FAITH NO MORE | June 1992 | Hit Parader
Hit Parader | June 1992 | Rob Andrews
Breakin' The Rules
It seems almost write to say that the success Faith No More enjoyed in 1991 was unexpected. The fact is that the platinum success of their album The Real Thing was downright shocking!
Let's face it, who would have bet a plug nickel on the chances of this unusual quintet who had just lost one vocalist, Chuck Mosley, and had added a new one, Mike Patton, only weeks before going into the studio. But thanks to their ground breaking single/video. Epic, that album proved to be one of the year's biggest sellers making Patton and bandmates Jim Martin (guitar), Mike Bordin (drums), Billy Gould (bass) and Roddy Bottum (keyboards), heroes of everyone who had grown tired of the predictable side of rock and roll. Here was a platinum band without a pinup boy in sight; a band that seemed to go out of their way to be as unconventional as possible as often as possible. Now with the release of their latest LP, Angel Dust, it seems that Faith No More are out to ruffle even more feathers, a fact verified by vocalist Mike Patton.
Hit Parader: Is there a special significance to the title Angel Dust?
Mike Patton: No. There isn't any significance to it at all. It just sounds cool, and to us that's usually enough. It's a horrible drug, is that enough of a meaning? But there's no hidden message or a song lyric behind the album title. That's just us being us.
HP: Does Faith No More try to be unconventional, or is it just the natural way you are?
MP: We'd never plan out anything because it was supposed to be conventional or unconventional. That would be totally against the point. I know our record label wished we were more conventional, but I don't think our fans would like that, and I know we wouldn't. We know this record's gonna evoke some heated reactions from people. That's cool, that's exactly what we want. If we can piss people off we're happy.
HP: What makes you happy about pissing people off?
MP: I shouldn't say that we're happy to piss people off. It's just that we want to do what we want—and not necessarily what they expect. Anyone who expects this record to be The Real Thing Part II had better wake up! I know some fans who are already pissed off about it. And our record company's been going crazy since the first time they heard it. All they keep saying is that we're jeopardizing our entire careers. I think their problem is just that they just don't know how to market us this time. "Your album is too industrial for the alternative crowd. Your album is too dance oriented for the rockers." They keep telling us that. Maybe they're right. We don't care.
HP: It seems as if you're almost rebelling against success.
MP: Nah, that's not it. We're not against success at all. We're just doing what we want. It's like all the people who tried to convince us how nervous we should be about making this record. To hell with that. Pressure is one of those things that's just an invention of the human mind. People will say everything to you to try and blow your confidence. They want you do do what they want and to do it their way. We're not into that at all. "You're gonna fall on your faces," they tell us. Well, maybe, we'll see.
HP: How has the band evolved on this record?
MP: Well, we're still fighting a lot. It's just that the scapegoats within the band are changing.
HP: What kind of fights do you have? Does it ever come to actual blows?
MP: Nah, nothing like that. We act like a bunch of petty old ladies. We never remember what the hell the fights were even about by the time they're over. They're just minuscule fights designed to destroy each other's ego. It's just one wave of torment after another.
HP: Did that confrontational attitude have an effect on the songs you wrote for the record?
MP: Maybe a little. There are some very strange songs on this record. A lot of them have a lot of despair in them, they're very disturbing. Everything's Ruined is a good example of that. It's one of the more straight-forward rockers we have on this album. Compare it to something like Surprise You're Dead from the last album. I think you'll see how we've changed. You can't put your finger on it, but it's there. We're getting better at playing what we're visualising.
HP: You were much more involved in the creative process this time. Is there one song you're particularly proud of?
MP: Maybe Land Of Sunshine because it talks about some of my favourite late-night TV heroes, guys like Anthony Robbins, the motivational speaker who does those half-hour commercials where he wants you to buy his whole seminar package, and of course, my real hero, Robert Tilton, the preacher. Nothing and no one can touch Robert Tilton! 20/20 did an expose on him, and he just blew 'em off. That's a very positive song.
HP: Despite the success you've enjoyed in Faith No More, you remain a member of another band, Mr Bungle. How do the other members of FNM feel about that?
MP: Everyone in the band squirmed at first when they learned that I was going to stay in Mr Bungle. But we talked about it a lot and everything began to become a little less tense. When the Mr Bungle album came out, I think everyone realised it wasn't a threat.
HP: What's the strangest thing that happened to you on the last Faith No More tour?
MP: Maybe that happened in Zurich, Switzerland. We went through the park in this beautiful, incredibly dean city only to find this drug haven where people were lying on the ground shooting up in their eye-lids or anywhere else they could find. They were all over the place. The city just turns a blind eye on it. That whole scene blew our mind. We thought we were a little unusual, but that made us sit up and take notice.