Faith No More Released Their Single 'From Out Of Nowhere' 31 Years Ago
Updated: Oct 27, 2021
On October 30th 1989 Faith No More released From Out Of Nowhere, their third official single. It was the first single released from the acclaimed album The Real Thing and the first to feature Mike Patton on vocals.
'Without a doubt this kicks everything, apart from Wreck, into perspective. Faith No More are climbing up to the heady heights of the music biz and if they pause to look behind it's only to stick a derisive two fingers up at the struggling competition. If you haven't got this or heard it, get up off your arse now and get some! It's addictive. The 12" inch remix's funkier, but doesn't take anything away from the original Faith No More art Rock's greatest hope.' - Raw 1989
'If like myself you are increasingly aware of a staleness creeping into many new bands, you could do worse than to snap this up. Like it bites, Faith No More take risks and have produced some of the most exciting and invigorating rock of the decade...' - Kerrang 1989
From Out Of Nowhere was one of those 'Frankenstein' songs which was sculpted from separately written parts, one section dated back to 1983 titled Mike’s Disco, the other section was developed by Roddy Bottum. He spoke about writing the song in Adrian Harte's biography Small Victories : The True Story Of Faith No More.
"It was about controlling the development of the song, not only just with the actual melodic
structure, but you also can use rhythm to break things up, too. And that’s obviously different from most bands, where it’s the guitar player, and the singer, and I’ve got my lyrics and you’ve got to fit everything to it. It was the opposite of that, and I’m sure that made it challenging for someone like Mike where it was already written. But that also shows his inspiration and brilliance, and the willingness to just fucking go for it."
Roddy also revealed details about when it was written with Classic Rock Magazine in 2005.
"Billy, Mike Bordin and I wrote that song together at our rehearsal space in Hunter's Point. It was among the first batch of songs that we wrote after Chuck left the band. Typically, the three of us would get the skeleton of a song going on, and then get Jim Martin to put his guitar part on. Sometimes Billy would write [Martin's] guitar part for him, but I think in the case of From Out Of Nowhere he wrote his own part."
Bill Gould also recalls the writing of FOON, attributing the most part to Roddy.
"That song came from Roddy. That’s completely Roddy’s melody, so maybe it was deliberately pop. But it was originally called “The Cult Song”, because it reminded me of The Cult."
The backbone of the song was in place before the band's newest addition had been recruited, it wasn't however until Patton added his unforgettable melody and passionate lyrics that the song became a pop/rock sensation.
"[Patton] came in and did the melody and the lyrics. All of the music of the songs on The Real Thing was written prior to Mike joining the band. He sat with the songs for a couple weeks and wrote all his vocal parts. Really fast." - Bottum
"We tracked a cassette demo [of .. .Nowhere] in the rehearsal room. Mike Patton took it home and worked on the melody and lyrics, then he would come to my house and we'd put the parts down on four-track to hone them down. The majority of the lyrics and singing melody was from him." - Gould
"The first song I heard with Mike P was 'Out of Nowhere'…we had a rehearsal recording and he came over to my house to work on his vocal ideas to a few songs. I hadn’t heard his voice recorded before, and within 30 seconds of hearing his contribution, it almost freaked me out on how well it worked. And it wasn’t even in a control room, per se, but I could hear it and it was quite exciting." - Bill The Real Thing 30th Anniversary 2019
The song seems to reveal a vulnerability rarely displayed through Patton's words, they deal with obsession and unrequited love.
"That song is one of the first lyrics I wrote, in a day I think. It’s what I thought rock music should be at the time." - Patton BAM Magazine 1990
"From Out Of Nowhere is more about people who are obsessive and feel the need to fill up on somebody else." - Patton Raw Magazine 1989
The song was one of the first to be committed to tape at Sausalito's Studio D in late 1988. Roddy told Adrian Harte the sessions were,
"...a weird, 'getting to know each other' time with Mike Patton. We all got along and worked together pretty easily. Everyone was pretty proactive in the studio. Jim Martin was becoming very particular about his guitar sound, I remember that."
It is unclear the exact date that the video was filmed. It is highly likely it was during Mike Patton's very first show on November 4th 1988 at the I Beam in SF. We do know that the show was fraught with disaster.
"I threw my neck out at rehearsal. That was back at the Pet Hospital, and at the venue they were giving me massages and I was taking codeines, just so I could play the show. My neck completely froze when they were filming the video. If you watch it, I’m barely moving.
That was a horrible experience." - Bill
Patton's onstage wild antics saw him break a tooth and gash his hand on some jagged glass from broken bottles which required microsurgery. Luckily for Patton, Mike Bordin’s old man was at the show. Puffy explained in Adrian's book,
"My dad was there at that show. He said, “Dude, come on, let’s go,” and he took him to the hospital, and I think had he not have had somebody advocating for him, it would have been a lot worse."
The video was disliked by the band who partly attributed it to the lack of MTV interest from MTV over the single release. The promo clip was directed by Doug Freel, known for filming 80s hair metal bands such as Def Leppard and Poison.
"He was the director that the label got in. He was giving the label what he thought we wanted. I saw it and I didn’t dig it. I didn’t want to be in that kind of band." - Bill
"The video was bad; we were represented as something we weren't. We had no control over the content. I'm not surprised it did nothing to enhance our career" - Bordin
Hard as it is to believe this blisteringly intense power pop song was the forgotten single that initially failed to stir interest in the band. It was released on October 30th 1989, four months after The Real Thing and when FNM were still thought of as a bunch of hippy misfits, played only on student radio. Not even touring with old buddies Metallica plus Kirk Hammett, Slash and others heaping praise on the song did much to impress FNM's unique blend of genres onto young fans.
The song didn't reach the UK singles chart. After the success of Faith No More's breakthrough single Epic in 1990, quirky phrases such as 'Nothing comes to those who wait!' and 'Turn on! Tune in! Blow out!' accompanied adverts accompanied a release of From Out Of Nowhere on April 2nd. This time it reached number 23 on the UK singles chart and also fared well in the USA and Australia. This second release was an extended mix of the song and printed on picture disc vinyl featuring the infamous 'underwear' band portrait by Ross Halfin.
From Out Out Nowhere has been a staple song in Faith No More's set throughout their career. Bill explained why to Classic Rock Magazine,
“That song was so good because most of our stuff was mid-tempo that the set was always in danger of dragging. With that one we could at least start things on a high note, and hopefully this spark would keep the rest of the set alive. There’s nothing worse than being on stage for 80 minutes or so when things are not working correctly. Generally it seemed to work out well, and we stuck with it as an opener until with hated it so much we scrapped it from the set altogether.”
Thirty one years here and thirty one years there... and you wave goodbye... goodbye.