Mike Patton/Mr Bungle ‘Feud’

Faith No More and RHCP had had a somewhat of a shared history with FMN opening for the Chilis on a number of occasions. By 1989, Faith No More, together with new vocalist Mike Patton, had risen to the height of their popularity and were of an equal status to RHCP. Both bands were due to tour Europe with Faith No More scheduled to do so just ahead of the Chilis. There should have been no issue between the bands but that was until FNM released a new music video for their song, ‘Epic’:

   “I watched [their] “Epic” video, and I see him jumping up and down, rapping, and it looked like I was looking in a mirror.” Anthony Kiedis

‘Red Hot Chili Peppers By The Way The Biography’ by Dave Thompson (page 163)

Kiedis was concerned that people, especially in Europe where RHCP was not so well known at that point, would think that it was in fact, he Kiedis, who was the imitator rather than Patton; Kiedis made a few comments referring to this to the press who immediately  blew the whole thing out of proportion and announced that there was a feud between the two vocalists even though nothing had effectively happened…

… Fast forward 10 years later. By that point, Faith No More had disbanded and Patton had returned to his previous/on-going side-project, Mr Bungle, for the recording of their third album; an album to be entitled California and scheduled for release in June 1999- just when RHCP’s Californication was also due to be released.  Mr Bungle pushed back their release by six weeks and forged ahead with the tour to promote their album, only to find themselves being dropped from a number of pre-booked festival slots. Questioning revealed that they had been dropped at the request of the headlining act, RHCP, and further enquiries between managers confirmed that Anthony Kiedis was personally behind those requests.
Although little could be done about the cancelled dates, revenge was exacted at a Halloween concert in Anthony’s home state of Michigan in 1999, when Mike Patton took to the stage dressed as Kiedis with the rest of the FNM entourage dressed as other members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers (including one person as Hillel Slovak’s drug taking ghost) with the group proceeding to parody RHCP, covering several of the Chili’s songs with deliberately distorted lyrics:

Intro & Around the World

 Kiedis was understandably incensed:

“I would not have given two fucks if they played there with us. But after I heard about [the] Halloween show where they mocked us, fuck him and fuck the whole band.”

 ‘Red Hot Chili Peppers By The Way The Biography’ by Dave Thompson (page 253)

The two bands were scheduled to play the Big Day Out in Australia but, unsurprisingly, Mr Bungle was dropped from the festival.

Update: In July 2010, Mike Patton was interviewed by Bizarre magazine and had this to say:

You had a feud with Anthony Kiedis in 1999 which led to Mr Bungle being taken off several festival bills. Are you friends yet?
It’s not worth talking about. I’ve no idea what it was about then and I don’t know now. But I bet we’d have a warm embrace if we saw each other now.

Bizarre Magazine July 2010



PLEASE NOTE: Comments on this topic will no longer be allowed thanks to a trolling from a Mike Patton website/fans. This is designed for information and not to kick off further argument. Peace.

13 Responses to Mike Patton/Mr Bungle ‘Feud’

  1. Hrothgar says:

    I’m a long-time Chili Peppers fan, long-time Faith No More fan, recent Mr. Bungle fan. It just burns me up to read about this – they’re both fine artists, you’d think petty crap like this wouldn’t matter.

    The reason that Patton fans are trolling you is probably because they think that this story is slanted in Kiedis’ favor.

    I can’t really see that – I think this history makes Kiedis sound kinda passive-aggressive and miserly.

    Hey you say it was Faith No More doing the Halloween show, and you embed a video that has Mr. Bungle performing. Wikipedia says it’s Mr. Bungle too, so I assume that’s a typo?

    Miles of smiles!

  2. anthony magda says:

    I have watched both of these guys all through their respective careers and I could’nt see why anthony reacted initially, until I look back at the epic video, and wether or not mike was conciously immitating anthony or not, their styles as front men seemed earily simmular during the time period of FNM’s epic video and the cilli peppers higher ground video. Plagurism is not tolorated in other forms of art, why is it not in this case? Mike is very gifted, but his talents as a true band’s front man pales in comparison to anthony, love em both! Just the RHCP’s are one of my five favorite bands, FNM was a flash in the pan, I liked them very much at the time though.

  3. Richie says:

    …I could see Kiedis taking offense at the Hillel’s ghost thing. I love FNM but ya know that’s fucked up

    • Paul C says:

      “… when Mike Patton took to the stage dressed as Kiedis with the rest of the FNM entourage dressed as other members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers”

      FNM? I believe that was a Mr Bungle show, FNM had long disbanded at that stage and had nothing to do with the show at that point. I don’t necessarily think the Bungle fans on here are trolling either, in fairness Kiedis came out on the wrong end of this one.

  4. Jar says:

    Timeline inaccuracies:
    In an interview dated 20th October 1999 Mike Patton advises that they had been removed from the bill of the Big Day Out shows scheduled for January and February 2000.
    As such, the Halloween Show with the RHCP parody intro was in response to the loss of the Australian (and European) shows. Therefore the claim that Bungle were thrown from the Australian show is inaccurate.

