FAITH NOIR Mike Patton


Mike Patton dips into
film scoring.

By Doug Wallen


“I’ve always had a turn-on for film music. I wanted to give
it a try,” says Mike Patton, the man from Fantomas
and Peeping Tom (and, previously, Faith No More and Mr. Bungle)
made some insane music over the years and lent his vocal gymnastics to everyone
from John Zorn to Bjork. The chance finally came when filmmaker Derrick Scocchera brought him the black-and-white short A Perfect Place, about two guys trying
to get rid of a corpse.


“This was a little training-wheels way of doing [a film
score],” Patton explains. Still, he wound up composing twice as much music as
needed for the 25-minute noir. “I was so excited that I went a little
overboard.” Having 50 minutes of music made it a natural decision to release
the score and film as a CD/DVD package via Patton’s record label, Ipecac. “It was a no-brainer. I have a label, my friend has a
short film. There’s no real outlet for that.”


Technically, this isn’t Patton’s first foray into film. Though
it may surprise fans of his out-there output, he provided “voices” for the
creatures in the Will Smith blockbuster I
Am Legend
. “It sort of landed in my lap. They were dissatisfied with their
zombie sound effects and I guess they wondered if it’d be possible for a human
to make these sounds.”


He’s also voiced videogames, including the title role in the
upcoming re-imagining of Bionic Commando,
an ’80s classic about a soldier with a extendable robotic arm. (“Yeah, the guy
with the arm,” he laughs.) Patton says it’s not such a big leap. “It’s like
putting on another suit. I have this set of tools to work with.”


As if his dance card wasn’t
crowded enough, he’s finishing up an album from his latest undertaking, Mondo
Cane. “It’s a big, complicated project,” he admits, citing a 10-piece band plus
a full symphony orchestra and choir. The project was inspired by Italian pop
crooners from the ’50s and ’60s who enlisted top arrangers and composers for
backing. “It’s my version of that music, so it’s a little bit twisted and I
definitely rearranged some things. But it’s me in that environment.”


When asked if the album’s coming
out on Ipecac, Patton cackles and replies, “Who else would do it?”


[Photo Credit: Dustin Rabin]

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