Interview with Roddy Bottum and Mike Patton

Interview with Roddy Bottum and Mike Patton

This is the interview that i, zena burns, did with roddy bottum and somewhat with mike patton at the lafayette coney island in detroit on 23 may 1995. i say somewhat mike because i didn't expect him and didn't really ask questions, we just talked and i put the recorder away as soon as i realized it was still on. hope you enjoy.

Zena

  • ZB- i know that you've said a lot that you didn't have as much input with this album. even though you weren't as involved with it, are you satisfied with it?
  • RB- no, not at all. well, a lot of it comes down to me not being involved, and that's pretty egotistical, and at this point in my life i'm pretty much a control freak. So the fact that i'm out here promoting something that i wasn't involved in making really kinda gets me down.
  • ZB- does that make you a lot more interested in getting back to imperial teen?
  • RB- yeah. i mean, in comparison that's something that i, you know, i'm absolutely hands-on. i have something to do with everything that gets done with that band - (one of the old greek guys at the coney asks me where i've been and i need to explain to him that i moved away for school. i apologize to roddy........)
  • RB- that's cool. but that's something that i'm involved in 100% of everything that's done. it's a lot more rewarding and it's also something that i speak a lot more personally through. being able to be a singer in a band and, like, you know, expressing beliefs, credos, whatever, is a lot more powerful and a lot more fulfilling than just doing keyboard something or other in a band. so yeah, it leads me to think that, that i'd rather do stuff with imperial teen, but at the same time i'm not opposed to doing something more with faith no more where i'm more involved. in the future that will work well for me too. it's just kind of a contradiction to be out here working as hard as i am with faith no more for something that i had very little to do with.
  • ZB- getting back to imperial teen, i know that you were shopping around to killrockstars and a couple different labels. how did you end up at warner? it's kind of a jump from killrockstars....
  • RB- well, we originally wanted to put out a single and i wanted to go with whoever would put it out on a cool label and cool people and not be perceived as some corporate anything. coming from a band like faith no more i'm obviously at a disadvantage.
  • ZB- yeah, i can't really think of anybody who has made the jump from major to indie and be able to lead that double existence.
  • RB- which is pretty crass, you know, because i have the facilities to put a record out on a major, but i just wanted to do a single basically, and that was what we started doing. but basically no one was interested in putting out a single. we sent it to a lot of people and no one responded back. killrockstars too, you know, i talked to that guy online, i sent him the tape, and no one ever responded. whatever, maybe they weren't interested, but i sent tapes to a lot of people and i didn't say who i was or anything, and no one ever called back. so it really came down to time constraints, like all of a sudden faith no more was going to go on the road. it got, like, really last-minute and slash even at that point and warner brothers, well, it's going to be on slash, wasn't even interested. there were like three weeks left before faith no more went on tour forever and ever so we said let's just go in and record the record ourselves in a shitty studio, put it out by ourselves, maybe sell it to some independent label later, get someone to put it out for us or put it out ourselves. that's what we were going to do. so we were all ready to do that and then i talked to my friend at slash and he said, "what's going on with your other band?" so i said, "well...." and i was telling him what we were going to do and he said, "you know, we would let you do a one-off deal on slash/warner bros. if that's what you want to do." so it basically came down to spending a little bit more money and doing it in a studio that we wanted to record it in and working with people we wanted to work with. it wasn't a lot - we did the whole thing for $10,000, which is really cheap.
  • ZB- i heard you were going to use kelley deal to produce it. did that not happen for the obvious reasons?
  • RB- obvious or not, she just never called back. you know, after all that stuff went down, we kept calling her and she never returned our calls. i heard she was into it - i talked to her after we sent her the tape and she was really into it.
  • ZB- are you friends with her or was it just a working relationship?
