Faith No More

Faith No More

Faith No More performing in Portugal in 2009
Background information
Also known as
  • Faith No Man
  • Sharp Young Men
Origin San Francisco, California, United States
Associated acts
Past members List of Faith No More band members

Faith No More is an American rock band from San Francisco, California, formed in 1979.[1] Before settling on their current moniker in 1983, the band performed under the names Sharp Young Men[1] and later Faith No Man.[2] Bassist Billy Gould, keyboardist Roddy Bottum and drummer Mike Bordin are the longest remaining members of the band, having been involved with Faith No More since its inception. The band underwent several lineup changes early in their career, along with some major changes later on. The current lineup of Faith No More consists of Gould, Bottum, Bordin, guitarist Jon Hudson, and vocalist Mike Patton.

After releasing six studio albums, Faith No More officially announced their breakup on April 20, 1998. They have since reunited, embarked on The Second Coming Tour from 2009 to 2012, and released their seventh studio album, Sol Invictus, in May 2015.[3]


Early days (1979–1984)

Vocalist Chuck Mosley joined Faith No More in 1983, and during his five-year tenure with the band, he appeared on their first two studio albums.

Faith No More was originally formed as Sharp Young Men in 1979 by bassist Billy Gould, drummer Mike Bordin, vocalist Mike Morris, and keyboardist Wade Worthington. Mike Morris described the name as "a piss-take on all the ‘elegant’ 80s groups at the time."[4] Later on Morris proposed the name Faith In No Man but eventually the band settled on Bordin's suggestion Faith No Man (stylized as Faith. No Man).[4]

They recorded "Quiet in Heaven/Song of Liberty", released in 1983. The songs were recorded in Matt Wallace's parents' garage, where Wallace had set up and been running a recording studio while the band was still recording under the name Sharp Young Men,[5] with Mike Morris, Billy Gould, Mike Bordin and Wade Worthington. Worthington left shortly thereafter. They changed their name to Faith No Man for the release of the single, which featured two of the three songs recorded in Wallace's garage,[6] and hired Roddy Bottum to replace Worthington. Bottum, Gould and Bordin quit the band shortly after and formed Faith No More. They chose the name to accentuate the fact that "The Man" (Mike Morris) was "No More". They didn't have any constant guitarists or vocalists until they eventually settled on Chuck Mosley in 1983 and later Jim Martin.[7]

We Care a Lot and Introduce Yourself (1985–1988)

After the name change, the band initially started recording We Care a Lot without backing from a record label and, after pooling their money, recorded five songs. This gained the attention of Ruth Schwartz, who was then forming the independent label Mordam Records, under which the band, after getting the necessary financial support, finished and released the album. It was the first official release for both the band and the label.[8]

"Why Do You Bother" (1985)
30 second sample of the We Care a Lot song "Why Do You Bother".

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Introduce Yourself was released in 1987, and a revamped version of their debut album's title track "We Care a Lot" saw minor success on MTV. Mosley was fired in 1988 due to his erratic behavior during sessions and at shows, notably the release party for the album Introduce Yourself during which he fell asleep on stage.[9]

Mike Patton joins and The Real Thing (1989–1991)

Chuck Mosley was replaced with singer Mike Patton. Patton, who was singing with his high school band, Mr. Bungle, was recruited at Martin's suggestion after he heard a demo of Mr. Bungle.[10] Patton joined Faith No More, and in two weeks had written all the lyrics for the songs that would make up the Grammy award-nominated The Real Thing.[11]

"Epic" (1989)
30 second sample from Faith No More's "Epic".

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"Epic" was released in 1989 and was a top 10 hit. The music video for "Epic" received extensive airplay on MTV in 1990, despite anger from animal rights activists for a slow motion shot of a fish flopping out of water.[12][13] That same year, Faith No More performed at the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards (September 6) and on the 293rd episode of Saturday Night Live (December 1).

"From Out of Nowhere" and "Falling to Pieces" saw releases as singles, and a cover of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" was also produced for non-vinyl releases. In 1990, the band went on an extensive US tour, sending The Real Thing to Platinum status in Canada, the US, and South America. The album also had big sales numbers in Australia, UK, and the rest of Europe, pushing the total sales well above 4.0 million worldwide.

Vocalist Mike Patton joined Faith No More in 1988, replacing Chuck Mosley.

In February 1991, Faith No More released their only official live album, Live at the Brixton Academy. The album also included two previously unreleased studio tracks, "The Grade" and "The Cowboy Song". That same year, the band contributed a track for the motion picture soundtrack to Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey with the song "The Perfect Crime". Jim Martin also made a brief cameo in the film as "Sir James Martin" as the head of the "Faith No More Spiritual and Theological Center".

