King For A Day Fool For A Lifetime 25 - Making Of The Album
Faith No More's fifth studio album was released twenty five years ago in March 1995.
The Making Of King For a Day Fool For A Lifetime
This is the story of how Faith No More's compelling and brilliant fifth album King For a Day Fool For A Lifetime was recorded. This article was written with the help of the band, referencing interviews with band members and those who were involved.
To Create You Must First Destroy
The friction between five diverse personalities that created the outstanding album Angel Dust was not going to facilitate a further Faith No More record. Touring during '92 and '93 had divided the band into two enemy camps - Mike Patton, Mike Bordin, Bill Gould and Roddy Bottum verses guitarist Jim Martin. The final gig this incarnation of the band would play was the UK’s Phoenix Festival in July '93.
“The last gig we did was the Phoenix festival. When we came home, especially me, Bill, and Mike realized that what we'd done on 'Angel Dust' was actually pretty cool and it worked really good. There was stuff we could continue doing. We wrote some songs, and a couple months after that we played them to Jim. We asked him, 'Hey, what are you gonna put on this?' It's always been us writing a framework and he's thrown parts on top of it. It was obvious that it wasn't working. It was impossible, but we gave it a chance to see what would happen. Because we knew it would be a big hassle to do this, not only legally but time-wise." – Bill 1995 | Metal Hammer
Consequently, after eleven years FNM ended their relationship with the biggest sickest and ugliest member by fax in the November of '93.
“Jim’s always said he quit. He didn’t. I fired him by fax. It was the only way of getting hold of him! Getting rid of him was a real cleansing exercise. There’s no point keeping someone in the band who’s only there for the money or something. Jim wasn’t committed to what the band wanted to do. I’m good at sacking band members. And by fax was such a… 90s way of doing things.” – Roddy 2001 | Metal Hammer
Journalist and friend of the band Steffan Chirazi quickly picked up the story ending his book, The Real Story published in 1994, with a ‘stop the press’ chapter explaining the split.
"We have definitely parted company. I think anybody who's read the music press over the past year, even two years, shouldn't be too surprised with what's happened. "The situation just came to a point where it was impossible to work together, and we wish Jim all the luck in the world with whatever he does. We don't plan on working with him any time soon. “ – Bill 1994
"Faith No More, as you know it, is no longer. I believe the fact that we (always) went in different ways musically was actually an integral part of the band. "I am still writing songs working on music as I have been throughout most of my life - and will continue to do so. Hopefully, I will see you all soon." – Jim 1994
Rather than dwell on losses Bill provided encouraging words to fans of FNM.
"We're writing an awesome record and it's nearly written.In some ways, it won't be as drastically different as people probably expect.” – Bill Gould 1994
However, moving on as a unit would prove to be difficult. Roddy was facing altogether different demons - his battles with heroin and the death of his father made him absent from the rehearsal room.
“… things for me personally were going to hell. I came out. I saw some friends die. I was with Courtney Love throughout Kurt’s final months ‘cos she was a close friend and at the same time my own father died. I just holed up and had a nervous breakdown basically. I just realised I had to chose my priorities very carefully. Things like honesty and passion and art. But whilst the album was being recorded, all of that is a real blur for me ‘cos of the shit I was going through at the time. And my heroin addiction didn’t help. And the suicide of two of my friends didn’t help. Nothing helped. Things had to reach a low before I could help myself. My first impulse was to leave. But I couldn’t just let it go, it was something I helped start, it’s very important to me.” – Roddy 2001 | Metal Hammer
Without Roddy or a guitarist, the songs developed much differently to those on Angel Dust, also the band’s approach was specifically different.
"In some ways, it won't be as drastically different as people probably expect. The song writing process on this record is the same as it has been throughout. The difference is that we're looking to strip some fat, get some nice, short, to-the-point songs. Coming off touring the last album for a year-and-a-half, which we liked a lot, we felt the need for quick, to-the-point songs. Which is what we're doing. It'll be more immediate, and it's our priority to make the best album we can and be as efficient as possible." – Bill 1994 | Kerrang!
