EXCLUSIVE!! CHUCK MOSLEY Record Store Day 2019 release
We can exclusively reveal that Chuck Mosley music will be released as part of Record Store Day 2019 (April 23rd).
On the morning of August 26th 2017 Chuck and his touring band featuring Doug Esper (percussion), Cris Morgan (guitar) and Randy Pirosko (bass) went into Joe Haze's studio in Salt Lake City to record two acoustic numbers. Almost two years later and we will get to hear some of the late musicians final recordings.
This vinyl release will feature a cover of the Prince classic Nothing Compares 2 U as the A side and Faith No More 1995 track Take This Bottle as the B side. Both are performed by Chuck live in the studio and are beautiful stripped back and candid versions.
We Spoke with Doug Esper to get the full story on this posthumous release.
We will premiere an taster of the EP later today on our Facebook page!
|Photo - Patrick carnahan|
The songs on the EP are unique choices to cover. Chuck played them on the road before recording them. What inspired him to pick Take This Bottle?
When the Reintroduce yourself tour was coming together in Feb of 2016, Chuck didn’t have anyone to tour with. I helped him reach out to people for a few months before I eventually joined up at the end of April. His first show was booked for two weeks later, so he and I got started with practice super fast. He had already done several interviews explaining the tour would consist of a retrospective from his earliest days to his newest stuff, but in reality he had no setlist planned out.
When I went to his place for the first practice we discussed a lot of songs, most of which he shot down right away. He agreed to “Sophie” and “Nameless” by VUA and “Chip Away” and “King Arthur” by Cement. That gave us a nine-minute set, or twelve when he paused mid-song to tell stories.
Eventually, after much discussion and shaky jamming, we broached the subject of Faith No More. Though the songs he did with them are what he is known best for, he was very reluctant to make the shows too much about that era in his life. He wanted to prove he was a good songwriter on his own.
It seemed a perfect fit to play the song, “Introduce Yourself” given the name of the tour, but he turned that down. I think he was hesitant because that was one of Roddy’s songs and he wanted to concentrate on songs he had a bigger role in.
I suggested he cover a Mike Patton-era song as the band had continued playing his songs on the road, even re-recording one. He told me he had thought about that as well, but didn’t know enough about the songs to narrow them down and choose. I told him I had two songs in mind. The first one I suggested was, “Take This Bottle”.
Did he know the song?
No, so I played it on my phone. A minute in he started strumming along. I wrote out the lyrics for him and we played a chunk of it a few times. He didn’t want to do the whole song, so we decided to put together a medley of a few FNM songs.
How do think FNM fans will react to his stripped down version of the song?
I am way too biased and close to have any perspective on the song. I love it. It’s haunting, honest, and (I think) true to the spirit of the song and to Chuck’s style. My hope is that people appreciate it for what it is. We recorded it in two or three hours, mid-tour. We were exhausted, unprepared, but with the help of producer Joe Haze, we got a song recorded that means the world to me.
I have to prepare myself for the few online commandos that rip on everything Chuck does. I see their posts all over. If they genuinely don’t like it, great, but the posts that are nasty just for attention drive me nuts.
For me, anytime Chuck and my wife sang together sounded awesome. She does some backing vocals on the song, along with Joshua Nelson, who toured with us as a bassist. I sing the second verse, like I did when we played it live, though I changed one word in the lyrics on purpose. Chuck and I changed the arrangement about five minutes before we recorded it, so that is the only time we ever played it like that. Chuck also sang one line along with me, something he started to do in 2017 on the road. As a Chuck fan and friend, that moment however brief, is special for me. A life highlight.
The second track is Nothing Compares 2 U.
Yeah Chuck had wanted to cover, “Nothing Compares 2 U” for years. He loved that song. He also loved both Sinead O’Connor and Prince, so it was a way to showcase his fandom to both of them at one
When we hit the road in 2016, Chris Cornell was doing a solo tour at the same time, though in slightly larger venues. He was covering that song at his shows, so Chuck switched to covering, “Bizarre Love Triangle” by New Order instead. That cover…eh, rarely worked, but we had fun with it by bringing people onstage to sing or with Chuck changing the lyrics on the fly.
Both versions are extremely candid and are perfectly representative of Chuck. They equally invoke feelings of joy and sadness. How do you feel when listening to them?
Damn. I feel pride, sadness, remorse, guilt, love, gratitude, anger, and laughter, all mixed with a broken heart. He should be here to see these songs released. He should be here to see them released on RSD alongside some of his favorite artists, like Bowie, Roxy Music, and Robert Plant.
When Chuck recorded these songs did he intend them be heard by fans?
Jim, I might be stupid, but I’m not crazy enough to piss Chuck off and have him haunt me for eternity by releasing stuff he didn’t want the world to hear. He and I argued enough already.
So, yes, the songs were meant to be shared. In fact, we always talked about doing them this way with Record Store Day, limited edition vinyl, so it feels really good to see it happening. Shawn Franklin and BlocGlobal partnered with us and had to work at warp speed to complete the package by the deadline. I am happy to partner with Chuck Mosley fans to see this all through.
I will point out that Chuck’s guitar solo for, “Nothing Compares 2 U” was not recorded before our session ended so it’s not there. It was loud, rambling, drone-like, almost hypnotic, and fit the cover perfectly. You can find some good live versions of it from the tour on youtube. That’s probably the only thing Chuck will bitch about this release, which is good.