Angel Dust (1992–1994)

Faith No More displayed an even more experimental effort on their next album, Angel Dust. One critic writes that the album is "one of the more complex and simply confounding records ever released by a major label"[14] and another writes that the single "'A Small Victory', which seems to run Madame Butterfly through Metallica and Nile Rodgers (...) reveals a developing facility for combining unlikely elements into startlingly original concoctions."[15]

Aside from "A Small Victory" (which received a nomination for Best Art Direction at the MTV Video Music Awards), the tracks "Midlife Crisis" and "Everything's Ruined" were also released as singles. The album included a re-recording of the theme to the film Midnight Cowboy, and later pressings included a cover of The Commodores classic "Easy", which in some parts of the world became the band's biggest hit. Angel Dust, though not as successful as The Real Thing in the US, sold 665,000 copies there, and managed to outsell The Real Thing in many other countries. In Germany, the record was certified Gold for sales of more than 250,000 copies. The album also matched the sales of The Real Thing in Canada (Platinum), Australia (Gold), and surpassed it in the Netherlands, France, Russia, and the UK. Worldwide sales are around 3.1 million copies.

"Midlife Crisis" (1992)
30 second sample from Faith No More's "MidLife Crisis".

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After touring to support Angel Dust in the summer of 1993, long-time guitarist Jim Martin left the band due to internal conflicts. According to Roddy Bottum, Martin was fired via fax.[16] However, Martin himself states it was his decision to leave.[17] Both Godflesh guitarist Justin Broadrick and Killing Joke guitarist Geordie Walker were reportedly offered to join Faith No More after Martin's departure, but declined to join.[18] The position was filled by Mike Patton's bandmate from Mr. Bungle, Trey Spruance, who left soon after recording 1995's King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime and just before the band was to begin their world tour. Spruance was replaced by Dean Menta, the band's keyboard tech.

King for a Day..., Album of the Year and break-up (1995–1998)

1995's King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime varies greatly from song to song in style; post-hardcore/punk, country, jazz, bossa nova, thrash metal, gospel music, along with other signature FNM elements, are woven together seamlessly throughout the album, making it a favorite among loyal fans. Singles included "Digging the Grave", "Evidence", and "Ricochet". The album featured Mr. Bungle's Trey Spruance on guitar. The record went Gold in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands and Germany, which gave the album a respectable sales figure of around 1.5 million copies; this was significantly lower than sales of their previous albums. A 7 x 7-inch box set of singles was released, which included the B-sides and some interviews between the songs.

Album of the Year was released in 1997 and featured yet another new guitarist, Jon Hudson, who was a former roommate of Billy Gould. The album debuted much higher than expected in some countries (for example, in Germany, the album debuted at No. 2 and stayed in the chart for 5 months). In Australia, Album of the Year went to No. 1 and was certified Platinum. The album charted in many countries in Europe. To date, Album of the Year has sold around 2 million copies worldwide. The singles "Ashes to Ashes" and "Last Cup of Sorrow" had minimal success (notably, the music video for "Last Cup of Sorrow", which featured actress Jennifer Jason Leigh, was inspired by the Alfred Hitchcock film Vertigo). "Stripsearch" was released as a single in various countries (excluding the US and UK).

"Helpless" (1997)
30 second sample of the Album of the Year song "Helpless".

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In early 1998, rumors of Faith No More's imminent demise began. Starting with a rumor posted to the Faith No More newsgroup claiming Mike Patton had quit the band in favor of side projects, this rumor, although denied at the time, proved to be at least partly true. Faith No More played their last show in Lisbon, Portugal on April 7, 1998.[11] The band cancelled their planned support tour for Aerosmith and on April 20, Billy Gould released a statement by email and fax, saying "[T]he decision among the members is mutual" and "the split will now enable each member to pursue his individual project(s) unhindered." The band "thank[ed] all of those fans and associates that have stuck with and supported the band throughout its history." After the dissolution of Faith No More, the members went on to numerous different projects.

