365 Days of Mike Patton: “Separation Anxiety,” Faith No More (2015)

I remember where I was in 1998 when Faith No More announced it had broken up. I was sitting in the computer lab at my freshman dorm in college, and I was reading version 1.0 of whatever music site I was perusing. I was devastated. Even though I had been obsessed with FNM for only three years, I felt like I had lost something special in my life.

My love of the band (and really, most everything Mike Patton related) only grew for the next dozen years. We thought FNM was done for good, and because I had seen the band live in 1995 and 1997, I could accept it and move on with my life. I had closure.

Then, the band started playing European festivals in 2009, and since those shows had gone over so well, the Patton community wondered if the band would make new music together.

For the next half-decade, most of the quotes from the band members weren’t filled with optimism. Then one day, we learned that FNM was indeed creating new tunes for the first time in 18 years, which set the stage for the U.S. tour we hadn’t gotten since the late 1990s. The album is Sol Invictus, and I think it’s glorious. No, it’s not the masterpiece Angel Dust is or the hard rocker that King For a Day, Fool For a Lifetime was. But it’s pretty damn special. Mostly because we never expected to get it and because, well, it’s good.

And “Separation Anxiety” is one of my favorites. It’s creepy. It’s hard. It’s filled with Patton’s talents, both crooning and screaming. And the video is interspersed with clips from the 1955 noir film Dementia.

The song, the video, the old band making new music. It was all so long in the making—and it was such a long way away from the moment in Russell Hall I read the news that my favorite band had exploded.

“I remember the day that we collectively decided—and I kind of came in a little nervous, because I thought it was only me—again, we weren’t communicating,” Patton told Rolling Stone in 2015 about the band’s breakup. “I just said, ‘I think I’m done.’ It took a lot to just say that and be honest and I didn’t know how to react. The amazing part was we all looked at each other and felt the same way. It totally disarmed me and that also reinforced my feeling that it was a natural progression and it was over.”

But only for nearly two decades.

Said Patton: “Look at us now, how wrong I was.”

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

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