HAPPY BIRTHDAY MIKE PATTON
Happy birthday Mike Patton who celebrates his 48th birthday today.
To celebrate we have dug out a selection of interviews for you reading pleasure....
Faces Magazine | July 1990 | Mouth Off
Favourite places to play?
"Scotland. It's just always a good vibe. It's either really violent or really fun. Those extremes I enjoy. I mean, there's places in the States where it's a great time too. It's just so much bigger ...in Europe you can drive five minutes and you're in another country and completely different setting and completely different people. Different money - it just keeps your perspective a lot
better. In the States, it just ends up getting ... old (laughs). Y'know, it's 'Party at Taco Bell' or something."
On gigging in the the middle of nowhere:
"Sometimes they end up being really cool. We played a bowling alley in - I think it was Oklahoma City or Omaha Nebraska. Some city that had a lot of O's in it. There was a bowling alley next door. The gig was okay, but then we bowled all night and it was awesome! We got
some free shoes."
On being paired with Billy Idol for a tour:
"I was expecting them to put us with some cheese balls like ... whoever the f* *k, some glam rock. I hate that shit. I'm realty glad we got to be with someone that I can respect a little bit."
On expanding their audience into different genres:
"Well, we're trying to expand our audience, tout not into any category really. We don't really care who likes us, as long as they come and have a good time at the show, do whatever. Lately it's been a lot more weirdos. It seems like there would be a lot more pop people because MTV's really picked up on us, but I've noticed a lot more ... freaks. I guess that tells you about the people that watch MTV"
On Black Sabbath and FNM's cover of "War Pigs":
"Most of us weren't really weened on Black Sabbath. Just like two guys in the band were big Black Sabbath devotees. Jim and the drummer Mike. I fuckin' hate those guys, to tell you the truth. I never really got into 'cm. I never even owned one of their albums before I joined this band, and then we went to Warner Brothers and they gave us all these CDs. I didn't like most of them so I traded them int I mean I like that song. and I have a couple of the albums and there's some good songs on 'era, but ... I don't know, I just can't relate to a lot of it."
On the music he grew up on:
"Elton John was my favorite when I was a kid. Elton John, then I kind of got into disco (laughs), then after that I got into metal, then death-metal, then hardcore, then the whole speed-core thing, like the crossover thing, then I don't know."
On artistic tensions within the band:
"When someone says to me 'sing this way' or something, I just don't agree. I Just get on the defence. I mean if I told Jim to play a certain way, he'd play the opposite way just to fuck with me."
On writing FNM'S lyrics:
"I've always written real nasty, offensive stuff, so I had to tone it down a bit, and I had to kinda think in a different frame of mind. The whole experience was actually a lot different. I got in the band and I've never been in a band that's been - like, this music's pretty straightforward to me. So the whole thing was kind of a big adjustment. Putting lyrics to something that's always in 4/4 time - and it usually is in 4/4 time."
Why Red Hot Chili Pepper Anthony Kiedis was slagging him in the press with accusations that Michael is copying him:
"I don't have a clue. It just kind of came out of the blue. I mean, I could speculate, but I really don't know. It doesn't bother me a bit. I got a real big kick out of it. to tell you the truth. I mean, if he's gonna talk about me in interviews, that's fine - it's free press!
"It's pretty out of line. Either he's feeling inadequate or old or I don't know ... That's beat, but I have no reason to talk shit about him."
The Face | August 1992 | Amy Raphael
Ten Minutes in the Mind of MIKE PATTON
Are Faith No More gigs a religious experience for you?
'No, but I wouldn't know one. I was raised very godless, we never went to church. I've only ever been as a tourist, in order to look at the stained-glass windows.'
Why do you go so mad on stage?
'I always feel a need to provoke, especially if we're supporting some band like Guns N' Roses and people aren't really listening. By insulting them, you make them at least look: it's the lowest common denominator. When I do flips, I always land correctly, I only bruise myself. But I do have an ongoing fight with glass which I keep losing. Once my arms were flailing and I cut four tendons and the main nerve in my right hand. It's practically numb now.'
Do you work out?
'Right now I'm eating broccoli soup with a big piece of greasy bacon and loads of coffee. I used to work out 'cause my father's a coach, but it takes so much effort on the road to do something constructive and not abusive. I'm not a big drug taker, but I'm hooked on coffee and I never get enough sleep. The whole thing with being in a band is the sheltering of the artist, creating a dependency on the people hired -- like a whore and a pimp. I always want to meet people -- that's what traveling is about. I could stay locked up in a hotel room at home.'