Reformation (2009–2012)

Rumours that Faith No More would reunite for shows in the UK in the summer of 2009 were circulating in late November 2008,[19] but were originally dismissed by bassist Billy Gould. He explained: "If anything like this were to happen, it would have to come from the band, and I haven't spoken with any of them in over a year. So as far as I know, there isn't anything to talk about, and I'm pretty sure that if you were to contact Patton, he would tell you the same thing."[20]

However, on February 24, 2009 after months of speculation and rumors, Faith No More announced they would be reforming with a line-up identical to the Album of the Year era,[21] embarking on a reunion tour called The Second Coming Tour. To coincide with the band's reunion tour, Rhino released the sixth Faith No More compilation, The Very Best Definitive Ultimate Greatest Hits Collection, a double album that includes their hit singles and b sides & rarities, in the UK on June 8.[22] Faith No More then played in major European festivals including, Download Festival in the UK in June, Hurricane and Southside festivals in Germany,[23] Greenfield Festival in Switzerland,[24] Hove Festival in Norway and Roskilde Festival in Denmark,[25] among other dates. The tour continued into 2010 with appearances at the Soundwave Festival in Australian cities throughout February and March.[26] During their tour, the band added covers to their repertoire including "Switch" by Siouxsie and the Banshees.[27]

After an eleven-month hiatus, Faith No More played four shows in South America in November 2011. On the first date (November 8, 2011), the band played a "mystery song," which led to speculation of new material.[28] They played Sonisphere France on July 7, 2012.[29]

Sol Invictus (2014–present)

"Black Friday" (2015)
30 second sample of the Sol Invictus song "Black Friday".

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On May 29, 2014, Faith No More posted a message (along with a photograph of Mike Patton) on their Twitter account, saying that "the reunion thing was fun, but now it's time to get a little creative." On July 4, Faith No More played their first show in two years at Hyde Park in London, supporting Black Sabbath.[30] At that show, Faith No More debuted two new songs "Motherfucker" and "Superhero" (also known by fans as "Leader of Men").[31][32] On August 20, the band posted "The Reunion Tour is over; in 2015 things are going to change." These tweets led to speculation that the band was working on new material.[33][34] On August 30, Gould said that the band is "considering doing something new", and may begin work on a new studio album at some point in the not-too-distant future, explaining, "to do something creative would be a really good thing to do."[35] On September 2, Bill Gould revealed to Rolling Stone that the band had begun work on a new album.[36][37] Faith No More headlined Australia's Soundwave in February and March 2015.[38] The band released their seventh studio album, Sol Invictus, in May 2015.[3] The songs on the album were influenced by The Cramps, Link Wray and Siouxsie and the Banshees.[39] Speaking to Revolver, Gould described the song "Cone of Shame" as "blues-based rock and roll". Describing the song "Matador", he said: "parts of it remind me of the first Siouxsie and the Banshees album. We used real pianos and that brings this organic quality to it to the music".[39] The second single from the album, "Superhero", was shared by the band on March 1, 2015.[40]

In a June 2016 interview, guitarist Jon Hudson stated that he has been "working on a few ideas" for the next Faith No More album, and added that "it's something that [he] wanted to focus on after the tour ended."[41][42][43]

Musical style and influences

While Faith No More's music is generally labeled as alternative metal,[44] experimental rock,[45][46] and funk metal.[47][48][49][50] As Faith No Man, their sound was described as post-punk.[51] The band's first single, "Quiet in Heaven/Song of Liberty", was a "solid post-punk/pre-goth single."[52] The band is well known for combining elements of heavy metal with funk, hip hop, progressive rock,[53] alternative rock, hardcore punk, polka, easy listening, jazz, samba,[54] ska,[55] bossa nova,[56] hard rock, pop,[57] soul,[58] gospel,[59] and lounge music.[60]

"Ugly in the Morning" (1995)
30 second sample of the King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime song "Ugly in the Morning". It is one of many Faith No More songs predominantly influenced by heavy metal.

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Faith No More's lyrics have been described as "bizarrely humorous". When interviewed about his lyrics, Patton responded, "I think that too many people think too much about my lyrics. I am more a person who works more with the sound of a word than with its meaning. Often I just choose the words because of the rhythm, not because of the meaning".[61]

Members of Faith No More have acknowledged certain bands as an influence early on, including: Killing Joke, PiL, and Theatre of Hate.[62]


Nirvana bassist, and co-founder, Krist Novoselic cited Faith No More as a band that "paved the way for Nirvana" in the late 1980s.[63]

Corey Taylor (frontman for both Slipknot and Stone Sour) told Loudwire in 2015 that if it wasn't for Faith No More, he "wouldn't be here today." While recovering from an attempted suicide at his grandmother's house, he saw the band perform "Epic" live on the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards and the performance inspired him to begin writing and performing music again.[64]

Bands rising at their prime, such as Metallica, Alice in Chains, Anthrax, and Guns N' Roses, have acknowledged Faith No More as one of their favorite bands.[65][66] In a 2015 article by Artistdirect, Duff McKagan, Chino Moreno, Serj Tankian, Corey Taylor, Max Cavalera and Jonathan Davis praised the band for their significance and influence.[67]

They were voted No. 52 on VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock".[68] The band is credited for inventing the alternative metal genre which began in the 1980s and that fuses metal with other genres, including alternative rock.[69] Tim Grierson of said the band "helped put alternative metal on the map."[70] Faith No More has also been credited for influencing nu metal bands, such as Limp Bizkit, Korn, and Sevendust,[71] primarily due to the popularity of "Epic", and other early material that featured rap and rock crossovers.

