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  • Writer's pictureFaith No More Followers

Record Mirror | May 19th 1989

Keeping The Faith

Faith No More are weird. That's weird as in unpredictable, magical, monstrous and sometimes downright inspiring. That's also weird as in indefinable funk and rap surfing into heavy mutant metal, with plenty of classical spanners in the works, and a singer who moshes like a metalhead but who can rap his tonsils round the most delicate of melodies.

Mike Patton, who replaced original vocalist Chuck Mosely almost two years ago, has drastically altered the chemistry of the band. Gone are the tensions and traumas that made their live shows so chaotic and explosive. These days, the drama comes from the music.

your eyes water when you yawn? Mine do!"

Touring is taking its toll on a bleary-eyed Mike Patton. The normally ebullient singer has a short attention span, a terrible memory and a quick temper, all of which have been worsened by that debilitating ailment they call tour fatigue. Luckily the 22-year-old baby of the Faith No More family also has a friendly, winning attitude which makes him a great favourite with the fans. His long hair and cute looks make him something of a closet pin-up too, much as he detests the idea.

Faith No More's sudden elevation from cool cult band to hitmakers with 'Epic' and From Out Of Nowhere', and the deserved acclaim granted last year's album 'The Real Thing' have ensured the FNM roadshow rolls on.

"We started this tour around July," Mike grimaces, "but for the first eight months we were just spinning out in mud. The record wasn't selling and we were playing these horrible clubs, getting pissed off with each other. Then all of a sudden it started getting better."

You must have been aware of the album's potential, though.

"No, I didn't feel like that at all. Maybe the others did but this was my first record. I was pretty much going along for the ride. We got some bad live reviews at first, or at least I did, mostly. I don't know if it discouraged me or made me work harder. I never had a lack of self-confidence, I just wasn't sure if I should be in that spot at all."

These days there's no doubt that Patton's the man for the job. He's an excellent singer, and he's also, like Chuck, an unpredictable character. Not everyone likes his attitude though. What was that 'Top Of The Pops' charade all about?

"We had a good time! The first take we did, I put some gaffer tape over my mouth and did most of the song like that and they got pretty mad so we had to do it over again. Then I kind of messed up the singing just to see how much I could get away with, and I got away with it!"

Was this because you wanted to play live? "Yeah, it's pretty dumb to lip-sync a song. I don't get off on that. We felt good about getting on the show though, and we were also really surprised, but it didn't

make me want to stick my tongue up the guy's ass!"

You're not the type of band we usually expect to see on 'TOTP'.

"That's what's so wild. When we released 'Epic' we thought it would do pretty well, but I can't believe From Out Of Nowhere' did so well because if you ask me it's a fairly straight-up song, a rock song. I hate it too. I mean I don't like that song at all!" Pardon?

"I just particularly hate that one, for many reasons. I hate the video too, because I messed up my hand when we were shooting it, so that ruined it for me. I actually like doing Chuck's songs more than the new ones, I'm so goddamned tired of them. It's only because I've been singing them every night.

Mike, it seems, is less of a Faith No More fan than the rest of us.

our fatigue or not, on stage Patton's a human ball of energy. and this energy

infects the crowd. As a result. Faith No More's gigs tend to be spirited, if not actually hazardous. Were the band aware of the great Astoria Barrier Collapse fiasco that happened when they played London ?

"I didn't know everyone was getting hurt, it just looked like fun so it kind of jazzed me more than anything. I wanted to keep on playing, but then I realised what was happening. Usually it's really wild, but not necessarily violent."

Fact fans might like to note that shortly after these fateful words, one of Record Mirror's own staff had her ankle broken at that night's gig. Faith No More, you owe us a secretary! The mayhem doesn't worry the band, though, Mike's even been known to indulge in a spot of stage-diving himself.

"The only thing that really pisses me off is that for some reason people won't toss me around any more. They just want to grab and hold, like my hair. anything. It happened one time and I went crazy and started hitting whoever I could reach."

Isn't that the price of success?

"It shouldn't make people act any differently. It is definitely different from the last time we were here, as far as walking around the streets goes. People want us to sign all their personal belongings, rather than just talking to us, which sucks. But I'm a big fan of a lot of things, and I'd freak out if I saw one of my idols walking down the street. Maybe I just deal with it wrong."

Are the band ever going to stop touring long enough to write their next album?

"Good question. I'd like to soon, I'm tired of this one. I don't really know how the guys work though, all of 'The Real Thing' was written before I joined and I just did the lyrics. They'd make a rehearsal tape and I'd listen to it over and over again until something came out. I'd usually end up really hating the song by that point, so a lot of the lyrics are hateful!"

Hateful, possibly. Interesting, certainly. By turns beautiful, ugly, inspiring and, of course, weird. But then, that's Faith No More all over.

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