Mike Patton

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Michael Allan "Mike" Patton (born January 27, 1968) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, actor, record producer, multi-instrumentalist and film composer, best known as the lead singer of the Alternative Heavy Metal band Faith No More.

Patton was also the founder and lead singer of Mr. Bungle, and has played with Tomahawk, Fantômas, Lovage, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and Peeping Tom.

Known for his eclectic influences and experimental projects, Patton has earned critical praise for his diverse array of vocal techniques:-

VVN Music found Patton to possess the highest vocal range of any known singer in popular music, with a range of six octaves. He has worked as a producer or co-producer with artists such as John Zorn, Sepultura, The Melvins, Melt-Banana, and Kool Keith. He co-founded Ipecac Recordings with Greg Werckman in 1999, and has run the label since. Patton's vast array of musical endeavours and constant touring have led to him being widely identified as a "workaholic".


Early Days

Patton was born and raised in Eureka, California, where he formed Mr. Bungle, with Trey Spruance and Trevor Dunn, in 1984. During the late '80s Mr. Bungle recorded the cassette-only recordings, The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny, Goddammit I Love America, Bowel of Chiley and OU818, featuring tracks that would later be included on their first Warner Bros. Records release.

According to Steffan Chirazi's 1993 book The Real Story, Patton first met Faith No More during 1986. In the book, Patton was quoted as saying;-

"Faith No More played Eureka in a pizza parlour place Mr. Bungle played dozens of times. There were 6 people there and 3 of them were my friends. It was really bad, a really pathetic show and I remember them standing around the van really upset. Puffy was really uptight wanting to know where to get weed. Nobody was talking to him, I think he asked us because we were just hanging around. Their situation then never even registered with me, touring was unreal, Warner Bros. was like a Tom and Jerry cartoon. At that time I didn't wanna know about any of that shit".

Solo work and band projects: 1984–present

During his time in Faith No More, Patton continued to work with Mr. Bungle.

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His success in mainstream Rock and Heavy Metal ultimately helped secure Mr. Bungle a record deal with Warner Bros.

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The band released a self-titled album (produced by John Zorn) in 1991, and the experimental Disco Volante in 1995. Their final album, California, was released in 1999.

Patton's other projects included two solo albums on the Composer Series of John Zorn's Tzadik label, (Adult Themes for Voice in 1996 and Pranzo Oltranzista in 1997). He is a member of Hemophiliac, in which he performs vocal effects along with John Zorn on saxophone and Ikue Mori on laptop electronics. This group is billed as "improvisational music from the outer reaches of madness". He has also guested on Painkiller and Naked City recordings. He has also appeared on other Tzadik releases with John Zorn and others, notably as part of the "Moonchild Trio" alongside Joey Baron and Trevor Dunn, named after John Zorn's album on which the trio first appeared, Moonchild: Songs Without Words. In 1998, Patton formed the Avant-Garde metal supergroup Fantômas with Buzz Osbourne (of The Melvins), Trevor Dunn (of Mr. Bungle), and Dave Lombardo (of Slayer). They have released four studio albums.

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In 1999, Patton met former The Jesus Lizard guitarist Duane Denison at a Mr. Bungle concert in Nashville, and the two subsequently formed the band Tomahawk. Tomahawk's straightforward Rock sound has often been compared to Album of the Year/King for a Day era Faith No More.

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In 2004, Patton worked with Björk and the beat boxer Rahzel on her album, Medúlla.

During 2005, Patton teamed up with New York City Hip Hop trio The X-Ecutioners to produce and feature under the title "General Patton vs. The X-Ecutioners", the album was also released via Ipecac Recordings.

In February 2006, Mike Patton performed an operatic piece composed by Eyvind Kang, Cantus Circaeus, at Teatro comunale di Modena in Italy. Patton sang alongside vocalist Jessika Kinney, and was accompanied by the Modern Brass Ensemble, Bologna Chamber Choir, and Alberto Capelli and Walter Zanetti on electric and acoustic guitars. Patton remarked that it was extremely challenging to project the voice without a microphone.