"It was definitely less tense recording the album, but writing it maybe not. I mean, we wrote most of it without a f**king guitar player! At the same time, that situation (Jim Martin's sacking) made us like a free agent: it allowed us to sleep around with as many people as we could. And I suppose the end result is more harmonious, does sound like a unit... I don't know, maybe we were getting along this time!" – Patton 1995 | Meat
With the song writing well on its way FNM now had to find the right guitar player. Justin Broadrick from Godflesh and Ralph Spight from Victims Family were both considered. As was Killing Joke's Kevin ‘Geordie’ Walker.
"He’s a great guitar player. One of the best I’ve ever seen.He would have been amazing, but he is so distinctive. I think he would have rendered us into a Killing Joke cover band." – Bill 2015 | Small Victories
Ultimately the band turned to Mr. Bungle’s Trey Spruance, some would think this an obvious choice.
"We knew we had songs that worked. We tried out a lot of guitarists and Trey definitely understands our language. He had his own very capable language and is able to lock into what we're thinking too. It's exciting to be able to finally get in and do the album we've been waiting to do all this time."
“If anything, we did everything possible to convince ourselves that he wasn't the right guy. Patton had said that Trey was going to be our man, but he didn't even want to deal with the idea. He's known him for years and the last thing he wanted was to be in another band with him, but in the end we were hurting ourselves by avoiding him so hard. For a long time it was too obvious, and we were fighting the obvious - but there comes a time where you have to realise who the right guy for the job is." – Bill 1994 | Kerrang!
However, it was a match that was Mike Patton resisted.
"I was actually against it. You don't wanna be too much with someone. It gets a little incestuous. It was like we'd been married for a few years and now we could go and fuck our brains out and play with some other people. It was like being reborn. It was liberating. I'd had some bad water under the bridge with him and I didn't wanna be in another aggravating situation. But you do what's best for the music." – Patton 1995 | Metal Hammer
At this point the core of FNM had twenty incomplete songs for Trey to work on. He added not only guitar ideas to the demos but also attempted to fill the gap left by Roddy and turned in some keyboard parts.
“…it was pretty much like, Here are some songs with just drums and bass. Add some guitar parts and we’ll see. They liked what I did, so that was cool. A bit unexpected. I added keyboard parts to some of those demos, because I always naturally thought of the role of Faith No More guitar parts as being kind of minimal pieces of a puzzle working in conjunction with everything.” – Trey 2015 | Small Victories
“He has a really good ear for writing stuff, he has a really good ear for what sounds great, he understands keyboards really well, the bonds between keyboards and guitars, and he’s really diverse. We’ve never wanted to limit ourselves to one particular kind of music or one particular anything. And it was clear from the start that Trey was the same way.” – Roddy 2015 | Small Victories
Controlled Cabin Fever
Having secured a guitarist FNM now looked at a change of producer. Matt Wallace had grown with the band producing every release from early pre-FNM recordings to 1992’s Angel Dust. The collaboration had developed an unmistakable sound, but for this record both Matt and the band felt new direction was needed.
“After Angel Dust, I felt like I had taken the band as far as I could. Maybe with a different producer, maybe they could go further. It was an act of love, for lack of a better phrase, where I just thought I wanted to let them run free.” – Wallace 2015 | Small Victories
Enter Andy Wallace, no relation the Matt, who’s credits included Nirvana‘s Nevermind, Slayer and Run DMC.
“…we used a new producer to get a new set of ears. Andy had worked with Slayer, Sonic Youth, and Nirvana, and we knew what we wanted from him – a simpler, more acoustic, more punctuated sound than we’d had in the past. That in combination with a new guitarist kind of gave things a real up-in-the-air, what the fuck is gonna happen kind of feel. And it was the album that decided whether FNM would continue.” – Roddy 2001 | Metal Hammer
Andy used Bearsville studio for all his work, an isolated live-in facility near Woodstock in upstate New York, so the band flew up there in September 1994 and settled in to living in their appointed wooden cabins.
"Oh my God, kids, there's not much to do out there in Bearsville, nothing with a capital 'N'! It'd be Saturday night and we'd hear the crickets chirping in the woods. The most entertaining thing that happened to me was I caught pneumonia, which kept me from being stir-crazy for about a week. The sickness debilitated me to the point where I lost my cabin fever!” – Gould 1995 | Kerrang!
