8 June 2015

FAITH NO MORE | ANGEL DUST 23



The fourth FAITH NO MORE album ANGEL DUST celebrates it's 23rd anniversary today.





Here are a selection of reviews (previously unavailable online) for your reading pleasure.


Reviews

Q Magazine | June 1992 | Peter Kane

Nobody could accuse Faith No More of having had an easy ride. Formed as long ago as 1982, the San Francisco quintet were going precisely nowhere for a good five years until the caustic, lurching attack of We Care A Lot began to attract attention, especially in Europe. Everybody agreed they sounded pretty damned heavy without quite deciding on a convenient pigeon hole. Funk metal? 
That'll do, even if it's now a little wide of the mark. But just when fortune seemed finally set to rise, out went charismatic vocalist Chuck Mosley, and in stepped a brattish, all Californian boy called Mike Patton. It could have been back to square one. Instead the decision was vindicated by 1989's The Real Thing, an album of unnerving power that eventually went on to sell by the million, thanks initially to word of mouth before the band's endless capacity for covering the globe and the two gargantuan singles, Epic and From Out Of Nowhere, took over. Angel Dust is just that bit bigger and better than what they've managed before. 
A lot of water has flowed under the bridge in the last three years -not least the coming of Nirvana-but as Metallica have more than proved, there's still bags of room at the top for exponents of machine drilled fusillades of bulking great noise. If that alone is the yardstick. Faith No More need have no fears.
Caffeine and Smaller And Smaller offer the most obvious homage to those masters of the mega dirge  and thrash, while Malpractice leans more to hardcore slaughter. Elsewhere, though they stalk a terrain that is now recognisably their own. The thunderous chords, looping bass and psychotic keyboards of land Of Sunshine, Kindergarten and Midlife Crisis have Fatten babbling away persuasively, almost against the momentum of the songs. The lyrical niceties may be buried in the sheer density of the mix but this hardly matters as the Juggernaut rolls impressively on. 
Patton, in fact, earns his keep throughout, whether it's the crunchy rapping of Be Aggressive, the straighter delivery required on Everything's Ruined and Small Victory or even an unlikely Tom Waits bar-stool mumble on something called RV. Of the 13 tracks on offer, only Crack Hitler fails to really gel, leaving the wistful theme from Midnight Cowboy to sign off the set in perhaps the most incongruous way imaginable, especially after the extra strengthen Jizzlobber has gone about its bludgeoning business. If Faith No More were once one of those bands to be cared for more in principle than in the cold light of day, Angel Dust finally lays that ghost to rest. This is tightly constructed noise on the grand scale that bellies its simple metal calling. It's loud, it's aggressive and, like any rock record worth its salt, it excites at the most 
instinctive level. Their time has surely come.



