Beat Issue March 1997
[FNM in its 15. year]
by Kjersti Lund
Mike Patton is of the rather grumpy type. He enters the room - a salon with a fireplace in horrible English interior design - without shorts, wihtout his trademark eyebrow ring and without Billy Gould - the talkative guy in FNM. But WITH suntanned chin, jellied hair, pressed pants and a sparkling wedding-ring.
The posibility of him wishing he were back in Italy (from where he just arrived) with his italian wife, is very, very strong. But he won't be able to slip away, because FNM have a new album out, titled AOTY. That should offer some quality assurance?
-It's got more feelings and *balance* than our previous albums. Possibly it's darker too. I don't think we developed too much from album to album before. But now it's easy to trace [a development].
Mike Patton isn't exactly "Mister Happy-go-lucky". And he doesn't brag either.
-We aren't too good with song-titles. Naming songs is torture! That's why we come up with titles like "The Big Kahuna", a song which incidentally didn't make it to the album because it didn't fit in. And no, we didn't get the name off "Pulp Fiction".
-How do you explain Naked in front of the computer?
-Yes! That's a good one! That took some time conjuring up. Isn't that a chatroom on the internet? Anyway, Billy is completely hooked, and he found this sex chatroom with that name. As I understand it, anyway.
-But are you never naked in front of the computer?
-No. No. No. I hate computers, the internet, chatlines and all that crap. Billy, however, loves it.
-So you don't care about the FNM homepage "Caca Volante"? There you could've defended yourself against all the untrue rumours circulating about you?
-I don't want to defend myself in a bad chatroom. Anyway, what is there to defend? I can sit shielding myself every day, the rest of my life and go insane. Instead I say "fuck it" -everything's wonderful. I eat shit. Whatever you want. OK?
-But do you? There's been some stories about just that...
-Yes, today I feel like eating shit. Mmmmm, a plate of deep-fried shit, please.
FNM are going on their fifteenth year, but it's still possible to make Mike speechless.
-I just talked to a Norwegian newspaper on the phone. They asked some really dumb questions.
-"When were you last drunk?" "Are you rock 'n' roll?" HA! "Are you rock 'n' roll?" That's decidedly the lamest question anyone ever asked me. Ha ha ha!
-What did you answer?
-I don't remember. I became speechless.
SNIP! [Here there was the usual part about all the guitarists coming and going]
-We have another guitarist. I really wish I could say that "this is the MAN!" and that everything's beautiful, but we've said that three fucking times already. I don't know any longer - it's either us or the guitarists. What I do know is that guitarists stink.
-I thought drummers were the worst?
-No, guitarists have this personality, a "thing"... They wanna show off and jerk off. In our band there's no room for that, Every instrument has its specific function, and I think we are kind of militaristic about it.
-Does your sideproject [sic] Mr. Bungle lie closest to your heart?
-I guess you're going to write that no matter what, so I won't bother answering that. THey're different bands... I use a lot of time on Mr.Bungle, more than anything else I do. There are absolutely no common denominators between the two bands, except I'm in both and that they could do fine without me.
SNIP! [The usual part about Bungle touring, Imperial Teen blah blah]
-The music business is preposterous, he continues.
-The same bullshit all over. Interviews are by no means pleasuable. It's pretty stupid - the same journalists interviewing us every time. I try to tell them: "Hey, you know me, and nothing happened since last time". I don't understand it any longer, the only thing the media care about printing are the old stories about me eating shit, and putting shit in a blowdryer in a hotel once.
-But you're here, and still talking. And you're angry.
-The day is still young. Just you wait till five, I'll show you angry!
Thanks to Eric Vogel.