There is no doubt the surroundings contributed to the sound of the album.
"We usually record in San Francisco and there's always distractions. I have to pay my parking tickets or some bullshit, show up late, people are running in and out, friends come over.... but this was cool. The studio's out in the middle of the fucking forest. It's on this dirt road, there's just this studio and a cabin for two miles. It's just like sensory deprivation. But the good thing about it was we had nothing else to do but record. We actually tried to stay in the studio as much as we could, because if we left the studio there was nothing to do." – Gould 1995 | Axcess
Songs That Can Tear Down The Stars
The songs on KFAD are radically different to that of it’s predecessor AD. More aggressive, punchy, stripped down and much shorter in length. Yet familiar extremes remain from brutal rock songs to passive easy listening from dramatic overtures to dark and brooding alt-rock. Patton’s lyrics contain less character sketches and are charged with self-loathing.
“We didn't really have any concept or idea. We don't know what it is we do, we just know how to do it. It would be pointless for us to sit down and have a career discussion on what we should sound like or where we should take this next record. It's kind of like if we're feeling it it's going to come out a certain way. Yet we all knew that we wanted to make a record with short, concise statements--three minute songs and that's just it. To analyze it or come up with a plan or philosophy would kind of kill it for us." - Patton 1995 | Meat
“By the time of ‘King For A Day’ we’d had some difficult times, and we knew that if and when we did it, this was gonna be the record of our lives. It had that all-or-nothing feel to us. Instead of putting everything into every song, we wanted to take things out and make them a bit simpler. Perhaps that’s what you’d call a ‘pop’ or lighter feel. All the loud songs turned out really great on this album, really aggressive, and we’ve always done that really well. But the smoother songs I’ve never felt we’ve gotten exactly right. And this one is pretty damn close to being exactly right. It’s like when a certain member has an idea, and he’s a little embarrassed over it, you know there’s gotta be something good about it, it’s gotta be worth doing. We’re just not the kind of band to say ‘never’. I would say we wouldn’t ever do something, because we’d do it just to fuck each other up.” - Bordin 1995 | Metal Hammer
"Ha ha. Oh my god! My favorite thing, especially on this record, is to write lyrics and not tell the band what I'm singing, and then have them guess what I'm singing. Usually they go, 'Are you saying what I think you're saying?' and it's better than what I wrote. So I just use what they wrote instead. Instead of the word 'horn' it's supposed to be 'hole', and 'came' is not in there either. But I didn't wanna correct you, because it's just too beautiful." - Patton 1995 | Metal Hammer
Music and Lyrics Mike Patton
Keeping with FNM tradition the album opens with an immediate sensory attack, all guns blazing. This song was entirely by Patton and saw members of the band adapting to his particular writing style. At only two minutes seventeen seconds it confirms the intention of FNM to deliver short statements.
"Patton thinks in a way that I wouldn't it's actually good for me because I would never have done what I end up doing. When you move your fingers in a way that you wouldn't normally, and you get used to it and it becomes natural, then you have a whole new way of going about things. For example, the song 'Get Out' on our last record, he did the bass part and I'm thinking, What the hell is that? What notes is he playing? Why would anybody want to even think of that?' I learned it and realised it was actually really simple, just a different- way of looking at playing the instrument." – Bill 1995 | Bassist Magazine
Music Gould, Bordin, Patton
Released as the second single from the album, unbelievably this song almost didn’t make the cut, but was included at the insistence of Mike Bordin. The video to accompany the single release was directed by Alex Hemming and featured footage filmed during the band's show at Paris’s Élysée Montmartre.
"That's my favourite song. I was sort of a fuckin' weasel, and... that wasn't gonna be on the record, but that song turned out so great that it pushed another song off the record. I think it sounds great, I love that song. I really love the choruses, where it gets really big, and it really takes off... I love that song. And that was the last song we wrote, as well. That was the 20th song that we wrote for this record. So I think it's really fitting that the first song that we wrote for the record and the last song that we wrote are both on it." – Bordin 1995 | Kerrang!
The noticeable lyric ‘running twice as fast to stay in the same place’ resembles a line from Lewis Carol’s Alice Through The Looking Glass.
