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Metal Maniacs | July 1992

The Long and Dusty Road

Marina Zogbi

"The way we tour, it's kind of like training for us," says FNM bassist Bill Gould. "The more shows we do, the better and stronger we get. We had a year off, and all this tour's really done is gotten us just level; now it's time to improve." Bill's referring to the band's first live shows since the recording of new LP Angel Dust: A recently completed European tour with Guns N' Roses and Soundgarden. They're currently in the midst of a U.S. stadium tour with Guns and Metallica, and plan to go out on their own later this month.

Once again FNM face the prospect of virtually non-stop touring, but this time, unlike their previous experience, the band are mentally prepared. "It was like a drowning swimmer in a pool trying to do anything to stay afloat," Bill describes taking advantage of the touring opportunities that kept popping up well after the release of '89's The Real Thing. Drummer Mike Bordin continues the metaphor, "Then when you finally felt like you were reaching the rim of the pool, it was like 'Oh, Australia? OK. Another European tour? OK.'" Though grueling, all that roadwork did introduce the band to a variety of audiences and cultures. "It's really cool because we can look forward to going back to a lot of different places, like Brazil, Australia and Japan," says Mike.

The recent Guns Eurotour brought Faith to Hungary and Czechoslovakia for the first time, places most bands can't afford to play on their own. "It was a really big crowd," Bill describes the Prague show, "and they came from all over the area, Poland and everything. The military was really nervous because they hadn't had so many young people in one place since the revolution." For the show in Hungary, fans came from neighboring countries of Bulgaria and Macedonia. "It's unbelievable how well-appreciated it is," notes Bill of touring such places. "It's like throwing a drop of water on a guy dying of thirst in the desert...Bulgarians have this wild look in their eye; they've driven 15 hours to come to the show, they don't want to bother you, they just want a picture. To think what this meant for these people..."

While in Berlin the bassist decided he would try to buy a Trabant, the tiny now-outmoded East German car, "because they're really cheap, nobody wants them." After mentioning in a radio interview that he'd found one for 100 marks ($75), but was open to anything cheaper, a fan called the station and offered his car as a gift. "I did the whole tour in that car," Bill notes, adding that his vehicle was often the object of ridicule on the part of West Germans.

For their hour-long slot on the European Guns tour, Faith played six or seven songs off Angel Dust, a few off The Real Thing, plus "We're still playing the old stuff that we like," says Mike, "'As the Worm Turns', 'Death March', 'We Care a Lot'." One song they hadn't yet played live at press time was the catchy, extremely danceable "A Small Victory," a must-add for the U.S. shows, especially since it's the band's second video release. The video, directed by Marcus Nispel (C&C Music Factory) is an extreme departure for Faith. Says Bill, "It's totally different than any video we've ever done; 'A Small Victory' is pretty much of a dance song more than anything, it's the furthest we've ever taken that, so we had to have a visual to complement it." Adds Mike, "We also wanted something very slick, something that looked really well-done, no tricks. The last video ('Midlife Crisis') was beautiful looking but it had a weird photography style and a weird kind of color." The new clip features no performance footage (a first for FNM), several bizarrely outfitted extras, and the band themselves looking very sharp in Italian suits. Bill sums up: "Think of a Madonna video but see us in it instead. It doesn't make any sense, but at the same time it's perfect." Look for FNM--minus the suits--on tour this fall and beyond.

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