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Mike Patton

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Title: Mike Patton  
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Subject: Ipecac Recordings discography, Faith No More, Fantômas (band), Adult Themes for Voice, Midlife Crisis
Collection: 1968 Births, 20Th-Century American Musicians, Alternative Metal Musicians, American Beatboxers, American Classical Composers, American Composers, American Experimental Musicians, American Keyboardists, American Male Classical Composers, American Male Composers, American Male Singers, American Male Voice Actors, American Rock Singers, Experimental Composers, Faith No More Members, Italian-Language Singers, Living People, Melodica Players, Mr. Bungle Members, Musicians from California, People from Eureka, California, Scat Singers, Singers from California, Singers with a Six-Octave or Greater Vocal Range, Tzadik Records Artists
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Mike Patton

Mike Patton
Patton in 2009
Background information
Birth name Michael Allan Patton
Born (1968-01-27) January 27, 1968
Eureka, California, US
  • Musician
  • singer-songwriter
  • actor
  • producer
  • film composer
  • Vocals
  • keyboards
  • guitar
  • bass
  • drums
  • percussion
Years active 1985–present
Associated acts

Michael Allan "Mike" Patton (born January 27, 1968) is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, film composer, producer, and actor, best known as the lead singer of the alternative metal band Faith No More.[4] Patton was also the founder and lead singer of experimental band 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.[5] He has many producer or co-producer credits with artists such as John Zorn, Sepultura, Melvins, Melt-Banana, and Kool Keith. He co-founded Ipecac Recordings with Greg Werckman in 1999, and has run the label since.

He is regarded as very hard-working. Faith No More keyboardist Roddy Bottum remarked about Patton "caffeine is the only drug he does", in reference to the Faith No More song "Caffeine" from the album Angel Dust, which Patton wrote while in the middle of a sleep-deprivation experiment.[6]


  • Early years 1
  • Career 2
    • Faith No More: 1988–1998; 2009–present 2.1
    • Solo work and band projects: 1985–present 2.2
    • Film work: 2005–present 2.3
    • Video games: 2007–present 2.4
  • Personal life 3
  • Style and influences 4
  • Discography 5
  • Selected filmography 6
  • Video game voice work 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Early years

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 Brothers album.


Faith No More: 1988–1998; 2009–present

Patton joined Faith No More in January 1989 replacing Chuck Mosley, who then played with Cement.

Faith No More's The Real Thing was released later that year. The album reached the top ten on the US charts, thanks largely to MTV's heavy rotation of the "Epic" music video, (which featured Patton in a Mr. Bungle T-shirt[7]).

Faith No More released three more studio albums before disbanding in 1998 (Angel Dust, King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime, and Album of the Year).

However, on February 24, 2009 after months of speculation and rumors, Faith No More announced they would be reforming with a line-up identical to the Album of the Year era,[8] embarking on a reunion tour called The Second Coming Tour. To coincide with the band's reunion tour, Rhino released the sixth Faith No More compilation, The Very Best Definitive Ultimate Greatest Hits Collection, a double album that includes their hit singles and b sides & rarities, in the UK on June 8.[9] The same line-up eventually released a new album called Sol Invictus in 2015.

When interviewed about his lyrical content with Faith No More, Patton responded, "I think that too many people think too much about my lyrics. I am more a person who works more with the sound of a word than with its meaning. Often I just choose the words because of the rhythm, not because of the meaning".[10]

Solo work and band projects: 1985–present

Patton performing with Fantômas at Quart Festival, Norway on July 9, 2005.

During his time in Faith No More, Patton continued to work with Mr. Bungle. His success in mainstream rock and metal ultimately helped secure Mr. Bungle a record deal with Warner Bros.[11] The band released a self-titled album (produced by John Zorn) in 1991, and the experimental Disco Volante[12] 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 Zorn and others, notably as part of the "Moonchild Trio" alongside Joey Baron and Trevor Dunn, named after Zorn's album on which the trio first appeared, Moonchild: Songs Without Words.

In 1998, Patton formed the experimental 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.

