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  • Writer's pictureFaith No More Followers

Kerrang! | April 20th 2002 | Issue 900

The Real Thing

Paul Brannigan

Five men. Countless fights. One truly unique band.

This is how FAITH NO MORE changed the face of music...

ON ANY other night in 1989, The Cathouse on Los Angeles' Sunset Boulevard would have been a sea of spandex, leather and immaculately teased, back-combed hair, as regular hosts Rikki Rachtman, presenter of MTV's 'Headbangers Ball', and Taime Downe, frontman with Sunset Strip darlings Faster Pussycat, spun Guns N'Roses, Mötley Crüe and Poison discs for Hollywood's 'hair metal'


Tonight, a typically hot evening in June, something is different. The crowd is a weird, varied bunch - mohawked skate-kids, hoary old metallers, clean-cut college kids, bug-eyed skinheads, mouthy, colourful punks in army fatigues. Mingling nervously with this motley crew are dozens of middle-aged music industry 'suits', drawn into the club by rumours that the band launching their third album tonight are poised to make the transition from cult underground heroes to genuine mainstream contenders. The atmosphere is expectant but more than a little hostile, as the band backstage are also set to introduce their new vocalist to a fiercely dedicated fan-base who couldn't understand why the previous one had been sacked.

Watching from the side of the stage, 26-year-old Billy Gould surveys the room with a smirk. After years of in-fighting, bullshit and unnecessary drama, it looks like his band, Faith No More, are finally on their way.

In fact the real madness is only just beginning.

"AS THEIR success has mushroomed, it's become fashionable to talk about FNM as leaders of a new musical movement. But no- one can quite figure out who else is part of it."

When a journalist from 'Musician' magazine wrote these lines in 1992, he had a point. The three biggest rock bands of the past decade Metallica, Guns N'Roses and Nirvana - had not only spawned countless imitators across the globe but also firmly imprinted a distinctive image and attitude upon the musical land- scape. Feted by peers, lauded by critics and loved by millions of fans Faith No More may have been, but inspirational? For who exactly?

The answer is written all over the pages of this magazine. From Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park and Incubus to 'A', Lostprophets, Mushroomhead and SikTh, you'd be hard- pressed to find a major rock band making music today that hasn't been inspired by the San Francisco band. For Deftones frontman Chino Moreno, Faith No More were "the band that made me want to play music". Papa Roach's Jacoby Shaddix cites the band's 'King For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime' album as "one of my all-time top five albums". Korn's Jonathan Davis describes the quintet as "the Black Sabbath of their generation, influencing hundreds of bands who followed".

"My band loved Faith No More and I did too," Davis admits. "Even back when Chuck Mosely was singing for them. They showed us that you could do something that was different from all of the 'hair bands' that were around at the time. They were the true innovators, and they really paved the way for what was to come.

Every band talks about changing music. Faith No More are one of the very few who actually succeeded.

TO THEIR neighbours in the prosperous Hancock Park district of Hollywood, William David Gould Jr and Roswell Christopher 'Roddy' Bottum were little angels. Boy scouts and Catholic school classmates, the inseparable duo were likable, well-mannered and intelligent boys. When the pair left for San Francisco to attend college in 1981, everyone assumed they'd return as architects or doctors like so many young men from the area, or perhaps lawyers like their respected fathers.

The first thing that Gould did upon finding his feet in San Francisco was check out an import record shop to see what new post-punk albums had arrived from England. On a notice- board, he spotted an advert for a band seeking a bassist. Gould had been playing bass since age 13 in a LA band called The Animated, so he decided to ring the number on the card. Within days he was a member of Sharp Young Men, a quartet featuring vocalist/guitarist Mike Morris, keyboard player Wade Worthington and a drummer called Mike 'Puffy' Bordin.

Michael Andrew Bordin was 15 when he went to see the Sex Pistols play the final date of their troubled US tour at San Francisco's Winterland Ballroom on January 14, 1978. Tired and sick, the Pistols couldn't give a f**k about converting the heart of hippiedom to punk, and the gig was a shambles, Johnny Rotten signing off with the immortal line, "Ever get the feeling that you've been cheated?".

