Mike Patton
Interview with: Mike Patton

My admiration for Mike Patton continues to grow through the years,
Since hearing him in the first Mr. Bungle album, my respect for him grew when seeing him doing anything but selling out.
The man manages to create unique, ground breaking music, remaining true to himself, while the music world goes limp and corny, also cultivating unique artists thorough the label he shares with Greg Werckman.
Mike was kind enough to answer some questions, taking some time off the studio, where he is currently working on several new projects:

A: Hi Mike! I understood that you're currently in the studio, what are you working on?

M: Wrapping up the next Fantômas record (SUSPENDED ANIMATION) and the General Patton vs. the X-ecutioners record and about half way through the Peeping Tom record as well as doing music for an upcoming videogame produced by Rockstar Games.

A: What's up with Peeping Tom?

M: Getting tracks back from all the different people that I'm working with then I have to piece it together and mix it. It is coming together better than I thought. Might have 2 records worth of material. Should see the light of day next year.

A: What can you tell us about your collaboration With Kaada, and who and what are Kaada?

M:the record "ROMANCES" is a spacey soundtrack mellow piece of romance tunes. John Kaada is an amazing Norwegian musician. He loves tunes and melody but mixes it up real well with modern sounds and older Inspirations. VERY unique. Check it his record that we put out a couple years ago!

A: You recently participated in a film called Firecracker, what can you tell us about it, how did you get involved with it, and are you planning to further the acting thing?

M:I got a script in the mail that was very odd and very cool. My part turned into 2 parts after Dennis Hopper dropped out. It is a real messed up, dark story.
I get offers from time to time but this one grabbed me and the director is a very interesting guy. It was a real challenge. I am always open for a challenge. I'm looking into doing it more often but only if my music schedule allows.

A: What can you tell us about your participation in The new Bjork album, and how did you two become acquainted?

M: It was an interesting experience. We met at a festival in Europe a couple years ago. We were fans of each others work. We both agreed we should work together. A year later I saw her in San Francisco and she told me about her interesting all vocal record concept, I told her I was in! I'm trying to get her in on Peeping Tom and we are talking about doing some touring together. She is one of a kind. She does not worry about what the industry wants from her, she does things her way. She is my kind of artist.

A: What can you tell us about the tour with Rahzel?

M: It is a blast. He is absolutely amazing! Blows people away every night. It is a fun show.

A: You the co-owner of a record label how did you and Greg Werckman get into that and what kind of bands do you sign?

M: We got into it by default. Greg(my manager) was looking for a label to sign Fantômas. We got some interest but not from the people we were interested in. So we kind of joked about doing it ourselves. Greg had run an Indie label for 8 years and worked at a major as well so he had the background. When the Melvins heard, they told us that they did not have a permanent home and would love to be a part of it, so it just kind of happened. I have always wanted creative freedom and I sure got it now. We sign bands we like. They are almost always very unique, but
besides that there is no real plan for the types we look for. We actually got a little carried away and are loaded right now. It was funny how many friends called when we started the label saying that they wanted to be part of it. You treat artists well and they come running.

A:Your musical projects have been more experimental and avant-garde as the years progressed, what is the reason for that,and do you plan on doing anything resembling Faith No More in its accessibility and wider listening audience possibility?

M: This is an odd question. You think Tomahawk is more experimental than Mr Bungle was??? I really don't look at things in those terms. You can be the judge of that. I never think about how big the audience might be or what the target market is. Once you do that your art is watered down. The bands that worry about that are doomed for failure. I'm also not interested in repeating myself. That is boring. I like to challenge myself. I'm sure you can find a band that resembles FNM if you look hard enough but why live in the past?

A: You’ve made wide use of the Spanish language in several of your Projects, how did you acquire your knowledge of the Spanish language, and do you plan on going Latin, perhaps dethroning Ricky -Martin?

M: I think Ricky has been dethroned. I heard that is a good demographic to sell to though. HA HA!

A: What is the current situation regarding Fantomas and Mr. Bungle?

M:The new Fantômas will be out in March and Mr Bungle died a long time ago.

A: What were the reasons for the long periods between each Mr. Bungle record?

M: It was not an easy band to work with.

A: Your musical projects range from death metal to pop and jazz is there a certain favorite, and is there a musical genre you will prevent from delving into?

M: I love music. Why limit yourself?

A: You've worked a lot in the past with Trevor Dunn, how did you two meet?

M: We grew up together. We were both backup dancers for
the Electric Light Orchestra back in the day.

A: You did some shows in Israel with Faith some time ago, what do you remember from the shows and the country itself?

M: It was a blast! A very interesting country. That is the best part of touring. If you have time to explore it makes it worthwhile but you usually don't.

A: You seem to be very much into films, doing soundtracks with Fantomas and now acting in one, what would you define as your favorite genre, and, if given a chance, what directors would you like to work with?

A:Oh my, I love all types of movies. Mainly older films. Spy flicks. I would love to work with David Lynch of course.

A:You've started out with bands that used a lot of metal influences, who were the artists that influenced you when starting out?

M: Slayer and punk bands.

A:What current bands do you listen to?

M: Bjork, Willie Nelson, Kid Koala, the Locust, Melt Banana

A:You've worked quite franticly for some time now, do you ever take a break, do nothing but laze around and warming up the family sofa?

A:I love watching and going to basketball games, playing video games, eating.

A: That's it, thanks for taking the time answering my pesky questions!

M: Thank you! Stay tuned to: for all the details.

Alon Miasnikov
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