  • RB- i met her a couple of times. she said she was into doing it, but, you know, i think she was a little nervous also. i mean, she's never produced before, but i'm glad it worked out the way that it did.
  • ZB- so you're satisfied with it?
  • RB- oh yeah, yeah.
  • ZB- do you plan to tour or are you just into doing one-off dates?
  • RB- no, we're going to tour, like, i have ten days off with faith no more in july and i think we're going to tour then.
  • ZB- you're just a machine!
  • RB- i know, it's a little crazy, but faith no more tours tend to go kinda lackadaisically.
  • ZB- b-sides - have you ever thought about doing a smashing pumpkins type thing and putting your b-sides all together, because a lot of my personal favorites are b-sides.
  • RB- yeah, we put out one thing that i think just came out in europe called songs to make love to.
  • ZB- is that the same thing that came out in america?
  • RB- i don't think it came out in america.
  • ZB- no, songs to make love to came out in america.
  • RB- oh, it did?
  • ZB- yeah, like two years ago.
  • RB- well, that was kind of along that line. it seems like most of our b-sides are very sort of quiet.
  • ZB- yeah, i know that "spanish eyes" is one i haven't heard you play yet.
  • RB- nnno.
  • ZB- well, that part after "prettiest eyes in all of mexico," - i just piss myself every time i hear that.
  • RB- it's pretty funny.
  • ZB- i know that the b-sides from this album, like "absolute zero" a lot of people are surprised that they didn't get on the album and what not. i was really impressed with "i wanna fuck myself" i thought you really stayed true to the g.g. allin d.i.y. ethic.
  • RB- that was pretty good, wasn't it?
  • ZB- did you play guitar on that?
  • RB- i played bass on that.
  • ZB- coming from g.g.'s hometown, that really meant a lot.
  • RB- (laughing) did it?
  • ZB- it really did.
  • RB- it's cool, it's such a classic song, you know, it's really good.
  • ZB- yeah, when he was in jail, one of his many times, there's this local paper called jam rag, it's a music paper, and he put personal ads in jam rag for pen pals in jail!
  • RB- really?
  • ZB- yeah, it'd say, "join g.g. and fight oppression," and yadda yadda yadda, and they'd be personal ads, like any other ad. it was so funny.
  • RB- what a nut that guy was!
  • ZB- yeah, the murder junkies are actually still playing around detroit.
  • RB- are they?
  • ZB- they played sunday but i didn't find out until yesterday.
  • RB- who sang?
  • ZB- i have no idea. it said g.g. allin on the flyer, but i think that must've been a joke.
  • RB- but yeah, i would like to put out a b-side thing. it would be cool. i mean, the low-tech stuff we've done i really like. i mean, everything that we've recorded by ourselves. anything low-tech i think is great. i like pushing that boundary. faith no more now spends a lot of money when we record. but the fact that it can be done with not a lot of money is such a universally appealing theme. everyone should know that, that you can make really great songs and record them for really cheap. a great song is a great song.
  • ZB- this is just a really old question that i didn't know the answer to and it's not really relevant, but what was the deal with mark bowen? i know he was your guitarist at one point, but there's been a lot of speculation as to what the deal was.
  • RB- oh, i think he just didn't show up at practice or something and we decided to drop him.
  • ZB- and the song came from that?
  • RB- no, i think he had started that song. he started playing that basic riff so we started calling it that and we named it after him.
  • ZB- are you big into the internet or is it just america online?
  • RB- i'm not on the internet. america online is it.
  • ZB- yeah, it's the same thing with me. i had access in college but i was dumb and couldn't figure out how to use it.
  • RB- it's tougher to use, is it?
  • ZB- for me it is.
  • RB- not as user-friendly, huh?
  • ZB- no. bill's on the internet, isn't he? because i saw that he has like nine different addresses.
  • RB- yeah, he's everywhere.
  • ZB- it's too confusing. i can't deal with it!
  • RB- i can barely do america online. i mean, i like it a lot but it's very time consuming.
  • ZB- ...and it's not cheap.
  • RB- and that caca volante list too was just INSANE!
  • ZB- but they're doing it as digests now. have you gotten any shirts yet?
  • RB- no, but someone was telling me about them. i met two guys in, um, where were they from? they were main guys, like, hal and some other guy.
  • ZB- i think you met them in philly.
  • RB- yeah, in philly i talked to them. hal was really cool, i liked him. have you met him before?
  • ZB- i talk to him online sometimes. he seems like a nice guy.
  • RB- is there a hierarchy?
