Mike Patton on new Tomahawk: “It’s a rock record”

A stripped down, straightforward rock record.

This is how Mike Patton describes Tomahawk’s new album Oddfellows, the follow-up to the alterna-metal supergroup’s 2007 release Anonymous.

Due in Australia this week to play the Harvest Festival with his Italian pop-opera project Mondo Cane, Patton spoke to FL from New Orleans where he has joined Duane Denison (Jesus Lizard), John Stainer (Battles, Mark OF Cain) and Trevor Dunn (The Melvins, Fantomas) to play Tomahwak’s first shows in nearly a decade. Of the first few shows, which included a spot at the Voodoo Art and Music Festival, Patton said they were going “surprisingly well after not playing for nine years. And there is new material that we are all really excited about, and also just being together again and playing.”

Responding to Duane Dension’s description of Oddfellows – due for release in January 2013 – as “heavy Beach Boys” Patton said, “Well, you know. Let’s not take that to the bank. It’s a good record. It’s maybe a little bit more melodic than other ones we’ve done. In some ways more intricate and in some ways, way more straightforward. Definitely compared to our last record it’s a more linear song-based record – these are songs and it’s a rock record. Personally speaking I’m singing a lot more, there is a lot less electronic and lot more harmony.”

Despite his focus being on Mondo Cane for the last few years, Patton told FL that working almost exclusively on reinterpreting mid-century Italian pop music had little bearing on his work with Tomahawk. “Maybe subconsciously [it influenced the writing],” he explained, “but Duane and I actually spoke about doing another record quite a while ago and we said, ‘Let’s do something that is really stripped down and really straightforward; something that is very direct’, and I think that’s what we got.”

The full interview with Mike Patton in which he discusses the future of Mondo Cane, fanatical fans and Dante’s ‘Inferno’ will be published on FL this week.

Mondo Cane’s only Harvest sideshow will take place on November 12 at The Regent Theatre in Melbourne.

Listen to Tomahawk’s ‘Stone Letter’ from new record Oddfellows