Melody Maker | June 1992 | Simon Reynolds

NEVER liked them, and still don't "like" them, if you know what I mean. Faith No More's dominant emotion seems to be sarcasm, a sardonic, gloating reveling in the shiny side of life. They're retards, nasty little boys probing a finger in the gooey innards of reality, driven by a sort of gynecological nihilism. Like all adolescent nihilists, they project their feelings of
worthlessness and self-loathing outwards, onto the world. But "Epic" was undeniable- pop Nietzche, the latest take on the "we want the world and we want it now/ don't know what I want but I know how to get it" rock tradition of impossible demands and limitless desire. 
The video for "Epic", with its Darwinesque life/death struggle imagery suggested that a corrosive intelligence was at work, as did such twisted, sick-f*** statements as Patton's "Masturbation is a lot easier to do than relating to someone... With sex, no matter how great is is, there's always something missing". 
And "Angel Dust" is just immense. Imagine "Never Mind The Bollocks", produced by Brian May, if Steve Jones had grown up on Sabbath and King Crimson rather than The Faces. Pomp rock motored by punk disgust. Symphonic bombast, scrofulous with detail. 
Visionary venom, misanthropic majesty, grotesque grandeur Aesthetically and philosophically, "Angel Dust" is profoundly, putridly offensive, but I keep coming back to it, like a scab. 
The outstanding element here is Mike Patton's voices, which I find skin-scrawlingly repellent and endlessly mesmerising, Patton is multi-tracked into a myriad. maggoty throng, or, within songs, flits between schizoid array of idioms: baroque histrionics,"soulful", slimy croon, punk declamation, funk-metal sneer, not to mention his menagerie of hiccups, belches, yodels, mewling and poking. On "Midlife Crisis", he starts with a snide, sibilant rap, swoons upward in a jazzy, Al Jarreau-ish arc, then slugs it out in a close combat cut and thrust that's pure hardcore. The lyrics lash and lambaste some middle class, lard-ass, play-safe type who's built up a cocoon of security and comfort (key negative concepts in the FNM world view). The line "Your menstruating   heart" - doubtless aimed at "wet liberals" and people who profess to care a lot- is deeply revealing. For FNM, feelings of tenderness,empathy and solidarity are threatening, female and fluid, o loathsome discharge. "R.V." is a waltz-time spoof-monologue by a redneck reactionary whose final words to his kids are "What my daddy fold me 'You ain't never gonna amount to nothin'". On "Smaller And Smaller", Patton's a funk-metal Billy Mackenzie, surfing a sturm-und-drang that abates briefly for a ghostly interlude of sampled Aboriginal chant, before Patton lets  loose this amazing arc of wordless aria. "Everything's Ruined" is sort of Black Flag meets Aha, objection and uplift; FNM make a melodrama out of a (ecological?) crisis. "Malpractice" again recalls mid-period Black Flag, although Patton's singing is closer to the hardcore seat of Bad Brains' H.R.; an almost Julee Cruise interlude and maddened Balkan strings make this the most outre prog-metal since side two of "Ritual De Lo Habitual". "Kindergarten" has the most unsettling, ghastly / gorgeous chorus; the song seems to imagine the adult world as no real advance on the unbridled State Of Nature that is unsocialised infancy, still populated with bullies, sycophants, geeks and outcasts. Patton wonders " When will I graduate?" (to a higher kind of life-form). "Be Aggressive" could be a cartoon anthem for Nietzsche's will-to-power, complete with a chorus chanted by cheerleaders, but it's hard to tell: throughout the album, diction is not one of Patton's priorities, and the vocals are buried in the garish murk of FNM's sound. "Crack Hitler" jump-cuts from torrid funk to a Gary Glitter stomp- "Jizz-Lobber" is a grueling Sabbath grind, Patton's apoplectic fit of vocal fed through a fuzz unit and sounding more like a guitar than a larynx. Finally, one moment of unalloyed; sentimentality, a straight and rather stiff reading of John Barry's sublimely melancholic "Midnight Cowboy". But maybe this is a sick joke too. 
If 1992 is the year that punk finally happened in the US, if Nirvana are the Pistols, L7 are the Ramones and Hole are The Slits, then Faith No More are.. . The Stranglers, a bunch of fundamentally unsound,  misogynist, misanthropic, crypto-muso interlopers who have profited from the perennial male teenage consumer demand for nastiness and menace. A gust of sour breath that feels strangely fragrant to me. 

Raw | June 1992 | Liz Evans

IT TAKES a subtle touch of genius to maintain a true identity and create a new dimension at the same time. Faith No More, a band comprised of absolute oddballs, evidently possess this genius, which is no doubt also responsible for their eccentricities. 'Angel Dust', their third album, and their second with singer Mike Patton, is a step on, rather than a step away, from their 1989 release,'The Real Thing', keeping the blasts of power and the witty style, and adding a whole new range of influences, a smattering at a time. Opening with the almighty 'Land Of Sunshine', a fairly traditional (in Faith No More terms that is) energy overdose, packed with keyboard highs, it isn't until the third track, 'Midlife Crisis' that things begin to twist into a new kind of melody. The difference lies in the tunefulness, the variety of styles within the song elements we've come to know and love with this band, but not to this degree. Before they've always been overshadowed by the weight and the volume, the sheer density. Now Roddy Bottum delights in lamenting intros ('Everything's Ruined'), zappy organ bursts ('Small Victory'), and peculiar electronic dance effects ('Malpractice'), Jim Martin leaps between 70s' cop soundtrack guitar ('Crack Hitler'), and witty emotional solos, ("Everything's Ruined'), and Mike Patton exhibits his truly perverted nature on 'Be Aggressive' 
(which also features a bunch of chanting kids), slipping into the role of Country and Western slob on 'RV and mourning the fact of growing up on 'Kindergarten'. This album is an altogether impeccable display of character, imagination, humour, and a whole spectrum of musical genres wrapped up in the formidable power Faith No More are masters of. All 
you have to do is buy it.


