Faith No More
"To lead people by the hand is wrong, so we just keep doing what we're doing while trying to not be too disgusted with ourselves." --- Mike Bordin (Drummer – Faith No More)
Faith No More
Faith No More are one of those bands that were destined for greatness yet being the great under-achievers. Faith No More remains one of the distinctively sounding rock bands of the 90s. Their fusion of rock based on metal, hip-up, funk and progressive rock has seen the band receive wide spread acclaim. At their height they opened for the co-headlines Guns N’ Roses and Metallica North American Stadium tour in 1992.
King(s) for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime
The bands most successful period in the 90s also saw them produce some of most memorable albums of the decade titled “The Real Thing” and “Angel Dust”. Both albums have sold in access of 3 million copies world wide. In the mid to late 90s their popularity took a hit especially when charismatic lead guitar player Jim Martin left the band; they continued to release albums before their break up 1998. Recently in 2009, the band got back together sans Jim Martin and has toured the European festival circuit causing renewed interest in their music.
The band hailing from San Francisco went through several personnel changes before settling into the classic line-up which featured Billy Gould (bass), Roddy Bottum (keyboard and guitar) and Mike Bordin (drummer), Chuck Mosley(lead Vocals) and Jim Martin (Lead Guitar). They toured a lot in the local clubs and even produced their own financed first album “We care a Lot” released in 1985. The album is a blueprint of the genre bending music which they were about to make.
The San Francisco Beginnings
The band caught the eye of Slash Records. The band released “Introduce Yourself” in 1987. At that the time the video for the "We Care a lot” was a minor hit on MTV. Mosley was fired soon after and replaced by the talented vocalist Mike Patton. The change would result in the defining Faith No More sound and success.
The band's fist big single success was “Epic” with its explicit video is considered one of earliest collaboration of rap and metal. In 2009, VH! named it the 54th best hard rock song of all time. The album The Real Thing was a smash hit. It was one of the first progressive metal album that defined a unique sound which included metal, rap, funk, hip-hip and even jazz. The album peaked at No. 41 on US charts and has been certified platinum. Apart from “Epic”, the songs “Falling to Pieces” and “From Out of Nowhere” are considered classic of the pre-grunge era. The album and the song “Epic” were both nominated for a Grammy award.
The band went on a long US and UK tour to promote the album. The live shows culminated into their first live album “You Fat Bastards: Live at Brixton Academy”.
At the end of the tour, the band took a break for nearly a year. Their videos were on heavy MTV airplay and the record label ushered them to quickly record a new album. The band started recording and writing throughout most of 1991 and this time around the lead vocalist would have a lot more influence on the bands sounds. The lyrics were more open and used symbolism influences.
Angel Dust and Separation!
The band completed the recording in 1992 and released the album “Angel Dust” to phenomenal critical acclaim. The album is considered a masterpiece. The songs “Land of Sunshine”, “Midlife Crisis” and “Everything Ruined” were considered genre defining. The band also recorded a pop cover tune called “Easy” of the soul group The Commodores which was written by Lionel Ritchie. It became a No.1 single in the UK and received heavy MTV airplay. Heavy promotion and an opening act for the co-headlining stadium tour of Guns n’ Roses and Metallica gave them album a wider appeal. The album peaked at No. 10 on the US charts and No.2 in the UK. The album has gone on to sell more than 3 million copies world wide.
The band replaced Jim Martin with Trey Spruance who was brought in by Mike Patton. After recording “King of a Day … Fool of a Lifetime” he left. The follow-up to “Angel Dust” was released in 1995. The album titled “King of a Day … Fool of a Lifetime” was not a cohesive effort as the music differed from almost song to song. The album was not received as well as its predecessor.
The Final Years and Reunion
After touring with new guitarist Dean Menta the band released “Album of the Year” in 1997 did slightly better in terms of their sound and critical reception but by now the bands decline had already started. The band finally broke by 1998. The existing members went on to do their own projects. It would take another 10 years for the band to come back for the Reunion tour in 2009.
The 2009 Second Coming tour has been widely well received. Headlining many festivals the band was able to find a new audience and connect once again with their long time fans. The band will tour in 2010 as well and rumors on the Internet indicate a new album on the cards.
Did you know that...
- ...Courtney Love of Hole was the lead vocalist for Faith No More for 6 months.
- ...Faith No More's "Midlife Crisis" was featured on the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
- ...the video Epic had a fish out of water dying on camera which prompted protest from animal rights activists.