After Trey Spruance let loose the rumour that there was a Mike Patton hardcore band I did a little investigating. Here’s my
failed investigation with confirmation that Mike Patton is joining Dead Cross and was also working on something else in the studio.
Edit 13 Dec 2016: The story has now been confirmed as accurate. All future information on Dead Cross can be found here.
At the end of August 2016, Trey Spruance was involved with an interview where he discussed all things musical. At the very end of the interview, Trey mentioned that he’d heard rumours of a new Mike Patton hardcore band.
As a Patton Fanatic, this got me thinking about a Mike Patton hardcore band: What would a Mike Patton Hardcore Band sound like? Who would be in the band? Would it be someone we know already? Would it be with new artists? Now that The Dillinger Escape Plan is winding up could the band be with Ben Weinman?
I scrambled and looked at what the possibilities could be. My initial investigations started to point to Mike Patton being the new singer for Dead Cross, and that they were on the Ipecac Recordings label. Here’s how my hunt led to that conclusion …
Why did I believe the Mike Patton Hardcore Band was Dead Cross?
Firstly, it is important to know who Dead Cross is. They’re a hardcore punk band that includes:
- Guitar – Mike Crain
- Drums – Dave Lombardo
- Bass – Justin Pearson
- Singer –
That’s right, Dead Cross just parted ways with their singer and are looking for a new singer.
Interview with Justin Pearson from Dead Cross
Thanks to the other Patton Fanatics over on /r/MikePatton I came across a recent interview with Justin Pearson. He’s the bass player for Dead Cross and he spoke about the band on the ‘Everything Went Black’ podcast.
Justin said that they had a new singer for Dead Cross who was already recording. However, when asked about the new singer it got interesting (with a good deal of humor and laughter). It went a little something like this:
Everything Went Black – Mike Hill (MH): You guys have auditioned new singers?
Justin Pearson (JP): Yeah we have a new singer and he’s recording the album and stuff now.
MH: What band is he from?
JP: I’m not even allowed to say yet. He’s kind of like an established singer and we need an official announcement or something.
MH: It’s like Joey Belladonna or something?
JP: It’s around that realm. Let’s just say it’s a good friend of all of ours. It’ll be rad once it happens. I mean he’s he’s already recording and we have a label and stuff like that now.
MH: What label is putting it out?
JP: I don’t know if I’m allowed to say that either. I just play Bass! I wanna be like ‘it’s this label and this is the singer’.
From this interview I then had these hints about their new singer:
- He’s an established singer
- He’s a good friend of the band
- He’s under the same secrecy as the label
With Mike Patton already on my mind I quickly jumped to the following conclusions:
Mike Patton is an Established Singer
There’s no doubt that Mike Patton is in the realm of Joey Belladonna, in fact, you could easily argue that he’s even more well-known than the lead singer of Anthrax.
Additionally, it’s not uncommon for Mike Patton and his label Ipecac Recordings (more on them later) to issue official press releases for the new projects he’s involved with.
Mike Patton is a Good Friend of Dead Cross
Mike Patton is already familiar with a number of the members of Dead Cross. First and foremost Mike Patton and Dave Lombardo are both members of Fantômas, with Dave Lombardo playing drums.
One of Justin Pearson’s other bands, Retox, released their Ugly Animals album on Mike Patton’s Ipecac Recordings. Retox has also toured with Patton’s band Tomahawk.
Another of Justin’s bands, The Locust, have toured with Fantomas. The Locust was also invited by Mike Patton and The Melvins to perform at the All Tomorrows Party festival in 2008 when they were the curators.
Tour Posters of Tomahawk and Retox, and Fantomas and The Locus touring together.
Ipecac Recordings is related to Mike Patton
I haven’t observed many record labels being overly secretive about signing a band, however in this instance, Justin wasn’t able to say much about them. One thing I noticed is that he mentioned the unnamed singer was recording and them having a label in the same breath or sentence.
