The existence of Mike Patton’s Mondo Cane should be no surprise to anyone. Even Patton’s most commercial musical endeavour – Faith No More – was pretty damn uncommercial, a few big hits notwithstanding. Mr. Bungle were always the musical equivalent of a sophisticated sugar high, Fantomas is like soundtrack music for a fever dream, and there are plenty of other non-obvious, non-pop entries dotted throughout Patton’s musical resume. Yet still Mondo Cane stands out as one of his most surprising yet most ‘that totally makes sense’ musical endeavours: sweeping versions of 1950s and 60s Italian pop music, rendered with respect and creativity rather than as a joke. Faith No More fans might have seen hints to this in that band’s occasional Burt Bacharach covers or some of Bungle’s more leisurely moments on California, but Mondo Cane is the fully-realised expression of this side of Patton’s musical personality. Fans in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane will be able to experience the splendour first-hand when Mike Patton’s Mondo Cane performs at the Harvest Festival and at a sideshow in Melbourne this month.
What are the logistics of pulling something like this together?
Well, it’s a lot of phases, a lot of steps. To go back to the beginning it’s selecting the songs. In the beginning I probably had about 150 tunes that I was in love with and thought that maybe I could do some justice to. Then you whittle them down, whittle them down and keep whittling them down. Then you want variety, you want this composer and that composer, and you try to paint the kind of brush strokes that you envision. So you have to eliminate certain things that are fantastic but could maybe be saved for later or something like that. And once you decide that, it’s ‘Okay… who am I gonna get to help me?’ And I was very, very lucky to find Daniele Luppi, who has since become a very, very dear friend. He helped me transcribe all of this stuff. I had the arrangements in my head how I wanted to change each tune and the sort of instrumentation I wanted, and he helped me put it down on paper and make it intelligible to the rest of the world. Continue reading
Korn are one of the few bands of the Nu Metal era to have endured. Not only does their original breakthrough material still hold up despite the decade and a half of imitators, they also manage to maintain a sense of vitality in their newer material. Just look at last year’s Korn III: Remember Who You Are. It was a dirty, raw, powerful, vital album at a time when bands often become complacent. But complacency isn’t in Korn’s vocabulary. Their latest, The Path Of Totality, finds them pairing up with various dubstep and electronica producers to put a heavily neo-industrial spin on their established bottom-heavy rhythmic drive. But The Path Of Totality isn’t the only new release that Korn guitarist James ‘Munky’ Shaffer is involved in. He recently – finally – released the debut self-titled album by his long-planned solo project, Fear and the Nervous System, a band which features Faith No More bass player Billy Gould, drummer Brooks Wackerman, and Repeater vocalist Steve Krolikowski.
How did the collaborations on The Path Of Totality happen? Did you work together in the studio? Did you send off recorded parts?
It was kind of mixed up. We started out with Skrillex and we worked in the studio with him on the first track, which was ‘Get Up.’” So we were actually working with him in person. And also with Downlink and Excision. Noisia, those guys are from the Netherlands so we just send tracks through the air. They sent them back and Jonathan (Davis, vocals) was in communication with them. So it was kinda different with each artist and producer.
It must have been a cool challenge to figure out exactly where the guitar would fit amongst all the other stuff going on.
I mean, on a lot of the tracks it seemed really like ‘Where am I gonna put the guitar? Where is it gonna fit?’ And it was challenging for me. Rhythmically it was really kinda busy and I was trying to find the right space and the right notes. It’s like a boxing match – you bob and weave to sort of get your punch in there.
We all know about djent by now – the metal genre named after a specific guitar tone that sounds like ‘djent djent djent’ – but you need only to look at the wah wah pedal to know that guitarists have long been hip to the joys of onomatopoeia. We also talk about ‘jangle,’ ‘crunch,’ ‘chug’ and ‘chunk,’ all words that sound like the things they’re describing. But I think we should go further. I think there should be an onomatopoeia for every sound a guitar makes. So here are a few suggestions.
It’s the sound of a wah wah being used to hover loosely around a specific frequency rather than rocked back and forth to its extremes. It’s almost impossible to make this kind of sound without also making the appropriate mouth shapes. Joe Satriani is the master of this. Check out the video for “Summer Song” for proof, especially throughout the solo that starts at 1:55.
The pickslide deserves its own name. Sure, ‘pickslide’ is how you achieve the sound, but it’s not what the sound is. If that was how we were going to name guitar stuff, you might as well call the wah wah the ‘foot move’ pedal, or call fingertapping …finger …tapping. Oh. Okay, well I guess we need to come up with a new name for fingertapping too. In the meantime, there are some great kiwws in “Rocket” by Def Leppard.
A downtuned open string, hit at a strategic time, and maybe picked a little too hard or with too light a string gauge for the tuning, so the note kind of drifts into tune after starting a little bit sharp. LIke at :05 in Mastodon’s “Oblivion.” “Dude, that riff’s kinda killer but it’d be really killer if you threw in a goong.
“Wakka,” “Wikka,” “Chikka,” “Kooka”
You can achieve a pretty wide range of sounds from a muted clean guitar and a wah wah pedal, but most of them hinge on a “Ka” sound at the end. You can hear a whole smorgasbord of them, a grand buffet of muted clean wah work, in Trey Spruance’s playing during the intro of Faith No More’s “Evidence.”
Got any more?
