Charles Henry Mosley III was born on January 26th 1959 in Hollywood California. He died aged 57 on 9th November 2017.
He was raised by adoptive parents in South Central Los Angeles and Venice. As a child Chuck studied classical piano for 10 years, but when he first heard David Bowie he switched to guitar.
As a teenager Chuck loved skateboarding, smoking cannabis and going to concerts, at one point his parents banned him from going to live shows as he would get into trouble but this didn't stop Chuck who was an expert at finding a scam.
He grew up around the corner from Bill Gould and Roddy Bottum. In 1977 he joined his first band. The Animated were a teenage new wave outfit featuring Bill on bass, Mark Stewart (guitar), Paul Wimms (vocals/guitar) and Kevin Morgan (drums).
As soon as Chuck and Bill met they clicked, being four years older Chuck looked out for Bill and introduced him him to punk.
Bill left The Animated and moved to SF, however Chuck carried on with the band. He began dressing up in thrift shop clothes and creating his own style.
Chuck's next band was the punk group Haircuts That Kill who played around LA, opening for Bad Religion amongst others.
In 1983 Bill, Roddy and Mike Bordin were playing with the newly named Faith No More, with Mark Bowen on guitar but no permanent vocalist. Whenever they played in LA they would call up Chuck to sing. Before long he became their full time frontman but, despite the band asking, he didn't relocate to SF and preferred to live in LA.
During the recording of FNM's debut album We Care A Lot (1985) Chuck would suffer from low self-confidence which led to recurring sore throats and problems with his voice, he would also come to the studio unprepared finishing his parts shortly before laying them down. It was Matt Wallace who helped Chuck get it together to finish the record.
As Chuck became reliant on drugs and alcohol his stage performances were more erratic and unpredictable.
FNM soon landed a recording contract with major label Slash. At the Introduce Yourself release party in 1987, Chuck got drunk and fell asleep onstage which Bill suggests is the reason why it took so long for the press to write about the band in the States.
In early 1988 during a rehearsal Bill's frustration with Chuck led to the two exchanging blows. While on tour, Jim Martin got into a fistfight with a roadie named Joe Ghandi, one of Chuck's friends. The roadie was fired which Chuck took badly and eventually led to Jim and Chuck fighting.
For shows in Europe Chuck invented stage characters such as Tom Dixon, he wore eccentric outfits and carried the band through interviews with the European press. However his unpredictable stage performances and tensions between the other band members ultimately ended with him being fired after FNM's second European tour in mid 1988.
Chuck sued Faith No More after his firing, claiming a partnership stake in the band, and they settled out of court.
On April 14th 2010 the present members of FNM reunited with Chuck at San Francisco’s Warfield Theatre. He performed a rendition of We Care A Lot as well as dueting with Mike Patton. Chuck joined FNM again on May 7th 2015 in Detroit for a rendition of Mark Bowen.
In 2016 FNM reissued their debut album We Care A Lot and to promote the release they played two sold-out shows in their home cities of LA and SF. Billed as Chuck Mosley and Friends the lineup featured Jon Hudson on guitar.
In 1990 after Chuck and FNM parted ways for a short time he replaced singer HR in Washington DC punk band Bad Brains. They played nearly sixty shows together before he left the band in January 1992.
Chuck put together LA-based band Cement who toured heavily and gradually built-up a cult following. They released two albums, Cement and The Man With The Action Hair. Whilst on tour in America, their van was involved in a serious accident which left Chuck with serious spinal injuries. Although after major surgery and a lengthy period of rehabilitation, he was able to make a full recovery, the enforced inactivity resulted in the demise of Cement.
In 2009 Chuck returned to music at the same time as FNM reunited. Chuck Mosley and the V.U.A. (Vanduls Ugainst Alliteracy) released Will Rap Over Hard Rock For Food on August 11th, 2009. Guest appearances on the LP include Jonathan Davis, John 5 , Michael Cartellone and Roddy Bottum. The album included a modern day reworking of We Care A Lot. The band self-released their own album, Demos For Sale, consisting of earlier versions of the tracks that eventually made up the first album.
