Faith No More is an American rock band from San Francisco, California formed originally as Faith No Man in 1981 by bassist Billy Gould, keyboardist Wade Worthington, frontman Mike Patton and drummer Mike Bordin. A year later when Wade Worthington was replaced by keyboardist Roddy Bottum, and Mike Morris was ousted, the group began calling themselves Faith No More. After going through a series of singers which included Courtney Love, the band was joined by Chuck Mosley in 1983. The same year, Jim Martin was recruited to replace guitarist Mark Bowen. The band is best known for combining elements of heavy metal, funk, progressive rock, hip hop, hardcore punk, thrash metal, and jazz, among many others, and have been hailed as an influential rock band.
Faith No More underwent several line-up changes before releasing their first album, We Care a Lot, in 1985. Within a year the band signed up with Slash Records, and in 1987 their second album Introduce Yourself was released. Membership remained stable until vocalist Chuck Mosley was replaced by Mike Patton in 1988. In 1989, the band released their highly successful album, The Real Thing, which featured their breakthrough hit single "Epic". The band's next album, 1992's Angel Dust, was also highly successful and spawned the hit "Midlife Crisis", which became their sole #1 hit on the Modern Rock Tracks chart in their career. Faith No More declined in popularity after longtime guitarist Jim Martin left the group in 1994 and was replaced by Mr. Bungle guitarist Trey Spruance. After the release of their next album, 1995's King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime, Spruance was replaced briefly by Dean Menta, who would eventually be replaced by their current guitarist Jon Hudson. After releasing one more album, Album of the Year, in 1997, Faith No More broke up in April 1998, and all members began work on side projects since then.
On February 24, 2009, Faith No More announced that they would be reforming for a European tour with the same lineup before their break up. In June 2009, they performed together for the first time in eleven years at the Brixton Academy in London, England, as part of their The Second Coming Tour. The band has continued to perform at multiple live venues since.
Early years and We Care a Lot (1981?1986)
After quitting their former band Faith No Man (1981?1982), Billy Gould, Roddy Bottum and Mike Bordin formed Faith No More, a name suggested by a friend of Billy Gould's as "the Man" (referring to Mike "The Man" Morris, Faith No Man's singer) was "No More".
The band ended up playing with guitarist Mark Bowen for a brief period before he was replaced by Jim Martin. A number of singers were tried, including a six-month stint by Courtney Love, who was fired after only four gigs. Eventually, Chuck Mosley was hired as the band's vocalist. Their self-financed debut We Care a Lot came in 1985 on Mordam Records in the US, which led to a deal with Slash Records.
Introduce Yourself (1987?1988)
Introduce Yourself was released in 1987, and a revamped version of the single "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.
During this period, the band gained a reputation for serious infighting and friction. There were frequent rumours of physical confrontations between band members. Indeed, in a short history of the band in one issue, the British music newspaper Melody Maker observed that the band's internal relationships had descended into "pathological hatred". Bordin in particular seemed to be very much the "whipping boy" of the band and the butt of numerous cruel pranks and practical jokes.
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's long-over death metal days. Patton dropped out of Humboldt State University to join 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".
The music video for "Epic" received extensive airplay on MTV in 1990, despite provoking anger from animal rights activists for a slow motion shot of a fish flopping out of water. That same year, Faith No More gave memorable performances at the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards () and on the 293rd episode of Saturday Night Live ().
"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. Epic was released in 1989 and was a top 10 hit.
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."
In 1991, 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" and 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."
"A Small Victory" (1992)
30 second sample from Faith No More's "A Small Victory".
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 U.S., 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.
"Midlife Crisis" (1992)
30 second sample from Faith No More's "Midlife Crisis".
After touring to support Angel Dust in the summer of 1993, long-time guitarist Jim Martin exited the band due to internal conflicts. According to Roddy Bottum, Martin was fired via fax. "Bottum: ?Jim Martin had always been very conventional in what he wanted to do with the band, very much a fan of guitar music only and metal specifically. During the recording of ?Angel Dust? it became apparent to both him and us that we were heading in very different directions.? Martin himself states it was his decision to leave. Killing Joke guitarist Geordie Walker was reportedly offered to join FNM after Martin's departure, but declined to join. The position was filled by Mike Patton's Mr. Bungle bandmate Trey Spruance, who also left soon after recording 1995's King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime; 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... Fool for a Lifetime (1995?1996)
1995's King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime varies greatly from song to song in style; Post-punk, country, jazz, along with other signature FNM elements, are woven together seamlessly throughout the album, making KFAD...FFAL 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. However, this was significantly lower than sales of their previous albums, and the band accordingly decided to cut their world tour short by 4 months. 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 (1997?1998)
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 #2 and stayed in the chart for 5 months). In Australia, Album of the Year went to #1 and was certified Platinum. The album charted in many countries in Europe. To date Album of the Year has sold around 1.5 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 U.S. and UK).
