MIKE PATTON Explains How Meshuggah ‘Shames’ Him, Talks Mr. Bungle Reunion. Also, Balkan gypsy music.


During an appearance on The Boo Crew, Faith No More singer Mike Patton talked about his musical preferences, explaining which music draws him, while also touching on the Mr. Bungle reunion.

“The stuff I like is anything that kind of shames me, that makes me feel like I should just quit. Lately, I would say, there’s a Romanian band called Taraf de Haidouks. It’s a gipsy band, they just play a thousand miles an hour, like, faster than any of us could ever do, and more precise, just amazing.”

“And then Meshuggah maybe, they just shame you, they put you in your place, like, ‘Oh, I can’t do that.’ On a vocalist level, just listen to Stevie Wonder records, like, [1979’s] ‘Secret Life of Plants’ or any other records in that period, the early ’70s. It’s just, like, ‘Okay, I should just quit.'”

In the early ’90s, when Mr. Bungle was touring in support of the first studio album, when I think about bands that were truly unsettling both musically and in presentation, Mr. Bungle was very much that. What was the genesis going into that era, and that presentation?

“What I would say is, like, we were kind of sick of people wanting to hear pop songs. I mean, the music drives all of it. The way we were dressed up, that was just an afterthought. So basically we were kind of fighting our own success in a way, trying to establish our own identity within that framework and wearing masks and looking crazy, you know, that was a bonus. We have done many tours after that with no masks at all. Was it less scary? I don’t know. I don’t think that had much to do with it really, it really was about us just taking a turn, kind of a little detour from what we thought people wanted to hear and wanting to see, we just gave them something else.”

Mr. Bungle is returning to the stage after 20 years for a few shows and those are kind of spread out over LA, New York, and San Francisco in February. You guys are playing the very first demo from ’86. What was behind that decision to do that demo and to take Bungle back on stage?

“We’ve been talking about doing stuff together again, and reuniting, but it was, like, ‘How can we do it in a really unique way?’ This is what we decided, I really pushed it hard: ‘Let’s just play the thrash-metal stuff only.’
And so yeah, that’s sort of what ended up happening, and then, by the grace of God, we recruited two of our heroes, that basically helped us write that music, even though they weren’t there.
Dave Lombardo and Scott Ian, those guys, like, we worship those sons of bitches, and it was so fucking cool to get them to join our band, like to redo this stuff. It’s gonna be really, really good, better than it was then. I was shocked that they were totally into it.”

Were you surprised at the response of the fans when tickets went on sale and having to try to add shows and tickets selling out in seconds?

“It’s a little weird, I’ll admit, a little weird. All I kept thinking was, ‘Do these people know what they’re gonna see?
I mean, the music we’re going to be playing, and the style we’re going to be playing in is most likely not what they want to hear, so there’s gonna be some pissed off people. [Laughs] But I think that’s what it’s about.”


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