Fantômas (band)

Last updated
Fantomas Band.jpg
Fantômas performing live
Background information
Origin California, United States
Years active1998–present
Labels Ipecac
Associated acts

Fantômas is an American metal supergroup, formed in 1998 in California. It features vocalist Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle), drummer Dave Lombardo (ex-Slayer), guitarist Buzz Osborne (Melvins) and bassist Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle, Tomahawk). The band is named after Fantômas, a supervillain featured in a series of crime novels popular in France before World War I and in film, most notably in the 60s French movie series.

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

A supergroup is a musical performing group whose members have successful solo careers, are members of other groups, or are well known in other musical professions. The term is usually used in the context of rock and pop music, but it has occasionally been applied to other musical genres. For example, The Three Tenors—composed of opera superstars José Carreras, Plácido Domingo, and Luciano Pavarotti—or Rainbow have been called a supergroup.

California State of the United States of America

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents across a total area of about 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2), California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.



Fantômas began just before the collapse of Faith No More, as a series of spasmic, avant-garde metal/grindcore songs composed by vocalist and bandleader Mike Patton. Patton then sent the demos to guitarist Buzz Osborne (of Melvins), bass guitarist Trevor Dunn (of Mr. Bungle) and drummer Igor Cavalera (of Sepultura), with the intention of forming a supergroup. Cavalera declined the offer, but recommended who he thought would be perfect for the project: Dave Lombardo of Slayer, who accepted. [5] [6] The band have released all of their albums through Patton's independent label Ipecac, however there was initially interest from several prominent record labels, primarily due to Patton's commercial success with Faith No More. He recalled "There was a whole lot of interest, at first. People from Geffen and stuff like this came out to the shows. But after the show, they disappeared into the woodwork. There were [also] indies that were interested, but none that I was interested in." [7]

Faith No More American alternative metal band

Faith No More is an American rock band from San Francisco, California, formed in 1979. Before settling on the current name in 1982, the band performed under the names Sharp Young Men and later Faith No Man. Bassist Billy Gould, keyboardist/rhythm guitarist Roddy Bottum and drummer Mike Bordin are the longest-remaining members of the band, having been involved since its inception. The band underwent several early lineup changes, and some major changes later on. The current lineup of Faith No More consists of Gould, Bordin, Bottum, lead guitarist Jon Hudson, and vocalist/lyricist Mike Patton.

Avant-garde metal subgenre of metal music

Avant-garde metal is a subgenre of heavy metal music loosely defined by use of experimentation and innovative, avant-garde elements, including non-standard and unconventional sounds, instruments, song structures, playing styles, and vocal techniques. Avant-garde metal is influenced by progressive rock and extreme metal, particularly death metal, and is closely related to progressive metal. Some local scenes include Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, and Seattle in the United States, Oslo in Norway, and Tokyo in Japan.

Grindcore is an extreme fusion genre of heavy metal and hardcore punk that originated in the mid-1980s, drawing inspiration from abrasive-sounding musical styles, such as: thrashcore, crust punk, hardcore punk, extreme metal, and industrial. Grindcore is characterized by a noise-filled sound that uses heavily distorted, down-tuned guitars, grinding overdriven bass, high speed tempo, blast beats, and vocals which consist of growls and high-pitched shrieks. Early groups like Napalm Death are credited with laying the groundwork for the style. It is most prevalent today in North America and Europe, with popular contributors such as Brutal Truth and Nasum. Lyrical themes range from a primary focus on social and political concerns, to gory subject matter and black humor.

In mid-2005, the band toured Europe with Terry Bozzio on drums, as Lombardo was on tour with Slayer. Lombardo returned to the band for the final dates of the tour, which concluded on September 15, 2005.

Terry Bozzio American musician

Terry John Bozzio is an American drummer best known for his work with Missing Persons and Frank Zappa.

