Faith No More
|Faith No More|
Faith No More performing in Portugal in 2009
|Also known as||
|Origin||San Francisco, California, United States|
|Past members||List of Faith No More band members|
Faith No More is an American rock band from San Francisco, California, formed in 1979. Before settling on their current moniker in 1983, the band performed under the names Sharp Young Men and later Faith No Man. 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.
Early days (1979–1984)
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." 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).
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, 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, 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.
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.
"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.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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" 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."
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. However, Martin himself states it was his decision to leave. 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. 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).
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 alt.music.faith-no-more 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. 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.
Rumours that Faith No More would reunite for shows in the UK in the summer of 2009 were circulating in late November 2008, 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."
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, 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. Faith No More then played in major European festivals including, Download Festival in the UK in June, Hurricane and Southside festivals in Germany, Greenfield Festival in Switzerland, Hove Festival in Norway and Roskilde Festival in Denmark, among other dates. The tour continued into 2010 with appearances at the Soundwave Festival in Australian cities throughout February and March. During their tour, the band added covers to their repertoire including "Switch" by Siouxsie and the Banshees.
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. They played Sonisphere France on July 7, 2012.
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. At that show, Faith No More debuted two new songs "Motherfucker" and "Superhero" (also known by fans as "Leader of Men"). 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. 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." On September 2, Bill Gould revealed to Rolling Stone that the band had begun work on a new album. Faith No More headlined Australia's Soundwave in February and March 2015. The band released their seventh studio album, Sol Invictus, in May 2015. The songs on the album were influenced by The Cramps, Link Wray and Siouxsie and the Banshees. 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". The second single from the album, "Superhero", was shared by the band on March 1, 2015.
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."
Musical style and influences
While Faith No More's music is generally labeled as alternative metal, experimental rock, and funk metal. As Faith No Man, their sound was described as post-punk. The band's first single, "Quiet in Heaven/Song of Liberty", was a "solid post-punk/pre-goth single." The band is well known for combining elements of heavy metal with funk, hip hop, progressive rock, alternative rock, hardcore punk, polka, easy listening, jazz, samba, ska, bossa nova, hard rock, pop, soul, gospel, and lounge music.
"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".
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.
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. 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.
They were voted No. 52 on VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock". 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. Tim Grierson of About.com said the band "helped put alternative metal on the map." Faith No More has also been credited for influencing nu metal bands, such as Limp Bizkit, Korn, and Sevendust, primarily due to the popularity of "Epic", and other early material that featured rap and rock crossovers.
- 1979–1984: Early shows
- 1985–1986: We Care a Lot Tour
- 1987–1988: Introduce Yourself Tour
- 1989–1991: The Real Thing Tour
- 1992–1993: Angel Dust Tour
- 1995: King for a Day Tour
- 1997–1998: Album of the Year Tour
- 2009–2012: The Second Coming Tour
- 2015: Soundwave Tour
- 2015: Sol Invictus Tour
- Current line-up
- Mike Bordin – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1981–1998; 2009–present)
- Billy Gould – bass, backing vocals (1981–1998; 2009–present)
- Roddy Bottum – keyboard, backing vocals (1981–1998; 2009–present)
- Mike Patton – lead vocals (1988–1998; 2009–present)
- Jon Hudson – guitar, backing vocals (1996–1998; 2009–present)
Awards and nominations
- 1993 – Nominated for category Best Hard Rock Performance for "Angel Dust"
- 1991 – Nominated for category Best Hard Rock Performance for "Epic"
- 1990 – Nominated for category Best Metal Performance for "The Real Thing"
- 1993 – Nominated for category Best Art Direction in a Video for "A Small Victory"
- 1991 – Winner of category Best Visual Effects in a Video for "Falling to Pieces"
- 1991 – Nominated for category Best Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Video for "Falling to Pieces"
- 1991 – Nominated for category Best Art Direction in a Video for "Falling to Pieces"
- 1990 – Nominated for category Best Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Video for "Epic"
- Studio albums
- We Care a Lot (1985)
- Introduce Yourself (1987)
- The Real Thing (1989)
- Angel Dust (1992)
- King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime (1995)
- Album of the Year (1997)
- Sol Invictus (2015)
- List of bands from the San Francisco Bay Area
- List of alternative metal artists
- List of funk rock bands
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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.
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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.
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