Can one song break a band? It can certainly get the ball rolling. In Faith No More's case, it was a rap-metal ditty called "Epic" - the second single/video from the now-platinum The Real Thing - that became this year's freak hit, and made rock stars out of Faith No More.
Circus Magazine | 31.10.1990
An Epic Year For Faith No More
By Gary Cee
The Real Thing was released in. June of 1989 and had fallen off the Billboard LP chart by the beginning of 1990. But after a Grammy nomination for Best Heavy Metal Performance, and MTV pumping "Epic" in heavy rotation, the LP reentered the chart and climbed steadily all year long. "Epic" soared all the way to number nine on the singles chart.
"I don't key into anything" when singing from the stage, Mike Patton says. But what was the maniacal frontman thinking when he penned the lyrics to "Epic"? Especially the line in the infectious chorus about something being in your face, and not being able to grab it?
"It was about sexual frustration,"
the Eureka, California native admitted. "Sex and lack of sex." Patton didn't have a steady girlfriend when Circus interviewed him last August, and didn't foresee linking up with anyone in the near future. In fact, he confessed to a fascination with... masturbation.
"Most people just don't like to admit it, the 22-year-old shrugged. "I'm here to tell ya, I love it. That's kinda of what "Epic" is really about."
Patton, guitarist "Big" Jim Martin, drummer Mike "Puffy" Bordin, keyboardist Roddy Bottum and bassist Billy Gould barely had a free moment to Bungee-jump this year. There was the triple-threat trek with Soundgarden and Voivod; tours and one-shots with the likes of Prong, Primus and Scat Opera; the headlining club tour this summer with Circus of Power; power blitzes of Australia, Italy and Germany, and the opening slot on autumn's Billy Idol tour.
The Idol campaign exposed Faith to huge numbers of new initiates and ensured that The Real Thing would remain in the Top 20 of the LP chart until tour's end in November, at least.
For the uninitiated, there was the September release of Faith's first home video, Live at the Brixton Academy: You Fat Bastards! Most of their headlining set was included, except for their syrupy, Patton-led take-off on the Nestle's chocolate theme song and their down-to-the note version of the Commodores' "Easy." "Lionel Richie wouldn't give the okay for Faith to include the Motown classic on the home video, according to Mike.
"Hey Lionel," Patton laughed, "you're a dick!"