Slayer American thrash metal band

Slayer is an American thrash metal band from Huntington Park, California. The band was formed in 1981 by guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman and vocalist and bassist Tom Araya. Slayer's fast and aggressive musical style made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax. Slayer's current lineup comprises King, Araya, drummer Paul Bostaph and guitarist Gary Holt. Hanneman and drummers Dave Lombardo and Jon Dette are former members of the band.

On May 13, 2006, Patton revealed to that a fifth Fantômas album was being planned. Of the album, Patton says, "The next record is going to be an all-electronic affair. 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." [8] In November 2008, Rock-a-Rolla , a UK-based alternative music magazine, exclusively revealed on their website that the new album was currently being worked on and a tentative June 2009 release was possible, [9] however, in the May 2009 issue of Rock-a-Rolla, in an interview with Greg Werckman, Werckman stated that Mike "hasn't even begun" recording the next Fantômas record. [10]

<i>Billboard</i> (magazine) American music magazine

Billboard is an American entertainment media brand owned by the Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group, a division of Eldridge Industries. It publishes pieces involving news, video, opinion, reviews, events, and style, and is also known for its music charts, including the Hot 100 and Billboard 200, tracking the most popular songs and albums in different genres. It also hosts events, owns a publishing firm, and operates several TV shows.

Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments, digital instruments and circuitry-based music technology. In general, a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means, and that produced using electronics only. Electromechanical instruments include mechanical elements, such as strings, hammers, and so on, and electric elements, such as magnetic pickups, power amplifiers and loudspeakers. Examples of electromechanical sound producing devices include the telharmonium, Hammond organ, and the electric guitar, which are typically made loud enough for performers and audiences to hear with an instrument amplifier and speaker cabinet. Pure electronic instruments do not have vibrating strings, hammers, or other sound-producing mechanisms. Devices such as the theremin, synthesizer, and computer can produce electronic sounds.

Rock-A-Rolla was a music magazine covering experimental, avant-garde, noise and metal artists pushing the boundaries of music. Launched in late 2005, it was published bi-monthly in the UK by V-Squared Publishing Limited and distributed worldwide, mainly in UK, Canada, USA, Europe and Australia. In the past the magazine has championed such diverse artists as Khanate, Zu, The Locust, Justin Broadrick, Mike Patton, Melvins and others. The editor-in-chief was Vuk Valcic.

On July 21, 2011, Rock-a-Rolla revealed that Fantômas would be releasing their December 31, 2008, performance at San Francisco's Great American Music Hall as a DVD and a standalone audio download, titled The Director's Cut Live: A New Year's Revolution. [11] On September 16, 2014, Ipecac Recordings announced that on Record Store Day they would be releasing a boxset titled "Wunderkammer," which would contain all of the Fantômas albums on vinyl as well as a cassette featuring Mike Patton's original demos for the band. [12]

In December 2014 Fantômas played their first shows in six years as part of the Rockout Festival in Santiago, Chile, however no plans have been announced to date regarding a new studio recording.

On June 24, 2017 Fantômas reunited to open for Tool's concert in San Bernardino, California. Due to his touring commitments with Suicidal Tendencies, Dave Lombardo could not perform at the show. Melvins’ Dale Crover returned to take Lombardo's place for the performance.


Patton performing with Fantomas at Quart Festival, Norway on July 9, 2005 Mike Patton with Fantomas Quart Festival Norway 2005.jpg
Patton performing with Fantômas at Quart Festival, Norway on July 9, 2005

Though rooted in avant-garde metal, Fantômas' music touches on many different musical genres, making liberal use of experimentalism and noise. Fantômas' music is also noted for its absurdism and offbeat sense of humor; one critic dubbed their style "dada-metal", [13] a reference to the "anti-art" dada movement of the early 1900s.

Experimental music is a general label for any music that pushes existing boundaries and genre definitions. Experimental compositional practice is defined broadly by exploratory sensibilites radically opposed to, and questioning of, institutionalized compositional, performing, and aesthetic conventions in music. Elements of experimental music include indeterminate music, in which the composer introduces the elements of chance or unpredictability with regard to either the composition or its performance. Artists may also approach a hybrid of disparate styles or incorporate unorthodox and unique elements.

