."The audition went well!
Mike Patton | The Real Story | 1993
"It ended up being OK. They'd play me this riff they were thinking of and just ask me to sing something with it. So I'd just start singing something that came into my head. It was hard to say whether it was good or bad, but it turned out to be a positive experience. I had, up to that point, never played with anyone else in my life. It was like having the same girlfriend for 20 years and all of a sudden seeing someone else too.. So anything that was different, for better or for worse, was certainly eye-opening. But I don't think it went particularly well or anything. Let's face it, Mr Bungle cannot write songs. We've never been able to write songs. Everything we've ever done has been like LEGOS, whereas their stuff were real songs, verse/chorus, structured, rock music. It was so weird to me. So for me to try and sing in that way was funny and challenging at the same time. I even brought Trevor down with me because I was a little nervous. He was laughing at me singing, he'd never heard me ‘sing' before because all I ever used to do was scream. Which is, funnily enough, what they hired me for. That was the only thing they'd heard. If I was to take out an ad, all that would be on it would be 'growling, shouting'.”
After Patton, Faith No More auditioned a handful of vocalists (which included a jam with Chris Cornell) but very quickly decided Patton was their man.
Roddy Bottum | Kerrang | 1989
"We wanted someone that had a really good voice and a lot of energy. So someone in our band had this tape from a band called Mr. Bungle ..the guy had a really good voice and it was just a total psycho-maniac band. It wasn't any commercial- pop band. He was the first person we auditioned. We came together really quick."