Mike Patton Opens Up About Mental Health Issues That Forced Tour Cancelations
In the fall of 2021, Faith No More and Mr. Bungle canceled a number of U.S. shows that were set for September and October so that frontman Mike Patton could focus on his mental health. Now, the singer has opened up about the particular issues that forced those cancelations.
In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Patton discussed the personal turmoil he's been dealing with, which is something that his publicist warned him he would be queried about. However, he expressed that it helps him to talk about what's going on, especially as he prepares to release a second album with the supergroup Dead Cross, titled Dead Cross II.
"It’s still going on, but it’s better," Patton said of his mental health struggle. "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."
Thus, the vocalist was diagnosed with agoraphobia, which is defined by the Mayo Clinic as "a type of anxiety disorder in which you fear and avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic and make you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed." The anxiety Patton experienced led to "other issues," he explained, though he admitted he doesn't want to detail them. He initially realized that he didn't feel well around the time that Faith No More were about to head out on tour this past September.
"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," Patton recalled. "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."
The frontman assumes that his Faith No More bandmates and fans alike were likely upset with him over the situation, but he understood that he really needed to put himself and his mental health first.
"And I knew that if I kept pushing, it could have been some sort of disastrous result," he added.
Patton isn't sure whether Faith No More will reschedule the shows that were canceled, and added that things between them are "a little confusing and complicated."
Fortunately, Patton has been getting help from professionals to deal with his agoraphobia, and assured that he's feeling better and more confident again.
"My dogs keep me completely at peace. And my garden, that really helps. And also the help that I’m getting, like, psychotherapy, psychiatrists, all that stuff. Even though it can be labor-some, I know that it’s helping me. And then also AA, I gotta admit, really is helpful," he described of his regimen.
As of now, Patton is still set to perform two shows with Mr. Bungle in South America in December. We wish him all the best going forward.