It is often discussed whether the lyrics refer to the death of Kurt Cobain – the working title for Ricochet was Nirvana and the words could certainly be compared to the circumstances of Cobain's suicide.
"It was written the day that Kurt died. That's just why it was called "Nirvana." (Pause.) I like that one. The vocal harmonies are really great. And those are my favourite lyrics on the record." – Roddy 1995
In February 1995 Mike Patton addressed the meaning of his lyrics with NME.
Several lyrics on 'King' seem to snarl against the trap of celebrity, entrapment and the ageing process. But Patton dismisses any suggestion that the Kurt Cobain saga had any effect on him ("I didn't know him or anything").
As a singer in a rock n roll band who may have gone through some of the same things that he did, you had no thoughts or feeling about the whole business?
"What can I say? (Laughs). What can I say? I'm sorry? Bad things happen, y'know? I'm sure it wasn't as great as everyone thinks it was."
"His suicide, I'm sure wasn't such a glamorous event."
Music Gould, Bordin, Spruance
The third single released from the album. The video was directed by Walter Stern, who had worked with The Prodigy, and it was filmed in a basement club in San Francisco. The song features a string quartet with their parts arranged by Trey Spruance.
Bill Gould wrote the song.
"I was almost ashamed. They were like, Let’s do it. Patton said, Why not? We had the confidence to do it. If it was up to me, I probably would not have done it." - Bill 2015 | Small Victories
"I like that song, it's pretty different for us. It's very laid back, groovy. There are some real strings on it, the punctuating sort of strings... a sort of Soul II Soul vibe." - Roddy 1994
"We've always wanted to write a great pop song, evidence is just that. I think we needed to lose a guitarist to achieve the end result." - Patton 1997 | Kerrang!
Patton and Bordin talk about the song in CMJ New Music Monthly, April 1995: Patton starts cackling--a high, weird Tex Avery laugh more animated than his surreal singing personas--and the effect is more unsettling than seeing him mad. Perhaps he is mad, and Faith No More fans are mere visitors to a sort of travelling asylum. After all, why would a rational human being leave a trail of droppings across U.S. stages for hapless clean up crews to discover? And is that what this "scat" singer is celebrating alongside Bottum's soothing-but-funkified keys on "Evidence"? "Step beside the piece of circumstance/ Got to wash away the taste of evidence," he groans, painting a visceral but nonetheless stomach-churning picture.
"I, uh, don't remember, I claim ignorance," Patton weasels when quizzed about the track. "I wrote the song and that's enough--you have fun with it. I don't have to tell you shit." The point exactly. Oddly enough, he doesn't shy away from this purloined-doodle rumours. "You do what you gotta do to get you through," he explains. It sounds quite logical. "It's like , you're a musician, right? You wake up at 2:00 in the afternoon, you don't have any responsibilities, you don't have any certainties in your life, other than the fact that you're gonna play that night. So you may as well throw a couple of others in there, something to look forward to."
Bordin seems to understand his teammate's curious credo. "But we don't like living in the past," he chortles. "We've gotta find some new habits to do this time around."
"I'm gonna leave part of my colon behind this time," Patton declares. "Yeah!" Bordin responds. "It'll look like little pieces of sausage casing!" Then the duo breaks into happy hysterics, infatuated with its own morbid sense of humour. But Bordin--a founding father of Faith No More along with Bottum and Gould (Patton clambered about on Real Thing, the band's third release)--suddenly stops laughing, turns poker-faced serious about the tell-tale "Evidence" cut. "That's the one I'm most proud of," he says. "All the loud songs turned out really great on this album, really aggressive, and we've always done that really well. But the smoother songs I've never felt we've gotten exactly right. And this one is pretty damn close to being *exactly* right."
The Gentle Art Of Making Enemies
Music Gould, Bordin, Patton
This brutal track defines the sentiment of the album - loaded with angst, abhorrence and self ridicule, it seems to look back critically on the past five years of the band.
