Although those close to him on his team didn’t expect it, Mike Patton was willing to discuss his life difficulties during the previous few years related to his mental health. “It’s funny because my manager and publicist were like, ‘Do you want to talk about mental health [in an interview]?’” he says. “’They’re gonna ask you these questions. We can say no.’ And I’m like, ‘No. Let them ask what they want. I got nothing [to hide].’ It actually helps to talk about this shit, you know?”

Patton, probably best known for his work as the lead singer on 80s and 90s hits “Epic” and “Midlife Crisis” for funk metal group Faith No More, joined the hardcore-punk band Dead Cross in 2016. Now that they are preparing to release their sophomore LP, he was ready to explore his issues in a Rolling Stone magazine interview.

Patton put down his vocals in his home studio alone during the COVID pandemic, which was complicated by an agoraphobia diagnosis he’d received. Last fall things came to a head when he realized he was unable to leave his house to tour with his bands Mr. Bungle and Faith No More and canceled tour dates due to “mental health reasons”. Then Gabe Serbian — the original vocalist for Dead Cross and drummer for Locust — died in April. No cause of death has been released at the time of writing. Incidentally, all this followed Dead Cross and Retox guitarist Michael Crain’s COVID and advanced cancer diagnoses. (His cancer is currently in remission.)

Despite their numerous tribulations, the band proceeded with Dead Cross II. Crain’s cancer scare served to inspire a slew of brutal, cathartic riffs that bassist Justin Pearson, and drummer Dave Lombardo recorded with him. Said Patton, “The music was there, and the drive was there. And after what Crain had been through, it’s like, ‘Hey, we got to do this.’ It’s really kind of no question of whether or not to continue.”

Due to be released Oct. 28, Dead Cross II matches the fury of their previous effort.