Patton's Peeping Tom album was released on May 30, 2006 on his own Ipecac label. The set was pieced together by swapping song files through the mail with collaborators like Norah Jones, Kool Keith and Massive Attack, Odd Nosdam, Jel, Doseone, Bebel Gilberto, Kid Koala, and Dub Trio.

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In May 2007, he performed with an orchestra a few concerts in Italy, by the name of Mondo Cane, singing Italian oldies from the 50s and the 60s.

In 2008, he performed vocals on the track "Lost Weekend" by The Qemists.

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In December 2008 along with The Melvins, Patton co-curated an edition of the All Tomorrow's Parties Nightmare Before Christmas festival. Patton chose half of the lineup and performed the album The Director's Cut in its entirety with Fantômas. Patton also appeared as Rikki Kixx in the Adult Swim show Metalocalypse in a special 2 part episode on August 24.

On May 4, 2010 Mondo Cane, where Patton worked live with a 30-piece orchestra, was released by Ipecac Recordings. The album was co-produced and arranged by Daniele Luppi. Recorded at a series of European performances including an outdoor concert in a Northern Italian piazza, the CD features traditional Italian Pop songs as well as a rendition of Ennio Morricone's 'Deep Down'.

Other projects have included the Zu / Patton project, a conglomeration of Mike Patton and Italian experimental band Zu, the Kaada/Patton project, his work with Italian Composer Luciano Berio, and Crudo.

Film work: 2005–present

In 2005, Patton signed on to compose the soundtrack for the independent movie Pinion, marking his debut scoring an American feature-length film. However, this had been held up in production and may be on the shelf permanently.

His other film work includes portraying two major characters in the Steve Balderson film Firecracker.

He has also expressed his desire to compose for film director David Lynch.

Mike also provided the voices of the monsters in the 2007 film I Am Legend starring Will Smith.

2008, in Metalocalypse, Patton voices the character of reformed rocker Rikki Kixx on episodes "Snakes n Barrels II" part one and part two. This special 2 part, half-hour presentation aired on Adult Swim August 24, 2008.

He also worked on the Derrick Scocchera short film "A Perfect Place" for the score/soundtrack, which is longer than the film itself.

In 2009 Patton created the soundtrack to the movie Crank: High Voltage.

2010, Patton provided the soundtrack for - The Solitude of Prime Numbers.

2010, in Bunraku, Patton was the Narrator.

Patton composed the soundtrack to the 2012 film "The Place Beyond the Pines".

In 2016 Patton provided the voice to the lead character Eddy Table, in a short animated film called "The Absence of Eddy Table".

Video games: 2007–present

Patton is known to be an avid video game player. In 2007, he provided the voice of the eponymous force in the video game The Darkness, working alongside Kirk Acevedo, Lauren Ambrose and Dwight Schultz. Patton reprised the role in The Darkness II in 2012.

He also had a role in Valve Corporation's 2007 release Portal as the voice of the Anger Sphere in the final confrontation with the insane supercomputer, GLaDOS. He has another role in the Valve title Left 4 Dead, voicing the majority of the infected zombies. He also voiced Nathan "Rad" Spencer, the main character in Capcom's 2009 video game Bionic Commando, a sequel to their classic NES title.

Video games list

  • 2007 – The Darkness – Voice of The Darkness (Starbreeze Studios)
  • 2007 – Portal – Voice of the Anger Core (Valve Software)
  • 2008 – Left 4 Dead – Infected voices, Smoker, Hunter (Valve Software)
  • 2009 – Bionic Commando – Voice of Nathan Spencer – the Bionic Commando (Capcom)
  • 2009 – Left 4 Dead 2 – Infected voices, Smoker, Hunter (Valve Software)
  • 2012 – The Darkness 2 – Voice of The Darkness (Digital Extremes)
  • 2016 - Edge of Twilight - Return to Glory - Vocals for Lithern and Creatures (FUZZYEYES)

External Links




Mike Patton on Ipecac Recordings