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  • Writer's pictureFaith No More Followers

Kerrang! | July 30th 1994 | Issue 505

Go For The Throat

Steffan Chirazi


Have FAITH NO MORE lost their bite now 'Big Sick, Ugly' Jim Martin is out? "No - we're attack dogs!" claim drummer MIKE BORDIN and bassist BILL GOULD as the band get set to record a “merciless, super ugly and brutally heavy" new album with rookie guitarist Trey Spruance!


STEFFAN CHIRAZ gets all the hottest news in another killer Big K! FNM exclusive!

Faith No More drummer Mike Bordin eases back into a large black leather chair and starts to explain what the band have been up to since they sacked guitarist 'Big Sick Ugly Jim Martin in October 1993.


Bordin is relaxed, cheerful and bursting with anticipation about going to Bearsville in upstate New York where FNM will record their fifth album with producer Andy Wallace in early September. The album will of course mark the debut of new guitarist Trey Spruance, who also stars in FNM singer Mike Patton's side project band, Mr Bungle.

Says Bordin of the new. recruit: “Trey was the very last person we auditioned. There were 50 other people before him, and that's not counting all the tapes we listened to. Trey was our last hope. Patton told us that Trey would be the guy for us, but that he didn't wanna know about it because they'd known each other all their lives.”

"We also didn't advertise the fact that we were looking for a new guitarist. We didn't trumpet the fact that Jim Martin was fired. I'm sure some people think that he must've left, whatever.”

"We didn't take out any ads because it would've been embarrassing. That's not how we work. Auditions always imply to me: Are you good enough to hang around with us? And that's f*"kin' bullshit.”

"We needed someone who could understand what we were doing, which was a frustrating thing with Jim.”

"It was frustrating to write these songs that we all naturally and instinctively liked, and then have to go and sell them to someone else in the band. That's humiliating.

“ID HAVE some guitar players over my house for a while," says Bordin, "and I'd play them Slayer, PIL, Killing Joke; aggressive records."

"I'd tell them that we wanted things from them that would be merciless and brutally heavy. A couple of the songs that were on the demos were super heavy songs, super ugly. Very exciting for me, but these guitarists could never get that heavy and it really frustrated me.”

"Playing heavy like that is all about instinct; you either go for the dick or you go for the jugular. Are you a lover or an attack dog? What's your instinct? We knew what we wanted."

"Mr Bungle weren't really my cup of tea,", adds bassist Bill Gould, "but seeing how Trey could be super-weird, super-ambient and then come slamming in with the heaviest stuff made me feel he could be the guy.”

"Plus he's interested in his instrument, he's a f**king guitar player! We're all constantly trying to improve as players, as songwriters.

So we needed someone with skill but mostly interest. Skill is relative - interest is about applying yourself. The guy with the biggest penis isn't always the greatest f*k."

So you didn't have Trey lined up when you fired Jim?

"No, not at all. I know some people think that. We fired Jim in October and we didn't even play with Trey until March. Trey understands the language we speak in, so he ,can develop the ideas. We're working very well together as a unit."

Haven't Faith No More always been inspired by creative tension within the band?

"Oh, there'll be a little tension," smiles Gould, "but not like before. It's a huge relief, I never needed tension like that to work. That tension was an unfortunate by-product. It's never been creative.


JIM was always seen as the Metal element of Faith No More.

"Well," says Gould, "you can't just say: he's the funky one, or he's the Rock one, or he's the weird one. It doesn't work like that. Everybody's got a bit of everything mixed up inside of them.

"All we wanted was someone to be 100 per cent into what we were doing. Honestly, if we felt we were getting the best we could out of Jim, he'd still be in the band.”

"Yes, we did expect him to give us a heavy edge, a bite, by nature of what he did. And yes, we didn't feel like we were getting that at the end.”

"But it's superficial to believe that without him our bite goes, because that's assuming he's the only guitarist with edge in the universe, which of course isn't true.”

"However, none of that is more important than this: are we better now than we were? And I'm totally thrilled and excited to say that the answer is yes!"

"I think the perception of this band will change. I don't think this band is really changing.

The approach towards the music still comes from where it always has done, but the perception of where the heaviness comes from will definitely be different."

One guitarist linked with Faith No More following Jim's exit was Geordie Walker of Killing Joke. Explains Bordin: "I think Geordie was sharp enough to realise that we were frustrated trying to get what we wanted. I'm grateful for the time we had playing with him because I think he's a great guitar player, but he's a guy who's been used to playing with so much room within the infra-structure of his band, and when he needed to lock-step into our music, it didn't really happen. I enjoyed playing with him though, that's for sure."


THE NEW LP will be the first Faith No More have recorded without producer Matt Wallace. They have chosen instead Andy Wallace, whose credits include Slayer, Rage Against The Machine and Nirvana.

"I don't think we've ever really captured our heavy live energy on album," muses Gould. "I think Andy will help us do that. Plus it's about time to try someone new, isn't it?"

"At least we kept the name," chuckles Bordin,

"But Matt told us eight months ago that maybe we'd run our course with the guitarist and the producer. I totally respect that.

"The guy's my friend, I love him, but we've now made enough albums to know how we want to dress our kid. We don't need to keep on visiting the same clothier.”

"I think Andy Wallace is going to do a great job for the heavier stuff we want. The way it looks now, the album should hopefully be out by March of 1995.”

"We know what we want. We know what we have. We know what we need to do and we cannot wait to get in and get the f**king job done!"



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