Mike Patton should give a seminar on how to juggle several projects at once. As the May 30 release of his new album under the moniker Peeping Tom approaches, Patton has a number of other endeavors in various states of completion.
“I just got done working with a choir in Italy which was really fun, for a piece that was written by Eyvind Kang, and will probably be coming out on Ipecac next year,” Patton tells Billboard.com. The artist also contributed to “a couple of records” with John Zorn, details of which have yet to be announced.
As for the first all-new studio effort from Tomahawk since 2003’s “Mit Gas,” Patton says it is coming along “Slowly but nicely — and I’m completely to blame for the slowly part. [Guitarist] Duane [Denison] has had stuff written for it seems like eons now, and I’m just been very backed up. It’s getting closer and closer to my main focus now. So I expect once I can zero in on it, we’ll be able to bang it out and hopefully record it before the end of the year.”
Patton reveals that the new material is “quieter” than previous efforts. “I think it’s going to be a nice little detour for us — I think we need it,” he says. “It’s going to be a brooding, quiet, creepy little record. Duane has written new arrangements of public domain anonymous, mostly Native American tunes. It should be kind of neat — it doesn’t really sound like Tomahawk. It doesn’t really sound like folk music, that’s for sure.”
Also in the planning stages is the fifth release by star-studded noise-mongers Fantomas, which also features Melvins guitarist Buzz Osborne, Mr. Bungle bassist Trevor Dunn, and Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo. “The next record is going to be an all-electronic affair,” he says. “It’s going to take some creative planning on how to record it and execute it, but there will be no acoustic instruments on it whatsoever. We’re pretty much about to go into hibernation mode. I need to, once I have a little time, go back to the drawing board, and start writing the next one.”
But first up is Peeping Tom, which includes an unlikely guest spot by Norah Jones on the track “Sucker.” “Her name came up in the context of a few drinks and a few laughs, really,” Patton admits. “Sometimes good ideas begin that way. A friend of mine had engineered some of her stuff. I knew I needed a strong female presence. I thought that getting somebody from another musical world might be the right choice. So I threw a line out and she responded immediately and warmly, and was super enthusiastic.”
Peeping Tom will make its television debut May 26 on NBC’s “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.”