Today (July 19th), Dead Cross — the hardcore supergroup featuring Mike Patton, Dave Lombardo, Justin Pearson and Mike Crain — announced their long-awaited second album, II, and unleashed its abrasive lead single, "Reign of Error." The news was especially notable considering that Patton has been completely out of the public eye since his other bands, Faith No More and Mr. Bungle, canceled their tour dates in 2021 citing "mental health reasons" on the part of the revered singer.
Now, in a new interview with Rolling Stone, Patton has finally opened up about those issues, which were exacerbated by Crain's battle with cancer — a driving force behind the completion of the new Dead Cross album — and the 2022 death of the Locust drummer and original Dead Cross vocalist Gabe Serbian. "I've replaced singers in two different bands in my life, and both of them are dead," Patton reflected, referencing former Faith No More frontman Chuck Mosley, who died in 2017. "What am I supposed to make of that? It's a hard thing to digest."
The main cause of his downward spiral, however, was the pandemic and its lockdowns, said Patton. He explained that, at the first, he thought the quarantine was "fucking great." "I can stay home and record," he recalled thinking. (He recorded his II vocals by himself at home.) But he soon found himself "completely isolated and almost antisocial [and] afraid of people." Those feeling led to other issues that Patton chose not to discuss explicitly, but clearly included alcohol abuse.
When Faith No More was about to go out on the road, the singer — who was diagnosed with agoraphobia and barely left the house for two years during the pandemic — was all but paralyzed. "That's when I kind of lost it, and it was ugly and not cool." Patton said. "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."
Patton said that he has been seeing therapists and participating in AA, and he noted that his dogs "keep me completely at peace." He's doing "better," but for now, any Faith No More activity remains a big question mark. "We may reschedule stuff. We may not," he said. "I'll leave it at that."
For now, his plan is to "dip my toes back in the water" when it comes to performing live — his first shows back should be with Mr. Bungle in South America. From there, he'll see how it goes. "[Touring] is not a matter of 'want,'" he said. "It's a matter of, 'Can I?'"
Asked if he has a plan for how he's going to feel ready to perform again, Patton concluded: "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."
Read the full interview at RollingStone.com.