Rock power | June 1992 | Mark Day

Faith No More recently declared Right Said Fred to be their favourite band - if the Freds' slaphead singer is to be believed. A timely reminder that FNM are old hands at being wilfully awkward buggers, and sarcastic with it. 
Any other band breaking through as convincingly as FNM did with 'The Real Thing' might have been tempted to play safe and consolidate, but these malcontents seem more interested in seeing how far they can mix and match their warring elements, goading the listener at every turn. 'RV could be one of Tom Waits' dirty-old-man ditties, while side two's 'Malpractice' is some sort of twisted death metal prog-rock confusion. Meanwhile, the bouncy 'Be Aggressive' crams in chanting cheerleaders and groovy guitar and keyboards swiped from Isacc Hayes' 'Shaft'. That, by the way, is as funky as they get - 'funk metal' tag has always been a complete misnomer as far as FNM are concerned - they're more rhythm kings than funk fetishists. Having been burned first with Chuck Mosley and then with Mike Patton's storm-in-apint-glass Mr Bungle, FNM are resolutely as much to do with Puffy's tribal poundings or Billy Gould's slabs of bass-thing as they are to do with vocals, all of which makes this as thick with bizarre textures as a particularly well stocked carpet warehouse. Faith No More were doing this kind of stuff long before pissing around with the fundamental rock recipe was a guaranteed career move Electric Sun, Liquid Jesus and Electric Love Hogs, take note! and, basically, they do it so much better than most. Angels with dirty faces in the area! 




Band Quotes

Here are selection of quotes on the subject of AD from the band members themselves.


BILL GOULD | Creem Magazine |1992

"It's two beautiful words but a real ugly thing. It's kind of what the record's like; it's got some real beauty in it and it's got some real ugliness in it. It's like the balance thing."


MIKE BORDIN | Metal Maniacs | December 1992 

"It has nothing to do with that (vegetarianism). It has more to do with: the band itself, the sound of the band, the sound of the record, the songs on the record, the title, and the cover, going from wide to narrow. The band I think has many elements, some heavy, some beautiful. The record is balanced I think between some things that are really aggressive and disturbing and then really soothing. The title of the record is something that if you didn't know what it was--if you didn't know about any drugs--it would sound beautiful. It's just something that seems beautiful but is horrible. The front cover is something beautiful, put it with the back cover and you've got something disturbing. That's what we wanted. The record cover and layout was designed by us and put together by us. {In the lyrics} the big letters, those are his {Mike Patton's}, he had to fight for that. All the songs I think really confront you in certain ways and provoke you to think." 

One peculiar feature of the new record is the picture of Russian soldiers with FNM's faces dropped in. 


"It was just pure 'we don't want to sit for busts', you know? It's bullshit, man. That was a thing the record company really tried to foist on us. They really tried to fuck with our layout, and sent us these fucking pictures of us, just our heads. It was like this, they wanted us to have a poster inside the record consisted of our five heads on a black background, everything was black, the whole inside, and it's like, 'Fuck you.' We're going to make our cover, we made our record, we produced it our way, we wrote our songs, we played them our way, it sounds like us. We got our cover FINALLY, we got our artwork FINALLY, fuck you. If you let them do it, they'll do it. That's why they pay people in the art department, that's why they pay graphics people. And in some ways it can be really helpful, in some ways it can be really good. Ultimately, what I see I really like. We told them what we wanted, we actually got to the point where we had to sketch it out, but they made it real for us and I really appreciate that. We have five people, that's enough opinions, I said it about the producer, I'll say it about he record company, that's enough. We co-produced it, more so tone-wise than balance-wise, proportion-wise. We were all really concerned about the actual sound of the record., and that's really where you can make a difference. To me that Russian picture's like a Monty Python where you see a guy's head, a monster comes by and picks it up and Ptock! puts it somewhere. It's not 'We're the most important people in the world.'"