Bordin felt anything but cheated. He'd spent his early adolescence listening to Sabbath and Blue Öyster Cult in his bedroom with Castro Valley High schoolmate Cliff Burton, but this wild energy was something else.

Bordin threw himself headlong into punk rock, immersing himself in Killing Joke, The Stranglers and Rotten's new group, dub-heavy art-punks PiL. From there he was inspired to check out a wildly diverse selection of music, from reggae to jazz. He'd already played drums with Burton in a metal band called EZ Street, but he couldn't stand the band's guitarist, another friend of Cliff's called Jim Martin, and he soon quit. By the time he'd enrolled at Berkeley University to study African rhythms, he vowed that next time he joined a band he'd play with people who'd understand that there are only two types of music in the world -good and bad.

Sharp Young Men may have been open minded, but they weren't much good. After changing their name to Faith No Man, they'd recorded one single (Quiet In Heaven'/ 'Song Of Liberty') on an eight-track studio in the garage of Gould's mate Matt Wallace, before Worthington quit. Bottum - a classically trained pianist and, by then, Gould's flatmate - took his place. Gould, Bottum and Bordin were content "just smoking a lot of pot and making a lot of noise". When their singer tried to instill discipline, the trio simply quit the band, and regrouped without him. The name of their new group was Faith No More.

"WE WERE having fun being stupid kids," says Billy Gould of Faith No More's early days. "It wasn't so much music, as just expression. We just played whatever came into our heads. And that felt kinda good." Gould, Bottum and Bordin decided their new band would have a different singer and set-list each time they played. For their debut performance at a club called The Sound of Music, the trio borrowed vocalist Joe Pye from local heroes Pop-O-Pie and a guitarist called Jake. Doing the band's sound that night was Matt Wallace, who would go on to become FNM's producer and unofficial sixth member.

"They were pretty scrappy," Wallace recalls today. "But I liked their sense of adventure.

They were open to the possibilities of what might happen when you throw together disparate elements and stir the pot a bit."

Singers came and went. One, Paula Frazer, went on to join alt-country stars Tarnation; others no-one can even put a name to. One ex-singer who they definitely remember, though, is Courtney Love. She lasted long enough to record a cable TV show with the band, an "awesome and frightening" tape of which Mike Bordin still has in his possession.

"I'd never seen anything like her," laughs Bordin. "No-one wanted to sing for us, and Courtney had the f**king guts to try to do it.

We didn't play very good, she didn't sing very good, it was the perfect match. With Courtney, it was like a tornado of shit. There was drama everywhere. But I'm not gonna talk shit about her. She stepped up, she gave it a shot, and it was wild."

"I don't know exactly why it didn't work out," muses Roddy Bottum, who went on to date the singer. "But our energy then was very

'male' and we clearly weren't the right vehicle for her. I understand she's done alright since anyway," he adds with a sly grin.

In 1983 the band played LA for the first time. In the audience was Chuck Mosely, who had played with Gould in The Animated and was currently fronting skate-punk brats Haircuts That Kill. Mosely found himself dragged to the mike by the bassist.

"I wasn't a singer, but I figured I couldn't make it any worse than it already was," Mosely recalls. "I knew Billy was into chaos so I just fed off that and had a blast." Faith No More played a handful of LA shows with Mosely standing in, and began to notice they were drawing a crowd. A decision was made: Mosely was in the band. The guitar slot was still problematic though, as regular guitarist Mark Bowen clearly didn't fit the group. To counter-balance their more arty, esoteric influences the band knew they needed a solid, metal guitar player. It took Cliff Burton, by then a member of Metallica, to point out that the solution was right under their noses his old friend Jim Martin, then playing guitar in Bay Area thrashers Vicious Hatred.

