Mike Patton may be one of the greatest frontmen with one of the greatest voices in rock, but he has a humble perspective about his role in the bands he fronts. He thinks that most singers are idiots who think they own the show, and that the most important thing to do as a vocalist is to simply be part of the band.
The rocker has been most active lately with the groups Faith No More, Mr. Bungle and Dead Cross, the second of which has some upcoming shows scheduled for December, and the third of which has an album coming out later this month.
Despite his importance in each group as a vocalist, Patton considers himself only to be a “component” of each band.
“I still see it as, ‘I am here to help,’” he explained during an interview with Bandcamp. “I am a component. I think that’s important, but let’s be honest: Singers are fucking idiots. They think they own the fucking show, but they don’t, okay? That’s one thing I’ve learned over the years: All you’ve gotta do is sit back and be a part of the fucking band.”
“That’s what I’ve tried to do with these guys,” he continued. “I’m not pushing ideas on them, because guess what? They’ve got great ideas, and I don’t want to fuck it up. I’m involved in another project now where it’s kind of the same thing—it’s like, ‘You don’t need me. You need my voice. That’s it.’”
In late 2021, Faith No More and Mr. Bungle both canceled a series of concerts that were planned so that Patton could focus on his mental health. Several months later, he opened up about the troubles he’d been facing during an interview with Rolling Stone, stating that he was diagnosed with agoraphobia as a result of the isolation from the pandemic.
“A few days before [Faith No More] were supposed to go on the road, I told the guys, ‘Hey man, I don’t think I can do it.’ Somehow my confidence was broken down. I didn’t want to be in front of people, which is weird because I spent half of my life doing that,” Patton recalled. “It was very hard to explain. And there were some broken feelings on both sides about it, but it’s what I had to do. Because otherwise something really bad could have happened.”
However, Mr. Bungle’s two performances in Chile and Brazil are still set to take place in December. And in the meantime, Dead Cross’ sophomore album Dead Cross II will be out Oct. 28.