What's the most rock n' roll thing you've ever done?
'Jesus Christ! That's a bad question! Um ... When I was staying in a hotel room once, I took a shit, rolled it into a ball and put it in the hair dryer so that the next guest to dry their hair would get hot shit in their face. Ain't that rock n' roll? I do hope rock stars are a dying breed. People love to lap them up -- you know how something always tastes better if you swallow it quickly.'
Do you prefer jerking off to having sex?
'It's not really like that. I talk so much about masturbation in interviews because I go on the defensive as soon as journalists start asking about groupies. It's much easier relating to yourself on tour than it is to someone you've just met. Maybe I should say I've grown beyond it and now I'm into farm animals. Too many journalists still believe the rock n'roll myth. From my side it's definitely not like that. A lot of bands are doing it, but they must have had insecure childhoods -- maybe their parents dropped them on their heads.'
What are you reading at the moment?
'Homeboy by Seth Morgan, which is fucking brilliant. I read slowly 'cause I have to dog-ear a page every five or six pages 'cause I want to steal bits. I'm also reading The Diary of a Rapist by Evan O'Connell. It's a day-to-day notebook, mostly of his thoughts so far.'
How do you feel about the presidential elections?
'I didn't file an absentee ballot; I guess I should have. Everyone's been laughing at presidents for the last ten years -- with two actor-clown figureheads. Perot is a businessman, his approach is brilliant. It's refreshing: he seems to be pretty much on the ball. Have you heard of Jerry Brown? His angle was to appeal to and for the arts, he did an advert with Chuck D. He's very pro equal rights. But someone like that is way too cool for the U.S. Bill Clinton is very slick, very scary. He could be a televangelist, he could sell you your mom's underwear.'
Where were you during the LA riots?
'In San Francisco, but we had to go to LA a few days after to mix a record. We rented a car and went down to South Central, where all the trashing seemed random. In Frisco people were marching in the streets, and the police shut off whole blocks and arrested everyone -- even 75-year-old men and their dogs. The whole event wasn't inspirational, but it's still good to see a crack in the surface of the country -- you can only hope that everything bad will fall into it.'
Can you imagine living in another country?
'Yeah, South America, even though it's a strange police state. In Brazil, the police are bored out of their minds, they can do pretty much anything. Who's to say what you or I would do if we were given a gun? At one gig, our drummer was wearing a police vest which they made him take off. I said something in Portuguese about "shove it up the police's ass" and they came looking for me later, so I was sort of in hiding.'
You speak Portuguese?
'I speak gutter street bullshit slang Portuguese which I learnt off friends, but I'm learning Spanish. California is so close to Mexico, English is almost becoming a second language. Plus I live in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood. I'm teaching myself using flash cards and a dictionary. Some of the band speak a bit of Spanish too, so we insult each other in it.'
What's your worst nightmare?
'I don't dream at all. But I used to have this nightmare about going to jail and having to tell everyone -- teachers, people from the past. I've never been in big trouble with the law, so God knows where it comes from. On a literal level, I worry about hurting myself really bad or going to the doctor and finding out I couldn't drink coffee anymore. I'm a coffee fiend.'
What makes you laugh?
'What a nebulous fucking question. Ha ha! I saw two people in a bar recently, really drunk and flirting with each other. My first instinct was "Oh my God!" 'cause I knew one of them. They were sitting on high bar stools and they were learning forwards, just about to kiss, when they fell off and crashed to the ground. Justice!'
Who were they?
'Axl Rose and Warren Beatty.'
Can we print that? Axl probably won't see it anyway.
'Oh yes he will. He has Axl policemen checking things like that for him.'
May 1995 | Jon Phair
Faith No More is currently on the road supporting their latest album King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime. The band will be appearing in the area for two big festival shows on May 27 and 29. I had a chance to speak with frontman Mike Patton while the band was on tour in Texas.
Hi, what's up?
I've been psyched to do this 'cause I've been a fan for a long time now. I even skipped school and work for this.
The new album is becoming my favorite. Who are you on tour with?
Thanks, we're out with Steel Pole Bathtub.
This is your first new album without Jim Martin. What led to his leaving?