Break-up and aftermath (1998?2008)
In early 1998 the new flaring of break-up rumors on the Internet 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 , 1998.
The band canceled their planned support tour for Aerosmith and on , 1998 Billy Gould began spreading the following by email and fax:
After 15 long and fruitful years, Faith No More have decided to put an end to speculation regarding their imminent break up... by breaking up. The decision among the members is mutual, and there will be no pointing of fingers, no naming of names, other than stating, for the record, that "Puffy started it". Furthermore, the split will now enable each member to pursue his individual project(s) unhindered. Lastly, and most importantly, the band would like to thank 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:
Mike Patton went on to form his own record label, Ipecac Recordings, and returned to work with his band Mr. Bungle (which he had been playing with before FNM). Later, he worked with producer Dan the Automator on various albums, including Lovage: Music to Make Love to Your Old Lady By. Other projects included collaborations with John Zorn, Bj?rk, Rahzel, Imani Coppola and The Dillinger Escape Plan. He has also been active fronting several groups, including Tomahawk, Fant?mas, and Peeping Tom. In 2007, he provided voice work for the 2K Games/Starbreeze Studios video game The Darkness and provided voice work for the Valve Corporation video games Portal and Left 4 Dead.
Keyboardist Roddy Bottum formed Imperial Teen in 1996.
Jim Martin has made guest appearances including Antipop by Primus, on Metallica's 1998 Garage Inc. playing with several other musicians on their cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Tuesday's Gone", as well as having released a solo album entitled Milk and Blood in 1996. He also appeared on Echobrain's self-titled debut album alongside former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted.
Mike Bordin regularly performs as a member of Ozzy Osbourne's band, as well as Black Sabbath, and performed with Korn for a tour when their drummer David Silveria had suffered a broken wrist. He played drums on Jerry Cantrell's album Degradation Trip.
Billy Gould was a member of Brujeria, as well as founder of Koolarrow Records, and has also overseen the releases of various Faith No More compilations. He also played bass on Fear Factory's 2005 album Transgression. In 1998, Billy Gould produced the album Vainajala (1998) by the Finnish rock band CMX, "Living Targets" by German band The Beatsteaks, "FUCC the INS", "Kultura Diktatura", "We Came To Take Your Jobs Away" by Kultur Shock. He also toured with the German band Harmful as guitar player, throughout Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and the Balkans in 2007. He produced their album 7, available on Koolarrow Records. He also played bass on a song of the Romanian metal band Coma on their 2007 album "Nerostitele". In June 2008, Billy played a two night show with Jello Biafra (vocals), Ralph Spight (guitar) and Jon Weiss (drums) in celebration of Jello's 50th birthday, and it currently recording a new album with this outfit.
When Mike Patton was questioned in 2008 by co-hosts of Fuse TV's Talking Metal On Fuse if a Faith No More reunion was a possibility, Patton responded "I highly doubt it", but also stated in a January 2008 interview with Artisan News that he "wouldn't rule it out", adding "I don't think we would need to reform the band, but maybe there's other things we could do together."
Main article: The Second Coming Tour
On February 18, 2009, it was announced that Jim Martin would not be participating in the rumored Faith No More reunion tour. On February 24, 2009, Faith No More announced they would reform with the Album of the Year era line-up. On March 2, 2009, it was confirmed that Faith No More would be headlining the Main Stage on June 12 at the Download Festival at Donington, England. They will also take part in the Highfield, Hurricane and Southside festivals in Germany. On March 24 it was announced that they will also headline the Greenfield Festival in Switzerland, as well as Hove Festival in Norway and Kaisaniemi Festival in Helsinki, Finland. They were also a headliner at Pukkelpop (August 20-22 in Hasselt, Belgium)
On April 22, 2009, it was briefly announced on their website that they will be playing Reading and Leeds festivals, before being taken down due to conflicting info regarding the confirmation of their appearance on the bill. On June 10, 2009, at their first show after their reunion they released new merchandise stating they were playing the festivals. They were then added to the bill on June 15, 2009, as headliners of the NME stage. On July 3, 2009 they played on Roskilde Festival. On August 8th 2009, the day Faith No More performed in Portugal at the Sudoeste festival registered the highest attendance of the whole festival. On the 14th of August they were headliners at the Spirit of Burgas Festival in Bulgaria. On August 12, 2009 they were on the stage for the first time at Kucukciftlik Park, Istanbul in Turkey.On August 16, 2009 they performed at the Sziget festival in Budapest and on August 20th they headlined the main stage at the Pukkelpop festival in Belgium. On the 25th Aug they played at the Edinburgh corn Exchange to a packed crowd for a superb setlist, their last show was in Scotland 17 years prior They will perform at the Rock En Seine festival on August 29th in Paris.
