FAITH NO MORE | METAL HAMMER | December 1992

Metal hammer 
December 1992

Understanding FAITH NO MORE can be a weeny bit difficult. The band haven't figured themselves out yet, but STOKO reckoned a trip to see them in America might just help! Of course, he lied; DENIS O'REGAN snaps to it!

In a world of crippling injustices where criminals become politicians, where politicians become criminals and where everyday people are born with ginger hair, bands: with more than a modicum of originality: are often unjustly overlooked. After five years of being in the public eye, but not necessarily successful, it seems the time is nearly right for the world to accept Faith No More, and vice versa.
They once claimed they cared a lot. So did Sting and..Bono, and you're telling me they don't deserve a good kicking. Today is
Columbus day in mid-presidential election frolics in small-town America. An ideal place to find out how in tune Faith No More are
with the people.
"Well as far as the election thing goes at the moment this is a pretty good position to be in. Travelling around America, seeing all the aspects. Unfortunately only forty per cent of people over here actually vote and that's the result of absolute apathy."
The speaker in the house is Roddy Bottum, Keyboard player with those caring bundles of love and understanding, Faith No More.
Yes, he cares a lot. Hey! Great guy! He cares about the kids! What do you mean, you thought this was a music magazine and you care not a tattle for someone's political perceptions? I am, you cloth-eared baboons, attempting to make a point: Faith No More are no normal band. There's a definite vibe in their music that screams 'not right' and it's pretty obvious that this comes from a bunch of people with something different to offers, and they know it. They're
blitherers with attitude. Disagree with Faith No More and they won't argue, they'll just state their viewpoint - then shut up, regardless of compromise or your own opinion. That is the vibe that makes their latest album 'Angel Dust' so damned uncomfortable.
"When we started years ago we never really fitted in." Bill Gould is as friendly and forthcoming as the rest of the band. "We got our sound through everyone hating us. We were too slow to be a punk band and a bit too weird for all the Metalheads. The more people disliked us , the more we carried on that way," he laughs.

"I like it more and more," claims Roddy Bottum of their new album 'Angel Dust'. "It's always flattering that less and less people are into it. It's gonna happen that way."
Are you deliberately a bunch of bastards or simply artistic antagonists?
"I like to challenge people. I don't want to threaten anyone... just challenge them musically and mentally."
Faith No More strike me as the sort of band which demands a result and after five minutes of play, they're two-nil up.
Are you patriotic?
"No. I'm not ashamed of being American, but personal viewpoint has to come from the politics that surround you."
At present we're surrounded by a set from 'The Waltons' framed by an ugly hotel window.
"Look out there," says Billy, opening the curtains. "This is a typical American town. You've got the big cities with the drugs and the violence, but most of America's really laid-back. Completely stoned is closer to the truth. In towns like this, fewer people carry guns. You just get all the inbreeds getting drunk fighting with each other.
Pennsylvania is the world capital of Satanism. Honestly, I went to the satanic souvenir shop this momlng and bought Alastair Crowley's actual cocaine knife, made out of human bone. I beat Jimmy Page is pissed-off man..."
And this is how Faith No More work. They absorb their surroundings, have o bit of a giggle at the most ridiculous aspect of what they experience, then spew out a musical conglomeration. That is (maybe) how 'Angel Dust' got its rather unique sound, it is aurally challenging in its uncommercialism.

"I don't necessarily want to challenge people, I just want to fuck their heads up," , claims that bearded clam, Jim Martin, over a beer or two. "I want to make our music more brutal, the album's too soft, I'm not that happy with it. It ends up turning out the way it does because everybody's so stubborn that it all gets thrown together. It's OK. I quite like, what's that one we call 'F Sharp'?"
"Kindergarten," adds Mike Patton.

