MIKE PATTON and MIKE BORDIN talk baseball in the documentary 'The Baseball Furies'
Mike Bordin and Mike Patton have always been the members of Faith No More who have be outspoken about their sporting allegiances. Patton is huge basketball fan, seen in LA Lakers shirts throughout his career. Bordin loves his ice hockey, which to his delight was taken to another level when Canadian ice hockey pro Dan Boyle joined the band as a roadie in 2015.
Both musicians are also huge fans of America's 'second favourite' sport, baseball, and both are supporters the San Francisco Giants.
'The Baseball Furies', name adopted from the gang in 1973 movie 'The Warriors', is an upcoming documentary directed by Jason Dummeldinger and it looks at the unlikely but strong connection between counter-culture musicians and baseball. The 'Furies team' have conducted a series of interviews with some huge names in the music industry including FNM's drummer and singer.
Jason Dummeldinger loves 'The Real Thing' however he is a big Tomahawk fan with 'God Hates A Coward' being one of his favourite songs. The documentary's director says that Patton and Boridn were,
"... both really, enthusiastic and generous with their time" and that, "... the two Mikes played such huge roles in making it such a great time. In all honesty, meeting guys like them and having the conversations with them shows us that we’re on to a genuinely great and unique project. It’s just so natural for us all to talk baseball."
We spoke with Jason about the genesis of the film,
"This goes back to 2004. I was on tour with my band Red Eyed Legends. We were driving from Chicago to meet up with Hot Snakes in San Diego. I had been following the Red Sox as they were trying to win their first World Series in 86 years. We rolled into Vegas and I got to a bar just as the Red Sox were rushing the field after winning it all. It was really, cool to watch it, but no one in my band were baseball fans, so I wasn’t really able to talk about it with anybody. When we hooked up with Hot Snakes I learnt that they were baseball fans, so we would talk ball on most of the stops along the way. And I knew the Dropkick Murphys were fans because of “Tessie” and “Jimmy Collins’ Wake”, so I knew there were at least a few more punk rock baseball fans out there.
" Around 2010 I was talking to my friend Donnie about how cool a documentary about punk baseball fans would be, and we came up with the title “Baseball Furies”. He moved to Ohio, and the idea went dormant. Fast forward to 2016 where I met my son Owen’s classmate Truman’s dad Gerald Dowd. He’s a drummer and plays twice a year with Hot Stove Cool Music, and awesome charity event that happens in Boston and Chicago with local musicians and baseball players and personalities. I mentioned the idea to him and we agreed we needed to enlist Dan Epstein, the author of “Big Hair and Plastic Grass” and a ton of articles on rock and baseball. We all met up and started hashing out the plan. I brought in a couple friends to help shoot video and record audio. We started reaching out to various connections and booking the interviews. What makes it really unique for our interviewees is that we sit around talking baseball instead of amp setups or what recording with so-and-so was like. We’re all shooting the shit about a subject we love talking about. Sometimes we surprise each other with how deep the knowledge dives. It’s pretty geeky."
How did Jason persuade Mike Patton who notoriously shys away from interviews of any kind to get involved with this project?
"Honestly this was one of my favorites. We were coming out to Oakland and San Francisco, and I’d been talking to a few of our scheduled interviewees via email about anyone else we could squeeze in while in town for 2 ½ days. I was talking to Mike Bordin. He suggested Bryan Kehoe and mentioned that Mike Patton was a big Giants fan as well. I’d watched interviews with Patton and knew that they often didn’t go well. But I also know his personality would be a great thing for us to have in our project. Bordin and I went back and forth, but he said that Patton probably wouldn’t be too enthused so we let it go. We wouldn’t want to have Mike have a lousy time, and then we have to recover and do a dozen interviews in the time we have left.
"So, the day before we leave I was talking to the Melvins’ publicist Monica who suggested Mike Patton again. I mentioned that Bordin said it probably wasn’t gonna work. Monica said she’d run it past him. The next day when we were about to fly out, she emailed saying Patton was into it. We met at this great Giants bar called Pinetar Grill in SF. Mike showed up early and gave me a big hug upon meeting. Great start. We sat down to get him framed and mic’ed up and he said, “I should probably let you know now that I don’t really like doing interviews.” I told him, “Yeah, we know, but this is more like you tell us who you are, what band you’re in and then we talk baseball.” He said he’d give it a try. Forty minutes later we wrapped the baseball conversation and he asked if he could just hang out and talk while we broke down gear. I said that would be totally fine. Duh. I had to go feed a parking meter, and when I came back he was reading a list of crazy baseball player names to my crew. We talked for a little while longer and then he took off. He texted me a big thanks on the way home. We’ve texted a couple times since. He’s been totally supportive of our project. Mike’s a really cool guy."
Mike Bordin was of course on board straight away and jumped at the chance to talk about his favourite sport.
"We got to Bordin through my co-producer Dan Epstein who’s interviewed him before. They’ve talked several times. Mike was fantastic and so generous with his time. He had us come out to his house and had his pal Bryan Kehoe join us. The energy in the room was so crazy. The two of them played off each other so well. Mike is a serious Giants fan, and he’s very proud of his fandom. It was really, special to talk to him about how much he loves the team and the game. He showed us some of the best baseball cards in his collection and then took us to this shed where he had some incredible vintage baseball arcade games. Just the coolest stuff. I think we could still be talking to Mike and Bryan if we didn’t have to pack up and go home that night. My crew and I were blown away by how much fun we had hanging out with them. Also, Mike’s been in touch to send us more pictures and stories, and Bryan made us some amazing Dunlop “Baseball Furies” guitar picks."
The list of interviewees is incredible however there is room for some more additions with the team still working on Jack White, Chuck D, Geddy Lee, Greg Dulli, Eddie Vedder and Tom Morello.
"We also really want Hammer because his baseball history is nuts. I’m not gonna spoil it. You can look it up if we don’t get to interview him."
'The Baseball Furies' is still looking for a distribution deal but with the list of charachetrs attached it shouldn't be difficult. [ the full list of intervews ] The film is looking at a release sometime in the spring of 2020.
Jason Dummeldinger – Producer/Director
Dan Epstein – Producer/Writer
Gerald Dowd – Producer
Chris Hoerdemann – Producer/Cinematographer
Ian Merritt - Producer/Cinematographer
Jonathan and Ian Cheuvront – Audio
James Strzelinski – Camera
Chris Rejano, Johnny Garcia, Jonathan Earley – 2nd Camera