Born July 21, 1961, one of four brothers, Jim Martin recalls his teenage years in the quiet town of Hayward, California, as being "pretty rough and tumble". The first album Martin ever bought was Black Sabbath's eponymous debut. Weeks after hearing it for the first time,

he bought a guitar and began practicing the riff from 'Iron Man'. He only ever dreamt of being a heavy metal guitarist.

At first Mike Bordin flat out refused to have Martin in the band. But options were limited.

Eventually Bordin went to Bill Gould and said,

"I hate this guy, he's a f**king asshole. But I think he can do a good job." And then there were five...

FROM THE off, Faith No More were a volatile outfit. Puffy and Jim Martin hated one another, Martin viewed Mosely with suspicion, Mosely saw Gould as a smart-ass, Gould considered his lifelong friend Bottum “complicated" and Bottum thought that Martin came from "another planet".

But these tensions made for compelling, visceral live performances and freewheeling, unpredictable music. Gould recalls a genuine feeling of excitement when Mosely first sang Roddy Bottum's lyrics to 'We Care A Lot' over their funky, syncopated music. It felt like a 'proper' song for the first time. The quintet returned to Matt Wallace's garage studio to commit the new song to tape.

The We Care A Lot demo featured four songs, but the title-track stood out head and shoulders above the rest, and it's no surprise that this was the song that landed the group their first record deal. Two decades on, there's some divergence as to how it actually happened. As Gould remembers it, his roommate, Will Carpmill, was playing the We Care A Lot' demo in the San Francisco branch of Rough Trade Records when Ruth Schwarz overheard it. Schwarz tells the story a little differently, saying she heard the tape via a co-worker at Rough Trade Distribution, where she was employed as a record buyer. Either way, Schwarz called Gould straight away and offered to advance the band money to turn the four-song demo into a full album for her new label Mordam's debut release.

"This was the hey-day of Run DMC and 'We Care A Lot was just an incredibly fresh mesh of what was happening at the time," says Schwarz, still head honcho at the successful San Francisco indie label, today. "I didn't think they'd be anything huge, but I liked their raw sound and I felt the funk-punk crossover they were exploring was exciting and new."

'We Care A Lot', Faith No More's debut album, was recorded, over-dubbed and mixed by Matt Wallace over three successive weekends in 1985. There were problems during recording with Mosely losing his voice, but everyone was happy with the results.

"The Mordam record is probably my favourite," says Matt Wallace. "We had such an incredibly small budget and we were forced to make decisions quickly, going on instinct." The band set about taking their music to the people. They enjoyed the constant struggle, Roddy Bottum noting "it felt like us against the world"

'. Being cooped up in the back of their van with all their equipment added to the band's combative state of mind, and when they a eventually hit the stage, they'd vent all the day's frustrations upon their audiences. They'd play Van Halen's 'Jump' to piss off the punks or Black Sabbath's 'War Pigs' to wind up the college kids. Mosely would sing entire songs lying on his back in the audience. It was, as the singer recalls, "a f**king blast".

Winding down after a gig at Humboldt College one night, Bordin approached a long-haired kid in the audience to ask if he could supply him with some of the areas famously extra-strong weed. The kid couldn't help, and instead pressed a demo tape of his band into Bordin's hands. The tape was titled 'The Raging Wrath Of The Easter Bunny'. Bordin checked it our later in the van, and discovered that the music was generic speed metal.

"Jim, you'll like this," Bordin said, throwing the tape across to his guitarist.

"Mr Bungle," Martin read from the inlay card, not realising he held a slice of the future in his hands. "Cool name."

THE BUZZ on FNM built quickly. Within a month, they had been offered a bigger deal

by Slash records, former home to LA punks the Germs and an affiliate of Warner Brothers.

The band's first release for Slash was the appropriately named 'Introduce Yourself'.

MTV threw their support behind the video for the re-recorded 'We Care A Lot' and a co-headlining tour with rising LA punk-funkers the Red followed. Word started drifting across the Atlantic about this bunch of misfits with the impossible-to-pigeonhole sound.

The band made their UK debut at London's Dingwalls club in February 1988. They were astonished to find their faces on posters throughout the city, and for their part the UK rock media were mesmerised by this sarcastic, colourful, hate-filled bunch who seemed to loath one another only slightly less than they loathed the world at large.

