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The Many Musical Projects of Mike Patton From Faith No More

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

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 participate in numerous collaborations with other artists.


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 the 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.


Getting its wings around the same time as the Faith No More breakup Fantomas was formed. The band lineup reads like metalheads 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 2000s.

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.

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.

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 '90s, 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.

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 2000s, 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 downtempo type project with a female vocalist. Their only album, Music To Make Love To Your Old Lady By, was put on in 2001.

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 the '50s and '60s 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.

Ipecac Recordings Website

  • Ipecac Recordings: About Ipecac Recordings
    Be sure to also check out the Ipecac Recordings website, which has news and information on all of the Mike Patton happenings, plus all related artists on the Ipecac roster.

© 2017 The Write Life


Ryan Murphy on March 17, 2017:

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

Keto Pitman on March 11, 2017:

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: