Three Years Since We Lost Chuck Mosley
The unique, genuine and talented Charles Henry Mosley III was taken from us on November 9th 2017. Three years without him.
I was lucky enough to call Chuck a friend. We spoke on many occasions for interviews (see below) and when we finally met in person, on October 5th 2016 in a small underground club in Bradford, it was like we had been pals forever. That was one of Chuck's most endearing qualities - despite your own ideas of being in the presence of an icon he was always down to earth and... cool! He lives on in the hearts of fans and, I miss him.
Here are some of my favourite interviews we have conducted with Chuck.
Introduce Yourself 30th Anniversary
Introduce Yourself was released 30 years ago! When was the last time you listened to the record? If recently how does it sound to you now?
Listened to IY last year. Sounds really good. Still not like anything else, not even that 90’s rapping over rock stuff. All of which I do not hate, by the way. I’m afraid I’m a bit too out of touch as far as today’s “radio rock” is concerned. I don’t even know what that is anymore, or if it even exists.
How do remember the recording sessions for the album?
90% normal. The usual with a couple of hiccups that tend to accompany any marriage.
According to The Real Story, Matt Wallace was in your case during the recording of the album. Breathing exercises and jogging! Do you remember this?
HA, HA. No jogging. Maybe some breathing. Everyone was on my case. I was kind of a crabby person at the time. Everyone acted accordingly. When a young band starts to get major attention, money thrown, not at them, but in their direction.
Matt, however, was a true motivator. Yes, I write the majority of my lyrics on the spot. Matt used this and all of my vocal shortcomings in a way that I can’t describe. He understands me and got the best out of me when we did that. Not his skills, only, but his attitude and his approach make him one of my all time favorite producers.
It's hard to believe you wrote lyrics in the studio when there are so many poetic and memorable lines on the album.
Thanks for the compliment. Mostly I write lyrics on the spot. Like I said, they just seem to come out better that way for me, as opposed to writing them out ahead of time. It’s kind of like surfing. I tend to let my phrasing ride the beats and melodies, the words just come out. The ones that I don’t make up. That’s why shit may have a meaning for people who hear it. I usually don’t know what they’re about until much further down the road, save for the occasional spurts of emotion.
The spoken lyrics at the beginning of Death March have become somewhat legendary. Where did they originate? And who is Scott Colbertson?
The “spoken lyrics” you refer to came from the streets of L.A. Let’s just say me and the Southern California Public Transportation System had a hate/hate relationship for quite a few years.
I remember the name Scott C., no offense to him, but I can’t place his name or face or his station in life in relation to mine. Like I said, the 80’s are a blissful, raucous filled, non-stop, hedonistic blur, ha ha…with major heartbreak thrown in for good measure!
The Crab Song is pretty emotional. Could you tell us a little about where they came from?
Like I said, just previously, major heartbreak…sorry man, this one’s just too hot to touch, too personal to approach, and after all this time, the story’s subject is the only one who knows what or who it’s truly about. I’ll tell you personally, next time I see you, perhaps! Besides, that book is still open!
What music were you listening to in 1986/7?
How the fuck do I know? The 80’s are a blur…OG rap, Bowie, punk, OG style post punk, all the same shit I've listened to growing up. Celebrity Skin is the only current band I remember loving at that point! Although packed with fond memories, those years didn’t yield my favorite music.
Are there any songs on the record you are particularly proud of?
All of ‘em! Mostly Crab Song, Chinese Arithmetic, Faster Disco, Death March, Spirit. Like I said, ALL! Some are just more personal than others.
You went on to tour the record with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. (Before Anthony Kiedes had any issues with FNM). Any stories you can share?
I didn’t know Anthony had issues about FNM. I guess, living in Cleveland, I’m somewhat out of the rock gossip group, but, if true, it must be related to an era when I was not in the band, cause we are all cool and I fucking loved Hillel and miss him to this day. But, yeah, I've seen them out here and we were all still good. It’s been a minute, but I've never said or did anything to offend any of them.
If you were to re-write the lyrics to We Care A Lot today what issues would you include?