In 2016 Chuck embarked on an American and European acoustic tour, titled Reintroduce Yourself, with friend and percussionist Doug Esper. During the tour Roddy Bottum joined him onstage in New York.
Chuck recorded the album You'll Never Make The Six with Esper's band Indoria, released on August 30th 2016.
In 2017 he joined Primitive Race, the industrial collective created by Chris Kniker, and featuring guitarist Mark Gemini Thwaite, Erie Loch, and drummer Dale Crover of The Melvins. The group released the album Soul Pretender on November 3rd 2017 just a week before Chuck's passing.
In July 2017, Chuck played himself in the film, Like an Open Heart it Shines, directed by David Collupy.
In early 2018 it was announced that Chuck will be the subject of the forth coming documentary Thanks. And Sorry: The Chuck Mosley Movie. Directed by his touring guitarist Drew Fortier.
"Mostly I write lyrics on the spot. Like I said, they just seem to come out better that way for me, as opposed to writing them out ahead of time. It’s kind of like surfing. I tend to let my phrasing ride the beats and melodies, the words just come out. The ones that I don’t make up. That’s why shit may have a meaning for people who hear it. I usually don’t know what they’re about until much further down the road, save for the occasional spurts of emotion."
"Our shows were really chaotic, punk rock, but the music they made was so different, really ahead of its time, and I wanted to make my vocals as good as I could.
On the rhythmic stuff, I would rap, or rant. I loved rap, though I wasn't any good at it. But I wasn't going to let that stop me. I was yelling to the beat. And not to brag or anything, but yeah, I'm the first person who rapped over rock. I took some singing lessons for the melodic stuff, but really it was listening to David Bowie that taught me how to croon. I loved them all, even Jim [Martin, guitarist], though I antagonised him"
"I was a total punk. But I was still an outcast, even with the punks and stuff. I had a few friends who we hung out with and that was it. We’d ride together, get in fights, go dancing, just causing trouble basically."
Fear And Loathing
"Well, Billy had moved up to Berkeley and he’d told me about Roddy when they started playing as Faith No Man. But I don’t think I actually met them until they came down to play in LA. I guess I met Mike Bordin right around the same time, although he and Billy were also playing with Joe Pop-O-Pies, so I may have met him first when they were doing that. I was a big fan of that group. They were really cool, so I always went to see them play. They were a fun-band to watch, and it was always cool to watch Billy and Mike playing together."
"There has always been that thing between LA and San Francisco, and the punk scene was the same thing - everybody looked at San Franciscans as "hippie punks," and LA was more hardcore. I wrote a lot of the lyrics on stage at one of the first shows. I guess just social commentary on being responsible for your own situation."
“I do take credit for starting that whole thing rolling, not the Beastie Boys not the Chili Peppers. I tell you what the Beastie Boys were rapping over hip hop and throwing rock songs in and the Chili Peppers were rapping over funk, it's just two world's I grew up in because of my cultural breakdown so it made sense to bring these things together. I always try to bring my friends together it has been my thing all my life – people who should have no business being together. Like Crips with Beverley Hills rich kids with ,like, surf dudes.”
"Man, these rock stars who do coke for ten years, get shit-faced drunk every night and still get up and play. They get called assholes but I call them supermen - I couldn't do it."
"Naah, with us it's just kinda like the same thing as the United States and Russia. They hate each other but no one really wants to press the button. The antagonism comes and goes."
Faith No More Introduce Yourself
Dutch East India Trading.
Cement The Man With Action Hair
Dutch East India Trading.
Chuck Mosley and VUA Will Rap Over Hard Rock For Food
August 11th 2009.
Revenge Image Unlimited.
Chuck Mosley and VUA Demos For Sale
July 8th 2016.
EMP Label Group.
Indoria You'll Never Make The Six
August 30th 2016.
Primitive Race Soul Pretender
August 30th 2016.
Introducing Chuck : Chinese Arithmetic
When FNM Reunited with Chuck
Remembering Chuck Mosley
First FNM show Outside the USA
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