Mike Patton
Mike Patton | Image: Roberto Finizio/NurPhoto via Getty

Mike Patton Opens Up About Developing Agoraphobia and Alcohol Issues During The Pandemic

Mike Patton of Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Tomahawk and more has opened up about struggling with alcohol following his agoraphobia diagnosis during the pandemic. Patton first discussed his experience of agoraphobia earlier this year in an interview with Rolling Stone.

Now, the singer has elaborated on that experience in a new interview with The Guardian surrounding the forthcoming second album from Dead Cross, his band with ex-Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo, Justin Pearson of The Locust and Michael Crain of Retox.

Mike Patton: “Because I was isolated so much, going outside was a hard thing to do”

Mike Patton performing in 2018
Mike Patton performing in 2018 | Image: Jordi Vidal/Redferns

“This record was forged through COVID, cancer and alcoholism,” Patton says during the interview, revealing both his own struggles as well as Crain’s squamous cell carcinoma diagnosis in 2019. The guitarist ultimately went into remission and recovered, and Patton says Crain’s experience was channelled into the Dead Cross record.

Patton goes on to describe how he felt very comfortable during the early days of the pandemic, but that something changed a few months in. “My initial response to the pandemic was: ‘I love this shit!’ It allowed me to be an antisocial motherfucker! I had maybe three months of that: ‘This is fucking awesome!’ Then something changed – and not for the better.”

After being diagnosed, Patton began drinking heavily, and in December of last year Faith No More cancelled a slate of planned tour dates (including an Australian run), citing Patton’s mental health and wellbeing. “Because I was isolated so much, going outside was a hard thing to do, and that’s a horrible thing. And the idea of doing more Faith No More shows – it was stressful. It affected me mentally. I don’t know why, but the drinking just… happened.” Patton later adds that he has been sober “for a while” and is “doing pretty good”.

Patton is currently gearing up to return to the stage in December to play South American dates with Mr. Bungle, but Faith No More have no plans to reschedule their cancelled dates. Meanwhile, the new Dead Cross record (II) will arrive this Friday, 28th October.

Further Reading

Faith No More’s Australian Tour Has Been Cancelled

Here’s What Faith No More’s Mike Patton Is Watching And Listening To While Isolating

Mr. Bungle Announce Reunion, First Live Dates In 20 Years

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