In truth, relations between Chuck Mosely and the rest of the band were deteriorating.

The singer was increasingly critical of the band's songwriting, he was drinking heavily and his behavior was becoming more erratic.

"When Chuck was good he was really, really good," says Gould. "He had great charisma and personality. But having a working relationship with him became really impossible. Slash brought press from LA to see us for the first time and Chuck got drunk, passed out onstage and slept through three songs. We were working really hard to get somewhere and it felt like we were being sabotaged."

Matters eventually came to a head one afternoon in the band's rehearsal room.

"Basically I threw down my bass and attacked him," Gould laughs, incredulous at the memory. "Wed crossed the line. We did one more European tour with him but it was never the same."

Kerrang! journalist Paul Elliott witnessed the band's show at The Marquee in London on that European tour. He remembers the audience being "threadbare", Mosely being

"out of it" and the band being "shit." For a group lauded as underground America's most exciting new act, things were looking pretty dire for the quintet.

"Before we went to England I already knew my days were numbered," Mosely says now. "I was as sick of them as they were of me. I'd decided I wasn't going to be spending the next 10 years of my life like this. And then they got Roddy, my best friend in the band, to call me and fire me. My feelings were hurt. I made it clear to Roddy that I wasn't happy.

For legal purposes I stressed that I wasn't quitting, they were firing me. And then I sued them."

Chuck Mosley sued Faith No More for an undisclosed sum following his sacking. He went on to form a band called Cement, who enjoyed fleeting success in the early '90s. After a stint fronting punk legends the Bad Brains, he moved to Cleveland with his wife and young daughters in 1996, and ditched music to concentrate on working as a chef. Today he has a new band called VUA (Vandals Against Illiteracy) - "that's funny right?" he says with a laugh - and is hard at work on a new album, provisionally titled, with

Mosely's trademark cynicism, Will Rap Over Hard Rock For Food.

"I turn the radio on now and every second or third song I hear is an imitation of me," he says. "So my band's doing a remake of 'We Care A lot", with new lyrics poking fun at bands that hopped aboard that rap-rock bandwagon. I figure that I started the whole thing so it's right that I should end it too."

"They definitely lost something when Chuck left," Matt Wallace maintains. "Chuck was very underrated as a lyricist and performer but it was frustrating working with him. I think he was as afraid of success as he was of failure."

BACK IN San Francisco at the end of 1988, Faith No More had an album's worth of music ready to go but no singer. Jim Martin suggested they try out Mike Patton, the kid from Mr Bungle, the band whose tape was thrust into his hand three years earlier. The others were sceptical, fearing that Patton would turn out to be another redneck metaller.

But from Mr Bungle's second demo 'Bowel Of Chili, they knew that the guy could actually sing. Jim made the call.

Mike Allan Patton was born on January 27, 1968 in Eureka, a small logging community in Northern California. A nice, middle class kid (dad a sports coach, mum a welfare officer) and a fan of both Elton John and Slayer, he was studying English at college when he received Martin's call, but he grabbed his opportunity with both hands.

"I was really impressed with Patton," says Matt Wallace. "The band had already written all the music, and he was given just two weeks to come up with all the lyrics and melodies.

He really rose to the occasion. He's the most phenomenal singer I've ever worked with, and when he's backed against the wall he's absolutely brilliant."

Compared to the raw Mosely-era albums,

'The Real Thing' was a sophisticated slice of muscular mongrel rock. With their punk, funk, hardcore and metal influences rolled into a tight commercial ball and their songwriting becoming ever more accessible, Faith No More sounded like a truly professional rock band for the first time.

The album was released in June '89 in America. Their label didn't know what to do with the album, record company executives repeatedly telling the band, 'It's a great record but radio won't play this, there's no singles'. So Faith No More hit the road hard. In September they played the West Coast leg of Metallica's

'And Justice For All...' tour, and got spat on every night for five weeks. In October they toured the UK for the first time with Patton.

