365 Days of Mike Patton: “My Ass Is On Fire,” Mr. Bungle (1991)

By the time Mr. Bungle released its self-titled album in 1991, Faith No More and Mike Patton were riding high because of the success of “Epic.” That’s probably why Warner Bros. released this ad touting Mr. Bungle’s major-label debut as Patton’s “serious weird new project.”

In reality, though, Mr. Bungle predates Patton’s time in Faith No More. The band formed in 1985, and according to Patton, Mr. Bungle’s origin was the byproduct of failed previous relationships.

“It was kinda like a merger between two bands,” he told Sounds in 1991. “One really horrible gothic metal band, which our guitarist and original drummer were in, and one really horrible metal band which did Metallica covers, which is the one Trevor (Dunn, the bassist) and me came from.”

The Sounds story at the time described how Mr. Bungle was nothing like Faith No More, and Patton even explained it to the author who wrote, “Sitting in a quiet corner of a London pub, Mike Patton warns by way of introduction that a Faith No More interview is one thing, a Mr. Bungle interview is something entirely different.”

The same applies to the music, including “My Ass Is On Fire,” which runs through a gamut of brass-tinged metal with a jazzy flavor that also features turntables and a siren.

Nearly a decade later, while supporting its third album, Mr. Bungle had a slightly different take on “My Ass Is On Fire.”

For a song in which he screams, “It’s not funny, my ass is on fire,” the later version feels much more mature. And yet it rocks even harder.

To follow along on the 365 days of Patton, click here for a list of each day’s post.

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