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, 2009. According to Killyourstereo.com, it is a possibility that Faith No More might be gearing up for a new studio album in the near future, although no release date has been set and it is unknown which label will handle it.
On August 13, 2009, it was announced that Faith No More would be headlining Australian Music Festival Soundwave 2010.
On August 28, 2009 they headlined the NME/Radio One tent at Reading Festival (and August 30th at Leeds Festival), playing a string of their old hits, such as 'Epic' and 'Midlife Crisis'. Also twice in the show they randomly broke into their version of the Eastenders theme tune, which received a great response from the festival goers. In September 2009, the band performed a sell-out concert, along with the Israeli rock band, Monotonix before large crowds at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds, Tel Aviv, Israel as part of the Heinneken Festival. On October 21, 2009 Billy Gould announced via Twitter that Faith No More was actively pursuing US concert dates.
Music in popular culture
"Midlife Crisis" has been used in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Tony Hawk's Underground 2, and "From out of Nowhere" was featured in EA Sports' Madden NFL 2005 and NHL 2005. "Epic" is featured in a trailer for Street Fighter IV, on the Burnout Paradise soundtrack, and is a playable track in Rock Band (as is "We Care a Lot" via download).
"Easy" was subsequently used in a commercial for Levi's in 2006. A portion of the chorus from "We Care a Lot" has been used as the theme song for the Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs. "Falling to Pieces" was featured in Ridley Scott's 2001 war movie Black Hawk Down, as background music while soldiers prepare for their mission. According to the Mark Bowden book upon which the film is based, when the soldiers were preparing for the actual 1993 mission, Guns N' Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle" was playing on the loudspeakers; however, Axl Rose refused to let the song be used in the film, so "Falling to Pieces" was used as a substitute. "We Care a Lot" was also included on the sound track to the 1997 John Cusack film Grosse Pointe Blank during a scene at the Grosse Pointe High School 10 year reunion of the class of 1986.
"Surprise, You're Dead" plays in the background in a scene from "Gremlins 2", when the gremlin with the spider legs chases the hero down the hall.
Faith No More collaborated with the Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. for the song "Another Body Murdered" on the 1993 Judgment Night soundtrack. In 1998, the Sparks album Plagiarism was released featuring two collaborations with Faith No More ("This Town Ain't Big Enough for the Both of Us" and "Something for the Girl with Everything"). They also have collaborations with German industrial metal band Rammstein on two occasions (both on b-sides).
Faith No More became underground, metal and alternative superstars and have also been covered on many occasions.
Helloween covered "From Out of Nowhere" on their covers album Metal Jukebox.
Apocalyptica covered "From Out of Nowhere" on Inquisition Symphony.
Raunchy included their cover of "From Out of Nowhere" as a bonus track on Velvet Noise Extended.
Catamenia covered "From Out of Nowhere" on VIII - The Time Unchained.
Between the Buried and Me covered "Malpractice" on The Anatomy Of.
The Automatic covered "Epic" for the Kerrang! High Voltage Album
Atreyu covered "Epic" in 2008, as a bonus track on Lead Sails Paper Anchor.
The band Ludo has also covered "Epic" during concerts.
Disturbed covered "Midlife Crisis" and the track was originally going to be put on a Faith No More tribute album, but it was eventually released on the internet instead. They also re-recorded the song as a B-side track to their album Indestructible, but it will instead be released on Covered, A Revolution in Sound.
Ill Ni?o, featuring vocals from Chino Moreno, covered "Zombie Eaters" on their The Under Cover Sessions EP.
Tub Ring covered "Mouth to Mouth" for their Book of Water album.
"Naked in Front of the Computer" was covered by Papa Roach as a bonus track on their album lovehatetragedy.
Machine Head covered "Jizzlobber" as part of an online vote on their official forum for a cover song to be recorded and released as a download only track.
The band has also been credited for influencing many of the nu metal bands of the '90s (such as Limp Bizkit, Korn, Linkin Park, Mushroomhead, Incubus, among others) primarily due to "Epic"'s popularity and other early material to feature rap and rock crossovers. Bands rising at their prime, such as Metallica, Alice in Chains, Anthrax and Guns N' Roses, have picked Faith No More as one of their favorite bands. They were voted #52 on VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock". July of 2009 saw "Epic" come in at #46 in Australian radio station Triple J's Hottest 100 Of All Time, as voted by the Australian public.
Main article: List of Faith No More concert tours
1982?1984: Early Days
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?2010: The Second Coming Tour
Main article: Faith No More band members
1988?1998, 2009?present: Mike Patton ? lead vocals
1981?1998, 2009?present: Billy Gould ? bass guitar
1981?1998, 2009?present: Mike Bordin ? drums and percussion
1981?1998, 2009?present: Roddy Bottum ? keyboards
1996?1998, 2009?present: Jon Hudson ? guitar