  • ZB- well, there are some people who have inside info that not everyone else has.
  • RB- (laughing) like what?
  • ZB- well, i don't know if you want to talk about this or not....
  • RB- (laughing) sure i do!
  • ZB- there are some people online who suggest that the parting with trey wasn't as amicable as it was made to sound in the press if you know what i mean......
  • RB- i don't know, you know, i was never really friends with them. we were friendly with each other and we don' t have any problems. i think that billy and people who have more at stake, you know, people who were way more involved like we talked about, way more involved in the recording process and the whole process of hiring trey and working with trey......you know, i worked with him and helped to hire him and everything, but i think the other people in the band had a lot more at stake and were really crushed when he chose not to be in the band. so, you know, that comes up in interviews, and they start talking shit about him because they felt bad about him leaving. besides the fact that i'm pretty forgiving anyway and probably wouldn't care even if i did have as much at stake as they did, but i didn't have as much at stake because i wasn't as involved.
  • ZB- just as a casual outside observer, it seems like you're happy with dean.
  • RB- yeah, sure, i always wanted dean, but at that point when it came to, you know, decision-making time as to who we were going to hire, i was, like, way too involved with too many other things. i mean, my father was absolutely dying at that point, and i was, like, whatever you guys, make a decision, i can't really be there.
  • ZB- you gotta keep your priorities......
  • RB- yeah, but given a perfect scenario, i would have absolutely wanted dean.
  • ZB- it seems like, you know, i've been following faith no more since 1989, and actually the first time you came around was with robert plant and at that point my mom wouldn't let me go to hard rock or rap shows.
  • RB- just hard rock or rap, she wouldn't let you go to those?
  • ZB- well, actually the only other show i'd been to was michael jackson.....so i wasn't allowed to go to hard rock or rap shows, and i was BEGGING my mom to let me go and her friend the bishop was over and had had a few drinks in him and he made her let me go to the show! i used to watch your videos with him and whenever mike would do his hair thing he'd say, "ooh, that looks like it would hurt his neck!' and stuff.
  • RB- (laughing) really???
  • ZB- yeah, but it seems like having seen all those faith no more shows that it's gone from faith no more vs. each other to faith no more vs. the audience, and that's kinda the guns n' roses thing, to, i mean, the show in cleveland i was at the other night was the first show i've seen on this tour and with dean and i was kind of shocked because i think it was the first faith no more show i've ever seen where you seemed to be having a good time not at the expense of each other and not at the expense of the audience.
  • RB- well that's interesting..........
  • ZB- which is cool by itself, i mean, if you want to have fun at the expense of the audience that's fine, but in cleveland it looked like you were having fun without turmoil or tension between you or the audience. is that how it is?
  • RB- yeah, that's definitely how it is. i never would have thought it was that evident from an audience perspective.
  • ZB- well, i don't think it's evident if you're just like a casual person watching the show...
  • RB- right.....
  • ZB- but i'm not trying to be cool or anything, but i've been into you for a long time.....
  • RB- no, but even to anyone, i mean, even to my best friends, i don't think it would be that evident. but i guess it is, it's always that way. you never think that people can see what they do see.
  • ZB- ....i could be wrong......
  • RB- no no no no no, you're absolutely right. that's exactly how it works, just like you said.
  • ZB- i was really surprised when you went from matt wallace to andy wallace, just because he'd been there from the get-go, but what prompted that, and are you happy with the way it......well, obviously you're not happy with the album, but were you happy with andy himself.
  • RB- i'm proud of the production of it, basically. i think it cost way too much money to make.
  • ZB- but does that have anything to do with going way out there.....
  • RB- well, yeah, the studio was really expensive.
  • ZB- did you have anything to do with that car crash that i read about in every single interview?
  • RB- no, uh uh. i wasn't even in the car. it was a pretty horrible car accident actually. i mean, the car flipped over.....
  • ZB- who was in the car?
  • RB- it was trey, mike bordin, and mike patton. yeah, it was ugly.