Back in the US in January, they supported Voivod and Soundgarden then returned to the UK as 'Epic' limped into the UK charts at number 37. They continued yo-yo-ing between the UK and US, using their increasing UK profile to get leverage in America. And eventually, embarrassed by the band's critical acclaim and overseas sales, MTV conceded to fan requests and put 'Epic' into rotation on their play-list.

Six months after 'The Real Thing' hit the shops, it had sold only 45,000 copies. With MTV playing the video, the album began to sell in excess of 40,000 copies per day. Faith No More were suddenly the alternative nations latest darlings. Were they happy? Hell, no.

"It was like a sick joke," snorts Billy Gould.

"For the past 12 months we'd worked our asses off and everyone had been telling us how great we were, but we weren't selling any records and we were f**king broke. And then just as the label told us that the record was effectively dead, it all kicked off and we had to start all over again. By the end we hated those songs so f**king much."

IT WAS a very different Faith No More who re-grouped to begin work on their fourth album in late 1991. Patton in particular had changed beyond recognition. Long gone was the clean-cut college kid of two years ago, in his place stood a twisted misanthrope out to explore the furthest extremes of human behaviour. Patton loved to f**k with people's heads. He talked about his love of 'scat' videos. He drank his own piss onstage. He carried a three-month-old foetus named ‘Cedric' around in a jar. He embarked on a gleeful campaign of 'shit terrorism'. He wasn't even trying to get a reaction, he was just bored with routine and desperate for stimulation, and his antics made Slipknot look like cherubic toddlers playing on the swings.

And then there was Jim Martin. The unreconstructed metaller with the superfluous spectacles was always the odd man out in Faith No More, and yet he was the band's public face. Jim liked being a rock star: he liked beer, he liked girls, he liked the fact that the band were successful and he wasn't about to shed crocodile tears because one sheltered little baby couldn't handle the pressure. And then his father passed away. Jim was knocked for six.

"'Angel Dust' was a brutal record to make," says Matt Wallace. "You could see the foundations of the band falling part. We were aghast at some of the retarded guitar parts that Jim was suggesting. He was doing the best he could but it just wasn't right. We were all limping along."

If Warner Brothers were expecting the quintet to record 'The Real Thing Part Il', they were to be sadly disappointed. 'Angel Dust' was a daring, challenging album, the songs harder, more twisted, more schizophrenic and plain nastier than ever before. The whole album was shot through with paranoia, sickness and self-loathing. When it was finished, Matt Wallace politely told the band he could never work with them again and promptly took three months off to recover.

"'Angel Dust' was a nice artistic statement," says Bottum. "After the success of 'The Real Thing' we were able to show people what we weren't in a bratty kind of way and that felt really good."

The record label, naturally, were horrified.

"No-one could understand why we were f**king with the formula," says Gould. "The key phrase from the label was 'commercial suicide'. It was the beginning of our downfall as far as America was concerned."

GIVEN THEIR already fragile equilibrium it perhaps wasn't the smartest move for Faith No More to begin promoting

'Angel Dust' with a European stadium tour with Guns N'Roses, a band who represented pretty much everything they hated about mainstream rock music. Still, cold business logic said that the band could play to 80,000 people a night, the equivalent of playing 20 of their own theatre shows, so the trade-off was just about acceptable. And Guns N'Roses were fans of the band after all.

"We had a kinda kinship with some of that band because a few of those guys came from punk backgrounds," admits Bottum. "But we identified more with their past than where they were at the time."

At the time, Guns N'Roses were more of a mobile soap opera than a rock band, and the tour was "intimidating, confusing and funny" for Faith No More. But they survived, and the promotional trek helped push 'Angel Dust' to Number Two in the UK charts. So when Nirvana declined Axl Rose's offer to open their mammoth US co-headlining trek with Metallica, it made sense for Faith No More to jump in bed with the Devil once again. This time they found the whole circus utterly repellant.

"The question every night was 'What the hell were we doing here?'," admits Gould. "It was good for the band, but it wasn't good for our heads.