You have written a book about your experiences with Chuck. Can you tell us a little about it?
The book, Jumpstarting A Jalopy: My Attempt To Reintroduce Chuck Mosley, follows my time with him. We met in 1997 and developed a friendship/partnership over the years. I tried and tried and tried to get him back out into the world, typically with disastrous results. The book has some highs, many lows, and some special moments mixed-in. I tried to take notes on the road, so it includes many tidbits from his previous bands he told me as we drove. The book can be ugly at times…but I hope it’s a genuine glimpse of what we did, for those that are interested. I reached out to a lot of his friends, family, and bandmates, so there are some quotes from the people that knew him best sprinkled in.
When will it be released?
The release is penciled in for late 2019, but right now the manuscript is in the capable hands of Brian Paone, an editor and big Chuck fan. He will mark the pages with red to highlight my grammar mistakes and he’ll help guide me along with what we need to chop or expand on to make it a story Chuck fans and non-Chuck fans can enjoy. After he’s done making me sound less chaotic, we’ll see if the release date still makes sense.
How will it differ from the first chapters of Adrian Harte’s Small Victories: The True Story of Faith No More?
Can I fanboy out a minute? Adrian’s book, is astounding. I am so glad he put in the work, did the research, and gave me a look into my favorite band that I otherwise never would’ve had. I was too young to know them in their early days, and too American to enjoy most of their first life as a band because they never got the love here that they received in Europe. After reading the book, I know why I didn’t hear FNM on the radio much. Pro tip: never coerce the guys to play at your private party, especially when using another band’s gear.
My book differs from his in that it really begins where his ends and focuses on Chuck’s journey. There are FNM tidbits, but nowhere near the detail Adrian goes into. Instead I share the details of what we ate on the road, what we argued about, and how awful our tour van smelled, ha.
I will say to those looking for info on the two “Chuck and friends” shows from 2016, I made sure to give as close a look behind the curtain as I felt I had the freedom to give.
Dallas Sheppard, one of the guitarists who came with us on the road, read it and mentioned that he didn’t expect it to be about my story. I told him it wasn’t, but in reading it again, I realized to tell what we accomplished I had to tell it from my POV.
In a perfect world, Chuck would’ve written a book or two or three about his life, but in the absence of that, here is your consolation prize. My book does include a few chunks of things he scratched in notebooks over the years, so you get into his head a bit…at your own risk.
Chuck spent some time recording with Matt Wallace. Will we get to hear that project?
We spent two and a half days with Matt Wallace in 2017 at his studio. Our ragtag band laid down tracks for Chuck’s solo album. In typical fashion, nothing was pre-planned or prepared. Matt had no idea what we were bringing to him, in fact, I think Chuck told him we only wanted to demo a couple of songs. Randy Pirosko, the bassist on the recording, joined up a week before we recorded. He had two practices and four shows to learn the songs and he was totally cool to work with. He made a big impact on the solo section in a song called, “Blue Heart”. Cris Morgan, our guitarist, also stepped up big, even though he slept through most of the second day. He added several background layers of xylophone (at least I think it was a xylophone), handclaps, tambourine, and some slick guitar work.
As far as if it will come out, I believe it will. I know I will push for it to get released, but the final decision lies with Chuck’s family. They lost a lot more than a singer. They lost a husband and a dad and a friend, way too soon. When they’re ready to move forward, I’ll do my best to help, if they need it. Without Matt Wallace, this is just another half-baked idea, so he deserves a drink if you see him out and about (probably on a hiking trail as I type).
How would you describe the music?
The music ranges from mellow acoustic to loud, spacey, driving psychedelic, sometimes within the same song. The tracks are sparse. We recorded live together as a band and then dubbed in a few extra things, here and there, and Chuck did a few hours of vocals in the booth.
A month before his death, Chuck went back to L.A. to record full drums at Matt’s with an old friend who spent time in Cement. I am not sure how much they got done or what will be included in the mixes, that decision lies with Matt and Chuck’s family.
A couple of the tunes are all time favorites of mine. Some of Chuck’s best work. And that’s not me hyping up a project I was involved with, as one of the best songs has no percussion at all.
Damn, I can’t wait for you all to hear them.
We also believe Chuck made a brief appearance in a film can you tell us about this?
The film is brief, but Chuck’s appearance is anything but that. It is a short called, Like An Open Heart It Shines. It was written and directed by one of Chuck’s friends, David Collupy. It follows a fictionalized rock guy, played by Chuck, through a day of a concert as he faces some past demons and a new one. David filmed it while we were on the road in 2017. It takes place mostly in Salem, MA and was filmed all in one day. It includes some live footage from our show that night. Chuck and I got in a big fight right before we played, so I hope I don’t ruin the good vibes of the show! Chuck tried a few times to get me to react onstage that night with some pointed comments, so I am curious to see what make it into the final cut. Chuck could get under my skin like no other…a real pro in the snark game. He also could make me laugh effortlessly.
David Collupy wrote a song as the main theme of the movie and he is trying to find people to help him get it recorded. I believe that is the last piece needed before the film gets released, so audio folks: hit him up!