April Shouters

Mike Patton and Fantômas unleash cartoon rage with a new album

Patton's penchant for multiple projects began when he was tapped to join Faith No More and chose to continue to tour and record with Mr. Bungle, the band he was originally in.

"Obviously, it was really busy touring with those guys (Faith No More). But when I had a few months free, I'd look ahead and wonder what I could do. That's when I had certain things burning in my belly I felt I had to do. It wasn't really a decision. I did it without thinking. I didn't have a lot else going in my life. That helped. Still does. Over the years you wind up trimming the fat -- there's barely enough hours in the day to do the important shit. I try and focus on that."

For Patton, the secret to juggling projects is as easy as "You buy a fuckin' calendar and start writing shit down."

With several projects constantly going at once, does he have a pecking order on which takes precedent?

"No, I don't have a hierarchy. Maybe that's one of my problems. I'll let you guys figure that shit out. To me, I just go through phases where different things are really important to me. Right now my focus is this record and playing it live. And I'm sure we'll be playing it live and I'll be thinking about mowing the lawn."

One imagines Patton's fan base has its own preferences. Are there ever people who come to a show and call out to hear something from, say, Loveage, his campy lounge-trip-hop collaboration of just a few years ago?

"All the time!" Patton says. "And they're almost always sorely disappointed. There's always a contingent of malcontents at any show I play because they're expecting one thing and don't get it."

Patton can console himself that his target audience actually gets this new record. "I was talking to an interviewer who had kids ages one, three and six, and they play it incessantly. I was overjoyed," he says of the album's sole toddler endorsement to date. "I don't have any kids. (Dave) Lombardo has kids. But they probably wouldn't bat an eye at this music because they've grown up on Slayer."

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