Monthly Archives: January 2020

365 Days of Mike Patton: “Collision,” Faith No More (1997)

When I saw Faith No More live for the second time in my life in 1997, the band opened the show with the first song off the Album of the Year record. While I really dig the studio version of “Collision,” I don’t think the live version worked all that well. In fact, the distance between how much like I like the album version and how much I don’t care for the live version is the furthest of any FNM song.

And maybe that set the tone for the rest of that concert at Atlanta’s Masquerade club that year. It was a good concert, but of the three FNM shows I’ve seen, it was clearly the weakest. Just like Album of the Year is the band’s weakest album with Patton employed as the singer. I’m not entirely sure there’s a connection there, but there probably is.

But I do really enjoy “Collision” when it’s not being played live. Kind of like “Digging the Grave,” the song the band opened with the first time I saw them two years earlier, there is no introduction to the song. There’s no warning about what’s coming before Patton’s voices smacks you in the throat. Just as the instruments begin assaulting your senses, Patton is there yelling “Colllllllisssssssiiiiiiiiioooonnnnnnn, my missssssssssssiiiiiiiioooooooonnnnnnnnn.”

As Pop Matters opines, “The way the band drops [Jon] Hudson’s thundering guitars during the verses and allows bassist Billy Gould’s and drummer Mike Bordin’s rock-solid syncopated groove to shine is great arranging.”

Take a listen.

My favorite lyric, of course, has to be “All the day’s plans/All the shaking hands/Beepers and suntans,” because weren’t beepers already kind of an irrelevant thing in 1997? It’s like if Patton sang about how much he loved Smokey and the Bandit on the 1992 tune “RV.”

But it hardly matters. Roddy Bottum’s keyboards are subtle but great, Gould’s bass sounds fat, and the guitar of Hudson, in the song that introduced him to FNM’s audience, is pretty damn metal.

I just don’t need to see it live again.

Postscript: Well ACTUALLY, I just found this live version. And while I don’t think it’s THAT great, the power the band portrays while playing “Collision” live is impressive. My recollection of the version I personally heard live (and other bootleg versions I’ve listened to since) had nowhere near this kind of impact.

Previously from Album of the Year:

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

365 Days of Mike Patton: “L’Uomo Che Non Sapeva Amare,” Mondo Cane (2010)

Sometimes, it’s easy to discover where Mike Patton finds inspiration. Other times, you’d need to spend hours in a Roman library to figure out the origins of what emerges from Patton’s mouth.

The latter is the case for “L’Uomo Che Non Sapeva Amare,” off Patton’s Mondo Cane album. I don’t have oodles of time to spend researching these 365 Days of Mike Patton posts (even though the amount of articles and quotes I’ve gathered for future posts is quite long and increasingly more difficult to navigate), so if I can’t find something after about 10 minutes of online searching, well, that’s just about my limit.

That said, I don’t know much about this tune that appears on Patton’s album of covers of Italian pop sings from the 1950s and ‘60s. Italian singer and film composer Nico Fidenco sang it in the mid-1960s (either 1964 or 1965), and it translates into The Man Who Didn’t Know How To Love.

This song soars from the very beginning. It’s not like you’re on the scary rollercoaster that starts you off nice and slow on the big, long hill that slowly creaks to the top, seemingly hundreds of feet in the air, before twisting itself 75 stories downward to begin the ride. No, “L’Uomo Che Non Sapeva Amare” makes sure your stomach jumps into your throat within the first 10 seconds of pressing play.

There is no build here. Just an immediate punch to the face. And for the next 3 minutes, it only very occasionally relents and allows you to catch your breath.

It’s one of the most metal songs on the album—Consequence of Sound described it as “waltzing bombast”—and since Mondo Cane is not supposed to be even a little bit metal, that’s quite an accomplishment.

Fidenco’s version is certainly more understated, but arguably, his version is more passionate. That’s somewhat ironic since he’s singing about a dude who doesn’t know how to love.

A Mondo Cane post in the 365 Days of Mike Patton wouldn’t be complete without a live performance of the song. So, here’s Patton from Amsterdam standing next to a trumpet player with wonderful facial hair and fantastic side part. The live version, as I would expect, is glorious.

Patton was once married to an Italian woman and lived in Bologna for a time. He apparently loves Italian pop and by his live performance, it’s quite clear he enjoys singing this song. He’s not a man who can’t love. Instead, he’s the man who makes his fans fall in love with music that, without him, they’d probably never get to hear.