    Keidis dislikes Pattons dance moves.
    Chad Smith threatens to rip Mike Patton’s leg off and shave his head in a Kerrang interview (FNM do not respond).
    Keidis tells European promoters that unless Mr. Bungle are removed from the bill of several European festivals that RHCP will not perform.
    Keidis gets Mr. Bungle thrown off the bill for The Big Day Out festivals.
    Mike Patton breaks his sileve in an interview with AV Club.
    Mr. Bungle play the infamous Halloween Show.
    Optional: Anthony Keidis invents time travel, goes to September 1999 and gets Bungle removed the The Big Day Out.

    Also FNM were not involved as per the article.

  5. D. K. Stevens says:

    Having grown up with the Peppers and, therefore, Mike Patton’s work.
    I don’t understand why one can’t be a fan of both. I am.
    I’ve seen RHCP live many times; I’ve seen Mike Patton live with Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, etc.
    I can’t comment on whether Mr. Kiedis had anything to do with Mike Patton’s band(s) getting “dropped” or “cancelled” — I wasn’t there when the decision(s) was/were made.
    While I don’t think Mike Patton set out to “imitate” RHCP, when one looks at the bands of the time, that is what most were doing. Some just did it better.
    They say, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”
    If Mr. Patton consciously “ripped off” Mr Kiedis, there could be a lawsuit.
    But there hasn’t been,m and it’s been almost two decades.
    Mr Patton has proven himself a talented vocalist, and RHCP aren’t going anywhere (I hope!).
    Can’t we all just get along? ;p
    P.S. I have no problem with Mr Bungle imitating RHCP, but i think the ghost of Hillel went too far.

  6. Michael Bull says:

    The BUNGLE Halloween show definitely went too far at times – but, for me, “the ghost of River Phoenix” and saying “(they – RHCP) fucking killed him” was the most disappointing… I have tattoos of both bands though.

  7. #1_CreatorofAll says:

    “I see him jumping up and down, rapping, and it looked like I was looking in a mirror” BIG LOL, he invented jumping and rapping. Congrats.

    • Chris says:

      “BIG LOL, he invented jumping and rapping. Congrats.”

      Yeah, not just that. The video for Epic is extremely similar in style to multiple Peppers music videos from the time. FNM literally opened for the Peppers several times back in the day, and there weren’t very many other groups like the Peppers. RHCP absolutely had a very unique style. Personally? I’ve heard the song Epic many times and like it a lot. But watching the video, which I have never seen before, was literally like watching most early Peppers videos. The video itself was similar. His style, even of just jumping around and using his hands and behaving was very similar. The way he uses vocal inflections is almost identical. But please, find me another video of a prominent band frontman who bears anything close to that similar of a resemblance in style. Zack de la Rocha from RATM? Maybe a little bit. The Beastie Boys? Sort of. Early Incubus? Possibly. Nothing I have seen that is remotely as similar.

      With that said, the way things happened is that Keidis initially made some comments, and some media outlets took those comments too far. That started the feud. It wasn’t actually all on Anthony. Later on, when Mr Bungle comes out with an album that is suspiciously similarly titled to Californication at the same time AND on the same label, it sets off a red flag. You can’t tell me that the extent to which Mike Patton has literally just copped off the Peppers isn’t ridiculous. Something seems awfully fishy about the fact that Mike Patton once again manages to put out something with a giant nod to the Peppers. I agree Keidis should have responded differently, but Keidis at that time was also still abusing drugs and being aggressive. He is nothing like that now. Patton on the other hand is and has always been a huge jerk. And even while abusing drugs has never done something like what Patton did with his disrespectful public poking fun of drug addiction and Hillel’s death. Sorry, but that’s just something you don’t do.

      Patton is clearly a nut case. A talented nut case, but still a nut case. For the record, Patton has had feuds with other bands as well. Anthony Keidis has never had problems like that. Patton is a total jerk-douche in interviews and to some of his roadies. And honestly, Patton seems to be mildly sociopathic and kind of a sycophant. Keidis used to be douchey and egotistical, but at least friendly and emotional, and is now respectful and calm and kind and not very egotistical. The Peppers have for quite a while been considered very respectable and generous and not jerks. Keidis fully admits he used to be not a very good person, tries to be better now, and I don’t see that from Patton.

  8. Jay says:

    It’s funny because both Anthony Kiedis and Mike Patton are horrible rappers. I like the Chilis and I love everything Mike Patton has done but good rappers they are not.

  9. Anthony K. says:

    The Epic video is rather odd. Not only is he dancing and singing like the Red Hot Chili peppers guy, he’s also wearing, if I’m not mistaken here, an outfit that the Chili peppers dude sported in some older video. It’s blatanly a rip off and frankly a bit embarrassing to watch.

  10. jar says:

    Nope. Two outfits. One a black sweater with paint splashes, another the more used outfit is a “There’s a Tractor In My Balls” t-shirt by Mr. Bungle. As for dancing, if you watch it, there’s very little dancing and if you call the footstomping “very Chili’s” you’re deluded. Basically, RHCP did too much smack and came to some conclusions you can only reach with a limited intellect and a head full of smack.

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