Tag Archives: Mike Patton

365 Days of Mike Patton: “Take This Bottle,” Faith No More (1995)

If you once enjoyed Faith No More and yet stopped paying attention after its biggest hit “Epic” was released in 1990, you might remember the guitarist with the long black frizzy hair and the long black beard who looked to be about 20 years older than the rest of the band.

You know, this guy on the right.

That’s Jim Martin, and he played on the first four Faith No More albums (two of which were not fronted by Mike Patton and which we are completely ignoring on the 365 Days of Mike Patton (well, there might be a few exceptions to that because, in reality, we care a lot)). He managed some great guitar work on The Real Thing and Angel Dust albums, but he was kicked out of the band in 1993. The problem apparently was that Martin didn’t want to adapt to playing new music. The line on Martin has always been that he wanted to keep making The Real Thing over and over again and balked at the new direction the band was taking with the Angel Dust follow up. So, keyboardist Roddy Bottum fired him by fax.

“Getting rid of him was a real cleansing exercise,” Bottum said, via Metal Hammer. “There’s no point keeping someone in the band who’s only there for the money or something. Jim wasn’t committed to what the band wanted to do. I’m good at sacking band members. And by fax was such a… 90s way of doing things.”

Patton apparently did not enjoy his time with Martin at the end.

“Mike HATED Jim, wouldn’t even look at him on stage unless he was about to throw something at him,” Bottum said.

That was apparently the inspiration for the country-tinged song “Take This Bottle” from the King For a Day album. It’s because Patton apparently used to throw bottles at Martin while on stage.

“We weren’t having a good time together and it was pretty obvious,” Patton said in that Metal Hammer interview. “We saw it coming for too long, while we were making the Angel Dust album. The whole time for two years while we were touring, we kept hoping it would get better. After that much time you can’t help but feel like an idiot for feeling that way. Basically, what it came down to was that he couldn’t hold up his weight musically.

“When The Real Thing broke out, it was a shock. It’s kinda like being around somebody you don’t like, like a co-worker or family, somebody you’ve known for a long time but you realize you don’t like them. You get to know them, everything’s OK, you move in with them, everything’s fine but then all of a sudden, you realize what’s going on. You realize you don’t like them, so you HATE them, you know. You waste all your energy hating them, you hate them and hate them. So you kick them OUT of your house to pacify this hate.”

I don’t particularly love “Take This Bottle,” but when I saw FNM live in 1997 with my buddy Jeremy and his brother Mike, we had a cool tale to tell from that show.

In the last minute or so of this song, Patton retrieved a bottle of red wine and began shaking it at the crowd so it would splatter on anybody who was close enough to the stage. Mike was close enough, and I remember him coming up to us after the show, a sweaty beast with red streaks on his white undershirt. He had a big smile on his face. He had taken (what was inside) the bottle, and he had walked away loving it.

At least Patton didn’t throw it at him.

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

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365 Days of Mike Patton: “Roc Raida …” General Patton vs. the X-ecutioners (2005)

Yes, Mike Patton has a couple of albums that could be labeled hip-hop.

It apparently took Patton two years to create this collaboration album with the X-ecutioners, a group of hip-hop DJs out of New York who have worked with the likes of Cypress Hill and Linkin Park. As All Music explains, “Patton sends hip-hopping turntable masters the X-Ecutioners a bunch of oddball records, then the X-Ecutioners create ‘sound blocks’ out of the albums and send them back to Patton for final tweaking and song-building.”

The result reeks of turn tables, jazz, old movie clips and not a ton of easy listening. But with Patton, sometimes we must persist regardless.

While I wouldn’t take in the entire album in one long 45-minute listen, it’s fun for these short, tight songs to pop up on my iTunes playlist every now again. Especially in the case of “Roc Raida: Riot Controls Agent/Combat Stress Control,” just so I can hear Eddie Murphy tell me, “I will kick your ass,” over and over again.

365 Days of Mike Patton: “Ricochet,” part 2

After my three-part series on Faith No More’s “Epic,” I wasn’t planning on writing more than a single post of anything else from Mike Patton’s discography. But after posting my take on “Ricochet” earlier this week, my Twitter buddy @d2k2d2k2 reminded me of something I very vaguely remembered from FNM’s performance on Conan’s old late-night show in 1995.

The next night, FNM was in a sketch featuring O’Brien and former band leader/drummer Max Weinberg. Conan started it off by saying Weinberg had been jealous at FNM’s reception for its performance the night before. Weinberg denied it. And then Conan showed Weinberg not-so-subtly trying to disrupt FNM during the course of “Ricochet.”

Naturally, a brawl between FNM and Conan’s band then broke out.

Good stuff from 24 years ago. The funniest parts for me were Weinberg going after FNM’s Mike Bordin in a battle of the drummers and that, unlike the real performance, Patton didn’t forget his opening cue. This time, he sang the song right on time.

