Mike Patton believes the Faith No More reunion has ‘petered out’ – and it could be because the band are too self-aware.
And he admits that the way he presents his different musical interests via different bands could have had a negative impact on his career.
FNM regathered in 2009 – except for guitarist Big Jim Martin – with a triumphant headline act at the Download Festival, and have continued playing live dates across the world, although they became more sporadic over time.
Now frontman Patton tells Believer: “It’s sort of petered out.”
“We’re also maybe a little too conscious for our own good. Meaning there’s a lineage of bands that maybe did some nice things and then needed the cash and got back together and basically just sprayed diarrhoea over their entire body of work. We’re very worried about that. We don’t want to overdo it.”
He found returning to material he’d written as a younger man more of a pleasant experience than he’d expected. “I have a hard time listening to my own music,” he explains. “If you put on my record I’d just start cringing right now. Not because I’m Mr. Shy or anything – it’s because I hear the mistakes. You don’t hear the good things.
“But that’s changed a little recently. When you get older, you let go a little more. When Faith No More did the reunion tour, I had to relearn all the stuff I wrote when I was nineteen. And I actually heard more good things than I remembered. It made the entire thing really pleasant, like a homecoming.”
Patton’s musical output is spread across a number of bands including Tomahawk and Mondo Cane. He accepts diverting his interests into different channels makes it difficult for some people to connect with him personally.
He reflects: “All those musics have a certain set of parameters and rules, in a sense. They need to be performed in a certain way, composed in a certain way, and, I think, seen in a certain way.
“That’s why at a Mondo Cane show I’m not going to go up there and spit all over myself. I think that would cheapen the music. I can do that in a different band. If I want to swallow someone’s vomit, I can do that with Tomahawk.
“I guess one of the reasons I have all these different bands is because I like to contextualise them. If you took most of my projects and put them into one band, put them in a blender, it would really sound like shit. It would not be fun.”
Asked if that separation helps listeners to better appreciate his art, Patton responds: “Of that particular music? Yeah. Of me in general? Probably not. It’s actually not a wise career move, business move, because it’s confusing. No one knows what the hell I’m doing. It’s not like all the projects are even under my name – some of them are band concepts, some are collaborative efforts, some are just me.
“If I were on a major label and wasn’t controlling my own destiny, so to speak, they would have cut my head off long ago.”