Years in the making, PEEPING TOM, noise rock renaissance man Mike Patton's most accessible work since his days in Faith No More, is finally a reality. The 11-track opus, featuring a lengthy and incongruous cast of guest performers, is set for a May 30 release on Patton's own Ipecac Recordings label.
In keeping with the landmark 1960 psychological horror film that inspired its name, PEEPING TOM had its genesis as a modus operandi devoid of physical intimacy. Patton would write songs with a wishlist of theoretical collaborators in mind, then hope for a reply in the form of a finished track. "It's an exotic way of working for someone accustomed to a band environment," Patton says. "It was charming, really. None of the usual Animal House stuff. Instead of swapping spit and underwear, we were swapping files."
Lack of face-to-face interaction did not keep long-distance collaborators from turning in exceptional performances: Norah Jones' lascivious "Sucker," Kool Keith's "Getaway" and Massive Attack's "Kill The DJ" are intense and passionate as anything a live band environment could have produced-despite the fact that Patton has still never met Jones or Keith. "Plenty of people on the record are still complete strangers to me," he says.
The initial PEEPING TOM offering also includes contributions from Amon Tobin, Bebel Gilberto, DubTrio, Kid Koala, Dale Crover, Rahzel and several of Patton's Bay Area running buddies, such as Dan "the Automator" Nakamura, and Jel, Odd Nosdam and Dose One of hip hop collective anticon. The end result is an utterly unique multi-genre/multi-artist departure from Patton's more recent noisy output-one that would ultimately have to be classified as a pop record, alas a Mike Patton pop record, but a pop record nonetheless.
"I don't listen to the radio, but if I did, this is what I'd want it to sound like. This is my version of pop music. In a way, this is an exercise for me: taking all these things I've learned over the years and putting them into a pop format. I've worked with many people who have said to me, 'oh you have a pop record in you, eventually you'll find it,' and I always laughed at them. I guess I owe them an apology."
The first single from the self titled record will be “Mojo”. It is accompanied by a music video featuring appearances by Danny Devito, Mark Hoppus (blink 182), Rachel Hunter as well as song collaborators Dan the Automator and Rahzel. The video was created by buzzed about music video director Matt McDermitt.
As work on PEEPING TOM began some six years back and was interrupted to accommodate Patton's recording or touring work with Fantomas, Tomahawk, Lovage, General Patton vs. the X-ecutioners, Kaada/Patton, Rahzel and guest turns on Bjork and Massive Attack records, two feature film scores, his film acting debut in “Firecracker”, videogame voice work in “The Darkness” and an ultimately "ridiculous" major label flirtation, enough material has massed for a second and possibly third record. A PEEPING TOM tour is also in discussion, pending various collaborators' schedules.
The band will make their worldwide live debut on the Conan O’Brien show on May 26th.