Mike Patton will talk about anything. It's been a busy year again. In fact it's been it's been a frantic few months, what with the release of a new Fantomas DVD: Having manipulated the sound and given director Vincent Forcier carte blanche with the visuals, it's certainly a rare and eccentric treat. But first up Vannier. I mention to Patton as a prelude to the conversation that I recently interviewed the Frenchman as kind of ice-breaker, but he's excited by this.
He's a piece of work man, he's amazing. We did the Hollywood Bowl thing. It's funny because everyone was - I wouldn't say afraid of him - but everyone was timid around him, I dunno, afraid of saying the wrong thing He's a little bit cantankerous, you know.
He's French, what can I say? But I experienced pretty much none of that. He was really great with me, instructive yet supportive. He made me really feel welcome. Some other musicians and organisers had different experiences. I really love the guy, I think he's amazing. Which track did you do? I did like seven narrated songs that night, so I can't remember. Haha, where she's laughing and making orgasm sound?
Yeah, yeah, I did that one. I didn't have to Melody Nelson is pretty amazing right? Man I wish you could have seen the Hollywood Bowl show, it was nice. No one invited me. No one invited me either! I just showed up!
I thought the whole thing was done I talked to him after the concert and he said 'Serge would have been proud', and he was very happy with it, and it felt great. It was very respectful. Vannier was blown away by the fact there were 18, people there. He seems to have no concept or appreciation of the fact his talent is so immense. Well like any real artist, he's not interested in commerce, he has no idea what his work means to the general public.
I do think that he does know, or he heard it from me and Beck and everyone else that was there. He was basking in the glow of that for sure. It was very obvious that we all loved his stuff and he was a big part of it. I think he understood that deeply by the time we did that. I mean we did rehearsals like you wouldn't believe. It was a pretty intense little period and by the end he definitely had a sense of how his music affected a creative stream of artists these days.
He followed Melody Nelson with L'enfant Assasin des Mouches and his record company didn't release it in , and it didn't get a full release until Andy Votel put it out on his Finders Keepers label in Jean Claude says that he doesn't understand why one project is universally embraced while another vilified. Well, it's not vilified by people who know their shit! Of course, maybe it didn't have commercial success, but honestly Did you get hold of a copy before it was re-released?
Has it influenced you? It's something I can imagine you tapping into. I knew about the record before we worked together and I had to go back to it to study it before all of this. I just wanted to immerse myself in it. It hit me hard when I first got it, which was, I dunno, ten years ago?
And so I went back and listened to it and it hit me just as hard. I mean, it's just fantastic. After the Hollywood Bowl show he came to San Francisco with his daughters and we hung out. It's funny, just yesterday he sent me a photo of me and his daughters on the San Francisco Bay, and he said, 'Here's a souvenir. So let's talk briefly about The Solitude of Prime Numbers Do we have to talk about it?
The soundtrack is based on a novel by Paolo Giordano. I'll admit that my research was not thorough enough to have actually read the novel Fuck the interview, you should just read it because it's really good and I think you might like it. I'm wondering, in view of the Lou Reed and Metallica record coming out Oh man, how was it? I'm glad there are records in the world like it.
You know, it's funny you mention that, because today I'm meant to give a quote about the record. I haven't heard the record but the New York Times is doing a big piece on the cultural significance of a record like that It's an interesting idea My first reaction was 'no comment'.
I haven't heard the record, I'm not going to start talking out of my breeches here. But the 'idea' of a record like that I think is amazing. I think it's great.
Why can't a fucking platinum-selling band work with an experimental pioneer? It's good to hear a band outside of their comfort zone. Well, I've heard some stories, ha ha. I'll just leave it at that. The idea of it, conceptually, I'm all for it. Now Lulu was based on two plays by Frank Wedekind. I'd ask Lou himself but I interviewed him once and it wasn't a very pleasant experience and I wouldn't want to go through that again He's a sweetheart too. He has his moments, as do all of us.
I thought he'd open up to me, I'm not like all the others. Nah, you don't break Lou. Just catch him on a good day. I love the guy, I really do. He's been super super sweet with me. I played with him and [John] Zorn once and he was really fun, and super super nice, and sweet and supportive.
Yeah, I'd go to bat for him any day. I think it's just journalists he doesn't like. Well you know, can you forgive him? Can you blame him? It just totally depends on the project and what it is. I don't think it will hurt the experience, put it that way. If anything, like I said to you earlier, maybe it'll make you go, 'Ah!
If it sounds like this then what's it going to read like? If it sounds this way then what's it going to look like? I think that everyone enters the stream at their own pace. At their own point in life. And you kinda figure it out from there. You jump into the giant current and it sweeps you away but you have to take the time to swim backwards a little bit and 'Oh', you know.
Punk rock didn't start with Green Day. So swim backwards and figure it out. A kid might think that, I don't know. Yeah, it's a nice one.