Mike Patton's Peeping Tom Released 15 Years Ago
The eponymous album by Mike Patton and various collaborators was released via Ipecac Recordings on May 30th 2006.
In the early 2000's, after both Faith No More and Mr. Bungle had parted ways, Patton spread his musical wings and delivered various very different projects. His focus was on the disturbing, complex and extremely brutal band Fantômas. Yet it would seem that there was a need for the man of a thousand voices to manipulate the whole music spectrum and satisfy his lighter side - Peeping Tom was the avant-guarde pop music result.
"In a way, this is an exercise for me: taking all these things I've learned over the years and putting them into a pop format. I've worked with many people who have said to me, 'Oh you have a pop record in you, eventually you'll find it,' and I always laughed at them. I guess I owe them an apology."
"I don't listen to the radio, but if I did, this is what I'd want it to sound like. This is my version of pop music. In way, this is an exercise for me: taking all these things I've learned over the years and putting them into a pop format." - Patton 2006
Patton is a cinefile without a doubt, so much so that many of his projects are named after some of his favourite movies: Peeping Tom is a 1960 British horror by Michael Powell.
Peeping Tom demos floated around the bootleg circuit as early as 2000, but the final record was delayed six years due to Patton's commitments with Fantômas, Tomahawk, Lovage and more.
"I’m overjoyed to finally have this out of my hair.It’s almost cathartic for me — more than any other project I’ve had. These projects, they’re almost like problems. You have them on your work table and they’re really fun for a minute, and then you get sick of ’em and you finish ’em off and move on to something else. This one has lingered for a lot of different reasons.” - Patton 2006
In a similar way to his other projects Patton wrote the music and sought out collaborators who he hoped would contribute to the finished tracks. The album featured performances by Norah Jones, Kool Keith, Doseone, Dub Trio, Kid Koala, Massive Attack, Dan the Automator and more. The songs were pieced together by music files sent back and forth over the internet.
"If there's one thing I learned from Peeping Tom, it's that working with so many collaborators takes a hell of a long time. It was challenging to be a whip-cracker and a composer and be sympathetic at the same time. I didn't even meet a lot of these people until years later. Doing everything via email or an FTP site is certainly a more impersonal way of making music, but in other ways it can be more direct because you're getting unfiltered ideas. If I do another one, I'd change some things. But it was definitely a worthwhile experience." - Patton 2013
Patton put together a live band which at various point featured Imani Coppola and Butterscotch on vocals. The band toured the UK, Europe and the USA throughout 2006 and 2007 beginning on July 14th in Belgium and ending almost a year later on April 27th at Coachella Festival in California.
The album spawned two singles Mojo and We're Not Alone. The first of which was accompanied by a video featuring Danny DeVito.
"I don't really limit my influences. Everything in my life influences me, from my morning coffee to each meal. Really hard to nail down. Danny Devito influences me!" - Patton 2006