Concert tours


Current line-up

Awards and nominations

Grammy Awards
MTV Video Music Awards


Studio albums

See also


  1. 1 2 "10 Greatest Lefties in Hard Rock + Heavy Metal". VH1 News. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  2. "Faith No Man | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-05-18.
  3. 1 2 "Facebook". Retrieved 2015-05-19.
  4. 1 2 Morris, Mike. "Faith No Man bio by Mike Morris". Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  5. Chirazi 1994, p. 22
  6. Agatha Samborska. "Faith No More Frequently Answered Questions". Retrieved November 5, 2011.
  7. Chirazi 1994, pp. 21–23
  8. Aswad, Jem (June 1992). "Faith No More: Angel Dust in the wind". Issue 25. Reflex Magazine. Retrieved 2008-06-15.
  9. "Faith No More BIOGRAPHY". Retrieved November 5, 2011.
  10. Cee, Gary (November 30, 1990). "Faith No More: Inside the insatiable Mike Patton". Circus Magazine (#369): 62–64. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
  11. 1 2 "Faith No More Biography". Faith No More Official Site. Retrieved 2007-05-05.
  12. "Inventory: 9 Music Videos Featuring Animals In Prominent Roles". A.V. Club. 9 April 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-05-17. Retrieved 2007-06-04.
  13. Lowell, Travis (20 June 2001). "Faith No More: The Real Thing Review". Toxic Universe. Retrieved 2007-06-04.
  14. Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Faith No More Biography". allmusic. Retrieved 2007-06-04.
  15. Robbins, Ira. "Faith No More Biography". Trouser Press. Retrieved 2007-06-04.
  16. "Story Behind The Album: Faith No More". 2009-03-13. Archived from the original on 2010-12-10. Retrieved 2010-11-15.
  17. Garry Sharpe-Young (2007). Metal: The Definitive Guide. London, England: Jawbone Press. p. 483. ISBN 1-906002-01-0.
  18. Archived January 10, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  19. "Faith No More Reunion In The Works?". 2008-11-29. Retrieved 2015-05-19.
  20. "Faith No More Not Reuniting | Music News". Retrieved 2015-05-19.
  21. Archived March 25, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  22. "Faith No More: 'The Very Best' Greatest-Hits Collection Due In June". Retrieved 2010-11-15.
  23. "Hurricane Festival in Scheeßel - Bands, Tickets, alle Infos zum Hurricane - Hurricane Festival". 2015-04-30. Retrieved 2015-05-19.
  24. "Greenfield Festival: Intro". 2015-05-13. Retrieved 2015-05-19.
  25. "Faith No More Confirmed For Denmark's Roskilde Festival". 2009-04-30. Archived from the original on 2009-05-04. Retrieved 2015-05-19.
  26. "Faith No More, Jane's Addiction, Him Confirmed For Australia's Soundwave Festival". 2009-08-13. Retrieved 2015-05-19.
  27. "Faith No More - Switch and Stripsearch Live Melbourne 25/02/2010". Retrieved 2015-05-19.
  28. "Faith No More Performs Mystery Song In Argentina (Video)". 2011-11-09. Archived from the original on 2011-12-14. Retrieved 2015-05-19.
  29. "NME News Black Sabbath to headline Barclaycard British Summer Time". 2014-03-30. Retrieved 2015-05-19.
  30. "Faith No More Debuts New Music At London's Hyde Park; Video Available". 2014-07-04. Retrieved 2014-07-04.
  31. "Faith No More Perform Two New Songs in Concert". 2014-07-06. Retrieved 2014-07-06.
  32. "Is Faith No More Gearing Up For A New Album?". 2014-05-30. Retrieved 2014-05-30.
  33. "Official Faith No More Twitter feed".
  34. "Faith No More Is 'Considering Doing Something New,' Says Bassist Billy Gould". 2014-08-31. Retrieved 2014-09-02.
  35. "Faith No More to Release First Album in 18 Years, Plot U.S. Tour". 2014-09-02. Retrieved 2014-09-02.
  36. "It's Official: Faith No More Begins Recording First Studio Album". 2014-09-02. Retrieved 2014-09-02.
  37. "Slipknot, Faith No More, Judas Priest, Soundgarden Confirmed For Australia's Soundwave". 2014-08-20. Retrieved 2014-08-23.
  38. 1 2 Wiederhorn, Jon (4 November 2014). "Interview: Faith No More Give Update from the Studio". Revpmver. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  39. Coughlan, Jamie. "Faith No More Share "Superhero"". Overblown.
