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Fantômas is an avant-garde metal supergroup formed in 1998 in Californiamarker, United Statesmarker. The band is named after Fantômas, a supervillain featured in a series of crime novels popular in Francemarker before World War I and in film, most notably in 60's French movie series.

History

Fantômas began just before the collapse of Faith No More as a series of spasmic, avant-garde metal songs composed by vocalist and bandleader Mike Patton. Patton then sent the demos to guitarist Buzz Osborne (of The Melvins), bassist 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.

In mid-2005, the band toured Europe with Terry Bozzio on drums, because Lombardo was on tour with Slayer. Lombardo returned to the band for the final dates of the tour, which concluded on September 15, 2005. However, there are rumours that Bozzio will perform drumming duties on a future Fantômas album.

On May 13, 2006, Patton revealed to Billboard.com that a fifth Fantômas album has been 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." In November 2008, Rock-A-Rolla, a UK-based alternative music magazine, exclusively revealed on their website that the new album is currently being worked on and a tentative June 2009 release is possible, however in the May/June 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.

Style

Though rooted in heavy metal, their 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," a reference to the "anti-art" dada movement of the early 1900s. Critic Greg Prato describes their music as "completely original…especially when compared to the blah and predictable alt-rock of the late '90s." 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 also performed a few songs which do not appear on their albums.
  • "Chariot Choogle" (1:51) - A cover of the song by T.Rex, released on the album Great Jewish Music: Marc Bolan. Mike Patton recorded this cover and attributed it to Fantômas.
  • "Zemariam" (3:36) - A version of the song which John Zorn had originally written for his band, Masada but eventually never performed nor recorded. To celebrate Masada's 10th Anniversary John Zorn organized the release of an album known as The Unknown Masada. Fantômas contributed this song to the release. The song was arranged by Trevor Dunn, and is one of the only songs by Fantômas not to have been written or arranged by Mike Patton.
  • Where Is The Line (5:28) - Released as a B-Side on Björk's "Where Is The Line" Vinyl release.
  • "Animale In Calore Surriscaldati Con Ipertermia Genitale" (0:44) - Released on the Fantômas / Melt-Banana split through Unhip Records in 2005. The cover art was drawn by Italian artist Igort.


Members



Discography

Date of release Title Label Catalog Number
April 26, 1999 Fantômas Ipecac Recordings IPC-001
July 9, 2001 The Director's Cut Ipecac Recordings IPC-017
April 1, 2002 Millennium Monsterwork 2000 (as The Fantômas/Melvins Big Band) Ipecac Recordings IPC-019
January 27, 2004 Delìrium Còrdia Ipecac Recordings IPC-045
June 14, 2005 Suspended Animation Ipecac Recordings IPC-065
August, 2005 Fantômas / Melt-Banana (Split 5" Vinyl / 3" CD with Melt-Banana) Unhip Records Unhip5


Videography

Date of Release Title Label Catalog Number
August 26, 2008 Live From London 2006 (With The Melvins) Ipecac Recordings IPC102


Footnotes

  1. Mike Patton Preps New Fantomas and Mondo Cane Albums!
  2. Rock-A-Rolla Issue 20, May/June 2009 Rock-A-Rolla Website


External links




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