Ask Patton: Dillinger Escape Plan, Massive Attack, DoseOne, Portishead, Deftones and Phantom Band submit their questions...

Collaborators, friends and fans from music communities far and wide pitch questions to Ipecac Records boss and Faith No More frontman Mike Patton

Feature by Dave Kerr | 29 Apr 2010

How the hell did you manage to stage dive into the crowd and get back on stage while simultaneously singing every word perfectly the other night in San Francisco? I was amazed.
“Well Ben should know better than me because he’s always in the crowd, I could probably learn a couple of things from him! If there was a technique to that I’d be signing up for the course immediately. I’m a pretty good swimmer, maybe that’s it!”

Can we do some recording again? There’s some unfinished business to attend to…

"Yeah, yeah, well, he knows the answer to that! [laughs]. There is unfinished business and yes Robert, let’s do more recording. That has to do more with Massive Attack than me. Snap your fingers, click your heels and I’ll just appear in Bristol!"

What was it like to work with Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E.?

“Oh my God. Fun! I’ve never seen so many guys dancing with guns in my life. It was them and their whole crew dancing with automatic weapons in the studio. I’m just, like, ducking, and we’re all going ‘Jesus, someone’s gonna get shot in here!” But they were very adept at doing gun dances. They’re from Carson, which is a Samoan ‘hood near South Central.”

Since you’re my label boss I’d better be gentle. If you could destroy a musical genre in one go, what would it be? And what are your top 5 most hated songs of all time?

“Gee, what can I destroy in one fell swoop? I would say house music; I got home from Coachella yesterday completely exhausted and one of my neighbours was having a party to that – it was just ‘boom, boom’, and I couldn’t sleep. Let’s just do away with that, shall we? Top 5? What would the top 5 most current house tunes be? I’ll take them all!”

I was looking at your Ipecac website the other day and was overwhelmed by how many great artists you’ve taken under your wing and put out on the label. For instance, this German, down tempo, dark jazz group called Bohren & Der Club of Gore; they’re so far removed from anything that’s popular about music today. How did you find them?

“I was on tour with Tomahawk in Malmö, Sweden – completely bored, walking around a strange town, just me and the bassplayer Kevin [Rutmanis], and we see this funny looking shop called the Scandinavian Heavy Metal Exchange, or something like that, and thought ‘well, we’ve gotta go in here’. We walk in and – I shit you not – the guy behind the counter is wearing corpse paint, like [deep voice] ‘Welcome!’

"So we’re just looking around, trying not to laugh – thinking ‘wow, so this is Sweden, I guess they take that stuff seriously up here, hmm’ – when we hear one of Bohren & Der Club of Gore’s old records playing. We were looking at each other, like ‘what the fuck is this? Could this guy seriously be playing something like that?’ Finally, we get the courage up to ask. He shows us the record and I say ‘well, man, I’ll take one and he’ll take one’. He says’ no, we don’t sell it’, and I say ‘what are you playing it for then, man?’ It became a quest for us to find out more about this group. We did, we got really lucky and were able to work with them.”

If you had to choose one piece of your work to leave behind as your definitive musical statement, what would it be?

“I can’t think of anything that would horrify me enough to make me want to crawl in the grave, so I guess I better think of something that’s actually OK. The problem is that I don’t have a real close relationship – especially after the fact – with my records. They’re my lovers when I’m making them, that’s for sure, but afterwards it’s like ‘Hey, move on.' How about Mondo Cane? It’s my most current and it’s my most romantic. I could die to that music!”

Mondo Cane is released via Ipecac on 3 May.

Mike Patton will tour Europe with Mondo Cane and Faith No More this summer.