Ben Weinman of The Dillinger Escape Plan recently sat down with friend, mentor, and former tour bud Mike Patton for a tête-à-tête posted to Weinman’s recently launched Party Smasher Inc website. Patton, founder and lead singer of experimental fusion band Mr. Bungle, shared veteran wisdom as they discussed touring together back in 1999, the creative process, life on the road, and everything in between. Weinman acknowledges Patton as one of his biggest inspirations and collaborators, kicking off a fascinating and insightful conversation between two gifted friends.
Patton speaks candidly about professionalism being more than just skill; taking responsibility as a musician, “This isn’t rocket science, kids. We play fuckin’ music. For the most part, we all know what we’re doing, we’ve done it for awhile so why not own up to it, own it…if you’re playing at a bar, if you’re playing in a stadium, it’s pretty simple for me. The bottom line is are you going to go up there and kill it or not? That is 100 percent on you.”
From the nitty gritty details of tour equipment to figuring out the eternal question, “why do you do what you do?” the guys cover it all, with laughs and gems of wisdom throughout. Weinman shares his humble philosophy on the creative process, the “give and take” of happy accidents and critical precision, segueing into a look back.
The pair discuss their collaborations in the past, reflecting on the impact of their paths crossing as Weinman says, “You did so much over our music… it opened up so many opportunities for our fans to accept experimentation,” to which Patton responds, “I didn’t do the stuff over your music, your music made me do that.” The magic of their collaboration so many years ago celebrated in the creative spirit of Weinman’s launch of Party Smasher Inc gives hope for future projects. This hope takes wings in the final moments of the interview where Patton turns to the camera and says, “We’ll do something again, who knows?” with a toothy grin and mischievous chuckle. And we can’t wait.