Well, we weren't having a good time together and it was pretty obvious. We saw it coming for too long, while we were making the Angel Dust album. The whole time for two years while we were touring we kept hoping it would get better. After that much time you can't help but feel like an idiot for feeling that way. Basically, what it came down to was he couldn't hold up his weight musically.
It seems like maybe you guys shied away from the press for Angel Dust, whereas on this record you seem a little more comfortable with it.
I think it's that we've gotten more used to the fact that it's part of our lives whether we like it or not.
Is it more of a necessary evil?
Yeah, I mean it's not very fun to do, you know? Especially when you realize you're not communicating.
What do you mean by that?
After doing it a lot, it's kind of hard to really respect what it is the press does. But on the other hand, what the press does is also sell our music, so ...
How did you handle the songwriting for the new album?
It's kind of different really, it depends on each song. Some people would have an idea for one song from a guitar part and others would generate from a rhythm section idea. No matter where the song starts, it always has to end with all of us, in a room together working it out.
The new album has more of a basic, straight-ahead live feel to it, is that what you guys were going for?
Yeah, this is probably as direct of a record that we could ever make. I don't think there's a lot of room for interpretation, it's pretty much just what it is.
With each successive album, does it get harder to weed out a setlist?
Not really, it actually becomes like "Oh great we've got some new songs, we don't have to play that fuckin' shit anymore" (laughs), "that piece of shit."
Like what songs are you referring to?
Oh, everybody's kind of got their own pet peeves. "Falling to Pieces" is one of my pet peeves.
You guys are kind of known for doing the little snippets like "Nestles" and "Vogue"; I saw Bungle did stuff like that. Did you kind of bring that to FNM?
No, I just think that's kind of a natural reaction once you become a little bit bored. Your mind starts wandering to the gutter, you know. It's kind of like the lowest common denominator thing. (Many seconds later in an extremely unexpected psychotic/stream of consciousness burst Mike says) ..........Shitty music!!!!! (laughs)
So you guys aren't doing that on this tour then?
So does that mean you're already getting bored with these songs?
No, not really, I just think there's certain awkward moments, you know, like weird pauses where it's really good to ease the tension with something like that.
I'm going to see you with Duran Duran and Sheryl Crow so you could come up with some interesting ways to humiliate them. Jam with Simon LeBon.
(laughs) Yeah. Wait, who, Sheryl Crow is playing that?
Oh my god, that's terrible. She is detestable.
I remember a lot of cool stories of you getting in trouble on tour, caught with fake tits and porno in airports, is that true?
Yeah, you're not supposed to smuggle that stuff.
Did you ever get in trouble for the Bottle of Piss incident? (opening for GNR, pouring piss all over himself)
No, porn is one thing; no one cares about piss. (laughs)
I read something funny once where you were ripping on Anthony Kiedis. What was that?
Yeah. (laughs) I never really ripped on him, he sure hated me though. (talks while laughing) I basically don't give a fuck about him. He really had a thing for me, thought I was ripping him off and so on and so forth. When people get tied in with their egos it's very, very easy to play with them. But you know, I met him and he kissed my ass (laughs), so you tell me?
Besides getting a lot more popular, how do you think the band has changed since you joined?
We've gotten better musically, in our own little ways. We've kept ourselves pretty amused, pretty entertained, which is pretty much where it begins and ends for me. I think we're a little more adjusted. When The Real Thing broke out it was kinda more shock. It's kinda like being around somebody you don't like, like a co-worker or family, somebody you've known for a long time but you realize you don't like them. You get to know them, everything's okay, you move in with them, everything's fine but then all of a sudden you realize what's going on. You realize you don't like them, so you HATE them, you know. You waste all your energy hating them, you hate them and hate them and hate them. So you kick them OUT of your house to pacify this hate. But then you realize, "Hey, wait a second, this guy's not going away, he's still here and I'm gonna see him every day 'cause he's related to me or I work with him" (laughs) So your hatred just kinda becomes numb after a while ... I don't know if that's a good explanation, or what?
Uh ... (laughs)
I don't know why I said that. I don't know what I was talking about, sorry about that.
What's an average day like on tour with FNM?
Well, you wake up and have a couple of unsupervised hours to go do something. Usually you spend it trying to find a decent meal. After that, you check out of your hotel and go to the venue, do a soundcheck. Then you've got like three more unsupervised hours and I drink a lot of coffee. If you have friends around, you try and go find them around that time. When you don't have friends some place it kind of sucks because the time just doesn't go by fast enough. Basically, you sit and wait to play. Then you play, it's over and you wait around for an hour while everything's being loaded up. You drive to the next city and you can't get to sleep until four in the morning, just because it's hard to try to wind down. You get to the next city at six in the morning, stumble into a hotel room, and start all over.