"Patton was also heavily involved in the music for the even more going for-
the-jugular ‘The Gentle Art Of Making Enemies’. I had some riffs that I couldn’t do anything with, and Mike just took them and went home and arranged the whole song. He came back the next day, and was like, Look what I did with those riffs you had." - Bill 2015 | Small Victories
Music Gould, Bordin, Patton
Lyrics Patton, Gould
The jazz-funk flavours of this song are straight out of a 50's dance hall. Gould wrote most of the song, he wrote and arranged the horn section which were played live in the studio.
"It felt like Las Vegas, ripped vinyl seats, and dirty shag carpet, $1.99 buffets. It felt shabby and glam, glam and shabby at the same time." - Bordin 2015 | Small Victories
"I like the chords that the horn guys did during the verses; they sound really thick. That's my favorite part. That and that little spy section... That's a nice little breath of fresh air. It opens up into a space that the album never touches upon anywhere else." - Trey 1994
Some of the lyrics were taken from the 1965 French film Alphaville directed by Jean-Luc Godard. 'When you die......You'll become something worse than dead.....You'll be become a Legend'. The lyrics appear to refer to the entrapment of fame and the consequences of being famous, the music press would again draw conclusions that the song was about Kurt Cobain.
"Kurt? God no! It's about a phenomenon. And if that guy happened to be one, I don't know. It's one of those things that happen; it's a Vegas thing. What could be more shameful than having to change your colostomy bag on stage?! Vegas is great, though. I love it. Welcome to America." - Patton 1995 | Metal Hammer
"The guitar solo is like Saturday Night Live, that's the vibe. It's so funny because we try to explain to people that we write songs visually. We think of scenes and that's exactly what we wanted to do. We kind of amuse ourselves and that's cool because it means we're growing as musicians" - Bill 1995 | Faces
Cuckoo For Caca
Music Gould, Patton, Spruance
On this song we hear the heaviest sound on the record, not too dissimilar from the repetitive beats of the We Care A Lot album. It is a hideous masterpiece and on the surface the lyrics seem to describe Patton's old shit eating hobby perfectly. However, read a little further and it would appear to be a metaphor for drug abuse.
In 1995 Patton addressed the meaning while talking to NME in Venice:
NME: "Would you call it a shit-eating manifesto?"
Patton: "I really don't remember. If I could sit here and write the words out I might be able to remember."
NME: A lyric sheet is laid before him.
Patton: "it's just....shit. Shit is...shitty people, garbage, everything. What do you think it's about?"
Trey again added the keys which directed the song back towards the FNM brand.
"Bill was a bit stumped, keyboard-wise, what to do on that, Trey came with a big, dark keyboard, that Hammond-organ melody, that descending thing that was really doomy and heavy. I was stoked that someone outside of this trio of musicians could come and contribute something like that. It was like starving, and someone coming along and
throwing you food. It showed that we weren’t being unreasonable. People can do stuff like that." - Bordin 2015 | Small Victories
Music Gould, Patton, Bordin
Lyrics Gould, Patton, Bordin
This Latin flavoured easy listening song has a title which translates from Portuguese as 'Flying Dick'. The middle section also shows off Patton's growing skills at foreign language, roughly translated as: 'I can't drive... With my index finger... up my nose.' The song is the first true character study on the album, a tool which was much more employed on Angel Dust.
"I think we're just getting better at imitating, because that's what it is. Us hearing a bossanova thing, that's not bossanova. You gotta make that distinction. Just picture a guy who's a really bad driver, that's kind of what it's about" - Patton 1995 | Metal Maniacs
Ugly In The Morning
Music Patton, Spruance, Gould
Track eight on the album is particularly reminiscent of the signature FNM sound fine tuned over their first three albums. The chug of the bass, swelling keyboard chords, the clicking syncopation of the drums and melodic guitars. A great example of Patton’s ability to use words ambiguously and create such a menacing song from something as mundane as waking up and looking rough!
Digging The Grave
Music Gould, Bordin, Patton Lyrics Patton
"Radio will say the our song 'Digging The Grave' is too hard for them, too metal. If we do a song like 'Evidence', then none of the metal stations will want it!" - Bill 1994
Full FNM Followers analysis of the song HERE.
Take This Bottle
Lyrics Patton, Gould
The smooth country and western tones of this song make it a standout track from anything FNM had done before, a track Jim Martin would've been comfortable with! Yet another song brought in whole to the table by Bill.
