On September 14th 2021 it was announced that our man of 1000 voices wasn't doing too well. His mental health had suffered due to the pandemic which led to the unfortunate cancellation of much anticipated Faith No More and Mr. Bungle shows. Thirteen months since this statement and Mike Patton is in a good place getting ready for his return.
There was an unprecedented outpouring of concern and sympathy on social media from fans who were heartbroken to hear that their hero was in pain - so much so that Ipecac Recordings were compelled to speak out on his behalf.
"Patton is feeling all of the support and we thank you for the many wishes, prayers, shared stories, advice, pictures, music, offers of help etc that you have sent. The most important thing we can each do is to take care of ourselves and the people around you."
Patton has always lived on the edge of craziness through his avant-guard music, seemingly eccentric behaviour on stage and his reclusive nature off stage. All of which adds to his legend and facilitates his genius. But - to find out that Mike was suffering from mental health issues was unexpected and unsettling for many of us. Throughout his career Mike has never cancelled shows and has always thrived on being a live performer.
July 19th 2022 was a day of mixed emotions, Rolling Stone Magazine published Patton's first full interview in over a year.
"I was afraid of people. I got freaked out by being around people. And maybe that was because I spent two years basically indoors during Covid. I don’t know."
We read about Mike's struggles with agoraphobia but also that he was working through it.
"I’m feeling better and feeling more secure and feel like my confidence is coming back. And now I gotta dip my toe back in the water at some point and just see how it goes. So that will be in December with Bungle in South America."
This Halloween sees the release of the second Dead Cross record with Lombardo, Crain, Pearson and Patton leaning heavy on the promo. Podcasts, interviews and a bunch of exciting photos from Becky DiGiglio give the impression that Mike is back in shape and ready to ensue mayhem once again.
On October 19th The Guardian shared a second candid conversation with Patton in which he discussed his troubles further.
“My initial response to the pandemic was: ‘I love this shit!’. It allowed me to be an antisocial motherfucker! I had maybe three months of that: ‘This is fucking awesome!’ Then something changed – and not for the better.”
“Because I was isolated so much, going outside was a hard thing to do, and that’s a horrible thing. And the idea of doing more Faith No More shows – it was stressful. It affected me mentally. I don’t know why, but the drinking just … happened.”
However Patton tells us he has been sober “for a while” and is “doing pretty good”. He is excited to get back on the road with Mr. Bungle in South America this December, “but I’m also afraid”, he says.
Of what? “I’m afraid of myself. The band is rock solid and I want to make sure that I bring it. There are a few issues going on.”