Noise music is a category of music that is characterised by the expressive use of noise within a musical context. This type of music tends to challenge the distinction that is made in conventional musical practices between musical and non-musical sound. Noise music includes a wide range of musical styles and sound-based creative practices that feature noise as a primary aspect.

Dada avant-garde art movement in the early 20th century

Dada or Dadaism was an art movement of the European avant-garde in the early 20th century, with early centers in Zürich, Switzerland, at the Cabaret Voltaire ; New York Dada began circa 1915, and after 1920 Dada flourished in Paris. Developed in reaction to World War I, the Dada movement consisted of artists who rejected the logic, reason, and aestheticism of modern capitalist society, instead expressing nonsense, irrationality, and anti-bourgeois protest in their works. The art of the movement spanned visual, literary, and sound media, including collage, sound poetry, cut-up writing, and sculpture. Dadaist artists expressed their discontent with violence, war, and nationalism, and maintained political affinities with the radical far-left.

Patton rarely sings conventional lyrics with the group, preferring his own bizarre style of voice music or scat singing.

The band arrange albums around concepts or themes:

Non-album songs

Fantômas have recorded a few songs which do not appear on their albums:


Current members
Touring members
Former live members


Studio albums

YearAlbum detailsPeak chart positions


1999 Fantômas
  • Released: April 27, 1999
  • Label: Ipecac
  • Formats: CD, DI
2001 The Director's Cut
  • Released: July 10, 2001
  • Label: Ipecac
  • Formats: CD, DI
2004 Delìrium Còrdia
  • Released: January 27, 2004
  • Label: Ipecac
  • Formats: CD, DI
2005 Suspended Animation
  • Released: April 5, 2005
  • Label: Ipecac
  • Formats: CD, DI

Live albums

YearAlbum detailsPeak chart positions


2002 Millennium Monsterwork 2000
(as The Fantômas/Melvins Big Band)
  • Released: April 1, 2002
  • Label: Ipecac
  • Formats: CD, DI
2011The Director's Cut Live: A New Year's Revolution
  • Released: September 6, 2011
  • Label: Ipecac
  • Formats: DI

Split releases

YearAlbum details
2005 Animali in Calore Surriscaldati con Ipertermia Genitale/Cat in Red
(with Melt-Banana)
  • Released: August 2005
  • Label: Unhip
  • Formats: CD, LP
2013 Sugar Daddy Live Split Series Vol. 10
(with Melvins)

Video albums

YearAlbum details
2008 Live from London 2006
(as The Fantômas/Melvins Big Band)
  • Released: August 26, 2008
  • Label: Ipecac
  • Formats: DVD
2011The Director's Cut Live: A New Year's Revolution
  • Released: September 6, 2011
  • Label: Ipecac
  • Formats: DVD
  • Video by Vince Forcier
  • Audio by Vinny Palese

Compilation albums

YearAlbum details
  • Released: December 16, 2014
  • Label: Ipecac Recordings
  • Formats: LP x 5, cassette x 1

See also

Related Research Articles

Melvins band from the United States

Melvins are an American rock band whose early work was key to the development of both grunge and sludge metal. The band formed in 1983 in Montesano, Washington. They have mostly performed as a trio, as well as a quartet with either two drummers/bassists in recent years. Since 1984, vocalist and guitarist Buzz Osborne and drummer Dale Crover have been constant members. The band was named after a supervisor at a Thriftway in Montesano, Washington, where Osborne also worked as a clerk. "Melvin" was disliked by other employees, and the band's members felt it to be an appropriately ridiculous name.

Mike Patton American singer

Michael Allan Patton is an American musician, singer, songwriter, actor, record producer, multi-instrumentalist and film composer, best known as the lead vocalist of the alternative metal band Faith No More. Patton is also the founder and lead singer of Mr. Bungle, and has played with Tomahawk, Fantômas, Dead Cross, Lovage, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and Peeping Tom.

