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Mike Patton
Mike Patton cropped
Background information
Birth name Michael Allan Patton
Born January 27 1968 (1968-01-27) (age 49)
Genre(s) Experimental music
Experimental rock
Alternative metal
Avant-garde metal
Vocal music
Funk metal
Noise music
Occupation(s) Musician
Instrument(s) Vocals, drums, electronics, samples, keyboards, guitars, basses, melodica, various circuit bent instruments
Years active 1985 - present
Label(s) Ipecac, Tzadik
Associated
acts
Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Fantômas, Tomahawk, Peeping Tom, Lovage, John Zorn, Kaada/Patton, Dillinger Escape Plan, Hemophiliac

Michael Allan Patton (born January 27 1968) is an American singer, songwriter, composer and multi-instrumentalist, best known as the lead singer of the rock band Faith No More from 1988 to 1998. He has also handled lead vocals for Mr. Bungle (which preceded his involvement with FNM), Tomahawk, Lovage, Fantômas, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and Peeping Tom.

From his time with Faith No More, Patton has earned critical praise for his diverse singing, which touches on crooning, falsetto, death metal "growls", rapping, mouth music, beatboxing and scatting, among other techniques; critic Greg Prato writes, "Patton could very well be one of the most versatile and talented singers in rock music."[1]

He often produces side projects in collaboration with other musicians, such as John Zorn, Dan the Automator, The Melvins, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Melt-Banana, Sepultura, Merzbow, Kool Keith, The X-Ecutioners, Team Sleep, Björk, Subtle, Rahzel, Amon Tobin, Eyvind Kang, Lovage, and Kaada. He co-founded Ipecac Recordings with Greg Werckman in 1999, and has run the label since.

BiographyEdit

Early yearsEdit

Mike grew up in Eureka, California, where he and his friends formed Mr. Bungle circa 1985. During the late 80s they recorded the cassette-only demos The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny, Goddammit I Love America, Bowel of Chiley and OU818 (featuring tracks that would appear on their first Warner Brothers album), and earned a small local following. Patton joined Faith No More in January of 1989 and filled the vocal void left by the unreliable and recently-fired Chuck Mosely, who moved on to the band Cement. Faith No More's The Real Thing was released later the same year. The album reached the top ten on the charts thanks largely to MTV's heavy rotation of the Epic promo.

In the United States, Faith No More would never again match the commercial success of The Real Thing but their music continued to evolve into new and sometimes stranger areas of rock music. After three more studio albums (Angel Dust, King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime, and Album of the Year) Faith No More officially disbanded in 1998.

Mr Bungle and beyondEdit

During his time as a member of Faith No More, Patton continued to collaborate with Mr. Bungle. His success in mainstream rock and metal ultimately helped secure Mr. Bungle a record deal with Warner Bros. The band released a self-titled album (produced by John Zorn) in 1991, and the highly surreal Disco Volante in 1995. Their final album was California.

Patton's other projects have included two solo albums in the Composer Series on John Zorn's Tzadik label (Adult Themes for Voice in 1996 and Pranzo Oltranzista in 1997). He is a member of Hemophiliac where he does voice effects along with John Zorn on saxophone and Ikue Mori on laptop electronics. This group is billed as "improvisational music from the outer reaches of madness". He has also guested on Painkiller and Naked City recordings. He's appeared many times on other Tzadik releases with Zorn and others.

There have also been several projects over the years that have not seen an official release, although some live bootlegs do circulate. These projects include House of Discipline (with Bob Ostertag and Otomo Yoshihide), Moonraker (with Agata Ichirou of Melt-Banana, Buckethead and DJ Eddie Def), and Patton & Rahzel. Patton contributed vocals to the Team Sleep song Kool-Aid Party, but the song did not make it onto the final album. This is likely due in part to the unfinished album having been leaked very early onto the internet.

Recent and near future productionEdit

Mike Patton with Fantômas Quart Festival Norway 2005

Patton performing with Fantômas at Quart Festival, Norway on July 9, 2005.

In 2007, Mike Patton played the voice of the eponymous possessive primeval force in the video game The Darkness.[2] He worked alongside Kirk Acevedo, Lauren Ambrose and Dwight Schultz in playing the roles of the main characters in the gruesome and shocking story that follows Jackie Estacado's trip to hell and back twice in a search for revenge of the killing of the only person he ever cared about. He also had a minor role in Valve Corporation's 2007 release, Portal as the voice of The Anger Sphere in the final confrontation with the insane supercomputer, GLaDOS. He has another role in an upcoming Valve title, Left 4 Dead.[3] In October, 2007 it was announced that he would be voicing the main character in Capcom's remake of their classic title, Bionic Commando. Mike also provided the voices of the monsters in 2007 film I Am Legend starring Will Smith. Patton is known to be an avid video game player.[4]

In February 2006, Mike Patton performed an operatic piece, composed by Eyvind Kang, at Teatro di Modena in Italy. Patton sang alongside vocalist Jessika Kinney, and was accompanied by the Modern Brass Ensemble, Bologna Chamber Choir, and Alberto Capelli and Walter Zanetti on electric and acoustic guitars. Of the experience, Patton remarked that it was extremely challenging to project the voice without a microphone.[5]

In 2005, Patton signed on to compose the soundtrack for the upcoming independent movie Pinion, marking his debut scoring an American feature-length film. His other film work includes portraying two major characters in the Steve Balderson film Firecracker. He has also expressed his desire to compose for film director David Lynch.