In 2004, Patton worked with Björk and the beat boxer Rahzel on her album, Medúlla.[13]

In February 2006, Mike Patton performed an operatic piece, composed by Eyvind Kang, at Teatro 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.[14]

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.[15]

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 December 2008 along with Melvins, Patton co-curated an edition of the All Tomorrow's Parties Nightmare Before Christmas festival.[16] 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.[17]

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.[18] 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'.[19]

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.[20] 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.

He also worked on the Derrick Scocchera short film "A Perfect Place" for the score/soundtrack, which is longer than the film itself.[21]

In 2009 Patton created the soundtrack to the movie Crank: High Voltage. He also performed vocals on the track "Lost Weekend" by The Qemists.

Video games: 2007–present

Patton is known to be an avid video game player.[22] In 2007, he provided the voice of the eponymous force in the video game The Darkness,[23] 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.[24] He also voiced Nathan "Rad" Spencer, the main character in Capcom's 2009 video game Bionic Commando, a sequel to their classic NES title.

Personal life

Patton performing with Faith No More at the 2010 Soundwave Festival in Perth.

Patton married Italian artist Cristina Zuccatosta in 1994. They separated in 2001. During an appearance on the radio show, Loveline (Listen), Patton said that it was a case of two people wanting different things and hinted that his excessive work habits may have been a factor. "It's very hard. It's a daily struggle," he commented in regard to the rigors of juggling a busy music career and a marriage. "It had to happen... Even though we knew each other really well when we got married, it doesn't get easier." He later added, "We're trying this. See what happens. There's still hope." Patton used to own a home in Bologna, Italy (which he sold around the time of the break-up), and speaks fluent Italian.[25]

Patton's right hand is permanently numb from an on-stage incident during his third concert with Faith No More, where he accidentally cut himself on a broken bottle and severed tendons and nerves in his hand. He can use his hand, but he has no feeling in it (despite his doctor telling him the opposite would happen).[26]

Patton has garnered critical praise and has been made a heavy metal icon; however, Patton's reaction to this fame has been unconventional. He has acted irreverently towards the music industry, and expressed his distaste for the infamous lifestyles of rock stars. In a 1995 interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, he stated: "It's hard to see as much as you'd like to with our schedule on the road, but it's harder to do coke and fuck whores every night. Now that's a full time job." His contempt for the over-the-top antics of figures in popular music is often cited as the main reason that Patton has always been so guarded about his privacy and personal life.[27]

Style and influences

Patton (left) with Gavin Bryars (bass), Bill Laswell (bass guitar) and Milford Graves (drums) in a 2006 tribute to guitarist Derek Bailey.

Patton's vocals touch on crooning, falsetto, screaming, opera, death growls, rapping, mouth music, beatboxing, and scatting, among other techniques. Critic Greg Prato of AllMusic writes, "Patton could very well be one of the most versatile and talented singers in rock music";[28] colleague Blake Butler called him "a complete and utter musical visionary and a mind-blowing and standard-warping genius."[29]

A list published by the Chicago-based music website Consequence of Sound (CoS), acknowledged Mike Patton as "the greatest singer of all time."[30] The May 2014 article referenced VVN Music's (Vintage Vinyl News) analysis of various rock & pop singers, ranking them in order of their respective octave ranges.[31] The article served as a retraction to a previous article,[32] which originally awarded the number one position to Axl Rose. Both articles praised Patton's impressive 6 octaves, 1/2 note range (Eb1 to E7), versus Axl's admirable 5 octaves, 2-1/2 notes (while mentioning, for transparency, that world record holder Tim Storms has a range of 10 octaves). Others in the top 10 included Diamanda Galás, David Lee Roth, Paul McCartney, Roger Waters, Mariah Carey, Phil Anselmo, German singer Nina Hagen, and Devin Townsend.