MIKE PATTON | OOR | August 1992

"We were delighted by the idea that angel dust is a horrible drug that makes you aggressive and paranoid. And the title together with the picture of a beautiful, restful bird, that you would normally see on an easy-listening sleeve. That contrast has a disturbing effect on people. The average rock fan will put a sleeve like that aside: bluh, I don't want to listen to this. That's what we like best."


JIM MARTIN | Raw | May 1992

"I don't personally think that I'll ever be satisfied with anything that we make, but that's recording. I didn't enjoy working on the album very much, it took me a long time to get used to the songs. When I first heard them I thought they were very contrived and I thought that the hand was trying too hard. It took me a while to figure out where I was going to fit in. I don't know, why do people like it all? I think you can form your own opinion about it."


JIM MARTIN | Guitar Magazine | September 1992

"I was trying to enhance the songs. I was trying to add another dimension. Sometimes it was more melodic, sometimes it was other things. I don't think the difference between the parts they wanted me to play and the parts I played was enough of a difference to affect our careers. It seems like they wind up the bass player and the drummer. For example, after we did the demo tape, management said 'I hope nobody's buying any houses!' And they knew they were. People get worried about what other people think. I think it makes the band more conservative. They start worrying about writing radio songs and that kind of shit. We're in a position where we ought to do the wildest shit we can." 




BILL GOULD | Kerrang! | March 1995

"You had to hear 'Angel Dust' five or six times to like it at all. I think it was a good record. We felt like we were being abused, exploited and basically misinterpreted. So it's kinda like we made the record we wanted to make, militantly and ... it sounds like a laboured record! But we were pissed off! We'd just toured for one-and-a-half, two years, and they were calling us up asking, 'When would we have the record ready?' Everybody was smelting all this money." 


MIKE PATTON | Kerrang! | March 1995


"I thought that it was a great record (but) it was dense and probably too clever for its own good. We made it more difficult for everybody, even ourselves! It was like clearing the air. Like when you're in a tense room with a lot of people, you just have to look around and say, 'F**K ALL OF YOU!'. After that, everyone could breathe a sigh of relief and relax." 


MIKE BORDIN | Kerrang | March 1995


"We were lucky it turned out as well as it did. All of a sudden it was like what's the difference between us and these other rockers like Whitesnake, Poison or Metallica? We were going, 'Well, we're not like that - are we?' And people were telling us that we were. If I had my magic wand I'd change some things, I always would - except for this new one, which I'm really proud of! But with my magic wand I'd go for more aggressive guitar. I would go for the brutal punch. I wish it had been more brutal."

MIKE PATTON | Creem Magazine | July 1992

"Alright, there's this one song I wrote about a lady who goes to a surgeon and she's getting operated on and she realizes she likes the surgeon's hand inside of her. She doesn't even care about being cured, she just wants someone's hands inside of her -- she gets addicted to that."


MIKE PATTON | Circus | 1992

"I drove around a lot in my Honda. Drove to a real bad area of town, parked and just watched people. Coffee shops and white-trash diner-type places were great for inspiration."





Articles

REFLEX MAGAZINE | JUNE 1992

By Jem Aswad

For all its dubious wonders, the most amazing thing about the mainstream American music industry is its cluelessness. To cite just one telling example: Every year for the last five years, a band whose album was at least a year old suddenly became a "next big thing." Each album enjoyed a year of reasonable semi-underground success, and then suddenly (for whatever reasons such things happen), a video started to get heavy airplay on MTV. Sales figures went through the roof, the enormodome-tour offers and Grammy nominations started to roll in, and the previously uninterested minions of the music biz launched a dog-eat-dog megabuck bum-rush to hitch their wagons to the rapidly rising platinum coattails of a band who probably thought their LP had long since flopped. Granted, no one can predict these things (last year Nirvana were a welcome and unprecedented exception to the rule, altho' the long-smoldering Nine Inch Nails and Alice in Chains weren't), but doesn't it seem that the powers that be could've supported Guns N' Roses (1988), Living Colour (1989), and especially 1990's least-likely-to, Faith No More, a little earlier?

