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The Many Musical Projects of Mike Patton From Faith No More

Updated on May 13, 2017
Jesse Drzal profile image

As an early Faith No More fan I've also enjoyed following the fine works of Mike Patton through the ages.

Mike is the Man

Best known for his work in Faith No More, Mike Patton has done many different and diverse musical projects. After the disbandment of Faith No More in 1998 Patton went on an absolute artistic and musical rampage, forming bands like Fantomas and Tomahawk and helping start Ipecac Recordings.

He also went on to score and compose music for films, record solo albums and participates in numerous collaborations with other artists.

Mike with Faith No More at Soundwave Festival in 2010. The band reunited in 2009 and played some dates through the years, and released Sol Invictus in 2015
Mike with Faith No More at Soundwave Festival in 2010. The band reunited in 2009 and played some dates through the years, and released Sol Invictus in 2015 | Source

Tomahawk

Formed after Faith No More's breakup in the late nineties, Tomahawk is an eclectic group of great musicians fusing experimental music with progressive rock and alternative. Tomahawk features main songwriter Duane Denison on guitar from the criminally underrated The Jesus Lizard.

Tomahawk also features the drumming of John Stainer who played in the New York City post-hardcore band Helmet, an all-time favorite of mine. Kevin Rutmanis filled out the group on bass who previously had played with the Melvins. Trevor Dunn from Mr. Bungle later came to play bass after the departure of Rutmanis.

After the self-titled release in 2001, Mit Gas followed in 2003, then Anonymous in 2007, and finally Oddfellows in 2013. All the releases were put out by Ipecac Recordings. Tomahawk is alive and well, with Denison reportedly writing new material.

''Birdsong'' by Tomahawk

Mike Patton with Tomahawk
Mike Patton with Tomahawk | Source

Fantomas

Getting its wings around the same time as the Faith No More breakup Fantomas was formed. The band lineup reads like metal heads wet dream featuring Dave Lombardo on drums formally of Slayer, and King Buzzo from the Melvins. Rounding out the lineup is Trevor Dunn from Mr. Bungle on bass. The self-titled debut, Fantomas, was released on Patton's own Ipecac label as well as the band's other releases in the 2000's.

The album The Director's Cut is a compilation of takes on horror movie and film themes, with some being radically different than the original and played in metal form. The band now is pretty much on hiatus with the door open for possible future happenings.

''Charade'' by Fantomas

Patton with The Dillinger Escape Plan

After The Dillinger Escape Plan had their original singer depart the band found themselves at a crossroads, having open auditions for a new singer trying to forge on. Patton who was a fan of the band offered to help out by recording vocals for the Irony Is A Dead Scene Ep in 2002. While more of a one-off thing and not an actual Patton project, The recording generated quite the buzz for the band and showcases the talents of all the artists in a unique way. Definitely worth checking out if you are a fan of Patton or Dillinger.

''When Good Dogs do Bad Things'' by The Dillinger Escape Plan and Mike Patton

Mr Bungle

Pre-dating Faith No More Mr. Bungle was Patton's first band formed with hometown friends in the early eighties in Northern California. The Faith No More guys recruited Patton after getting a hold of Mr. Bungle cassette tapes, and the rest is history. From the early success of Faith No More there was a new interest in Mr. Bungle, resulting in the band's first full-length recording Mr Bungle. The band is genre defying, and is really a genre all to itself, blending elements of just about any type of music you can think of, from death metal to disco, to circus clown music, and sometimes within the same song.

The band was on and off with some hiatus breaks in the 90's, and disbanding in 2004. Mr. Bungle was famously involved in the Mike Patton/Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers feud, infamously mocking the Chile Peppers onstage during a Halloween 1999 show. A quick backstory on the beef: Kiedis saw the Faith No More video for the song ''Epic'', and accused Patton of stealing his stage moves and imitating his style. Kiedis was also suspected of getting Mr. Bungle blacklisted from some festive show dates in the late nineties.

Patton and Bungle Get the Last Laugh on Kiedis and the Chili Peppers

John Zorn, Peeping Tom, and Lovage

Patton has also worked in great length with jazz experimentalist John Zorn on many projects, such as Hemophiliac, and along with Trevor Dunn also in Moonchild Trio. Mike has also contributed vocals to John Zorn's studio work appearing on albums as far back as 1992, all the way up to 2015.

With the band Peeping Tom, Mike was quoted as saying this project is his version of pop music. After its inception in the early 2000's, a full-length album came to fruition in 2006. This project is the brainchild of Mike and has lots of collaborations from Massive Attack, Dan the Automator, Kool Keith and a host of others.

Another Patton project with Dan the Automator is Lovage, a trip hop down tempo type project with a female vocalist. Thier only album, Music To Make Love To Your Old Lady By, was put on in 2001.

''Mojo'' by Peeping Tom

Solo Albums

Patton has recorded various solo albums starting with Adult Themes For Voice, which were recordings of Mike basically screaming and making noises with electronic manipulation, not really songs in a conventional sense. A second project, Pranzo Oltranzista followed with collaborations from John Zorn on it in 1997.

In 2010, Mike released Mondo Cane, a compilation album of 50's and 60's Italian pop songs. Featuring a huge orchestra and a fifteen piece backing band, the songs were sung in Italian by Mike who is fluent in the language.

Other Endeavors

Other than doing the many musical projects, Mike has done a host of other things, like scoring films, maintaining his record label Ipecac Recordings, working on voices for video games, guest appearing on a wide array of artists albums as diverse as Sepultura and Bjork, and also working on movie soundtracks.

Mike even got involved in hip-hop, collaborating with New York turntable masters The X-Ecutioners. Be sure to check out his work with Norwegian composer Kaada and all of the other Patton projects including Nevermen as well. It's safe to say that Mike may very well be the busiest man in the world of music and art that there is.

Also, be sure to keep an ear on the ground as far as the new Dead Cross release with Dave Lombardo on Ipecac in 2017, which I am eagerly awaiting. Judging from past productivity, we can expect many more musical projects from Mike for years to come which is very exciting. Stay tuned.

Mike Patton with Fantomas
Mike Patton with Fantomas | Source

Mike Patton Projects

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Patton with Peeping Tom
Patton with Peeping Tom | Source

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      Ryan Murphy 5 months ago

      I wish we got to hear the follow up albums to Peeping Tom and Mondo Cane. Also, Patton talked about an all electronic Fantomas album that never materialized. I don't really care that he never released Crudo

    • pattonfanatic profile image

      Keto Pitman 5 months ago

      Mike Patton is truly amazing. He does a fantastic job at whatever he lays his hands to.

      For those interested in further exploring everything he's done check out our interactive timeline: https://pattonfanatic.com/mike-patton-discography/