Mr. Bungle American band

Mr. Bungle is an American experimental rock band from Northern California. Known for a highly eclectic style, the band often cycled through several musical genres within the course of a single song, including heavy metal, avant-garde jazz, ska, disco, and funk. Many Mr. Bungle songs had an unconventional structure and utilized a wide array of instruments and samples. Live shows often featured members dressing up and an array of cover songs.

Trevor Dunn

Trevor Roy Dunn is an American composer, bass guitarist, and double bassist. He came to prominence in the 1990s with the experimental band Mr. Bungle. He has since worked in an array of musical styles, notably with singer and Mr. Bungle co-founder Mike Patton; with saxophonist/composer John Zorn; brief collaboration with Secret Chiefs 3 and with his own avant-garde jazz/rock ensemble Trevor Dunn's Trio-Convulsant and later with rock driven group MadLove. He is also a member of the band Tomahawk, replacing founding member Kevin Rutmanis.

Dale Crover drums, guitar

Dale Crover is an American rock musician. Crover is best known as the drummer for the Melvins. He's also been the drummer for Men of Porn, Shrinebuilder, Crystal Fairy, and, for a brief time, Nirvana. He is also guitarist and vocalist for Altamont. He has also toured with Fantômas, Off!, and Redd Kross.

Tomahawk (band) American band

Tomahawk is an American rock supergroup. They formed in 1999 when singer/keyboardist Mike Patton met guitar player Duane Denison and the pair started swapping tapes with the intention of collaborating. Denison then recruited drummer John Stanier (Helmet), while Patton invited bass player Kevin Rutmanis (Melvins/ex-Cows). The group recorded three albums and toured extensively from 2000–2007 then went on extended hiatus, and reformed in 2013 with Trevor Dunn replacing Rutmanis.

Ipecac Recordings American record label

Ipecac Recordings is an independent record label based in California. It was founded on April 1, 1999 by Greg Werckman and Mike Patton in Alameda, California.

Buzz Osborne American singer, musician and producer

Roger "Buzz" Osborne, also known as King Buzzo, is an American guitarist, vocalist and songwriter. He is a founding member of the Melvins, as well as Fantômas and Venomous Concept.

<i>Millennium Monsterwork 2000</i> 2002 live album by The Fantômas Melvins Big Band

Millennium Monsterwork 2000 is a live album by Fantômas and Melvins taken from a New Year's Eve 2000 performance at Slim's which was released in 2002 through Ipecac Recordings.

<i>Fantômas</i> (Fantômas album) 1999 studio album by Fantômas

Fantômas is the debut studio album by American experimental metal supergroup Fantômas. It was released on April 27, 1999, and was the first album released on Ipecac Recordings.

<i>The Directors Cut</i> 2001 studio album by Fantômas

The Director's Cut is the second studio album by American musical supergroup Fantômas. The album is a collection of cover versions of themes from horror and thriller films and television series, performed in a variety of different musical styles. The album was released on July 9, 2001, through Ipecac Recordings, a record label co-owned by the band's vocalist, Mike Patton.

<i>California</i> (Mr. Bungle album) 1999 studio album by Mr. Bungle

California is the third and final studio album by American experimental rock band Mr. Bungle. It was released on July 13, 1999, through Warner Bros.

<i>Delìrium Còrdia</i> 2004 studio album by Fantômas

Delìrivm Còrdia is the third studio album by American experimental rock band Fantômas, released on January 27, 2004 by record label Ipecac.

<i>Tomahawk</i> (album) 2001 studio album by Tomahawk

Tomahawk is the debut studio album by American experimental rock band Tomahawk. Recorded after a meeting between vocalist Mike Patton and guitarist Duane Denison, the album features members of Faith No More, The Jesus Lizard, Helmet and Melvins. The band toured with Tool in support of the record, but were not well received by Tool's fans.

