When Mike Patton isn't opening for Tool with one of his many projects, or riding an amusement park flume with the band's guitarist Adam Jones and the Melvins' Buzz Osborne (scroll down for the amazing visual evidence), chances are that he's making music from a similarly iconoclastic POV as his like-minded friends in prog-metal's most mystifyingly popular band. Below, Patton shares a few nice words about Jones, Maynard James Keenan, Justin Chancellor and Danny Carey — and few less-nice words about some of their more rambunctious fans.
WHEN DID YOU FIRST MEET THE GUYS IN TOOL?
We were all members of the Kansas fan club and met at a Kansas Krazies convention in Topeka in 1978. We were hanging out in the hotel bar at the Holiday Inn and Adam started playing a reggae version of "Carry On Wayward Son" on the piano. Justin and Danny picked up the bar band's instruments and joined in and Maynard grabbed the mic and let it rip dressed in this Kansas state trooper uniform. I was in awe!
I introduced myself and told them about my band Mr. Bungle. They said that they were in a band called Theremin Toolbelt. I told them that they were great but that the band name was a little goofy. To be taken serious they should pick a serious-sounding name like Hammer or Wrench.
WHAT HAS IT BEEN LIKE TOURING WITH TOOL?
Honestly, it has been great! Tool always pays us fairly and treats us very well. I admire that they do whatever they want. They don't take orders from record labels or "industry types." My hat is off to them.
HOW HAVE TOOL'S FANS RESPONDED TO YOUR BANDS?
Weeeeeeell. During the Fantômas run, I collected a lot of spare change from the stage after each show. I can't complain though — if I paid $60 to see my favorite band and a bunch of noisy weirdos took the stage, I'd be violent, too!
WHAT INFLUENCE, IF ANY, HAVE TOOL HAD ON YOU AND YOUR OWN WORK?
They give me hope that not all huge bands are pompous, clueless, drug-addled morons. That, and I steal lots of fashion ideas from Maynard's stage wear.
Below, see Maynard James Keenan tour his Arizona vineyard and discuss his vision of sustainable living and creativity: