The Story Of The Rivalry Between Anthony Kiedis And Faith No More’s Mike Patton

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Red Hot Chili Peppers and Faith No More are the two bands that were the pioneers of the funk-metal genre in the late 1980s and naturally, there was a friendly rivalry between the two initially. However, the competition turned into a feud between two of the band’s lead singers Anthony Kiedis and Mike Patton got into a verbal fight which was fueled after the band’s music video for their song ‘Epic.’

Faith No More released ‘Epic’ as the second single from their third studio album, ‘The Real Thing’ on January 29, 1990. The song was the band’s breakthrough hit, peaking at number nine on the US Billboard Hot 100 as well as being regarded as one of the greatest hard rock songs of all time. It is also among the band’s most popular songs and a staple in their concerts’ setlist.

The music video for ‘Epic,’ on the other hand, created quite the controversy with its ending scene where a fish is out of the water and appears to be dying on camera. In addition to this, the lead singer Mike Patton’s attitude and actions in the music video drew Red Hot Chili Peppers’ frontman Anthony Kiedis’ attention. Eventually, Kiedis accused Patton of copying his actions in the music video and the whole feud started. Let’s dig deeper into the story of how the two frontmen got into an unexpected dispute.

Anthony Kiedis Accused Mike Patton Of Copying Him

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After the release of Faith No More’s 1989 music video for their song ‘Epic,’ something in the video caught Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis’ attention and he critised the band’s singer Mike Patton for stealing his moves. During an interview with Kerrang Magazine in 1990, Kiedis stated how worried he was if fans think it’s RHCP that’s copying Faith No More, especially in the United Kingdom.

During the interview with Kerrang Magazine, Kiedis stated:

“My drummer says he’s gonna kidnap Patton, shave his hair off, and cut off one of his feet, just so he’ll be forced to find a style of his own. What a drag if people get the idea that I’m actually ripping him off. Especially in the UK where FNM is much better known than us. In America, it’s a different story, people are aware of the profound influence we had on them.”

After these statements, Faith No More singer stayed silent and didn’t react to Red Hot Chili Peppers’ frontman, however, the feud was revived in 1999. Mike Patton had reunited with his former band Mr. Bungle which was getting ready to release the album ‘California’ just as the RHCP was set to release a new album called ‘Californication.’ Since both bands were parts of Warner Bros., the label delayed California’s release by a month, choosing the Red Hot Chili Peppers over them.

Furthermore, Mr. Bungle found themselves being banned from several summer festivals after Red Hot Chili Peppers threatened to quit the festivals and forcing the administrations to chose a side. Allegedly, lead singer Anthony Kiedis had personally demanded the ban and succeeded in his aim as well.

Eventually, Mike Patton broke his silence and started talking back about Red Hot Chili Peppers and Anthony Kiedis. In addition to this, Mr. Bungle played a Halloween show at which the band dressed up as the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ members, awfully performed the band’s tracks as well as making a reference to the band’s history with heroin by pretending to shoot up onstage.

As expected the heat between both sides cooled down years after and both Anthony Kiedis and Mike Patton buried the hatchet as the time went by. During an interview in 2010, Patton even stated that he doesn’t remember what the feud was about and both sides definitely would have a great time if they see each other again.

According to Grunge, Mike Patton stated:

“I’ve no idea what it was about then and I don’t know now. But I bet we’d have a warm embrace if we saw each other now.

You can listen to ‘Epic’ by Faith No More below.