"I wrote 'Take This Bottle' on a 4-track at my house; I didn't even think it would be appropriate for the band, but I played a demo for everybody and they liked it. I was kind of intimidated to volunteer it, but I'm glad I did, because I think it really adds to the record." - Bill 2015 | Bungle Weird
"I really dig that one. It's a song where I sit back and play and I almost don't even play, it's almost like auto-pilot, and I listen to everybody else. It's very minimal. Kinda reminds me almost of Bob Dylan or something, kinda country, twangy, or something. I'm really excited that we're doing a song like that, and I bet it's gonna surprise a lot of people. Again, the singing is great. It's my wife's favourite song." - Patton 1995 | CMJ Monthly
"It's like a Guns N' Roses song! Maybe Hank Williams lyrics, but definitely GN'R music." - Bill 1995 | CMJ Monthly
King For A Day
Music Gould, Bottum, Bordin, Patton , Spruance
The epic drama of this song fits in well with FNM's catalogue. Trey adds an acoustic guitar which is something rarely heard on a FNM song, hence the working title of Acoustic Groove.
"I like the textures of that song a lot. I think the textures are what's really gonna eventually make or break that song. The string sound was really nice, and just the breath of the acoustic guitars was really important. It sounds great, the strumming of that guitar. And the intro and the outro are my favourite parts - the simpler parts, going into the song, coming out of the song, I really like a lot. It gets really dense in the middle, which is a part of the whole journey of that song, but my favourite parts of the song are going into it and coming out of it. It's very Roxy Music to me, almost David Bowie, sorta like a surreal sort of travelling composition to me." - Roddy 1994
"I like the regal feel of it... Not so much regal - it does change its ambience, but - it sorta maintains a largeness to it, like a presence, like you're inside some sort of large chamber of some type, and without a bunch of reverb. It's not effects that are causing that, it's the mood of the music. I think it's very moody. It reminds me of a Peter Murphy solo album or something like that." - Trey 1994
"We had that in Billy's house on his computer. We worked on that song for a long time, to keep the balance between the lightness and the loud parts. It took a lot of work; that was a difficult song to work on. Really glad the way it turned out. It kinda reminds me of early Roxy Music, which I was a really big fan of. It's got that elegant, suave tone, but it's still like a rock song. The middle of that song is cool, too, because we waited 'til we were in the studio, and we wrote it in the studio, so it was kinda like a jam. Which is also really exciting, we didn't really do that very often." - Bordin 1994
What A Day
Music Patton, Spruance
'Kill the body and the head will die', a phrase that appears in Hunter S. Thompson's Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas. At two minutes thirty seven seconds, yet another short song filled with Patton's disgust.
The Last To Know
Music Gould, Patton, Bordin
The title of this song appears on a banner in the Stanley Kubrick movie Full Metal Jacket : 'First to go last to know - We will defend to the death your right to be misinformed'.
This song could nod towards trudging and melancholy ditties by bands such as Stone Temple Pilots if it wasn’t for Patton’s extravagant operatic vocals and Bordin’s signature flams.
Trey’s melodic yet unpretentious solos are a highlight as he layers guitar over guitar to create a wholly different sound to anything FNM have done before.
Roddy and Trey discuss the song with Jai Kim in 1995:
JK: Okay, the song "The Last to Know."
RB (to Trey): Which one was that?
TS (to Roddy): "Dirge."
TS (to JK): Yeah, I have similar feelings on that one. I like the space that that song creates. Very large space.
RB: Very dense. Texture's very dense.
JK: Nice tempo. Not too fast.
TS: Yeah, it plods.
RB: Pearl Jam. [Everyone laughs.] Pearl Jam on mushrooms.
JK (to Trey): I love your guitar solo on that.
TS: Oh really? Jimi Hendrix, right? [More laughs.] Thanks, yeah, that was a fiveinthemorning one, for sure.
Just A Man
Music Gould, Bottum
Lyrics Patton, Gould , Spruance
Possibly the most majestic and ambitious song in FNM's entire catalogue. Bill told a Swedish tv channel that he couldn’t believe the band wrote such a song. It is pure pop indulgence except for the unexpected middle section with Patton’s ‘movie trailer monologue’. The song comes as a surprise and counters the brief and furious tracks that proceed it, a perfect album closer.