Here’s the first round of bands announced for Australia’s Soundwave festival. Lots of great bands there but my personal highlights are Faith No More, Meshuggah, Trivium, and of course Jane’s Addiction. I’m especially happy about Jane’s, because this means I can remove them from my Enemies List, which they were placed on when they cancelled their recent Australian tour. The other good thing about them being booked for Soundwave is that it will hopefully force them to stay together until March.
Watch this space for information about sideshows. If there are any Faith No More sideshows you bet yer ass I’ll be there. I saw them at Melbourne’s Festival Hall in 1997 on the Album of the Year tour and I never thought I’d get to see them again.
Faith No More
My Chemical Romance
Taking Back Sunday
Sunny Day Real Estate
Eagles of death Metal
The Get Up Kids
Reel Big Fish
All Time Low
A Day To Remember
It Dies Today
Escape The Fate
A Wilhelm Scream
The Devil Wears Prada
Dance Gavin Dance
Four Year Strong
You Me At Six
Maximum The Hormone
February 20, Brisbane, RNA Showground
February 21, Sydney, Eastern Creek Raceway
February 26, Melbourne, Showgrounds
February 27, Adelaide, Bonython Park
March 1, Perth, Steel Blue Oval
More info at the Soundwave website.
Woohoo!!! Aussies, rejoice! Faith No More bass player Billy Gould (username MRGOULD on Twitter) just tweeted this:
“In answer to your questions of shows outside the EU, especially from Brazil and Australia, yes, we are thinking of coming there.”
If you’re not already following me on Twitter, here I am. I use my Twitter feed to publish links to each new blog story, but I also use it to discuss music-related stuff, link to stories from around the web, and sometimes to ask for question submissions when I’m interviewing someone. And of course I also use it for the same random observations as everyone else.
More from Blabbermouth.net, including confirmation that the guitarist for the reunion is John Hudson, who played with the band on their final CD, ‘Album Of The Year.’
FAITH NO MORE bassist Bill Gould has released the following statement to BLABBERMOUTH.NET:
“FAITH NO MORE has always stood out as some sort of unique beast; part dog, part cat — its music almost as schizophrenic as the personalities of its members. When it all worked, it worked really well, even if the chemistry was always volatile.
“Throughout our 17 years of existence, the mental and physical energy required to sustain this creature was considerable and relentless. Though amicable enough, when we finally split, we all followed paths seemingly destined to opposite ends of the universe. Yet during the entire 10 years that have passed since our decision to break up we’ve experienced constant rumors and requests from fans and promoters alike. Nevertheless, for whatever reason, none of us kept in regular touch, much less to discuss any possibilities of getting together.
“What’s changed is that this year, for the first time, we’ve all decided to sit down together and talk about it. And what we’ve discovered is that time has afforded us enough distance to look back on our years together through a clearer lens and made us realize that through all the hard work, the music still sounds good, and we are beginning to appreciate the fact that we might have actually done something right. Meanwhile, we find ourselves at a moment in time with zero label obligations, still young and strong enough to deliver a kick-ass set, with enthusiasm to not only revisit our past but possibly add something to the present. And so with this we’ve decided to hold our collective breaths and jump off this cliff…. BACK, GOD FORBID, INTO THE MONKEY CAGE!!!
“We can only hope that the experience of playing together again will yield results erratic and unpredictable enough to live up to the legacy of FNM.
“Who knows where this will end or what it will bring up… only the future knows. But we are about to find out!”
FAITH NO MORE 2009 is:
Mike Bordin – Drums
Roddy Bottum – Keyboards
Bill Gould – Bass
Jon Hudson – Guitar
Mike Patton – Vocals
One of the first singles I ever bought (back when vinyl was current rather than kitsch) was Faith No More’s ‘Epic.’ Actually I think it might have been a Christmas present from my older brother. Anyway, back then, in the heady days of 1989, Faith No More were an absolute head****, and even moreso when they released Angel Dust a few years later. I was fortunate to see them in 1997 on their last tour, and I’d very much resigned myself to the belief that they’d never play together again. Even recent talk of a reunion sounded like another of those rumours that swell up and die off without fanfare.
Then today I see this on Blabbermouth:
Former FAITH NO MORE singer Mike Patton’s publicist has confirmed that the hugely influential ’90s alt-metal band will reunite for a summer tour. At the moment, it appears that the group will only perform in Europe and there are absolutely no plans to tour the States.
The news was broken in the final line of a press release sent late Monday night (February 23) promoting Patton’s involvement in the “major motion film ‘Crank 2: High Voltage’, which listed Patton’s upcoming performance schedule, including a stop at the Coachella festival and “the highly anticipated reunion tour with FAITH NO MORE in Europe this summer.”
As previously reported, a source close to guitarist Jim Martin, who was in FAITH NO MORE from 1983 until 1993, has told BLABBERMOUTH.NET that the axeman expressed interest in taking part in the reunion after being recently contacted by keyboardist Roddy Bottum and a member of FAITH NO MORE’s management team, but that the band inexplicably decided to utilize a different guitarist — believed to be one of several musicians that were in FAITH NO MORE following Martin’s exit from the group — for the upcoming dates.
Awesome. If Jim Martin’s not involved, I’d love for the guitarist to be Trey Spruance, but I dunno if he’d be into it, so my next and probably more likely choice would be Jon Hudson, who was a great addition to the band for their final CD, ‘Album Of The Year.’