    (enter mike patton)

  • ZB- hi, i'm zena.
  • RB- hey.
  • ZB- mike, how ya doing?
  • MP- good!
  • RB- i was going to call you and tell you we were going to here.
  • MP- oh yeah? there's one next door.....
  • ZB- NO! NEVER go to the one next door! never never never. it's terrible. i'm supposed to meet mike bordin at four, should i get going?
  • RB- it's quarter to four, you can hang out for a while. mike, zena's on cv, that internet list.......
  • MP- ohhhh.......can i have a menu?
  • ZB- it's just loose burgers and coneys and fries.
  • MP- burgers and coneys, okay....
  • ZB- no, LOOSE burgers and coneys.
  • MP- loose burgers, oh god.
  • RB- it's flat, right?
  • ZB- no, these are chili fries (what he was eating) and loose burgers are just a bun with hamburger meat, chili, mustard, and onions.
  • MP- right....
  • RB- well you want a coney dog?
  • MP- yeah, that's what i'm going to get.
  • ZB- (to rb) are you enjoying your coneys?
  • RB- yeah, they're really good?
  • MP- how many should i get?
  • ZB- get two. they're really good.
  • MP- okay. (to guy who takes orders...) yeah, i'm gonna get two coneys, and fries, and a coke.
  • ZB- there's this bungle song that i have on a boot, and if it has a name i don't know it, but it goes, "shitty shitty fatty fucky...." do you know what i'm talking about??
  • MP- yeah, yeah, it's just an outtake, yeah. how did you HEAR that?
  • ZB- well, i have a lot of boots.
  • MP- but that's not even, you know.....
  • ZB- well, i just get a lot of stuff.....
  • MP- tell me where you got it.
  • ZB- from around, from people.......
  • MP- just tell me! you can tell me.
  • ZB- (trying to change subject) actually i just got a package full of stuff from theo today.
  • MP- ahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!
  • ZB- no no! it wasn't from him, it wasn't from him! i think theo made a lot of money selling stuff.
  • RB- wow, did he charge you for it?
  • ZB- oh yeah.
  • RB- how much.
  • ZB- i think it was ten or fifteen dollars for the 7"....
  • MP- oh yeah, that was our scam, we made a bunch of those for ourselves. did you meet him online?
  • ZB- yeah.
  • MP- i haven't started selling mine yet. i'm gonna wait.
  • ZB- well, they're selling like hotcakes on the internet!
  • MP- what we did was we made, i don't remember, a few hundred and then just split them up. i think we were getting six or seven for them in san francisco. it's got live stuff on it too, right?
  • ZB- no, no that one.......
  • MP- oh, that's the other one!
  • ZB- yeah, that's the italian one which i still can't find. this one is the gray vinyl with the flaming lips b-side.
  • MP- right.....that's like a label compilation release.
  • ZB- (to rb) i was going to make you a tape of this telly savalas album that i thought you'd enjoy, but i accidentally left it in chicago.
  • RB- (to mp) you have that one, don't you?
  • MP- i have a couple of his records.
  • ZB- do you have the one that's just telly savalas?
  • MP- ummm, i have a live one and i have a couple singles.
  • ZB- there's a song on the self titled one called "we both knew it was over" - have you ever heard that one?
  • MP- no, i haven't.
  • ZB- well it's all about how telly fucks some girl and its the morning after and she's making him coffee but she's supposed to know that telly just wanted a one night stand.
  • MP- he's amazzzzzzzzzing!
  • RB- (giggles)
  • ZB- there's this picture on the back of the record of telly with some girl on his jock wearing gold chains and leaning up against a wall all cool.......
  • RB- ....being telly....
  • ZB- telly's the shitty. i also have disco tex and the sex-o-lettes.
  • RB- wow, i haven't heard that.
  • ZB- he's like this 55 year old jewish guy with these las vegas showgirls flanking him. (to mp, pointing at the bruise on his face) i heard you got this in seattle on bill's bass, huh?
  • MP- (laughing) oh, that's the online talk, huh?
  • ZB- they made it look really bad, like you just ripped it open......
  • MP- i think billy posted some thing.......he was telling me, "these kids, i don't know how they know! i mean, the next day they're talking about you hitting my bass....." did billy post that notice?
  • ZB- no, somebody saw the show and posted it........i gave roddy my prized possession, the ted nugent spirit of the wild catalog.
  • MP- (bewildered) ahhhhhhh!
  • ZB- you have to read it cover to cover, it's not something you can just flip through.
  • MP- oh god, steve (white, their tour manager who used to work for damn yankees) is gonna love that!
  • RB- (opening up to the "rocco collection" where ted's scary looking five year old son models all of the kids' hunting gear) yeah, this is his son. (giggles)
  • MP- (reading from catalog) "we believe ted is one of the greatest role models in the world today.' oh my goddddd.
  • RB- (reading from catalog) "start 'em right!" (giggles)
  • MP- this is one "wild child" (reading) "lil......
  • RB & ZB- "lil' wacker"!!!
  • MP- does this stuff sell? i guess it does!
  • ZB- this summer i'm going to tedquarters. it's about an hour and a half away from here. it's got the hunting store, the sunrize acres hunting ranch, and the ted nugent indoor shooting range.
  • RB- are you gonna interview him?
  • ZB- no, i'm just going to experience it.
  • MP- (laughing) a vacation, huh?
  • RB- (pointing at the camo shirt modeled by ted's wife shemane that i pointed out earlier and reading the caption) "thighracious!" (everyone laughs)
  • MP- oh my god - look at that cowboy hat, man!
  • ZB- it's $337!!!!!
  • RB- (looking at catalog) wow, he made a record of just hunt music!
  • MP- really? music for the hunt?
  • ZB- yeah, he's got a show on PBS, and if you call and give them x amount of dollars you can get the "fred bear" single and all this nuge shit.............

    (i put the recorder away.........)

Thanks to Zena Burns.

Source: Zena Burns
© 1995-2001,2011-2012 Stefan Negele