Faith No More

  • Alternative metal rock band formed in 1979 from San Francisco California. Members during their most successful period in the late 80s and early 90s were Mike Patton (vocals), Jim Martin (lead guitar, backing vocals), Bill Gould (bass guitar, lead guitar, backing vocals), Mike Bordin (drums, backing vocals), and Roddy Bottum (keyboards, rhythm guitar, backing vocals). Several guitarists replaced Martin, starting in 1993 – Jon Hudson joined in 1996, and has remained with the band ever since. Patton has been the primary lyricist since he joined in 1988, and the entire band contributes to songwriting.
  • Gould and Bordin, along with vocalist Mike Morris and keyboardist Wade Worthington, formed the band, calling themselves Sharp Young Men. After performing several shows, they decided to change their name, figuring that Sharp Young Men didn’t project their image well. Bordin suggested Faith No Man. They recorded a couple of songs in the basement of a house, and in 1983 a punk rock double A-side single was released – Quiet In Heaven/Song of Liberty. Worthington soon quit, and Bottum was chosen to replace him. Bottum, Gould and Bordin decided to leave, and they formed Faith No More – the name highlighted the fact that Morris was “no more” in the band. They employed several vocalists and guitarists, with Jim Martin joining in 1983 and Chuck Mosley taking over vocals in 1984.
  • This line-up began recording an album without a record deal. After 5 songs were recorded, an independent record label discovered them, and the album was completed. We Care A Lot was released in 1985, and with little money or promotion, it did not chart. They signed with a larger record label, and their second album, Introduce Yourself, was released in 1987. The song We Care A Lot was re-recorded for this second album, and it managed to chart in the UK and New Zealand, but the band still lacked success. Meanwhile, Mosley behavior on stage became erratic and he was fired from the band in 1988. He was replaced by Mike Patton, who was recruited by Martin after Martin heard a demo from Patton’s previous group, Mr. Bungle.
  • Two weeks after joining Faith No More, Patton had written the lyrics to all of the songs for the band’s next album. In 1989, The Real Thing was released, and the band had their breakthrough, thanks to the second single from the album, Epic. The metal song peaked at #9 on the Hot 100 and it reached #1 in Australia. The album eventually was certified platinum after an extensive tour and performances of Epic at the MTV Video Music Awards and on SNL. The band received 2 Grammy award nominations for the record. Another single from the album, Falling to Pieces, won an MTV Video Music Award for Best Visual Effects.
  • Their next release was 1992’s Angel Dust. The single Midlife Crisis reached #1 on Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart, and A Small Victory peaked at #11 on the same chart. After the tour to support the album, Martin quit the band, complaining about the direction the group’s music was going. He was replaced by Trey Spruance, who performed on their next album, King For a Day…Fool For a Lifetime, released in 1995. The album incorporated many different styles – in addition to their usual alternative metal sound, you can hear gospel, jazz and country interspersed in the songs. The album was more popular internationally than in the U.S., particularly in Australia and New Zealand, where they’ve always had a strong following.
  • 1997’s Album of the Year was their next release, with new guitarist Jon Hudson. Again it performed well in International markets. The members of the band began to show interest in side projects, and the following year, they went on hiatus, stating that if they had stayed together, the music would have been very bad.
  • They remained apart until 2009, when they performed a reunion tour, using the same lineup as the one in 1997. They continued with tours, and in 2015, they released their first album of original music in 18 years – Sol Invictus. It was well received by fans and critics – Rolling Stone ranked it the second-best metal album of the year. They have not performed since 2015, but there are whispers of additional music coming – stay tuned!
  • Here’s the video to their breakthrough hit, Epic. In its day, this was a very new sound – alternative metal was just getting legs. Grunge took it to the masses – Nirvana acknowledged that they were influenced by Faith No More. Do you hear a little Nirvana in Epic?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.