Previously from Mondo Cane:

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

365 Days of Mike Patton: “Merry Go Bye Bye,” Mr. Bungle (1995)

For much of this century, Mike Patton and the band Tool have loosely intertwined with each other like a pair of earbud cords that occasionally gets tangled. Fantomas opened a big amphitheater show with the legendary prog metal quartet in 2017. Patton and Tool singer Maynard James Keenan have shared festival bills together with some of their less mainstream side bands.

And when asked if Tool had given him any inspiration as an artist, Patton told Revolver magazine in 2008, “They give me hope that not all huge bands are pompous, clueless, drug-addled morons. That, and I steal lots of fashion ideas from Maynard’s stage wear.”

Tool members appreciate Patton and his bands, as seen when drummer Danny Carey scared the shit out of Patton by appearing on stage at an FNM show…

And Patton appreciates Tool, as he made clear in 2002 when Tomahawk was set to go on as the band’s opener.

“[Tool] are friends of ours and I guess they like our band,” Patton said, via Blabbermouth. “God bless them that they have the balls to follow through with their instincts. I’m sure that there were a billion and one people trying to talk them out of it because we don’t sell a lot of records and we’re not going to pay them to play with them. Basically, us being on this bill is not doing anyone any favors, industry-wise.”

Hell, they even enjoy going on log rides together.

(That’s Buzz Osborne from the Melvins in the back, Tool guitarist Adam Jones in the middle and Patton in the front.)

Anyway, I’m talking about Tool because I saw the band live on Tuesday. It was my third time seeing Tool—the first time came in 1996 when they played a big club, but a club nonetheless!, in Atlanta. After taking about a 20-year break, I saw Tool in San Antonio a few years back, and now, I’ve completed the Tool trilogy.

I imagine there are Patton-voiced songs that sound like Tool, but I can’t think of any off the top of my head. So, let’s listen to a heavy song at the tail end of Mr. Bungle’s Disco Volante album. Well, it gets heavy eventually. But it’s a little too long (like many of the songs on Tool’s newest album) and it changes speeds quickly and jarringly (unlike Tool). But it is heavy. Not prog metal heavy like Tool. But kind of thrash metal heavy.

Anyway, it’s an interesting listen. Just like most of Tool’s discography. It’s something I appreciate about Patton and Tool, and it’s apparently also something they appreciate about each other.

Previously from Disco Volante:

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

365 Days of Mike Patton: “Chansons D’Amour,” Patton/Jean-Claude Vannier (2019)

Recently, the world got a new Mike Patton project—always a goddamn glorious day!—as he collaborated with French composer Jean-Claude Vannier for an album called Corpse Flower. The first released single from the album, “On Top of the World,” was enjoyable (despite Patton’s insistence on singing about bodily fluids), and now it’s time to listen to another song from the album to see how it compares.

FYI, the video below could be considered NSFW because of female nudity.

It’s called “Chansons D’Amour,” translated it means “Love Song,” and it’s the kind of music you don’t hear Patton sing hardly ever. Kind of a classical music vibe with a piano and plenty of pretty strings (it gives off the kind of vibe we heard when Faith No More used to cover Burt Bacharach’s “This Guy’s In Love With You”).

As one YouTube commenter wrote, Patton’s voice on “Chansons D’Amour” also harkens back to the one used in one of my favorite songs off FNM’s 1992 Angel Dust album. As that YouTuber wrote, “When the guy from ‘RV’ song eventually decided to do something with his life.”

As I wrote about last May, Vannier is “a French composer and musician who has a ton of credits that I know absolutely nothing about (mostly because it’s all music from France). Anyway, Patton said the two share a love of Serge Gainsbourg, a French singer, composer and songwriter who (again) I know virtually nothing about. But considering All Music called Gainsbourg “the dirty old man of popular music” who had a “scandalous, taboo-shattering output,” he certainly sounds like a guy Patton would appreciate.”

I haven’t listened to the full Corpse Flower album yet, probably because I haven’t really been in a Mike Patton/Faith No More mood for the last several months (which is also probably why I’ve taken such a long break from the 365 Days of Patton). But as “Chansons D’Amour” demonstrates, each new Patton tune is a gift. And it’s the type of song that reminds me of why I like him so much in the first place.

Previously from Patton/Jean-Claude Vannier:

• “On Top of the World” (Day 53)

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