"Better late than never," yo mama. Due to fatigue and overhype, these belated "breakthroughs" (who are mere mortals, after all) are usually courting has-been (if not Section 8) status before they've even unloaded the tour bus. By the time The Real Thing began to catch fire (doubling in one week what it had cumulatively sold in the 10 months since its release), Faith No More had been touring for almost a year. In order to "capitalize" on the album's sudden sales spurt, they committed to eight more grueling months of trying to make the same 14 songs interesting every night.

"We didn't!" says vocalist Mike Patton with exasperation. "There's really no way to. We just reveled in boredom! The only thing you can do is humiliate yourself further, and then you realize that, and you just keep milking it, and it's really sick, and... you just *wallow* in it. I think we all felt the same way. Every once in a while, I'd throw in a few lines from a cover song or something, but that was the only glimmer of hope! I don't think any of us really got burned out from touring itself--it's just that we didn't have any other material to play. I mean, we were touring on one record, and when you come back to the same place six times and you're playing the same set, it's like, wait a minute! Who's gettin' ripped off here?! I'd be pissed if I came back to see a band that I liked and they played the same thing. We toured for... uh, *too long*!"

The pressure to record a new album before the 2,000,000 inhabitants of the globe who bought The Real Thing moved on to a real *other* thing was complicated by Patton's commitments to Mr. Bungle-- the Eureka, CA-based band which he'd been a member of since high school (he'd joined FNM on the condition that he'd still be free to tour and record with Bungle)--which would keep him busy for several months.

But Faith No More are no ordinary band, and it should come as no surprise that --almost three years after The Real Thing's release-- Angel Dust is by no means a "safe followup," nor is it Use Your Protrusion, 7th Symphony, 12th Movement ("God, I hope we never get that self-indulgent. That's the worst," groans Patton.) Culled from some 20 potential candidates, its dozen songs find the band working with the same basic formula, but with greater ambition and a much greater willingness to get totally weird-- "Jizz Lover" and "Caffeine" take "Surprise! You're Dead!" to an even scarier level, while "Small Victory," "Mid-Life Crisis," and "Kindergarten" sound like the band that recorded The Real Thing after being kidnapped by a white slavery cartel.

"I think we've stretched what we are to an absurd level this time, which is great," Patton says. "I think we would all be really happy if people took this record home and went, 'What the hell is this?!' I think that's gonna happen-- and I think that's a good thing. The record company tried to turn the screws a little tighter this time around, I have to admit. There are a lot of samples [including Simon and Garfunkel, Diamanda Galas, Z'ev, and music from The Wizard of Oz!], which was one of the things that kinda freaked them out." He mimics a concerned exec: "'Gee, there's a lotta *sampling* on this! Don't you think a ROCK audience would be CONFUSED by this SAMPLING thing?'"

Although Angel Dust is certainly a progression, it's still the same band. "I just think we've gotten better at playing what we hear in our heads," Patton explains. "Before, we used to kinda cheat around, and play around what it was. We could never translate it into the band, and we're getting better at doing that. Like, we wanted to do a real lazy, sappy kinda ballad, so we covered the theme from Midnight Cowboy! And there's even a song that sounds like The Carpenters!"

In a laid-back, Southern California drawl, where every sentence seems to end with a question mark, keyboardist Roddy Bottum says, " Over most of the period between the albums, we were on tour, so we were listening to stuff together. Mike listens to a lot of speed metal, so some of his vocals are completely-over-the-top, full-on screaming with almost indistinguishable lyrics. [Bassist] Billy [Gould] was listening to a lot of really easy-listening stuff, like 1001 Strings! We're kinda thinking that we might release an EP of covers like that --since Metallica did Garage Days, we should do a Back to Our Roots EP and play 1001 Strings covers!" (Their current favorites include Godflesh, Ween, Young Gods, The Sugarcubes, and a collection of Henry Mancini's film soundtracks.)

