Faith No More’s Mike Patton Opens Up About His Battle With Agoraphobia

During a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Mike Patton shared more information regarding the cancellation of Faith No More and Mr. Bungle’s live shows last year. As it turns out, the frontman has been suffering from agoraphobia.

Patton said the following about his condition:

“It’s still going on — but it’s better. [Pauses]. 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.

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.”

He continued when asked if his other issues included substance abuse:

“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. 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.”

Patton went on to say he realized he had a problem when he was getting ready to return to the road:

“Right around the time that Faith No More was about to go back on the road. 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.

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.”

He also added:

“…It was right before our first rehearsal, and I just freaked out. I just said, ‘I can’t do it.’ They had been rehearsing so [pauses] If I were them I’d be really pissed off at me. And they were. And they probably still are. But it’s just about being true to yourself and knowing what your limits are. And I knew that if I kept pushing, it could have been some sort of disastrous result. It was just like, ‘Goddamn it. Maybe I don’t need to do this. Even though I agreed to do it, and it’s gonna bum a lot of people out. I gotta take care of myself.’ So I’m getting better at that.”

On another note, Patton also shared an update on Faith No More:

“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.”

For now, the singer will be focusing on therapy and making music:

“Trust me, it’s different. And it’s really cool and very exciting. But we made an agreement — at least for this first project — to not talk about it, so I can’t tell you what exactly what it is. But to me, it’s completely invigorating and came along right at the right time. This is what I needed.”

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