Mike Patton on Mental Health and Faith No More Cancellations: “Something Really Bad Could Have Happened…”
The coronavirus pandemic—particularly the early stages and lockdown period—negatively impacted almost every human being. Touring musicians were particularly affected as they were forced off the road and the return of live music was especially anticipated, which led to disappointment in September 2021 when singer Mike Patton cancelled all of Mr. Bungle and Faith No More’s upcoming shows.
Patton explained in a statement that the pandemic had exacerbated mental health issues and touring would not be realistic in his state at the time. His bandmates supported him and it seems that he is doing better today.
“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.”
When pushed to open up further about the “other issues,” Patton said:
“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.”
Patton said that his mental health issues came to a head right before Faith No More went out on tour.
“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… 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.”
Patton went on to say that it’s been radio silence from his Faith No More bandmates and that he’s not sure what the next move is. The frontman will make his return to the stage in December when Mr. Bungle plays South America for Knotfest Chile and Brasil on December 11 and 18, respectively.
We here at Metalsucks are glad to hear that Patton is making progress in his mental health.