Sunday Old School: Faith No More
Band Photo: Faith No More (?)
Some bands are just so eclectic, it’s practically impossible to label them. Everyone likes these bands because their music is always guaranteed to be interesting, and none of these such bands are more intriguing than Faith No More. Faith No More began life thirty years ago when it was founded by bass player Billy Gould in 1981, along with drummer Mike Bordin, vocalist Michael Morris and keyboard player Wade Worthington. They did not adopt their current moniker until 1982 after Worthington had been replaced by Roddy Bottum and Morris had been fired, leading the band to through a series of vocalists, including future Hole frontwoman Courtney Love, before settling on Chuck Mosley in 1983, the same year they found guitarist Jim Martin.
They began recording their debut album independently, pooling their money together and recording it as and when they could. By the time five songs had been recorded, the group earned the attention of Mordam Records, who signed the band and gave them the money they needed to finish their album, which was released in 1985 under the title, "We Care A Lot." Faith No More then signed with Slash Records, and released "Introduce Yourself" in 1987, which, despite the release of "We Care A Lot" two years prior, is considered by many to be the bands debut album, owing to the limited availability of the previous record and the re-recording of its title track.
Not long after "Introduce Yourself," Mosley was fired from the group, due to erratic behaviour on and off the stage, including falling asleep during the "Introduce Yourself" release party. Taking his place was Mr. Bungle frontman, Mike Patton, who dropped out of Humboldt State University so he could sing for Faith No More. They released their first album with Patton, "The Real Thing" in 1989 and broke through into the public eye in the process, thanks largely to the records second single, "Epic" which became a top ten hit around the world. They performed live at the MTV Video Music Awards and Saturday Night Live, as well as touring all over the world. After releasing a live album, "Live at the Brixton Academy" in 1991 and contributing the song, "The Perfect Crime" to the soundtrack of the movie, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (in which guitarist Jim Martin made a cameo appearance,) the band got to work on their next album. The result, "Angel Dust," was released in the summer of 1992 and featured a much more experimental tone than previous releases, thanks predominantly to Mike Patton. Despite selling well over six hundred thousand copies in the United States, the album sold better overseas, going Gold in Australia and reaching the number 2 position on the album chart in the United Kingdom.
Despite the success of "Angel Dust," Martin left the band in 1993, being unsatisfied with the musical direction of the group. He was replaced initially by Pattons Mr. Bungle bandmate, Trey Spruance, who was then replaced by keyboard tech Dean Menta after he had recorded the fifth Faith No More album, "King For A Day… Fool For A Lifetime." This album was released in March of 1995 and saw the band continue to experiment with their sound, although this time, the results were not quite so acclaimed as they had been for, "Angel Dust." Although the record went Gold in Australia, New Zealand and parts of Europe, it sold well below expectations and saw only three singles being released, instead of the planned five. Another new guitarist was brought in in 1997 in the form of Jon Hudson, a former roommate of Gould. With Hudson, they recorded and released, "Album Of The Year," in 1997 which faired much better than, "King For A Day…" staying in the German album charts for five months, where it peaked at number two, as well as topping the Australian albums chart, going Platinum there in the process. Despite the records success, rumours began circulating that the band were breaking up, which they addressed in 1998 with a statement which read, "Faith No More have decided to put an end to speculation regarding their imminent break up... by breaking up." The band members went on to record their own projects, most notably Patton, whose subsequent bands and pseudonyms include Peeping Tom, Fantomas and Tomahawk amongst others, as well as providing voice work for the film, I Am Legend, in addition to the games Portal and Left 4 Dead.
However, on February 18th 2009, fans dreams came true when Faith No More announced that they were reforming for a summer European tour, which saw them perform mostly at festivals, including a headlining performance at Donington Park for the Download Festival, along with such summer highlights as Pukkelpop, Reading & Leeds Festival and performing their first concert in Israel. After headlining the Soundwave Festival in Australia last year, the band continued to perform concerts all over the world. For a short while, it looked like the ride was going to end as quickly as it started, when Patton announced on stage in Finland that it would be their final show, but thankfully, they have performed numerous times since. Since the reformation, the future of Faith No More remains unwritten. Billy Gould has stated that he does not want to finish the band now and while they haven’t ruled out the possibility of a new album, they haven’t really discussed doing one either. Whatever happens, fans will still be flocking to see them, excited that one of the most original and groundbreaking bands in the history of rock is back… at least for now.
Faith No More - "We Care A Lot"
Faith No More - "Falling To Pieces"
Faith No More - "Easy"
Faith No More - "Evidence"
Faith No More - "Ashes To Ashes"
Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.
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