top of page
  • Writer's pictureFaith No More Followers

Rock Power | June 1991 | Issue 1

Faith Under Pressure

Jim Stevens

After years of struggle, Faith No More have finally started to receive the acclaim they deserve. Off tour at last, Jim Stevens caught up with keyboardist Roddy Bottum to find out where they go from here…

There has hardly been time for Faith No More to draw breath since the mega-tour of The Real Thing', which has kept them away from home for nearly two years now. After appearing at the Rock In Rio festival, the band have finally hung up their flight cases, for a while at least, and are now back in San Francisco. Which is where I catch up with Roddy Bottum, sitting in a time-warped café offering a bewildering variety of lentil dishes.

Despite the ambience of the surroundings, it seems that Faith No More are not about to rest on their laurels, as Roddy tells me.

"Right now we're busy writing great songs! It's kinda weird, we haven't written anything for a real long time, but it's a complete luxury after the last year and a half or so of constant touring. We never really have time to write while we're out on the road, you'd think we would, but we're pretty lazy. We don't do things unless we really have to.

"We've just finished a track for a movie 'Bill And Ted Go To Hell', which is the follow-up to 'Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure'. Jim our guitarist is in it, playing the part of a guitarist for these guys in a band (That must be a difficult role for him! - Ed).

"We should be going into the studio soon to start the album, but I don't know when for sure. We have a place over in Oakland, where Billy (Gould, bass-player) and the drummer and I have been writing stuff. Jim the guitarist has just got back from Scotland - he loves it over there."

Do you have set ways of working out material for songs?

"It's usually like this. Me, the bass-player and drummer get together first. It's fun, we have computers now, so we're working on them. I'll sample the drum beats and go home and play with them. Soon we'll be able to write songs without even seeing each other, just send the stuff through the modems."

They are going to stick to the winning formula of 'The Real Thing' by using the same producer Matt Wallace. Since the success of the last album, are they planning to change direction, or do anything wildly different?

"Hopefully! There's one country and western ballad that sounds really different."

Onto the subject of the Rock In Rio festival. Did all go well, or were there the usual horror stories that abound from the area?

"It was a blast. We did get warned not to wear any jewelry, go out alone or carry money with you. I put on all my jewelry, put all my money in my pocket, put on white clothes and went straight into the nastiest section of town that I could find. Just to go, 'Ya ha, it's not so bad'.

"Apparently it is really bad, a really high homicide rate, there are even papers there like The National Enquirer, that all they write about are murders, murders of the day, with colour, graphic pictures of a couple who were stabbed.. it's insane."

There was a rumour that one of George Michael's crew stayed out sunbathing by himself, and ended up with one kidney less!

"I heard a similar story," says Roddy. "Had a kidney removed, because someone wanted his kidney? Isn't that insane? People were always warning us, but I didn't see anything like that.

"When we first got there we were walking about pretty easily, but there were huge amounts of little Brazilian kids who were overwhelmed by the idea of American bands coming over, and anyone with long hair they'd just mob. There were two hundred to five hundred kids outside the hotel twenty-four hours a day. I was hanging out with Mike our singer a lot, and it's really hard for him, he can't go anywhere without security. We tried it once, and it was the most intense thing I've seen. We couldn't go anywhere without a bunch of kids running after him and grabbing him."

What's happening with Mike Patton's other band, Mr. Bungle?

Does it run parallel with what he does with you in Faith No More?

"Yeah, he's just recorded with them, they're gonna put out a record. I think they've got a deal with Warners, our record company.

I think that's all he can do, he can't go anywhere else, he's pretty much tied."

Is there anywhere that you'd like to tour that you haven't yet?

"I'd like to do a thorough tour of South America, and go to untypical places that other bands don't get to, like Africa and the Soviet Union. We went over into Eastern Germany to visit, but didn't play. Hawaii too, we've never been there either, although it's not far."

I would have thought you'd be sick to death of touring, after being out on the road for such a long period.

"By the end of last year and a half of touring we all hated it a lot. It was much longer than we had anticipated. We probably would have stopped, but the record started doing so well that we had no choice, but to continue. We saw a lot of good places though, and some we went back to maybe four or five times."

At this juncture Roddy finally comments on the couple at a nearby table who've been licking each others tonsils for the last hour “I see those two are still at it. They must be high on drugs, acid or some-thing. That's San Francisco for you!"

Having completely lost the thread of the interview, Roddy stops playing voyeur to comment on the fortunes of British techno pop supremo types, Jesus Jones.

"I like them. America have really picked up on them now. I think it's just getting the right people interested. Like our record company here have finally got interested in us."

As surely everybody has done now. After years of struggle, Faith No More are finally and deservedly enormous. Of course success has brought its own problems, but overall, it's a lot easier to struggle with money than without it. And it couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch.

20 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page