Appreciation: That Real Big Frickin’ Weirdo Mike Patton

I talk about 18/19 year old me a lot because 18/19 year old me was so so adorable and so exciting and also so so stupid in the way late teens/young adults are.

When I look back, I think I would have made a really great and proud big sister to my younger self. I was fairly actively going to shows and festivals. I attended my first Bonnaroo, Voodoo Fest, and Lollapalooza in the span of a year and 2 months (2007-2008). I was beginning to expand my palate– a palate I am expanding to this day, but you know how it goes: the older you get the more you realize you don’t. know. shit. Expanding is easier when you give up on ego and let the universe do a weird dance with you.

There was still some learnin’ to do.

If you remember, Wolfmother, was new and p. big in 2007. And I was ALL ABOUT IT. I was going to write a short statement defending myself, but it’s pointless as I do not think there is anything wrong with Wolfmother. Especially in that place in time (doin’ the best we can folks). BUT MIKE PATTON DEFINITELY HAD A PROBLEM WITH WOLFMOTHER.

Yes, Mike Patton, I was 19 when I saw the video of you at Lollapalooza. You are being interviewed, and Wolfmother is playing “Woman” is playing loudly in the background. And you stop and say “ARE YOU HEARING THIS SHIT? WHAT YEAR ARE WE IN? Forgive me….but WOLFMOTHER YOU SUCK.” I’m not even going to go over the rest of it because I was triggered a.f. and felt that insult on a personal level. All I knew about Mike Patton was that he was in Faith No More and he sang “Epic”, which at the time to me was an incredibly inconsequential “old” song (I’ll get to how I feel about it more recently a bit later in this post). I have posted the whole infamous video below.

It’s been 12 years since I saw that interview. My prefrontal cortex has matured. I have lived 39% more of my life since then, and the musical landscape has changed a lot. Pandora came in and faded out. Spotify was not even a public thought. I still had a flip phone and a portable CD player with a gigantic CD case that I just recently parted ways with. It was a lot easier to compartmentalize tastes and preferences into a box when you were listening to the same albums over and over again because you paid $18 for a Dave Matthews album instead of $16 a month for a household Spotify plan where your musical world is your oyster.

Additionally, I am a lot more fucked up than I used to be in humor and weirdness which I attribute to my general life damage and my increasing comfort with myself as an individual (it really does get better if you work on it or let it happen). “I like it. It’s weird,” is a common compliment on many of my favorite things even beyond music. I would describe myself as a large walking loony scar of a human.

All of this is to say, there is an inverse relationship in my hatred for Mike Patton and my age. At this point it is more appropriate to say that I now really respect Mike Patton. As time has progressed, I have gotten into more Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Tomahawk, etc. I did not purposely follow these because of Mike Patton– I did it backwards. I found those bands individually and then found out Mike Patton was in them.

Beyond his musical projects, he has also produced albums, movie scores, and does voice actingAnd his vocal range is NUTS. RESPECTABLY NUTS. He is a prolific creator and collaborator.

The primary thing I love (hold on , frens, we’re going full on love) about Mike Patton is that he is. so. fucking. weird. And despite the fact that he is generally in the spotlight, his weirdness seems self-effacing, smart, and charming. And if it’s not, I don’t even care because I am enjoying the hell out of it.

Thank you, Mike Patton.

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