Faith No More Pay Tribute To Bob Biggs
Bob Biggs, the founder of Slash Records, has died after a long illness. He was 74.
Slash grew out of the a punk fanzine of the same name. Biggs who was a painter living next door to the magazine's office began his career by funding The Germs' Lexicon Devil single and subsequently the band's debut album.
Slash signed bands such as; X, Fear, Los Lobos, Dream Syndicate The Blasters, Violent Femmes, Misfits, The Chills, L7 and of course Faith No More. Bob ran Slash, which by the mid-'80s was distributed by Warner Brothers in the U.S. and London Records in the UK, until its dissolution in 1996.
Biggs took little persuasion from his A&R team to sign Faith No More to his label in 1986.
"We tend to get involved with the bands for which there is no market. Something good by definition, it seems, has no market. So we develop the market. The first thing we try to do is put soap in a soapbox, try to make them identifiable, so people can segregate them from the rest of the environment. And make sure that what you present is what they actually are, and give people a reason for wanting it, to make it a part of their lives, whether it’s the clothes, music, or lyrics. A band comes to us with an image, and we try to make it desirable. For us, ‘mystique’ and ‘aloofness’ is not for a first record—you need to get out and play live." - Bob Biggs BAM Magazine 1984
Bill Gould spoke in Adrian Harte's Small Victories: The True Story Of Faith No More about their signing to Slash saying "The chance to work with Bob Biggs was definitely
a cool thing".
"Technically, we considered Slash an indie. I loved the people who worked there—they were accessible and behind us. There’s always been an “indie equals good, major equals bad” prejudice in music, but, at the same time, I always thought that our music was unique and universal enough to operate successfully within a major apparatus, given the right team. We did have a choice, but we chose to take our chances and see if we could do some real damage."
Biggs also used his painting skills to help develop the Introduce Yourself album artwork. Along with Jay Brown, Biggs also directed Faith No More's debut video for the song We Care A Lot.
Biggs supported FNM throughout their career regardless of how unconformist the band were, His confidence in The Real Thing was so great he suggested the band call THAT record Album Of The Year. In 1995 he spoke to Billboard Magazine in awe of King For A Day, "Some people will get it, and some won’t. But if you accept this band for what it is—complex, anti-authoritarian, very much of its own making—you’ll come to the conclusion that this is a great record." Biggs also saw the individual members' potential and signed both Mr. Bungle and Imperial Teen.
Tributes to Biggs have been posted on social media including former Slash team member Randy Haecker who also shared this photo.
"In 1990, Slash Records was riding high on the success of Faith No More's 'The Real Thing' LP. This photo was taken at LAX when Slash and band management presented the members of FNM with gold records."
"I interviewed for the job with Bob, and Bob and Mark Trilling hired me. It was a blast to work for them. The staff was a closely-knit group of around 15 diehard music obsessives. We scouted out new bands together, and we often raided local import record shops looking for cool new sounds. Pranks were constant at Slash, often uproariously funny. Staffers went out to lunch together pretty much every day, typically to the Farmer's Market on Beverly or The Pita Hut on Cahuenga. Days with Bob were typically light-hearted. He was enthusiastic about everything—you could describe him as a 'big kid.' He had a deep knowledge and appreciation of fine art, and he was an accomplished painter himself. I have so many wonderful memories of Bob."
Plus Faith No More themselves,
"You and Slash had our backs when few others had any idea of what we were trying to do. We will miss you."