What's up with Mr. Bungle?
We recorded another record and it should be out this summer. We're not sure about the artwork or the title.
I've heard a lot about the Bungle "Turd" tape; how can I hear that?
What? How did you hear about that?
Friend of a friend; like I said we're big fans.
(laughs while talking) There's probably no way you could ever hear that tape (laughs).
I've heard that it's on a Radio Shack Realistic 120 cassette.
Wow, you know it all. Yeah that's the problem; we don't know where it is. The last time I saw it, it was in the corner of a room and the tape was all wound into a little ball, all rolled up and broken.
What kind of stuff was on there?
Oh God, just me and one of my friends making noise.
I've seen Bungle/FNM bootlegs circulating. It seems like a lot more bands like Metallica, Black Crowes, and Queensryche are allowing live taping at their shows; how do you feel about that?
Fine, most of them would sound better than a board tape. Board tapes are really sterile; all you get is what's coming through each individual channel, you get no ambience at all, it's not honest. It doesn't show you what it sounded like that night whereas a bootleg would. You know, you're gonna hear people, you're gonna hear what it actually sounds like out there (laughs). Bootleggers are the biggest fuckin' geeks though; they're even worse than like computer geeks. Oh man, it's funny, I happen to know some people who are really into it; God, that's fucked up.
I just usually try to trade, but every once in a while you can sneak something in.
Yeah, I know, that's fun. I've done that before too.
Kerrang! | Issue 652 | 14.06.1997
My Record Collection
First record you bought?
I keep getting asked this and I can never remember for sure. Maybe the 'Star Wars' soundtrack, which I remember getting pretty early. That was really cool and atmospheric.
Last record you bought?
A Jerry Read record I got a couple of weeks ago. He's an American country singer and he's amazing. He was an actor for a little while, and he's a pretty sick guy.
I love going into record stores and knowing that something in there is going to change my life. It may take 15 minutes or it may take 3 hours, but I've got to find it. It could be a Cuban record, or a Mongolian throat record or whatever - and it has been al of those things at some point. That's a sport of mine that I hope I'll never give up.
Record you'd put on before a night on the razz?
I don't have nights out anymore! I'd listen to a new age piano player called George Winston. He's terrible, and he would put you to sleep - which is my idea of a good night out.
Record you'd put on after a night on the razz?
Maybe something by Burt Bacharach. If you don't like his stuff, you don't know shit.
Favourite record sleeve.
Any sleeve of an Ohio Players record. They're a 1970's funk band and they always had really foxy covers. The music was just okay, but the covers were great.
Three albums you'd give 5ks to?
The Melvins - Ozma, The Boredoms - Super Roots and Drop Dead by Siege. I don't listen to any contemporary alternative rock - it always surprises me when people talk about rock and then mention someone like Supergrass. If that's rock music, then I have no idea anymore. That's pretty pathetic, isn't it?
Have you ever bought a record based purely on the sleeve?
Millions - that's instinct. Most of the time you're wrong, but sometimes you discover some of those life changing records that way. A while ago I got this 60's TV soundtrack by a German guy called Peter Thomas, which had a nice looking space ship on the cover. It was unbelievable. When shit like that happens, it gives you faith in the fucking human race.
Record you'd love to have guested on?
Frank Sinatra's No One Cares. I'd have played bongos on it. I've appeared on a few people's records - collaborating can be a really great thing. I did a couple of songs with Sepultura and that was good fun.
Record which changed your life?
There's so many - all good records should. Maybe an album by a Brazilian singer called Joao Gilberto. I never heard records and thought 'Hey, I want to sing' but hearing that record changed the way I heard the recorded voice, and I wanted to change the way I recorded.
Favourite dance record?
That's a tough cookie. I really want to like techno and jungle and al of that shit, but I walk into a store and always strike out. I read about things and I spend money and I always pick up these fucking loser shit records. I hear stuff on th radio, but they never say what it is. I've bought stuff from a Rotterdam group called Euro Masters which is great, but other than that...write me out a list of cool stuff because I'd love to know!
Record you'd recomment to a Kerrang! reader?