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  • Writer's pictureFaith No More Followers

Metal Hammer | Summer 2020 | Issue 338

Updated: 2 days ago

The Story Behind WE CARE A LOT

Words Greg Prato.

Photo: Gene Ambo/ IconicPix

It was the song that would launch one of metal's most unique and influential bands... even if one of its foremost personalities would reach a tragic end.

WHILE IT WAS Epic that truly broke down the door to stardom for Faith No More, it was another track a few years earlier that served as the group's introduction to the alt rock masses We Care A Lot, the part -rap/part-rock track that seemingly railed against posing pop stars on Live Aid's worldwide stage (and the apparent hypocrisy of millionaires asking for other people’s money).

Hailing from San Francisco, several early configurations of the band (and names) came and went, before the Faith No More moniker we all know and love came into play circa 1982.

With a core comprised of bassist Billy Gould, keyboardist Roddy Bottum and drummer Mike Bordin, the group started off as a post punk band, before the arrivals of singer Chuck Mosley and guitarist Jim Martin, both in 1983.

Introduced unique elements of rap and metal to the stylistic equation.

This eventually led to the release of a full-length debut, We Care A Lot, in 1985, and a sophomore effort, Introduce Yourself, two years later, Interestingly, the song We Care A Lot first appeared on the album of the same name... and then was re-recorded (with a slight tweak to the lyrics) for its follow up.

"When we had started on that tour in support of Introduce Yourself it had just gotten picked up by (MTV'S) 120 Minutes, and they were playing it all the time," Chuck recalled later.

"It was the song that brought in a big chunk of the audience at that time. It was obvious by the response, It was almost overnight. We had started the tour, and a week or two later it had gotten on 120 Minutes. The attendance was totally bolstered by that song coming out."

That one, quirky little rock anthem turned out to be Faith No More's first classic song, touching on rap, funk, metal and alt-rock - all in a little over four minutes. However, when the group first heard the tune, not all of them were immediately blown away

“Roddy had this song be had come up with overnight," remembered Chuck.

”What was my initial response? To be perfectly honest, it was the least challenging song we'd made to me. it was a little bit more commercial than what I was used to being part of.

Especially after all of a sudden being in a position where you had a single, and you had to make sure you'd play it every night. I'm a punk rock rebel, so I had to complain about it - God dang, this is so commercial I thought I was above that, and it was below me.

"It was fun to sing for a while, then it started feeling kind of silly to me" he also admitted. "But it was Roddy's song, and Roddy has a total taste and ear for catchy hooks. Coming from that perspective, I totally respect anything he does, but I felt it was a little soft."

ALL IN ALL, there are three different Chuck Mosley-related versions of the song that have been recorded over the years: the two aforementioned renditions by Faith No More, and another one on Chuck's 2009 comeback album, Will Rap Over Hard Rock For Food.

"We named the first record after It, and put it on there," Chuck told us later. "With that record, we ended up shopping it around for a better deal, which ended up being Slash/Warner Brothers. One of the things that they wanted when they signed us was to have us do the song over again, because they felt it hadn't fallen on enough ears. They thought it was a hit. Hence the second version! There were two years between the two versions, and we updated the lyrics."

While plenty of other rock bands would possibly baulk at having to re-do a signature song, Chuck didn't have a problem with it - in fact, he actually welcomed it.

"I always like doing the same song on another album," he enthused. "I actually have two songs on Introduce Yourself where one song set a precedent, in a sense, in a group of lyrics: Chinese Arithmetic and R N' R, where I had the same lyrics repeated. R N' R was

almost like a sequel. I elaborated on the line Like the time you tried to teach your nephew to..? I had originally said 'fart', but they changed it to 'walk'. So I had a habit of ripping off parts of songs - including my own. It kind of made sense to have a second version, where we were biting off of our own song." After leaving Faith No More in 1988 (he was replaced by Mike Patton, with the band going on to become one of the most influential alternative bands of their era), Chuck mostly kept a low profile, save for a pair of obscure releases as part of the group Cement, and a brief union with Bad Brains that didn't yield any recordings. Years later, he would spend time working on that aforementioned solo debut, including said version of We Care A Lot, on which

his old Faith No More bandmate Roddy Bottum would guest.

"The reason for doing the song again was because when we were playing a lot of early shows, before we had a record, a lot of people in the audience would yell: 'We Care A Lot!" he revealed. "It was flattering... and a little irritating at the same time.

So, for the heck of it, we came up with a whole new intro, and we would end it with the chorus chant. Just to mess with people. Or we would do [sings the bass line}, sing 'We care a lot', and then end it there. Then it just kept growing.

Until we decided to do it over, but our way, and have it more laidback and groovy. And fatter and louder, fuller.

"We were determined to have a version that blew away the first or second one," he added. "We just hit on something and it clicked. We updated the lyrics - actually, that time it was 2001, right around 9/11, so we had it talking about stuff that was hip around that time - Trainspotting and stuff like that. Unfortunately it took so long to get the record out, that [by the time it was actually released] those lyrics are almost dated. I just said, 'Forget it'. I wasn't going to update it again."

And, as it turns out, that final version of We Care A Lot was the singer's favourite of the three. "Definitely, I'd have to say the latest one!" he confirmed. "I had no control over the actual music per se back then. If I did, I would have directed it to go a little harder and a little less 'tight ass'. I don't want to say anything to offend, because me and those guys all get along - we have a nice relationship now."

OVER THE YEARS, We Care A Lot would bring in some sweet and, occasionally, much-welcomed royalties for Chuck.

"Every time work would die out on one front, I'd get another thing, like Dirty Jobs [a US TV show that used the song as its theme], and then [video game] Rock Band,” he mused. "And the fact that I had license to do it, since I owned part of the publishing of the song.. I didn't see any harm in ripping myself off!"

In 2016, Chuck reunited with his former Faith No More bandmates (with latter-day guitarist Jon Hudson taking Martin's spot) for a pair of live performances in California, as a tie-in with the We Care A Lot album reissue that was being released at the time.

As a result, fans were left wondering about the possibility of further performances with Chuck, or even new music... but it was not meant to be. Tragically, on November 9, 2017, Chuck Mosley died from a drug overdose, at the age of 57, in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.

In a statement issued by Faith No More upon news of Chuck's passing, the group described their fallen bandmate as "a reckless and caterwauling force of energy who delivered with conviction and helped set us on a track of uniqueness and originality that would not have developed the way it had had he not been a part." They also added that

"his enthusiasm, his sense of humour, his style and his bravado will be missed by so many. We were a family, an odd and dysfunctional family, and we'll be forever grateful for the time we shared with Chuck."

Luckily, we will always have We Care A Lot to remember Chuck by.

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