Rounding off our Faith No More Week celebrations, we delve into some of Mike Patton’s lesser known post-FNM projects.. Make sure to take a look at the first two parts of the bluffers guide, with our love letter to Mr. Bungle, and a breakdown of the better known bits, as well as the rest of the week’s content!
There’s no denying that, in years that followed the demise of Faith No More, Mike Patton was a very busy man indeed. With a whole host of different projects to his name, there’s a lot to take in – so we’ve put together a little bit of a bluffers guide to those projects for you. Aren’t we nice? We’ll start with:
John Zorn is a weirdo.
I know that may seem like an odd observation to kick off an article that is technically about Mike Patton, but it’s true nonetheless. From avant-garde jazz freak outs and experimental grindcore to putting photographs of actual crime scenes on album covers, John Zorn is an acquired taste – but It’s a taste quickly acquired by another musical weirdo, Mike Patton.
They’ve worked together on numerous occasions – the most recent collaboration as recently as last year – and they’ve mostly ranged from extremely weird and fairly inaccessible Naked City album Grand Guignol, to the little less weird and approachable The Last Judgment, by the Moonchild project.
This is why it might have surprised people when John Zorn announced Patton as one of three vocalists for his “Song Projekt” concert in 2013, where some of his compositions would be played in more approachable versions. That still means it’s pretty damn freaky by most people’s standards but I absolutely love it. Then again I like Naked City, Painkiller and Zorn’s solo material, so I’m clearly not most people.
The entire Mike Patton segment of the show is on YouTube for your enjoyment, bewilderment and sharing pleasure so don’t feel torn, go for Zorn (sorry about that horribly rhyme):
Peeping Tom could have easily skipped the voyeuristic name and gone with something as simple as Mike Patton & Friends, as that’s basically what it is.
Patton wrote the eponymous album over a long period of time, with a collaborator in mind for each song. These range from hip hop producer Dan the Automator and jazz singer Norah Jones to beatbox master Rahzel and trip hop OGs Massive Attack.
Patton stated this album is what radio friendly pop music would sound like if he got a say in the matter, and it’s easy to see why: the album is quite varied – which makes sense considering how it’s made – but it does sound like Radio Patton, so mission accomplished.
It may not be a consisent fan favourite, but it’s definitely the Patton album you’re most likely to get away with putting on in a party with non-FNM fans so get your mojo running, engine humming and then roll it up and smoke it again.
Despite not liking the radio, it stil seems to influence Mike. Just as Peeping Tom was his attempt at creating an American pop album in the 2000s, Mondo Cane is his love letter to 50s and 60s Italian radio.
While living in Bologna, Patton fell in love with the old classics he heard with singers backed by entire orchestras, so he decided to cover a handful of these songs with an orchestra of his own.
This orchestra consisted of forty people, and Paton also had a fifteen-piece band on top of that. These fifty five musicians backed Patton through songs of varying styles that feel in some ways like a continuation of Mr. Bungle’s brilliant album California album.
Patton walks the line of imitation and alteration beautifully, keeping a lot of the originals’ feel while still throwing in some choice Pattonisms to keep it interesting. Who else could get away with this, really?
Adult Themes For Voice
In the early 90s, Faith No More were touring around the world – but off stage, Mike Patton wasn’t partying like a rock star: he was making recordings of himself in hotel rooms. Later altered, cut and spliced together into a profoundly strange sound collage of sorts, this output was released in 1996 as Adult Themes For Voice, one of the least accessible albums in the discography of a man famously inaccessible at times.
Supposedly influenced by Japanese noise band (and venue destroyers) Hanatarash (featuring Yamantaka Eye, a frequent collaborator of John Zorn), the album contains 34 tracks, all quite distinguishable from one another (although I’m not sure you’ll be humming these on your way to work).
Listen at your own risk; if you do start humming these you’re going to look like a fucking madman.
And that’s about it for Faith No More Week. We hope you’ve enjoyed this look at FNM, Patton, and everything in between! Don’t forget to check out Sol Invicts, the new album, as well as our review of it!