  40. "Faith No More's Jon Hudson: 'I'm Working On A Few Ideas Right Now'". June 13, 2016. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  41. "Faith No More's Jon Hudson working on fresh material". June 13, 2016. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  42. "Major Update On Faith No More's Next Album". June 14, 2016. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  43. "Page 9 of Faith No More: How Rock's Most Contrarian Band Made Up and Came Back - Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  44. "New Music: Hear Faith No More's Brand New Single "Superhero"". Rolling Stone India. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  45. "Faith No More preview new album at Soundwave". Rockhampton Morning Bulletin. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  46. Darzin, Daina; Spencer, Lauren (January 1991). "The Thrash-Funk scene proudly presents Primus, along with a host of others. Go for the funk, don't get your dreds stomped in the metal mosh pit.". Spin. 6 (10): 39. ISSN 0886-3032.
  47. Rotondi, James (July 2000). "Sacramento Kings – the deftones rule". CMJ New Music Monthly (83): 46. ISSN 1074-6978.
  48. Bogdanov, Vladimir; Woodstra, Chris; Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2001). All Music Guide: The Definitive Guide to Popular Music. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 145. ISBN 9780879306274.
  49. Wurtzel, Elizabeth (September 3, 1990). "Sounds: The Rap of the New". New York Magazine. 23 (34): 46. ISSN 0028-7369.
  50. Blush, Steven (August 1990). "Obscure No More". Spin. Vol. 6 no. 5. p. 16. ISSN 0886-3032.
  51. Torreano, Bradley. "Song of Liberty/All Quiet in Heaven – Overview". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-04-23.
  52. Thomas, Stephen. "Faith No More Biography on Yahoo! Music". Retrieved 2010-11-15. With their fusion of heavy metal, funk, hip-hop, and progressive rock, Faith No More has earned a substantial cult following.
  53. Neil Strauss (April 23, 1998). "The Pop Life; Horde Festival Offers a Surprise". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-03-18. Faith No More, the 15-year-old San Francisco rock band known for its energetic mix of punk, jazz, heavy metal, alternative rock, samba, polka and easy-listening, has broken up.
  55. Agatha Samborska (ed.). "Faith No More Frequently Asked Questions". Retrieved 2011-12-24.
  56. Greg Prato. "Album of the Year review". Retrieved 2011-03-14. Outstanding tracks blend hard rock and pop melodicism the way only FNM can. Album of the Year was a fitting way for one of alternative rock's most influential and important bands to end its career.
  57. "Evidence is the quiet moment, a piece of easy listening and soul masterfully played (Translated from Spanish)". June 15, 2009. Retrieved 2011-12-24.
  58. Greg Prato. "King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime – Faith No More". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-12-24.
  59. Ned Raggett. "The Real Thing - Faith No More | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-05-19.
  60. Samborska, Agatha (ed.). "Faith No More Frequently Answered Questions". Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  61. "Zildjian Artists|Mike Bordin Artist Page". Retrieved 2015-05-19.
  62. Published Wednesday, Mar 11 2009, 2:50pm EDT (2009-03-11). "Novoselic: 'FNM paved way for Nirvana' – Music News". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
  63. "Corey Taylor - Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction? (Part 1)".
  64. "Interview with Scott Ian (Anthrax)". Retrieved 2015-05-19.
  65. "SKY magazine December 1992". 2001-07-13. Retrieved 2015-05-19.
  66. "Faith No More Get Praise from Deftones, Slipknot, System of a Down and More @ARTISTdirect". Retrieved 2015-05-19.
  67. "100 greatest artists of hard rock (60–41)". VH1. Retrieved 2008-07-09.
  68. Garry Sharpe-Young (2007). Metal: The Definitive Guide. London, England: Jawbone Press. p. 482. ISBN 1-906002-01-0.
  69. "Mike Patton Doesn't See a Future for Faith No More". Retrieved 2013-07-02.
  70. Essi Berelian (2005), The Rough Guide to Heavy Metal, p. 259, "Faith No More must be counted among the pioneers [of nu metal]"


  • Chirazi, Steffan (1994). Faith No More: The Real Story. Penguin USA. ISBN 1-8981411-5-0.
  • Prato, Greg (2013). The Faith No More & Mr. Bungle Companion. Createspace. ISBN 1-4936966-6-1.

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