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  • Writer's pictureFaith No More Followers

Kerrang! | October 24th 1998 | Issue 722

Appetite For Destruction

Paul Brannigan

They kidnapped journalists. Their singer drank piss and ate shit. And, despite the fact that they hated each other, they made some of the most inspiring music of last 20 years. Then FAITH NO MORE split up...

ON APRIL 20, 1998 Faith No More announced their split with the following statement: "After 15 long and fruitful years, Faith No More have decided to put an end to speculation about their imminent break-up... by breaking up."

It was a typically snarky way for the San Franciscan outfit to bow out, leaving behind some of the most caustic and inspirational rock music ever recorded.

The band's legacy can be heard on 'Who Cares A Lot?', a 'Best Of' collection compiled by the band's driving force, bass player Bill Gould. With FNM's other core ex-members - vocalist Mike Patton, keyboard player Roddy Bottum and drummer Mike 'Puffy' Bordin - otherwise engaged, it's down to Gould to reflect on 10 golden moments spanning the band's distinguished career. Which he does with a broad grin...

Introduce Yourself

Faith No More form and recruit various guitarists and singers, including future Hole leader Courtney Love.

Bill Gould: "Faith No More started around '82 when Puffy, Roddy and I were just smoking pot and making noise. We decided we'd have a different singer for each show and write a new set each time we played. We were 19 or 20, we had big plans...

"We had a couple of singers before Courtney Love saw us. She gave me this whole speech on why she needed to sing in our band. It was funny because no one else really cared about us then.

We did a few shows with her. She was really good, provocative. She insulted everyone within 10 feet of the stage which we got a kick out of. But when we started writing together it just didn't click.

"We went to LA and hooked up with Chuck Mosely who I'd played with in a band when I was 13. He was a keyboard player, but when we were drunk we got him to sing with us at the show. People actually started coming to see us so he kinda became our singer.

"We still had a different guitar player at every show, but Puffy was friends with Cliff Burton from Metallica and Cliff suggested we get Jim Martin. Puffy had played with Jim in a band before. They hated one another from day one.

Puffy was like, ‘This guy's a f**king asshole... but I think he can do good guitar'. Jim was a real old school hard rocker, but he shared our vision.”


Embraced by the UK press, during FNM's first British tour the band kidnapped then K. journo Trish Jaega and sent a ransom note to Kerrang! threatening to shave off her body hair if they weren't on the cover.

Bill: "We drank a lot and silly things happened.

I'd like to point out that I wasn't going to shave anyone. Things were kinda volatile back then.

"We had a massive fight during our first big interview in England. When we woke up no one was speaking to anyone else. I thought we'd just blown everything. I think every one of us quit the band at one point, until finally Chuck was shown the door..."

We Care A Lot

The stand-out track on FNM's debut album (released on local indie Mordam in 84) was the tribal punk of ‘We Care A Lot, a song the band re-recorded for their follow-up, 'Introduce Yourself". It became the band's theme tune.

Bill: "We played 'We Care A Lot as an instrumental for a year before Roddy wrote the lyrics. We all got excited when Chuck sang it because it was the first thing we ever did that sounded like real music. (Producer) Matt Wallace had a recording studio in his parents' garage, so we saved our money and recorded it for a demo tape.

"My room-mate Will worked in a record store and I got him to slip the tape on to see how people reacted. This lady asked Will what he was playing. That lady was Ruth Schwarz and she was starting Mordam. She called me that night and asked if we wanted to put out a record. “At this point no one cared about us in the States When we first came to England we saw 'We Care A Lot’ posters as we drove in from the airport. We just flipped out."

Dead Fish And Exploding Pianos

Enter Mosely's replacement, 21-year-old Mike Patton, whose performance on 1989's

'The Real Thing' helped propel the band into the big league. 'Epic', the album's breakthrough tune, was promoted by a memorable video, the final scene involving a dying fish and an exploding piano.

Bill: "The floundering goldfish was my idea. It was that kinda (cult director) John Waters thing where you try to get maximum attention for minimum money! The piano exploding was pretty cool, too. We'd been touring 'The Real Thing' for about a year and banging our heads against the wall everywhere except in England. When 'Epic' started taking off we were really irritated because we just wanted to go home."

Piss Drinking And Shit-Eating!

Thrust into the media spotlight, formerly clean-cut college boy Patton reacted to the band's new-found fame in the most extreme way.

Bill: "The 'Epic' video created an image for us in the public eye and Patton thought he'd push the eccentric kid image a bit further. Our set featured a lot of mid-tempo songs and drinking piss was Patton's way of keeping the energy up and creating chaos. If you go to a show and see someone drink piss or eat shit, you know anything can happen. It was a very healthy thing to do. I respect him for doing it: it made the world more interesting at the time. Naively I didn't realise that it would plague Patton for the rest of his life. F**k it, that's his problem..."

We Have Come To F**k Your Women!

1992's noise-splattered ‘Angel Dust' album reflected the disharmony within the band. On tour, huge rifts were apparent.

When FNM played Dalymount Park in Dublin in summer '93 Jim Martin's opening stage comment was "We have come to f**k your women!", to the visible disgust of his bandmates. This would be one of Martin's last FNM gigs...

Bill: "Jim definitely hastened his exit saying things like that. We're all very headstrong, but we knew we had to compromise our individual ideas sometimes. Jim's reluctance to do that was a big mistake because were just as stubborn as he is. Once we realised he was making no effort to communicate, it was all-out war. After 18 months of touring and not speaking, he wouldn't come up with any ideas for 'King For A Day...' so that was that."

Black Sabbath And The Bee Gees

FNM's eclectic sound is only matched by their eclectic choice of cover versions. Black Sabbath, The Commodores, John Barry and the Bee Gees all received the FNM make-over...

Bill: "We did 'War Pigs' as a cover initially to piss off the punk bands we played with, and we did 'Jump' by Van Halen live to annoy the f**k out of people. But Jim was starting to feel so proud playing 'War Pigs' that I didn't want to give him that pleasure, so we thought doing 'Easy' would be the perfect antidote.

"We always liked to do things that we could never imagine ourselves doing because it would open you up to musical possibilities."

Ashes To Ashes

The end of an earache...

Bill: "We'd been together for over 10 years and it takes a lot of energy to butt heads for that long. We were all getting a bit nicer to each other. With the tension eased the shows were probably better - but that brought on less of a desire to bring the tension on again, so we figured the best thing to be would be to stop. I'd been putting a lot of time and energy into the band when everyone else had their side-projects, so before we split up I harboured a little bit of resentment, but there's no hard feeling between us. To put out records and do tours just as a business would have sucked out our souls."

The Legacy

"I want to thank Bill Gould and the rest of Faith No More. They made me want to be in a band," stated Deftones frontman Chino Moreno as he collected the ‘Best Album' gong at this year's K! Awards. Thousands of other rock bands from Korn and Rage Against The Machine to 'A' and One Minute Silence owe the San Franciscans a similar debt...

Bill: "While we were together we never paid any attention to what anyone said about our accomplishments, because we felt taking compliments was like losing touch with what we were doing. When the Deftones stood up and said those things at the Kerrang! Awards, I was really shocked. It's nice to have meant something."

The Reformation

Post-Millennial reunion, anyone?

Bill: "Actually, I've already been talking to someone at Microsoft about sponsoring our year 2000 concert. We want the Spice Girls as backing singers and the original Guns N’ Roses and the original Rolling Stones opening up for us. Even if Brian Jones has to be there in a jar…”

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