Patton's long-gestating Peeping Tom album was released on May 30, 2006 on his own Ipecac label. The set was pieced together by swapping song files through the mail with collaborators like Norah Jones, Kool Keith and Massive Attack, Odd Nosdam, Jel, Doseone, Bebel Gilberto, Kid Koala, and Dub Trio.

"I don't listen to the radio, but if I did, this is what I'd want it to sound like," Patton says of the project. "This is my version of pop music. In a way, this is an exercise for me: taking all these things I've learned over the years and putting them into a pop format."

Recently, Patton has worked with Björk and the beat boxer Rahzel. He is often featured on new releases, and is regarded as extremely hard working. Faith No More keyboardist Roddy Bottum remarked about Patton "caffeine is the only drug he does", in reference to the Faith No More song Caffeine from the album Angel Dust, which Patton wrote while in the middle of a sleep-deprivation experiment.

His vocal techniques can also be heard in the 2007 first-person shooter, The Darkness. He also has a cameo as the "Anger Sphere" in Portal, and will be the voice of protagonist Nathan Spencer in the upcoming Bionic Commando remake.[6]

Reactions to fameEdit

Patton is highly regarded in alternative musical circles, and seen as something of an idol in the eyes of modern alternative youth for his air of mystique, his constantly-changing musical sensibilities, his impressive vocal range, and his experimental nature. He remains an elusive figure in music, rarely giving interviews. Recently he has openly stated that, despite some of the rumors, he enjoyed his time in Faith No More, and in 2006 he chose a Faith No More video for MTV2's "Mike Patton Takeover".

When interviewed about his lyrical content with Faith No More, Patton responded, "I think that too many people think too much about my lyrics. I am more a person who works with the sound of a word than with its meaning. Often I just choose the words because of the rhythm not because of the meaning". [7]

Controversies and anticsEdit

  • At a 1992 Angel Dust tour show in Lisbon, Faith No More invited the audience to throw garbage on stage. Patton then rummaged around and ate some of the trash.
  • During the Angel Dust tour Faith No More played a show at Ogden Street Musical Hall in Buffalo, New York. Patton performed a lewd act with a microphone on stage. As a result Patton and Faith No More were kicked out of their own concert and banned from Buffalo for many years. Patton has recently stated that his relationship with Buffalo, NY is "all good", and has been back to Buffalo since.
  • During the MTV Music Awards performance of "Epic" in 1990, Patton flopped around on stage like the controversial dying fish from the music video. [3]
  • On the BBC Top of the Pops in 1990 Patton refused to mime the lyrics for "Epic", preferring to open and close his mouth like a fish.
  • At a 1995 concert in Chile, the excited crowd began to spit on Faith No More. Patton encouraged this and even invited people to spit in his open mouth while singing.
  • Patton regularly did flips while singing on stage. He often landed painfully on his back, but would get right up and continue singing without interruption.
  • Patton and Faith No More were famous for showing their disdain for MTV, on MTV. This can be seen in the Hanging with MTV performance during the Angel Dust era, where the band continually interrupted a flustered VJ while she was trying to introduce Guns N' Roses' "November Rain".
  • During a performance of "Epic" on the December 1, 1990 episode of Saturday Night Live, Mike Patton climbed the stage set and hung off simulated ventilation fans.
  • During a concert in Seville, he invited the crowd to pelt the band with plastic bottles, then poured urine over his head from a bottle that had been thrown onstage.
  • Patton's right hand is permanently numb from an on-stage incident during his third concert with Faith No More, where he accidentally cut himself on a broken bottle and severed the tendons and nerves in his hand. He can use his hand, but he has no feeling in it (much to the surprise of both Patton and his doctor, who told him the exact opposite would happen).[8]

MarriageEdit

Patton married Italian artist Titi Zuccatosta in 1994. They separated in 2001. During an appearance on the radio show, LOVELINE (Listen), Patton said that it was a case of two people wanting different things and hinted that his excessive work habits may have been a factor. "It's very hard. It's a daily struggle," he commented in regards to the rigors of juggling a busy music career and a marriage. "It had to happen... Even though we knew each other really well when we got married, it doesn't get easier." He later added, "We're trying this. See what happens. There's still hope." Relatedly, Patton used to own a home in Bologna, Italy (which he sold around the time of the break-up), and speaks fluent Italian.