The tour brought tensions between Jim

Martin and the band to a head. As Matt Wallace notes, the band always were

"phenomenal torturers", deriving their biggest form of entertainment by turning on one member on any given day and make his life hell. In the early days Mosely was largely the scapegoat. During 'The Real Thing', Bordin was largely the fall guy. Now it was Martin's turn. At least that was the perception from outsiders looking in.

"It's funny to think that the perception was that poor little Jim was being picked on," Mike Bordin snorts. "Jim was the hardest motherf**ker of all of us, he was a huge shit-stirrer. Everyone was too interested in themselves to worry about pissing off Jim."

"I remember saying to Jim, 'Regardless of who's right or who's wrong, it's four against one now and you've got to sort this'," says Kerrang! journalist Steffan Chirazi, a longtime friend of the guitarist and FNM's official biographer. "I said, 'Sometimes you've got to eat a bit of shit and pretend it tastes like chocolate cake if the big picture is important to you'. But neither side made concessions." In July 1993, Faith No More rounded off their 'Angel Dust' tour commitments with a headlining show at the inaugural Phoenix Festival in Stratford-upon-Avon. To some longtime fans, it was their finest ever performance. Perhaps in their hearts the band knew that the show was to be a watershed in their history, for on November 30 Jim Martin was told, via fax, that he was no longer part of Faith No More.

Upon being dismissed, Martin found it surprisingly easy to re-adjust to 'normal' life:

"I took off the red glasses, shaved off my beard and no-one knew who the f**k I was," he says with a throaty chuckle. The guitarist now lives on a farm in Castro Valley California, where he grows pumpkins and works on restoring old pick-up trucks and tractors in his workshop. Last year he became a Reverend of the Universal Life Church, in order to officiate at his friend Steffan Chirazi's wedding.

"I've always been a holy man," he insists with tongue in cheek. "And if I pay $10 I could become an Archbishop."

Martin still plays guitar "on my couch". He recorded some songs with the band Fang for a split CD with Dr Know last year, and turned up playing banjo on Jason Newstead's 'Echobrain' album this year, but, by his own admission, he's "enjoying life" too much to worry about hooking up with a working band full-time.

"It was a good ride," he says philosophically.

"We made fistfuls of f**king cash, got to see the world, and we were on top for a while.

And then we got sick of each other, ended it all and killed ourselves. Pretty cool, huh?"

OKAY, SO Faith No More didn't exactly "kill themselves" as Martin states. But after the guitarist departed, things were never quite the same. As Matt Wallace notes "Faith No More were a different band. The people who came in afterwards didn't have the same backbone to say, 'F**k you, I'm playing this' like Jim did." That's not to say that Faith No More's final years were drama-free. The recruitment of Patton's buddy, Mr Bungle guitarist Trey Spruance, for 1995's 'King For A Day... Fool For A Lifetime may have solved the guitar problem, but the album was recorded in the midst of Roddy Bottum fighting heroin addiction and battling depression brought on by the death of his father and several close friends, including Nirvana's Kurt Cobain.

As far as Faith No More were concerned there were other problems too. As fine an album as 'King For A Day...' was, most of the band seemed more interested in their various side-projects. Roddy had his pop band Imperial Teen, Patton was still devoting significant time to Mr Bungle, and Billy Gould could only significant time to Mr Bungle, and Billy Gould could only watch in frustration as the band splintered.

On April 20, 1998, Faith No More released communiqué to the press. "After 15 long and fruitful years," the statement began, "Faith No More have decided to put an end to speculation regarding their imminent break-up... by breaking up. The decision among the members is mutual, and there will be no pointing of fingers, no naming of names, other than stating, for the record, that Puffy started it." Faith No More were over. The only real surprise was that it had taken so long.

There had been one more album before the split. Cockily titled 'Album Of The Year', the 1997 album - recorded with guitarist Jon Hudson - is still regarded as the band's finest hour by both Gould and Bordin. Few long-term fans would share that assessment, for with the band members maturing and finding a sense of internal calm, the album lacked the jarring, abrasive edge which characterised their finest work. And while Billy Gould was deeply hurt by the decision to split, for several other members of the band the news came as a relief.

