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Mike Patton Of Faith No More, Etc.

Faith No More, Etc. Vocalist Mike Patton Opens Up On His Ongoing Battle With Agoraphobia: “I Became Completely Isolated And Almost Antisocial And Afraid Of People”


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Mike Patton, the revered prolific vocalist behind the likes of Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Dead Cross and countless other projects, has opened up in regards to his ongoing mental health struggles. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Patton has revealed that he was diagnosed with agoraphobia amid the pandemic, an anxiety disorder which often leaves those suffering it confined to their home.

His condition led to Faith No More and Mr. Bungle having to scrap their touring plans last year. When asked about his struggles now, he offered:

“It’s still going on — but it’s better. [Pauses]. It’s easy to blame it on the pandemic. But I’ll be honest, man: At the beginning of the pandemic, I was like, ‘This is fucking great. I can stay home and record.’ I’ve got a home studio. So I was like, ‘Yeah, what’s the big deal?’ And then something clicked, and I became completely isolated and almost antisocial [and] afraid of people.

That sort of anxiety, or whatever you want to call it, led to other issues, which I choose not to discuss. But I got some professionals helping me, and now I’m feeling better and getting closer to diving back in. Towards the end of the year, I’ll be doing my first shows in, like, two years, which is the longest time since I started doing this, that I’ve been out of the game.”

Responding to if the other issues he mentioned included substances, he replied:

“It was a little bit of everything. But mostly, in my experience, it was mostly mental. I saw some therapists and all that stuff, which is the first time I ever had to do that in my life. And they basically diagnosed me as having agoraphobia; like, I was afraid of people. I got freaked out by being around people. And maybe that was because I spent two years basically indoors during Covid. I don’t know. Maybe it reinforced feelings that I already had. But just knowing about it, talking about it, really helped. And we’ll see how it goes in December.”

Speaking on when he realized he had a problem, he stated:

“Right around the time that Faith No More was about to go back on the road. That’s when I kind of lost it, and it was ugly and not cool. A few days before we 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.

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.”

He continued:

“…It was right before our first rehearsal, and I just freaked out. I just said, ‘I can’t do it.’ They had been rehearsing so [pauses] If I were them I’d be really pissed off at me. And they were. And they probably still are. But it’s just about being true to yourself and knowing what your limits are. And I knew that if I kept pushing, it could have been some sort of disastrous result. It was just like, ‘Goddamn it. Maybe I don’t need to do this. Even though I agreed to do it, and it’s gonna bum a lot of people out. I gotta take care of myself.’ So I’m getting better at that.”

When asked about his current standing with Faith No More, he offered:

“Radio silence. [Laughs]. I don’t know. We may reschedule stuff; we may not. I’ll just leave it at that. It’s a little confusing and complicated. So if we do, we do. If we don’t, that’s cool, too.”

At the moment he intends to continue to focus on his therapy and making new music, including a new project in particular which he is very hopeful for. He said of it:

“Trust me, it’s different. And it’s really cool and very exciting. But we made an agreement — at least for this first project — to not talk about it, so I can’t tell you what exactly what it is. But to me, it’s completely invigorating and came along right at the right time. This is what I needed.”

You can find more from Patton on his mental health struggles and his various projects over at rollingstone.com. While not yet ready to commit to full-scale touring, Patton has current hopes to return to the stage with Mr. Bungle for a few shows in December. He’ll next be heard on “II“, the forthcoming sophomore album from Dead Cross that is due out on October 28th. You can check out the first single from that here.

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