Patton Goes Long for Fantomas

Freak-out masters return with a one-song CD

If fans don't like the first song on Fantomas' upcoming third album Delirium Cordia, they're out of luck. The fifty-five-minute disc, which arrives in stores October 21st, contains only one track.

"It's my version of ambient music," says frontman Mike Patton, of Faith No More and Mr. Bungle fame. "It's dealing with larger blocks of sound and putting them together. Mood music, I like to call it. Obviously we still get around to making a lot of jarring sounds -- there's a lot of nasty stuff on there but it's not like the band is attacking you with a chainsaw. It's more seductive."

Logistical questions regarding the recording of a fifty-five-minute song abound, with the most obvious being, how?

"I would pick out a particular section that had a certain character to it, say, a long rhythmic repetitive drum part with some whooping cough vocals over the top of that and synth drums," says Patton. "We'd divvy it up and chop it up, the way we usually do, into seventy or eighty little pieces. It's much more sample-based. I didn't want this to sound like a band recording."

Similarly, no plans exist to tour and play the album in its entirety. "I don't think so," says Patton. "Some of it is better left in the studio. I don't want to drag a wind machine around on tour. I don't want to hit some kid in the head with a bull roar. It's not appropriate in rock clubs. Maybe cabaret or theater."

Currently in Kansas for the filming of a movie called Firecracker, which also stars Debbie Harry and Jane Wiedlin of the Go-Go's, Patton has a multitude of projects in the works, including the follow-up to Delirium Cordia, tentatively titled Suspended Animation, which he says is "playful, jumpy, upbeat, with a lot of nursery rhymes," and General Patton Vs. The X-ectionuers -- an album with turntablists the X-ecutioners.

But those both will have to wait until Patton's done playing the dual roles of a "carnival sideshow owner named Frank" and an "alcoholic abusive redneck tire store employee named David" in Firecracker. "They're both horrible, abusive nasty characters," he says. "I figured, 'Hey, I get to die twice by getting stabbed and bludgeoned over the head with two different blunt instruments, and I get to smack a lot of people around -- why not do it?'"