"There are a few songs on here that are like genre songs-- they're cool because they're a certain thing," Patton continues. "'Crack Hitler' is like a sleazy version of the Emergency theme, like a '70s TV action show. It's got like a Shaft guitar line and siren samples. You picture five cops with guns chasin' a guy through an alley! It's like bad, bad disco--*bad*! Horrible!" He pauses a moment before continuing, "I also wrote some songs when I was experimenting with myself."

Pondering Patton's piston-palpitating paeans to porn on the Mr. Bungle LP, your humble interviewer can only summon a weak, "Oh?"

"Yeah," he laughs. "I was doing some sleep-deprivation experiments, staying up with coffee for as long as I could. And one song I wrote mostly from fortune cookies! I bought bags and bags of fortune cookies and took phrases from them. Another song, 'Land of Sunshine,' is just a grotesquely positive song, so I watched a lot of late-night TV to get in that frame of mind. We also did a new version of 'As The Worm Turns,' and a Commodores song that we always play live, 'Easy.' I don't think they're gonna be on the album--they'll probably end up being b-side-type things."

At any rate, Angel Dust is every bit as uncompromising at its title. Gould recently told Melody Maker, "A lot of people who bought our last record did so on the success of 'Epic,' you know, a lot of little kids-- ha ha ha! And I don't think they're really going to like this new stuff! Ha ha ha ha!"

Come back with me--will you?-- through the mists of time, to 1982, when the intriguingly monikered duo of Gould and Bottum, who knew each other from the LA punk scene, moved to San Francisco to attend school. The pair united with drummer Mike "Puffy" Bordin, and played for a time as Faith No Man with an endless succession of vocalists and guitarists. One vocalist was Courtney Love, now married to Nirvana's Kurt Cobain and currently courting cult-dom as countess of the confrontational, controversial, contentious, corrosive, and cantankerous combo Hole. "She was around for six months or so--quite a while, considering that we were switching around singers a whole lot at that point," Bottum recalls. "[The music] was kinda along the lines of what we did on the first record. We would just play riffs over and over again-- we thought we were *so* inventive," he laughs, "because we thought it was so driving and so heavy. But she was really good. She did a lot of screaming stuff, and we had a lot of slow melody stuff too. When she sang with us, she was punk rock; now she says she's always been punk rock, which is not true at all. After she left our band she was totally into--I mean, with a sense of humor, but really hardcore pop sorta stuff. We all were at that point--we used to do a cover of Van Halen's 'Jump.'"

Eventually, the band settled on guitarist Jim Martin (who had played with late Metallica bassist Cliff Burton in a band called Vicious Hatred) and singer Chuck Mosley, whose half-punk/half-rap, staccato delivery combined with Martin's unbridled thrash riffage to ignite the fusion of styles that became Faith No More's sound.

Unable to find any backers, the band pooled their money and recorded five songs, including the bruisingly funky, tongue-in-cheek world-unity anthem "We Care a Lot," which caught the ear of one Ruth Schwartz, then forming an indie label called Mordam Records. The gave the band enough money to finish an album, and 1985's We Care a Lot became Mordam's first release.

"I still like it," Bottum says of the LP now. "There are parts of it that are really amateurish, but I think it's great. It's pretty representative of the time." Which is more than he says about Introduce Yourself, FNM's 1987 major-label debut, which garnered a good buzz but exposed the growing riff between Mosley and the rest of the band.

"I liked what we were doing, but I think we had almost run our course at that time. I think a couple of people in the band were really bothered by Chuck's inconsistency, plus, we were fighting a whole lot--I think fighting is really good and really healthy in a band, but we were *hitting* each other!"

The battered band completed a shambolic tour to support the LP, and then returned home to regroup. "We knew we wanted to continue as a band," Bottum says, "but it's a pretty audacious step to take: If I'm really into a band and they change singers, I pretty much dismiss'em right away. The worst slap in the face [were accusations that it was] a racial thing, like we wanted to get a white singer, which was really insulting. But it went pretty smoothly, considering..." (Mosley recently left the Bad Brains after a year-long hitch.)

