Faith no more | Kerrang! - February 4th 1995
Faithful Brits rewarded as 'Frisco gods blast back with intimate club tour! Plus, exclusive news on the new FNM LP and axeman!
Kerrang | Issue 531 | 04.02.1995 | Steffan Chirazi Thanks a million! Faith No More's fantastic return!
FAITH NO MORE are set to announce details of their forthcoming UK tour! And Kerrang! can reveal that the band's first Brit dates since the 1993 Phoenix Festival will be the ultimate in 'Intimate', with nearly all shows to take place at venues with less than 1,000 capacity! They mark the start of a massive, 18-month world tour, and will see the debut shows with the band of new axeman Dean Menta. These gigs will be followed up by Summer festival dates, and - later in the year - a full UK tour of bigger venues! A spokesman for the band told Mayhem: "Faith No More wanted to kick off their tour with some small UK shows as a special thank you to their fans. They should be great!"
Look out for the dates - strongly rumoured to include a one-off secret gig - coming soon in Kerrang! Mayhem caught up with Menta and his new FNM colleagues this week for some exclusive words!
"I've been playing guitar since I was 12 or 13," says Menta, "l never took any lessons or anything, I initially started working with Faith No More in their road crew during the 'Angel Dust' tour. I was working for Roddy (Bottum). I do all sorts of sequencing and hard disc recording stuff. Roddy got my name and number from somewhere, so I started hooking up with him every so often trying to teach him about computers. And then I went on tour with him."
What was Menta's initial view of how Faith No More interacted with each other?
"From my vantage point, at least initially, there was very little interaction. They all kept their separate places, but that seemed like a good thing, actually. They weren't this band and that was their only identity, they were normal people. I was generally excited to tour and travel, and it was cool to find out that they weren't what you think Rock bands are. Most of the other 'personalities' I'd met were people I didn't have anything in common with, and I wasn't interested in having any sort of relationship with them on a personal level."
As the 'Angel Dust' tour progressed, it became blatantly obvious that longtime guitarist Jim Martin was not going to remain in the band. When did Menta start to think about the vacancy?
"Well, there wasn't a lot of communication between us about how things were working out. Jim was gone and they were sending out tapes, l got a tape and did some noodling on it, sent it back, they said they liked it and that was pretty much that. I figured they'd make their decision based on whatever criteria they had. Geordie (Walker- Killing Joke) was nearly in the band, then Trey Spruance joined the band... but I always had my suspicions in the back of my mind that it might work out that I would be in one day.
I guess I'm a good choice to fill this position because I get along with everybody in the band, I've toured with them already and it's sort of a happy coincidence that I play guitar as well."
Is it frustrating to be playing songs from a new album that nobody's heard that was co written with someone else's leads on it?
"No, I really haven't found that frustrating yet. I have no ego problems with it where I feel I have to adapt it to my style or whatever"
The Spruance departure still hangs as an extremely odd affair. No one knew him better than band frontman Mike Patton, who also plays with Spruance in his other band, Mr Bungle. Patton said the following before Christmas which in hindsight suggests he knew the potential problems that lay ahead..."We had pretty much played with everybody but him and everyone was up my ass saying, 'We gotta play with him' So I told them, 'Look, guys, I have to live with him in my other f**kin' world, but you wanna play with him, okay. I know he's gonna be great and everything, but you've gotta figure it out, you've gotta get to know him. That's what life's about; you finding out for yourself how well things can work' And Trey was game, he has a spirit of adventure..."
New album 'King For A Day... Fool For A Lifetime' is out on March 13 and preceded on February 27 by killer new single 'Digging The Grave'. The album features the following tracks: 'Get Out', 'Digging The Grave', 'Evidence', 'Ricochet' 'StarAD', 'Cuckoo For Caca', 'The Velvet Hammer', 'Ugly In The Morning', 'What A Day', 'Take This Bottle', 'The Gentle Art Of Making Enemies ', 'Acoustic Groove (Recall)', 'The Last To Know', 'Just A Man'. It was recorded in conditions that the band were less than used to... out of their hometown, with a different producer and in isolation in Upstate New York. And, of course, there was no Jim Martin.
"Let's just say that the way things were with Jim is not the way things should go," sighs bassist Bill Gould."We're giving it a new shot, and so far we're really happy with the way things are. I don't want to talk about it any more."It's not been easy to deal with, and if you want the story it's out there. Actually, I'll plug your book... if you want to see the whole story, buy Steffan Chirazi's 'The Real Story', because it is the real story!"
How was it this time, without all the tension?"It made things more musical, less personality-concentrated. I've always said that the tension we had was an unfortunate thing that happened which had nothing to do with helping the band get to where it was at. The absence of tension for me personally can only make things better."
States Mike Patton: "It was definitely less tense recording the album, but writing it maybe not. I mean, we wrote most of it without a f**king guitar player! At the same time, that situation (Jim Martin's sacking) made us like a free agent: it allowed us to sleep around with as many people as we could. And I suppose the end result is more harmonious, does sound like a unit...I don't know, maybe we were getting along this time!"
'King For A Day...' is a rounder, thicker, less jagged and more complete FNM album. There is a warmth and confidence in it which has replaced the tenter-hook paranoiac jabs of previous great albums. 'King... will doubtless see the band burst back into MTV land.
"I don't think you can say it follows any one particular path," explains Gould. "It depends on your state of mind. 'The Real Thing' (the band's blockbusting 1989 LP) was one thing, 'Angel Dust' (the 1992 follow-up) was something that rebounded off that and this is rebounded off both of em."To me, 'The Real Thing', looking back, was a little too slick and clichéd in a bad way. I only see it like that because I played those songs for so damn long! And then 'Angel Dust' is thick and moody, but it never hits you in the face. It missed parts where there was total impact, total aggression. And we needed that this time. 'King For A Day...' feels like our first great record."
Past recordings have seen FNM at loggerheads with each other, pushing and shoving to get results. Speak to the band now and they'll tell you that Jim Martin's departure has settled the studio atmosphere, that a calmness prevailed. And having a new whip-cracker, in the shape of producer Andy Wallace, also helped. "That's what we wanted," says Gould. "We needed some outside perspective and a different set of ears... Matt Wallace's ears had become ours. Andy's advice, those little things, made the difference between a good record and a great record."
Though the band were productive in the studios in Upstate New York, they admit that their free time was ultra boring."Oh my God, kids, there's not much to do out there in Bearsville, nothing with a capital 'N'!" says Gould. "It'd be Saturday night and we'd hear the crickets chirping in the woods. The most entertaining thing that happened to me was I caught pneumonia, which kept me from being stir-crazy for about a week. The sickness debilitated me to the point where I lost my cabin fever!"
But as a group we'd never spent as much time together without such a lack of stimulus, and we got along very well. It was really good, a fine experiment."See tor yourself exactly how well it all turned out when FNM explode back into action next month!