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Faith No More's Mike Patton opens up on his recent mental health struggles

The legendary frontman of Faith No More, Mike Patton, has opened up for the first time on the “mental health reasons” that led to both Faith No More and Mr. Bungle cancelling their tour dates in September 2021. Now, Patton has opened up about the issues that caused him to take a break.

To coincide with the announcement of the new album II from one of his other band, Dead Cross, which features Slayer’s Dave Lombardo, Patton sat down with Rolling Stone and discussed his recent mental health struggles. 

“It’s still going on — but it’s better,” Patton revealed. “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 f**king 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.”

He continued: “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.”

Patton asserted that he intends to hit the road with Mr. Bungle this December in South America, which will mark his first live performance since he took time out last year. Afterwards, when pressed about the “other issues” – and if they involved alcohol or drugs – Patton revealed that it was more of a case of multiple factors getting on top of him.

He 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.”

He added: “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.”

The Faith No More legend admitted that he realised he had a problem “right around the time that Faith No More was about to go back on the road.” 

He disclosed: “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.”

Regarding the status of Faith No More, Patton expressed: “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.”

Concluding a positive note, he maintained that whilst the struggle is not over, he is moving in the right direction: ”[I need to] keep doing what I’m doing. Keep seeing who I’m seeing and listening and just trying to stay grounded and not freak out. That’s the plan.”

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