By January of '89, the four had written all of the music for The Real Thing before auditioning singers, and asked 21-year-old Mike Patton--the first person they auditioned--to join. After four years in the twisted world of Bungle's quick-cut, jazz/rock/funk mutation, Patton had only two weeks to write lyrics and melodies for the songs.

"It was *strange* for me," he says, "because I had spent every musical moment with the Bungle guys, and we have our own thing--we're Nintendo kids, so we get into a studio and there are all these little *knobs*, and we've just gotta play with the dials and push the buttons. [Mr.Bungle] basically doesn't know how to write songs--they're like A-B-C-X! -- so it was weird for me to try and put something over a song that was really linear, and very verse/chorus/verse/chorus. So I think I did what was really...*obvious*," he says, not a little dismissively. "That's fine, but since then, I've definitely vowed to spend a lot more time and put a lot more into anything I do."

And then came the tours. Inside of 18 months, the band toured England and Europe *five times*, crossed the US first with Bay Area homeboys Metallica, then with Voivod and Soundgarden (where you'd sometimes find Patton singing with Soundgarden while vocalist Chris Cornell body-surfed in the crowd, and vice-versa), and stadium tours opening for Robert Plant and Billy Idol, as well as countless headlining dates mixed in.

The war stories are long and many, but highlights include being in Berlin when the Wall came down ("I think the closest parallel that I've ever experienced would be San Francisco when the 49ers won the Super Bowl," Patton laughs. "It wasn't like a real historical, spiritual thing--just everyone yelling and getting drunk"); encountering seriously mixed reactions from Metallica crowds ("At that point, no one knew who we were," Roddy says, "and we were getting up in front of these huge crowds in these weird little cities. Sometimes people would totally spit on us and treated us like shit, but to get that reaction out of anyone is pretty flattering!"); and, on the last date of the tour with Billy Idol, "We went out onstage naked with bags on our heads and did a go-go dance in front of him!"

After a long break, the band played the Rock in Rio II festival last spring, then returned in the fall for a 10-date tour of Brazil before touring Japan and playing Frisco's legendary annual "Day on the Green" with Soundgarden, Queensryche, and Metallica. They also contributed a "lounge version" of the Dead Kennedys' "Let's Lynch the Landlord" to the Virus 1000 compilation. Yet the individual members have made their own messes, as well: Martin made his acting debut (as "the greatest guitar player in the world") in the second Bill & Ted film, Bottum and Bordin did sessions with various Bay Area bands, and Gould produced demos for California's White Trash Debutante and Hispanic grindcore band Brujeria, as well as traveling to the South Pacific island of Samoa with FNM producer Matt Wallace to record the island's indigenous music. Gould also compiled his personal camcorder tour footage in an extremely controversial video for "Surprise! You're Dead!" that may or may not ever see the light of day. "I think we're gonna send the cut version out to MTV," Patton says. "But the *good* one, I think we're just gonna make tapes of for our friends. I think we should send it to MTV anonymously in a paper bag, 'cause it's...man, it's...[laughing] um, *disturbing*! It's an axe and a chicken's head! I won't say who did it or anything, but it's... quite an image!"

Patton performed with John Zorn's Naked City (a "jazzcore" outfit that fuses jazz and ethnic musics with the blistering, bilious approach of grindcore) and recorded and toured with Mr. Bungle, whose brilliantly mindfucking debut was released on Warner Bros. last year (Bungle have also composed an as-yet-unreleased string quartet for the Kronos Quartet). Working Faith No More's schedule around all this might not have made Patton the most popular guy with the band or the record company.

"Uh...no one would ever *say* that," he hedges. "But you can always speculate! I took a block of time and just said, 'I'm gonna be doing this.' It was something that we worked around. There was a lot of hostility at the beginning, but I think now that it's happened and it's worked, so to speak, everyone's a little more relaxed about it."

How did he find time to work with three bands at once?


"No sleep, living in filth, no laundry," he laughs. "I've just lived outta boxes. That's okay with me. It kinda feels natural when you wanna move on to the next thing. I don't have to sit down and designate what's what; it kinda separates itself and I'm glad, because it would be really sterile for me to sit down with a ruler and draw the boxes and try to fit each little idea into each box."







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