Mike Patton declined to be interviewed for this feature. It was he who informed the rest of the band in 1998 that he wouldn't be doing another Faith No More album, and the last time I interviewed him, in March 2001, he wasn't shedding any tears over the band's dissolution. At his most generous, he pointed out that Faith No More were in the past, and described the whole experience as an "out-of-control, nauseous carnival ride". For him, the band had "said all that it had to say".

"I was in Faith No More for 15 years. We were a good, honest band, and I was only ashamed to be in that band on a couple of occasions," Mike Bordin shrugs. "Now if you're talking about the singer, he'd probably say that there were only a couple of occasions in his 10 years in the band that he wasn't ashamed to be there. Patton probably didn't see any difference between us and Hanson, for instance."

"I was in that Roddy Bottum too, has fonder memories of the band. Currently living back in LA with his English bulldog Baby, the keyboardist admits that he doesn't think about Faith No More "a whole lot" but stresses "it was a real special time in our lives"

Bottum now writes film scores, and is set to release his pop band Imperial Teen's third album, 'On', on Superchunk's Merge label this month. He's also producing a band called My Barbarian, and wishes it to be known that his nascent DJ-ing career is "really talking off".

These days, Bottum's old friend Billy Gould lives in Barcelona and runs the Kool Arrow label. It was Gould who identified himself most closely with Faith No More, so it's unsurprising he was hardest hit by the split.

He "absolutely resented" Mike Bordin for choosing to do an Ozzy Osbourne tour rather than committing to a European tour with Aerosmith in 1998, effectively ending the band, and it was a full three years before he spoke to the drummer again.

"If I look back on the whole experience," he says now, "I have a really unpleasant feeling. From day one it wasn't that fun in a lot of ways. If it wasn't for the fact that people still appreciate what we did, I'd say all those years in Faith No More weren't worth it." Last year, Papa Roach, Disturbed, Fear Factory and Taproot were among the bands who pledged to show their appreciation and love for Faith No More by contributing to a planned tribute album. According to former FNM manager Warren Entner, that project is now on hold pending further discussion with major record labels. This will doubtless please Mike Patton, whose initial reaction to the project was typically scathing.

"Do you really want to hear bands ruin great songs?" the singer noted. "My advice is to let sleeping dogs lie."

"If Patton wants to piss on our legacy that's

fine," spits Gould, "I think it's pretty f**king cool that we inspired those bands. We wanted to write songs that would last for a long time and I think it's awesome that people think our music still stands up."

ON NOVEMBER 27 last year, Billy Gould rang Mike Bordin to ask if he'd play drums on an album of songs he's recorded with guitarist Jon Hudson, effectively reuniting three-fifths of the band who recorded 'Album Of The Year'

So is a full-scale reunion on the cards? Not right now, but Bottum, Gould and Bordin all admit that while they've all got other plans and don't necessarily miss FNM, they wouldn't totally dismiss the idea of getting back together at some point in the future. Patton, typically, has already insisted that he would never return to the group, but the others aren't too bothered anyway.

"If he said an emphatic 'No' to a reunion that's fine with me," admits Gould. "Patton was in the band for half the lifespan of Faith No More so his relationship with that band is different from ours. The hard work was done when he joined."

"Patton will probably work with every single person in the world rather than come back to us," laughs Bordin. "In his head, he's got it all worked out, and he feels superior about it. But you know what the bottom f**king line is? I don't care. I've played with Ozzy and Korn and Jerry Cantrell, I play drums and I'm not 'Mike Bordin of Faith No More. But every time I see Patton mentioned in the local papers wherever, he's still 'Mike Patton, ex-Faith No More' and that's the huge irony.

"Patton won't go back and do it" - and here Bordin drops his voice to an amused, conspiratorial whisper - "but he's still making a living off it. And you know what, that'll probably torture him to the end of his days."

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