"Yeah, I like that one. But the next album's gonna have bigger balls.'"
Puffy Bordin is more objective and a little less tongue-in-cheek. "Billy, Roddy and myself wrote most of the songs which are more melodic. There's better separation in there, the parts are written so naturally that they hang together and don't step on each other's toes. A lot of times in the past our music has sounded really muddy, especially 'Introduce Yourself', because we hadn't really figured out how to write all the structures together so that the keyboards wouldn't cancel out the guitar and the drums wouldn't overpower the vocals. For a band like us, that's not as easy as it might-seem, but we're definitely learning!"
The main progression has been by made by Mike Patton.
"Yeah, that's basically the most different thing. The last record had a guy singing a bit nasally and wasn't all that uniquely identifiable, and now, that someone has totally grown up and become a force.'
I thought he was just doing his best to be in the Chili Peppers.
"Ha! Tell him that, please do!" laughs Billy.
I tell him. He laughs sheepishly like a schoolboy caught copying his homework. (Latest score 2-1).
"When I joined the band there was no big deal, I'd been in bands before," he says changing the subject with the stealth of a
drunken three-toed sloth. "I never wanted to do this when I was a kid. I always thought Rock Stars were losers because they drank and took drugs." (I spied no use of drugs unfortunately).
"I wanted to be an athlete, a basketball player or whatever because my dad's a coach and I grew up with all that."

The man, is certainly an unconventional frontman.
"What I do on stage is like having a big shit, getting it all out of your system, all the shit that's built up inside you all day long. It's like
this place, look at it, there's fucking nothing to do except sit on this tour bus and wait for the next show. All that boredom builds up
inside and when I get on-stage tonight, it'll all come out. I suppose the whole band's performance depends on the situation we're
in at the time."
But here you are, a blimey big Pop Star; on stage, on telly and on the Rock'n'Roll charabang. The interview was peppered with interruptions as fans (most notably female) pester Mike, often ignoring the other band members. He is 'MTV-friendly' as Billy
puts it and '...a fucking gorgeous bottle of sauce with a crap beard' as my housemate puts it.
"All that's just an embarrassment, it's only because I'm the singer." Mike is genuinely humble and friendly. (A fan approaches and
introduces herself. Mike shakes her hand and introduces himself as if she didn't know him from Adam).
"I think that sort of adulation is better left to bands like Guns N' Roses."
Do you see yourself as similar to Axl? You both do the same job. "Well, we're both going bald....oops! Sorry Axl! I don't know. I don't see myself as being the same as that guy really."
"I love it when kids come up to you. Not as an ego thing, I Just love talking to kids," adds Billy.
"I don't think it's blind adulation," drones Jim in his 'am-I-taking-the-piss-or-not' accent.
"It's because we're here in this town, they meet us and get an autograph. Big deal, in two weeks time it'll be someone else playing here and someone else's autograph they're getting. It's not as if they're going round thinking 'Jim Martin is God'.
Unfortunately."

Jim finds solace in another beer and my ear. I accuse Faith No More of indirectly setting my balls rolling. Back in 1988 Rock music was only just getting used to Guns N'Roses, let alone crossing over styles and images.
The release of 'We Care A lot' saw the band thrust firmly into the public eye. Even if if didn't open any doors, if at least made
people realise that those doors existed.

"I don't know," says Billy swaying to avoid my clumsy arse-kissing. "Like I said, we got our sound in the face of adversity. There's
been a lot of progression with bands like us, Jane's Addiction, Nirvana and all that Seattle shit, but it doesn't mean that much.
Look at Seattle now. There are all these bands being signed up that are so false, so there's no difference really."
"What people tend to forget," adds Puffy, " is that bands sound like this, bands sound like that, bands come from Seattle, there are
industrial bands and that's great man. Diversity is beautiful but it's not for us to be like something else or cut out bits of ourselves."
Puffy Bordin has just scored a hat-trick in the dying minutes by putting the Faith No More 'attitude' in a nutshell. The band is a musical
presentation of their exceptionally likeable personalities, and that's why all the bands at present mimicking 'The Real Thing' will have trouble scraping together an 'Angel Dust'.
The Faith No More attitude strikes me as being less 'fuck you, I'm a rebel', more 'fuck you!'... full stop.
Buy the album and you'll see what I mean.
Final score? About 16-2 to the home team. .. a great result.


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