"I don't think we actually had much distance on 'Just A Man', and it probably benefited the most. Queen? Oh god, a rock opera anthem! I think it's a little more obtuse than Queen, a little bit more like if you were in your 40s and gambling, sweating, a little overweight and in love, that's the way we saw it anyway." - Roddy 1994
”We listen to a lot of Chinese classical music they use these really nice, major, big, sweeping chords. It's a nice sound, but it almost was a little bit pretentious because it was so big.
"There's also some stuff that sounds really tolerable because it's deliberately tacky. Like Just A Man, that's a tacky song. There are things there that when we were first doing them it felt like we were swallowing a big pill. Like, ‘Oh my God, who would do something like this?’ But that's the fun of it, too.” - Bill 1995 | Faces
"It's totally frightening. That song is like the spawn of some bizarre and perverse experiment. Some people, they don't get that. Some people do get that, and the people who do get it, really appreciate it" - Bordin 1994
The choir parts were arranged by Trey.
"I think my favourite part from that was when all of our recording was finished and we went to the studio to add string parts and a choir at the end of the last song. And the gospel choir, it was really wonderful watching them work.
It was also funny, as we showed up at the studio and nobody had realized that charts had to be written for the string players. So that job fell to me and I very quickly, off the top of my head just charted out what we thought the string parts should be, a really half-ass job and that ended up on the record, it was pretty funny." - Trey 2011| Pitch Perfect
With the King For A Day... and consequent single releases there were more b-sides than ever before, an original song Absolute Zero and a host of covers.
"The b-sides that we did were three cover songs that were actually recorded at my house. There's I Started A Joke by the Bee Gees, there's a song by a band called The Brothers Four called Greenfields, and Spanish Eyes by Al Martino! [ plus I Wanna F**k Myself by G.G.Allin ].
They all sound really good, I'm really into it! We were in this bar in Gwaum, god, it was so twisted! You see, Gwaum is like a rock in the middle of the ocean; they have like two million snakes per mile -- they have so many snakes that they have killed all the birds, they have no more birds in all of Gwaum. So, we're sitting in this bar and they have posters of hard-core porn videos all over the wall. It was a regular bar, and they had animal porn on the wall! And we're like, 'What the hell is this?!', and in the corner of the room they had this karaoke machine and they were all singing the words "I started a joke ..." and there was this bouncing ball so they could follow the words. The lyrics were so pathetic and depressing that we just said 'We have to do this song!' It's the most miserable song I ever heard in my life!' " - Bill 1995 | Livewire
Exit Spruance Enter Menta
King For A day Fool For A Lifetime was released on limited edition red double vinyl on March 13th/14th and on CD and cassette on March 28th.
Not only did the band return with a new sound but their image was now unrecognisable from the five rag tags who released The Real Thing six years previously. Not a trace of 'heavy metal' remained. Short hair, goaty beards, Patton's 'homeless' look and Roddy looking effortlessly cool with his almost cross-dress style. However, with one more twist in the tale, the photo-shoots of early 1995 revealed that Trey had been replaced.
"Trey simply didn't want to make the commitment to tour with us. Like Billy said, it's like getting married. Some people panic at the eleventh hour, and Trey f**king threw the ring back! He ran out of the ceremony, hahaha!" - Patton 1995 | Raw
After recording had finished Spruance left Faith No More.
“We did the whole thing on a handshake, and basically as time went on, I recorded with them and we didn't have any formal agreement over what the situation was going to be. And I really felt that they were taking advantage of that situation, which was really disheartening. They were going through so many different issues as a band. And then to walk into a situation where you're just essentially a roadie and getting jerked around, it really ended up being this thing where, if I'm going to commit to a year of touring with no agreement and they're reneging on all of these things that we talked about — it's like, we've got you, so you're going to tour with us for a year and then we'll talk about you becoming a part of the band.” - Trey 2011 | Perfect Pitch
Faith No More publicly explained the split with Trey, commenting that he was intimidated by the heavy touring schedule. Articles also referred to Trey being a spoilt rich kid who threw an opportunity away. However, Trey remembers leaving the band differently and attributes his departure to red tape and unegotiable contracts.
