Happy Birthday Roddy Bottum!
Updated: Jul 3
Faith No More's keyboard player and founding member celebrates his 57th birthday today.
Roswell Christopher Bottum III was born on July 1st 1963 in Los Angeles, California. Read full bio HERE.
Here we have some quotes picked from various interviews from 1990 to present .
“I think the world needs a little provocation right now. It’s a kind of dark, dark place out there, and I think that bringing our craft and our musical exploration to the planet can only be a good thing.”
“It was preposterous to me that people would have issues with it, but it was a difficult time. I was in a band [Faith No More] that was being embraced by bands like Metallica and Guns N’ Roses. Really hetero vibes and really over-the-top, sexist, clichéd camps of musical dinosaur vibes.”
"....that was the really cool thing about Faith No More. It was a really weird mix of people, and I’m glad everyone sorta got their say. So I was able to smuggle blowjobs into storytelling."
"I’m a team player, I always have been. I’m a keyboard player and I play well with others. It’s a talent, a gift I’m proud of but it’s also a survival instinct that I had to develop."
"Our fans are the best. I mean that. We get such praise from such a weird and uniquely diverse group of people. It never ceases to amaze me."
"We were trying to get under people’s skin and that comes from a weird place. It’s really attention seeking in a way I don’t identify with, but I realise that I still do that."
"I do have an insane self-confidence that’s not really justified – maybe that comes from growing up with a lot of sisters and just being convinced that I’m always right."
“There was a witch named Rhianna, in Washington D.C., that used to gift me a lot of things. She had a couple of ferrets and was a full-on black witch. She used to send me different strange stuffed animals, like dragons, very Dungeons & Dragons sort of fantasy, stuffed animal things. It got a little crazy. She also gave me all of the stuffed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but I ended up giving them to a friend’s child. They were lovely, but I passed them on.”
" As a person getting older, I tend to look down on young people and I think that’s sort of a typical thing. An older man will say, "Oh when I was your age, you know, I had to buy my own records and hear 'em for the first time and just spend money and like learn the record that way." This attitude contrasts with the reality that kids today can just download music on the computer."
"Faith no More is all about the contrasts. It was always my role to sort of bring in sweet strings and a piano melody. Making, you know, the pretty parts. Not to stereotype or put in a box what the gay man does, but I love arranging flowers and I love pretty things."
"I've been Roddy since I was a kid. It's a nickname, but it’s on my driver's license. It’s all I've ever been called, but it is a super-funny name. Can you imagine having that name growing up in school? 'Roddy Bottum' read aloud in front of a bunch of kids? It was a tough one, very character-building."
"That's all we know how to do. I think it's like extremes. Extreme highs and extreme lows. Intensity and release. When we think about our music we think about it more in terms of that, as opposed to the confusing process but I think as a result it does confuse people."
"Someone will see something or a couple of us will see something or hear something together and we’ll brainstorm and cover it or do something derivative of what we’ve experienced. One thing we all collectively share is a fetish for the dramatic."
"I could put dramatic accents on the rhythms. There's a rhythm section, and then to put textures and something pretty over it — that is really a powerful place to be as a musician."
"It’s odd to me. It’s always been weird to me. In my opinion, we do such a weird thing. It’s very bizarre and all over the map, and it’s a weird sort of place to bring the mainstream and it’s weird that anybody got on board with it."
"There were chapters of the band I didn’t really like; we all had ups and downs. But then there are songs that I never really gravitated towards or appreciated back in the day where playing them live now means a lot to me and it’s come to be something a little more personal. Over the course of touring over the last couple of years we’ve developed different relationships with the songs for sure. There’s certain songs we won’t play, and others that we genuinely like to play over and over… that just goes with the territory of touring."
"Back when we were making records, it was whoever screamed the loudest got his way. We are now at this mutual respect place with each other. We now sit back and let each other have a place. Everyone brings in ideas, and we collaborate on the ideas. We also are better at making decisions together: what we do, where we play, our stage show. The decisions are made together and pretty clear-cut."
"My stylistic approach has changed a lot. I'm bored with the 4/4 time signature, honestly, and I like to confuse it up a lot more than I used to. It used to bug me when rhythms were confusing but now I like it. I also am open more to sounds as opposed to riffs. But I still really like a cheeky perspective. That sounds kind of lame but I think you know what I mean."
"I just finished a couple of kid's movies. I like doing it. It's a different exercise for sure. It's a weird hat to wear. You take on the role as a supplemental music maker as opposed to doing music only for music's sake. Being the boss and calling the shots. As a composer, you're in the role of supplementing a big project, a big movie or action that you didn't necessarily create. It's kind of a stretch, but I like it a lot."
"It was a good point to make back in that era. That was the era of such macho crazy hedonistic bands like Guns N' Roses. We had gone on tour with them and Metallica. It was such a highly charged testosterone macho environment that it made sense to sing a song about blowjobs."
"I'm becoming more childish as I get older. I like being in this band, though. I like being forced to deal with the others perspectives, directions and intuitions. Being forced to compromise is a way of opening windows for me."
"It's hard for me to turn my back on this band's history. Record by record, Faith No More never really sounds the way I'm comfortable with. But a part of me believes some day there might be the perfect Faith No More record that would make me happy."
"I just do everything organically. Like, if I'm doing a drum thing, I'll just bang on something. If I need to play a melody, I'll just do it on a guitar or sing it I'm sorry," he laughs. 'I'm the worst keyboardist to talk to about this stuff."
"The most interesting thing about rock 'n' roll is the mystery factory, the ambiguity, the whole 'what if...' factor. It's always fascinated me with bands. If someone'd asked me before if I was gay, I think I would have been absolutely honest about it. But, I was kind of willing to keep it a mystery, too. The way I see it, my band's career will probably go on for another five to 10 years, so I think it's probably good to stretch out the different aspects of what's going on behind the scenes."
"To me, throughout our career, the representation of the band and the way I've been portrayed everything has been so homosexual every we've ever done. I've portrayed some absolute blatant, stereotyped homosexual. I've been the boy in bondage, the sado masochistic cop, the homo-cowboy. I mean. I've been so blatant about it - it just blows me away that people don't pick up on something like that. Y'know. what am I supposed to
do? Hit people over the head with this? That hurts, right? It hurts your head and it's an insult to people's intelligence."
"I liked Kraftwerk a whole lot, they were one of the first real influences. And when I first heard The Young Gods, they were just amazing. Also, early on,I was able to relate to Elton John when I got into rock stuff because he used a lot of piano in his music."
"It's a real problem coming to a mutual decision over something in our band. It's not just the music, everyone has radically different perspectives. We don't really get off on the tension but it's inevitable and we deal with it. The thing that I respect most about us is that we don't try to hide the fact that a lot of times we don't get along. If we were going to split because of it we'd have done so when Chuck left, but we all get along much better since he left."
"When we started we were really pompous, pretty arrogant. We were deliberately offensive, and I think we still are. Shock value, it's always effective...and anyway, it's exciting. We've never had limitations before, but it's gotta happen sometime."