You mean a 4th version?! ‘Cause I know you know that Vanduls Ugenst Alliderasy did a third version on, “Will Rap Over Hard Rock For Food”, complete with updated lyrics.
If we did a 4th version it would go something like this: Donald trumps a lying, law breaking, tax evading, constitution ignoring, spoiled, sociopathic, psychopathic, misogynistic, lying ass son of a motherfucking useless pile of shit, so unfortunately placed by our sheer stupidity and ignorance, in charge of what I no longer consider, my country, and he’s gonna kill us all, WE CARE A LOT!
Chuck Mosley Reintroduce Yourself Interview
How's the tour coming together?
It's coming together good. Y' know the States is a fucked up place to tour anymore, has been for a while. Everybody's cheating, nobody cares. But this time around people do care and when we decided to do this and started booking it, it came together really fast. We're not trying to grab for like months at a time anymore especially out here, we came up with the idea to go out for two weeks at a time and then come home for two weeks, then back out to a different area. It's a drag to stay out for months at a time y'know.
Where are you looking forward to performing in the States the most?
England and Europe! [laughs] I haven't been out there in a long time and I can't wait. No offence to America, it's not the fans, or the kids, it's just the distances between shows. I am actually looking forward to going to the North West and the East coast, and I'm gonna go home to L.A on one of the legs. I haven't been home properly since my dad died, it's been like 10 years something like that. I went out and played a couple of songs with Faith No More in San Francisco around 2010, so I returned to L.A for 24 hours.
It's six years since those shows next week.
Oh wow, imagine that what a coincidence. That makes me realise how old I'm getting.
What attracts you to the UK?
I've always been a groupie of England and Europe, but the people are really nice. When you go to London it's kinda like L.A or New York, but I like it up North and Scotland. I just like the people a lot....I love the fucking beer. I'm really a history kinda freak, from the middle ages to World War 2 all that stuff. I just love it out there.
Plenty of sightseeing planned then?
Yeah hopefully I'm gonna take it all in. When you're young and touring around, even the second or third time, you're thinking about how much you drank last night and what girl was cute all that kinda crap. And your looking out the window but you're not seeing. I guess the one thing about being older is that I will be taking it in a lot more.
What Kind of set list can we expect?
Do you guys know it's an acoustic tour? I keep getting messages asking me to play this song and that song, by Faith No More, VUA and Cement. Basically any acoustic songs that are on there and a couple of covers. I'm working out a couple of Faith No More songs and there is one Bad Brains song we wrote when I was together with them and I don't think the band ever play it. But I do wanna keep as acoustic as possible, I might break out a keyboard I'm not sure. We're just now getting together for the first time today. I gotta start working on stuff, we got like a month to get ready. It's pretty exciting man, I've done this one time before when I was opening up for my friends Celebrity Skin, but I'm pretty nervous. There might be like five people at a show or whatever but I'll be putting my all into it. This is kind of a warm up for VUA to come out on the next time around.
You played with Faith No More last year how was that?
I went up and blew out one of the hardest songs they asked me to sing, I wasn't real warmed up and I get nervous. I always get nervous, every single show I've played I've been nervous. That was even more nerve wracking because it's been a long time since I played with those guys. But it was fun, it's always fun.
It was really cool to see you and Roddy in a photo together.
Yeah through all the bullshit right after they fired me Roddy and I were never not friends, we've always been really close and always talked. With Billy and Mike there was a rough patch but that's long passed and it's all cool again.
Demos For Sale is out on CD and LP very soon, when can we expect new material?
Really soon. We're going into the studio right now to work on some stuff which might not be an LP, might be and EP. I'm doing some stuff with Indoria. And I got a couple of brand new acoustic songs, so we're gonna start recording those. I just don't know exactly when I'll get around to it. And then VUA are working on brand new stuff too. So hopefully something really soon and something some time next year.
How long will you be out on tour?
We're gonna keep on going with the tour as long as we can. If we are having fun doing this we wanna just keep on going. I can't wait to come out and see everybody I'm really excited about that. We will also hopefully hit South America, Italy, Germany.