“...the part that was so surreal was when my friend told me, 'Trey, you've got to see this interview in NME. The guys are saying all this stuff about you.' So I get on my bike and ride down Divisadero to Tower Records, and at that point I didn't have any fucking money at all, so I was looking under books and laundry and all this shit, scraping for change. At the end of the month I always got to the point where I was scraping for burrito money. So I got $2.75 to buy a burrito after looking at [the NME interview]. I don't even have enough money to buy the fucking magazine, and I'm standing there in Tower Records reading about how I'm the heir to the Dupont fortune. [laughs] That was a surreal experience, having the bicycle, barely scraping by, and having the entire fans' perception being this completely other thing. I can't tell you how fruitful of an experience that was. Most of the philosophies that I'm interested in have to do with the engineered appearance of the world that we live in versus the esoteric or hidden reality behind it. I feel very privileged to be in a world where I can deal with some press coverage like that.” - Trey 2011 | Perfect Pitch
Trey would not perform the songs he had invested in, and which would not have been so dramatic or diverse without his playing and influence, until 2011 at Maquinaria Festival in Chile.
FNM were guitar-less yet again, but this wouldn’t last long - enter Dean Menta.
"I initially started working with Faith No More on the crew during the Angel Dust tour. I was doing computer consultancy with regards to music software programs. What I basically did, and still do, are all sorts of sequencing and hard disk recording stuff. Roddy got my name and number from somewhere, so I started hooking up with him every so often trying to teach him more about computers and then I went on tour with him. I guess he'd never had a roadie before, he and Billy used to share the same guy, but on the Guns N' Roses tour they wanted a separate person for each job. I'd never done keyboards before, never been on the road, had no prior experience of bands at that level." - Dean 1995 | Hot Metal
FNM finally thought they had found the right man for the job. His playing, performance, attitude and style fit in perfectly with the aesthetic of King For A Day.
"The 'Angel Dust' tour was indispensable because we met Dean. He saw what we went through and respected that. He took two years of his life to hang out with us so we would know him, because he wanted to be in this band. He said he's been been waiting for three years for this opportunity and he sure as hell isn't gonna f**k it up. I respect that." - Bordin 1995 | Kerrang!
Dean and Bill together recorded and produced the covers included on singles from King For A Day as b-sides - including I Started A Joke and their collaboration with Sparks This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us (not released until 1998). But when it came to writing new material Dean and the core members didn’t have a spark.
“When it came to songwriting it didn't work. We found no compromises when we wrote songs, because we come from very different directions. I was pissed, because Dean is really ok as a friend...” - Bill 1997 | Zillo
”I think a decision was made to stop the KFAD tour early because ticket sales were really down or something like that. Then certain members of the band wanted to immediately start writing songs for another record. I think at that point in time we were all burnt out, at least I was. I was living in L.A. with Jennifer at that time and was trying to go back and forth to SF for rehearsals. Writing songs was not going very smoothly and eventually I think I got pushed off the boat before it totally sunk, so to speak. I was disappointed and yet relieved that it was all over. I was mostly baffled and confused by the entire experience. I did have bad feelings afterward, but they’ve faded away a long time ago. I still love and admire those guys a lot.” - Dean 2016 | Furious Ultimately in 1996 Faith No More were looking for guitarist number twelve to take them into their next era.
Don‘t Let Me Die With That Silly Look In My Eyes
After six and a half months of touring, an incredibly short stint for FNM, the band cancelled dates and retreated to their own separate activities.
“We pushed ourselves, and dealt with where we were as musicians, as people, dealt musically with loss, change and struggle. The results are as varied and chaotic as any of our records, and in a perfect world it represents exactly where we were at the time.” - Roddy 2017 | Reissue Liner Notes
KFAD was recorded under the most demanding conditions - the absence of Roddy, a new guitarist, a new producer and environment. However even under these circumstances the band managed to create their most ferocious and forthright album, also with some of their most ambitious and diverse songs. A testament to FNM’s talent and tenacity. It’s an album revered by fans provoking the debate which is the best FNM album Angel Dust or King For A Day... It is praised by critics as criminally underrated.