Selected filmography

Patton, performing for the Mondo Cane album in 2007

Video game voice work

  • 2007 – The Darkness – Voice of The Darkness (Starbreeze Studios)
  • 2007 – Portal – Voice of the Anger Sphere (Valve Software)
  • 2008 – Left 4 Dead – Infected voices (Valve Software)
  • 2009 – Bionic Commando – Voice of Nathan Spencer – the Bionic Commando (Capcom)
  • 2009 – Left 4 Dead 2 – Infected voices (Valve Software)
  • 2012 – The Darkness 2 – Voice of The Darkness (Digital Extremes)
  • 2013 – The Last of Us – Infected voices (Naughty Dog)


  1. ^ "Stripping rock'n'roll – Music – Entertainment". Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  2. ^ Shore, Robert (February 1, 2013). "Tomahawk, Soilwork, Wounds and Saxon: The best new heavy metal albums | Metro News". Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  3. ^ """Mike Patton to Score Horror Film "The Vatican Tapes. Retrieved May 20, 2015. 
  4. ^ Zorn, John, ed. (2000). Arcana: Musicians on Music. New York: Granary Books/Hips Road. ISBN 1-887123-27-X.
  5. ^ "Digging Deeper: Axl Rose is NOT the Singer With the Widest Range ~ VVN Music". 
  6. ^ "Caffeine — Faith No More —". Retrieved May 20, 2015. 
  7. ^ Cee, Gary (November 30, 1990). "Faith No More: Inside the insatiable Mike Patton". Circus Magazine (#369): pages 62–64. Retrieved 2008-09-26. 
  8. ^ "::official FAITH NO MORE site:: Error::". Retrieved May 20, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Faith No More: 'The Very Best' Greatest-Hits Collection Due In June". Retrieved 2010-11-15. 
  10. ^ Samborska, Agatha (ed.). "Faith No More Frequently Answered Questions". Retrieved July 8, 2011. 
  11. ^ Greg Prato. "Mr. Bungle - Music Biography, Streaming Radio and Discography - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved May 20, 2015. 
  12. ^ Greg Prato. "Disco Volante - Mr. Bungle - Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved May 20, 2015. 
  13. ^ björk : albums : MEDÚLLA
  14. ^ Caca Volante
  15. ^ Andy Couch. "Ipecac Recordings". Retrieved May 20, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Nightmare Before Christmas curated by Melvins and Mike Patton - All Tomorrow's Parties". Retrieved May 20, 2015. 
  17. ^ Mike Patton at the Internet Movie Database
  18. ^ "Mike Patton – Mondo Cane",, Retrieved April 8, 2011.
  19. ^ "MIKE PATTON's MONDO CANE To Release Debut in May". 
  20. ^ "". Retrieved May 20, 2015. 
  21. ^ "Mike Patton". PopMatters. Retrieved May 20, 2015. 
  22. ^ Andy Couch. "Ipecac Recordings". Retrieved May 20, 2015. 
  23. ^ The Darkness Preview – Shacknews – PC Games, PlayStation, Xbox 360 and Wii video game news, previews and downloads
  24. ^ Micah Seff. "Mike Patton is The Darkness". IGN. 
  25. ^ Mike Patton - MR BUNGLE in Bologna 09/02/2000. YouTube. January 18, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2015. 
  26. ^ Epstein, Daniel Robert (May 29, 2006). "Mike Patton Interview". Suicide Girls. Retrieved 2007-07-24. 
  27. ^ Snyder, Michael (March 3, 1995). "KEEPING THE FAITH / Bay Area band revamps and goes back on the road". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
  28. ^ Prato, Greg. "Mike Patton Biography". All Music. Retrieved 2007-04-26. 
  29. ^ Blake Butler. "Tomahawk - Tomahawk - Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved May 20, 2015. 
  30. ^ "Turns out Mike Patton, and not Axl Rose, is the greatest singer of all time". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved May 20, 2015. 
  31. ^ "Digging Deeper: Axl Rose is NOT the Singer With the Widest Range ~ VVN Music". Retrieved May 20, 2015. 
  32. ^ "Axl Rose is the greatest singer of all time — or, so says this chart - Consequence of Sound". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved May 20, 2015. 
  33. ^ Andy Couch. "Ipecac Recordings – News". Retrieved 2013-07-01. 

External links

  • Ipecac Recordings
  • Mike Patton at the Internet Movie Database
  • Faith No More – Official website
  • Mr. Bungle – Official website
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