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

365 Days of Mike Patton: “Sun Dance,” Tomahawk (2007)

Mike Patton likes creating themes for his various albums with his various bands. Fantomas recorded an album covering famous movie soundtrack songs. His Mondo Cane record is a collection of various Italian pop songs from the 1950s and 1960s. His third album with Tomahawk—after Faith No More, this is probably his most mainstream band—followed that pattern.

Like Fantomas, Tomahawk was a super group featuring Duane Denison (Jesus Lizard) on guitar, Kevin Rutmanis (Melvins) on bass and John Stanier (Helmet) on drums.

Anonymous was a collection of Native American compositions—which, as noted by Pitchfork, was (and this might be the most random sentence you read today) “researched by Denison while touring reservations with Hank Williams III.” “Sun Dance” was the only single to be released from the album, and yes, it sounds like a song that was originally a Native American composition that was researched on a reservation with a country music legacy star. Except this features Patton mostly chanting “Hey ya” over a grooving bass line and a mystical guitar sound.

Pitchfork isn’t exactly known to be nice to musicians in its reviews, and as the author wrote regarding Anonymous, “And here I thought Patton had run out of ways to alienate people and limit his own appeal.” But this song (and most of this album) is a pleasant listen, even if Denison’s influence is felt more than Patton’s.

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

365 Days of Mike Patton: “Me and the Flamer,” The Fantomas Melvins Big Band (2002)

 In 1995, Faith No More and Mike Patton released my favorite FNM album, King For a Day, Fool For a Lifetime (featuring the banger “Ricochet”). In 1996 and 1997, Patton released two solo albums.

In 1998, apparently fearing he wasn’t quite busy enough, Patton formed a heavy metal supergroup called Fantomas that brought him, Melvins guitarist Buzz Osborne, Mr. Bungle bassist Trevor Dunn, and Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo together. At the time, FNM was basically dead. But Fantomas and its avant-garde metal sound was very much alive.

With the exception of its second album, The Directors’ Cut, Fantomas isn’t always an easy listen. But its live album that was recorded on New Years Eve 2000 and was released in 2002, Millennium Monsterwork 2000, has some interesting moments. It’s iffy if “Me and the Flamer” is one of those moments, particularly since much of the song features Lombardo simply tapping his cymbals before Patton screams something indecipherable.

But the screaming and mouth noises he makes is certainly a Patton special.

Ultimately, it’s OK to listen to this tune once and then skip over it the next time you hear it. A good portion of the Fantomas material makes me want to do that anyway.

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

365 Days of Mike Patton: “Ricochet,” Faith No More (1995)

I didn’t really get into Faith No More and Mike Patton until my buddy Jeremy, who worked with me at a restaurant in the Atlanta suburbs, invited me to see an FNM show in 1995. I, of course, knew the band from “Epic,” but I hadn’t kept up with it. So, to prepare for the show at the Masquerade in Atlanta, I listened to plenty of King For a Day, Fool For a Lifetime, FNM’s new album at the time, to get myself familiar with the material. “Ricochet” is the second song of the 1-2 absolute firepunch combination that opens the record after album opener “Get Out.”

It’s an absolute blaster of a song—which apparently was written on the day of Kurt Cobain’s suicide (it’s rumored that the code word for “Ricochet” on the FNM setlist was “Nirvana,” though it’s unclear why FNM needed code words for its setlists).

 

 

It’s funny. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the music video above, but apparently, it was shot before and during a concert in Paris. I love the KFAD album, and “Ricochet” is one of my favorites from the record (and the song is probably one of the reasons I grew to love the band so much). Rolling Stone agrees, saying it was “a portentous anthem reminiscent of ‘Epic.’”

But what I’ll remember most about this tune is watching FNM perform it on Conan’s old late night show. I recorded it on a VHS tape and watched it on my VCR over and over again. It’s awesome in every way, from Patton’s shirt to him forgetting to sing at the beginning (watch as drummer Mike Bordin quizzically looks at him when Patton forgets his cue and then watch Patton smile and nod after he realizes his mistake).

 

This is Patton at his absolute coolest.

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365 Days of Mike Patton: “Scalinatella,” Mondo Cane (2010)

In 2010, Mike Patton released his Mondo Cane album, which was filled with covers of Italian pop songs from the 1950s and 1960s. Patton was once married to an Italian woman, and he lived in Bologna for a spell. He’s fluent in Italian, and he was moved by the way those songs were made.

“While there, I immersed myself in the complete culture: the music, art, literature, film, food, and history,” Patton told Spin. “It’s easy to fall in love with. As a country, Italy does a good job of holding onto its rich traditions and culture.”

On this song, he’s backed by an acoustic guitar, and he sings about a “little staircase leading to the water near Posillipo, where a man waits for his lover.” It’s quite beautiful.

“Most tribute records bore the hell out of me,” Patton said. “It’s far more interesting to hear someone who has been inspired by an artist channel that artist using their own talents. There are lots of different ways to make lasagna, and more than one way can be great.”

Here’s an original 1950s version from Roberto Murolo.

One word of advice, though. If you’re listening to Patton sing it live, keep quiet. Otherwise, he’ll tell you to … well, just watch.

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