As Ipecac Recordings is Mike Patton’s own label (with Greg Werckman) there was the possibility that revealing the label could also reveal the singer for the band.
Whilst there is no strong link between being on the Ipecac label and Mike Patton providing vocals (there’s plenty of bands on Ipecac that Mike Patton doesn’t directly work with) if there’s secrecy about the singer, then it could make sense to be secretive about the label too.
You can listen to the Everything Went Black podcast here (the relevant Justin Pearson section starts at 1:28:10).
Interview with Trey Spruance
Once Dead Cross was the front-runner in my mind I started seeing other links (that probably didn’t exist) from the Trey Spruance interview. Here’s the part of the interview about the Mike Patton hardcore band that I was hooked on:
Dan Redding (DR): When is the last time you spoke with Mike Patton?
Trey Spruance (TS): I guess it was a few months back. Maybe somewhere like February or something. Oh, wait! I saw him at a Melvins, Napalm Death gig. Which I guess was in May.
DR: Any plans for collaboration together anytime soon?
TS: No we haven’t made any formal plans. I was thinking about calling him about some of this metal stuff. He’s really natural for that.
DR: He sure is.
TS: I’ve heard that he has a hardcore band.
DR: Oh really?
TS: Yeah, I heard it from a little birdie, he has a new hardcore band, sounds interesting…
DR: That sounds awesome, is there anything else you can share about that? I haven’t heard about that.
TS: No there’s certainly nothing official, I just heard the rumor. But from a reliable place. And anyway, it perked my ears up because he’s a natural with hardcore stuff, too.
DR: That sounds awesome
As you can see when Trey Spruance was asked about the last time he’d spoken with Mike Patton he initially indicated February. However, he quickly corrected himself and identified a Melvins / Napalm Death gig in May where they’d last spoken. After a quick conversation on whether Trey and Mike will be collaborating Trey dropped the bombshell that Mike has a new Hardcore band.
The potential link that I thought I’d found was that Dead Cross were the support act for the Melvins / Napalm Death gigs in May. I’d thought that Trey’s memory of Dead Cross at the gig triggered his Mike Patton Hardcore Band train of thought.
You can listen to the Culture Creature interview with Trey Spruance here (the discussion about collaborating with Mike Patton starts at 1:01:25)
Seeking Comment from Ipecac Recordings
So with all this compelling evidence (well in my mind it was compelling) linking Mike Patton and Dead Cross I reached out to Ipecac Recordings. Firstly, I wanted to confirm whether I was correct. And secondly, I wanted to see find out if I should hold off on publishing anything. Well, the answer came back pretty quickly.
Ipecac Recordings responded with:
Thanks for the support and thanks for reaching out.As far as rumors, you can’t always believe what you hear. Mike is in the studio working on a record, but its not Dead Cross and is not a hardcore record. Wish we could tell you more.We would love to be involved with Dead Cross!!!! From what I hear though, Dave is busy with Suicidal Tendencies and the Misfits so it sounds like Dead Cross is on the back burner for now.
All my investigations (which in hindsight was only really listening to about 3-4 minutes of interviews) and my amazing theory came tumbling down.
Edit: In hindsight the Ipecac response can be read as no outright denial, as the words don’t actually say he’s not part of Dead Cross, rather the current studio work isnt’ Dead Cross.
What did I learn?
So what have I learned from this investigation? I think the main thing I’ve learned is that it’s quite easy to be blindsided by my bias towards Mike. I was really keen to place Mike Patton in a Hardcore Band, so any minor detail was interpreted in a manner that would place him in a band. Overall, rumors are just that, rumors. Sometimes they’re right, mostly they’re wrong. I for one, will be trying to stop the Mike Patton rumor-mill by not saying that someone at Ipecac Recordings said ‘Mike Patton is making a record with Cory Feldman‘. Just saying!
The other thing that I learned, is that Mike is in the studio working on a record!! That’s exciting in and of itself. Now the waiting game begins for more news about this new record.