<i>Mit Gas</i> 2003 studio album by Tomahawk

Mit Gas is the second studio album by the musical supergroup Tomahawk. It was released on May 6, 2003, through Ipecac Recordings, the record label owned by vocalist Mike Patton. Mit Gas charted in several countries, reaching the top 20 in Norway's VG-lista and the United States' Billboard Independent Albums charts.

<i>Anonymous</i> (Tomahawk album) 2007 studio album by Tomahawk

Anonymous is the third studio album by the musical supergroup Tomahawk. It was released on June 19, 2007 through Ipecac Recordings, the record label owned by Tomahawk vocalist Mike Patton. Anonymous charted in Australia, Norway and the United States.

<i>Live from London 2006</i> 2008 video by The Fantômas Melvins Big Band

Live from London 2006 is a DVD by the Fantômas Melvins Big Band that was released on August 26, 2008.

Mike Patton discography

Mike Patton is an American singer and songwriter. He is best known for providing lead vocals for Faith No More along with Mr. Bungle, Fantômas, Peeping Tom, Tomahawk, Lovage and more. In addition to recording and working with these bands, he has also been involved in many side projects and collaborations. Patton is most frequently known as a vocalist, but has also produced, played various musical instruments, has composed soundtracks, done voice over work and has done some acting.

<i>Oddfellows</i> (album) 2013 studio album by Tomahawk

Oddfellows is the fourth studio album by musical supergroup Tomahawk. The album is the first to feature new bass player Trevor Dunn, who has replaced previous member Kevin Rutmanis. Oddfellows was recorded live in the Easy Eye Sound Studio in Nashville, Tennessee, after a brief period of rehearsal. Guitarist Duane Denison favored the location as its cheaper studio costs allowed for longer periods of song-writing.

Dead Cross are an American hardcore punk supergroup formed in Southern California. The band consists of guitarist Michael Crain (Retox), bassist Justin Pearson, drummer Dave Lombardo and vocalist Mike Patton.


  1. Gunn, Nick (February 16, 2009). "Fantômas + Serj Tankian". PopMatters . Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  2. Adams, Gregory (July 22, 2011). "Fantômas to Deliver 'The Director's Cut Live: A New Year's Revolution'". Exclaim! . Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  3. "Fantômas". AllMusic . Rovi Corporation . Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  4. Stuart, James (December 9, 2008). "All Tomorrow's Parties: The Nightmare Before Christmas". The Guardian . Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  5. Zulaica, Don (July 5, 1999). "No Exit: Even Better Than the Real Thing? – Mike Patton Puts His Faith in Fantomas and Mr. Bungle". Bam. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
  6. Burton, Brent. "Decibel Magazine: Fantômas – Suspended Animation". . Retrieved September 23, 2012.
  8. "Patton Juggling Numerous New Projects | Billboard". . Prometheus Global Media . Retrieved September 23, 2012.
  9. " » Mike Patton Preps New Fantômas and Mondo Cane Albums!". . October 8, 2008. Archived from the original on March 3, 2012. Retrieved September 23, 2012.
  10. Rock-a-Rolla (20). May 2009.Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. " » Fantômas 'The Director's Cut' Live DVD and Album on the Way". . July 21, 2011. Retrieved September 23, 2012.
  12. " » Hey friends! There has been a bunch of stuff happening in the Ipecac world of late..." September 16, 2014. Retrieved September 16, 2014.
  13. "The Fantomas Website: The Avant-Garde". Retrieved 23 September 2012.
  14. 1 2 3 4 5 "Fantômas – Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic . Rovi Corporation . Retrieved September 23, 2012.
  15. " – Discography Fantomas". Hung Medien. Archived from the original on October 24, 2012. Retrieved September 23, 2012.
  16. " – Discographie Fantomas". (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved September 23, 2012.
  17. " – Discography Fantomas". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 23, 2012.