DiscographyEdit

Faith No MoreEdit

Mr. BungleEdit

FantômasEdit

TomahawkEdit

Solo albumsEdit

Peeping TomEdit

With John ZornEdit

Album collaborationsEdit

Albums featuredEdit

  • 1995 - Burn or Bury (by Milk Cult, Patton performs vocals on Psychoanalytwist)
  • 1996 - Roots (by Sepultura, Patton sings on the track Lookaway)
  • 1997 - Blood Rooted (by Sepultura, Patton sings and co-writes Mine. His singing can be also heard on the remix of the track Lookaway.)
  • 1997 - Great Jewish Music: Burt Bacharach (by Various Artists, Patton (vocals and keyboards) collaborates with David Slusser on She's Gone Away)
  • 1997 - Great Jewish Music: Serge Gainsbourg (by Various Artists, Patton sings and plays all instruments on Ford Mustang)
  • 1997 - Fear No Love (by Bob Ostertag, Patton contributes vocals to The Man in the Blue Slip and Not Your Girl)
  • 1997 - AngelicA 97 (by Various Artists, House of Discipline contributes The Art Of Fist-Fucking (1 & 2) and Patton contributes to Romance For A Choking Man/Woman (with Marie Goyette) and cudegokalalumosospasashatetéwaot)
  • 1998 - Charlie (by Melt-Banana, members of Mr. Bungle (and many others) contribute vocals for Area 877 (Phoenix Mix))
  • 1999 - Memory Is An Elephant (by Tin Hat Trio, Patton sings on hidden track Infinito)
  • 1999 - Tribus (by Sepultura, Patton co-writes and sings The Waste)
  • 1999 - No Coração dos Deuses - Soundtrack (Patton performs Procura O Cara with members of Sepultura)
  • 1999 - Song Drapes (by Jerry Hunt, Patton contributes text/vocals on Song Drape 7 "I Come")
  • 2000 - The Crybaby (by Melvins, Patton sings and plays instruments on G.I. Joe)
  • 2000 - Great Phone Calls (by Neil Hamburger, Patton featured on Music of the Night)
  • 2000 - Down With The Scene (by Kid 606, Patton contributes vocals on Secrets 4 Sale)
  • 2002 - Rise Above: 24 Black Flag Songs to Benefit the West Memphis Three (by Various Artists, Patton performs on Six Pack)
  • 2003 - Patton performs vocals on Koolade (formerly titled "Kool-Aid Party"), an unreleased song originally recorded for the album Team Sleep
  • 2004 - Virginal Co Ordinates (by Eyvind Kang, Patton contributes voice & electronics)
  • 2004 - Medúlla (by Björk, features Patton on Pleasure Is All Mine and Where Is The Line)
  • 2004 - White People (by Handsome Boy Modeling School, features Patton on Are You Down With It?)
  • 2004 - The End of the Fear of God (by Various Artists, Patton duets with Kid 606 on Circle A)
  • 2005 - Crime and Dissonance (by Ennio Morricone, compiled by Alan Bishop of Sun City Girls with Patton's commentary)
  • 2005 - Toto Angelica (by Alvin Curran, contains snippets of past Angelica Festival performances, including Patton's in 1997)
  • 2005 - Oceanic: Remixes/Reinterpretations (by Isis, Patton contributed a version of Maritime)
  • 2005 - Burner (by Odd Nosdam, features Patton on 11th Ave Freakout Pt 2)
  • 2005 - Wei-Wu-Wei (by Corleone: Roy Paci, Patton contributes vocals on Tutto diventerà rosso)
  • 2006 - Wishingbone (by Subtle, features Patton on Long Vein of the Voice)
  • 2006 - New Heavy (by Dub Trio, features Patton on Not Alone)
  • 2006 - Trouble – The Jamie Saft Trio Plays Bob Dylan (by Jamie Saft Trio, features Patton on Ballad of a Thin Man)
  • 2006 - Quero Saber (by Carla Hassett, duet with Patton on a cover of The Beatles' Julia)
  • 2007 - Athlantis (by Eyvind Kang, Patton contributes vocals)
  • 2007 - Vein (by Foetus, Patton remixes How to Vibrate)
  • 2008 - Another Sound Is Dying (by Dub Trio, features Patton on No Flag)
  • 2008 - Profanation (Preparation for a Coming Darkness) (by Praxis, features Patton on Larynx)
  • 2008 - Greatest Knockouts The Album, Vol. 2 (upcoming album by Rahzel, features Patton on Come Fly With Me)
  • 2008 - Weather Underground (upcoming album by Massive Attack, Patton is set to contribute vocals)

FilmographyEdit

Video GamesEdit

InterviewsEdit

  • 1999 - CNN READ
  • 2000 - Lollipop READ
  • 2000 - Flashing Hobo READ
  • 2001 - Deadwinter READ
  • 2002 - Frontwheel Drive READ
  • 2002 - The Insane Domain READ
  • 2003 - Counter Culture READ
  • 2004 - Alternative-Zine READ
  • 2005 - MSNBC READ
  • 2006 - Suicide Girls READ
  • 2006 - Blog Critics READ
  • 2006 - Quirkee.com READ
  • 2007 - HoboTrashcan's One on One with Mike Patton READ

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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