Faith No More
James Blanco Martin was born on July 21st in Oakland California. Jim grew up in Hayward with three brothers and his early influences were Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd.
At the age of 15, Jim formed the band EZ Street which took it's name from a strip-club in San Mateo. The band featured Mike Bordin on Drums and the late Cliff Burton on bass.
EZ Street didn't last very long due to a mutual dislike between Bordin and Jim, but it was the beginning of a friendship between Cliff and Jim that would endure. The two became inseparable and continued to play music together for the next few years. They both attended Chabot College in Hayward which is where they formed their second band, Agents of Misfortune. This band entered Hayward Battle of the Bands contest in 1981 and was the genesis of Metallica songs Pulling Teeth and For Whom the Bell Tolls and Faith No More songs Woodpecker From Mars and Surprise! You're Dead!.
After playing together briefly under the name Vicious Hatred the two would go their separate ways, Cliff would join the metal outfit Trauma and eventually Metallica in 1982. Jim would go on to play with Pigs Of Death and Recluse.
In 1983 Bill Gould, Roddy Bottum and Mike Bordin were looking for a guitarist to replace Mark Bowen. It was Cliff who suggested Jim for the job. The first show they would play together as a unit was under the name The Chicken Fuckers which would feature Bill on vocals and Cliff on bass.
FNM recorded two early albums We Care A Lot (1985) and Introduce Yourself (1987) with original singer Chuck Mosley. While on tour Jim got into a fistfight with Chuck's friend and band roadie Joe Ghandi, this added to rising tensions between Chuck and the rest of the band.
It was around this time that music journalist and longtime friend of Jim, Steffan Chirazi, christened him with the nickname 'big sick and and ugly'.
After the departure of Chuck it was Jim who suggested the appointment of Mike Patton. Bordin had passed him a copy of Mr. Bungle's first demo Raging Wrath Of The Easter Bunny. On the strength of the recording Jim called up Patton for an audition.
During the recording sessions for their third album The Real Thing Jim sought help getting his desired guitar sound from James Hetfield and producer Rick Rubin. He was also hanging out Metallica who were recording their album ...And Justice for All.
While touring TRT certain tensions between Jim and Patton were apparent as their personalities clashed.
Jim had a brief acting career when he appeared as himself (Sir James Martin of the Faith No More Spiritual and Theological centre) in the 1991 film Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey. Jim's lines in the film were "Station!" and "What a shithead."
When it came to writing their next album Angel Dust, Jim Martin was absent. His father died and he found the new ideas that Bill, Bordin and Roddy Bottum had written difficult to work with, he abandoned rehearsals for some r n' r in his truck. He would eventually work on the songs from home and contributed one complete song, Jizzlobber.
The band then embarked on a stadium tour with Metallica and Guns N Roses, Gould and Patton ridiculed their tour mates in the press, however Jim enjoyed the experience and often spoke out against his bandmates.
By 1993 it had become clear in interviews and from their behaviour onstage that there was an un-reconcilable rift between Jim and the other four members. Various magazine articles speculated on the band splitting but on November 30th the band fired Jim by fax.
Jim was approached to join the band for shows after their reunion in 2009, but he declined. He also declined performing with the band for the We Care A Lot reissue shows in 2016.
After Jim and FNM parted ways his first project was remixing tracks by German band Die Krupps. Jim played guitar on the second album by Voodoocult released in 1995.
In 1996 he returned with the band Behemoth, the group featured Trouble bassist Ron Holzner, Joe Cabral (drums) and Bob Keith (vocals). After their name changed to simply 'Jim Martin' they released one album titled Milk and Blood which featured a Pogues cover and a reworked version of Surprise! You're Dead!.
Jim featured two Metallica albums Reload (1997) and Garage Inc (1998). Also on Primus' album Antipop (1999).
Jim toured as lead guitarist with punk band Fang between 1998 and 2000 with whom he recorded their album Fish and Vegetables (2000).
Indian-American actor and songwriter Anand Bhatt, became friends with Jim backstage at a festival they were both playing. They recorded Conflict (1999) and their collaborations were Anand’s first break onto the Grammy Awards Ballot.
Jim featured on Echobrain's debut album featuring ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newstead in 2002.
In 2011 Jim joined Metallica onstage to perform Tuesday's Gone as part of Metallica's 30th anniversary shows. And spoke about his late friend Cliff Burton.
On June 8th 2013 Jim played guitar in the Infectious Grooves reunion at Orion Music + More festival at Belle Isle in Detroit. In January 2014, he again joined Infectious Grooves on stage to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of the Whisky a Go Go.
"Nothin' much is happenin'; I'm just sittin' around drinkin' beers. I have my scrambler, so I can listen in on private conversations - mostly these old bastards calling young girls. And I have my binoculars. I was watching hookers in Portugal with them right outside my window!"
"I bought the black V in 1979. The neck is my personal favourite and that's the main reason why I play one. The original guts weren't so hot and I spent a long time getting them right. The V seems to naturally have a fatter sound than any other Gibson or Fender and while I could put the same pick-ups in any guitar I doubt that I still get the same tone."
"I bought a pistol yesterday and I shot up my hotel room. I started off going for the little peep holes they put on the door. That's my favourite. Shoot that thing. And I got the extra bars of soap and set them up on a garbage can by the door. It's not real obvious what I've been doing in there but, if they found the soap they'd guess. So I couldn't figure out what to do with it. I couldn't get out on the balcony cos it's a pissy little window. So I stuffed it up on the smoke detector. It'll take them a few days to find it and, by then, it'll be too late."
"...my mom actually has a picture of me playing guitar when I was just a wee child, maybe five years old. I'm standing there in my cowboy hat, playing this toy guitar my old man got me."
"I dunno how the hell an outside producer can come in and know how your stuff's supposed to sound. It's crazy. I think it's a damn good idea for a band to produce themselves, 'cos they know better than anybody how their music should be presented. When you write a song, you're the only one who can hear it totally and clearly in your head. It's impossible to get across to somebody else what's going on in there!"
"I'd like a recording of the sounds of nature played at my funeral, so as even if it's not such nice weather outside, everybody can figure that they're outside having a good time, which is better than a dreary funeral parlour."
"...we had a small building we'd built in my friend's the backyard called The Shack. None of us drove, of course, we were far too young, so we'd go there to drink liquor, smoke weed and fuck chicks. We had this tape deck in there, and we'd play this Black Sabbath tape. I loved it so much it was the first record I ever bought."
"I think Faith No More will become a dinosaur, but it's just a fucking 'thing'! We never really got along anyway! We're just gonna do stuff, man, and the record company's gonna put it out! This whole thing is just starting, and we're just starting to become a dinosaur..."
"It's not like five different people trying to sound like the same individual. It's five different jerks struggling to be individuals and creating a band out of that."
"No way, I'm plenty happy with our situation. I don't feel in danger of being placed in the box of categorisation at all. We can't be threatened with it, because there isn't a box big enough for us anyway. However, it is only a matter of time before they make one big enough but I personally don't give a fuck if they do because they'll all be wrong. As we know, however good anything starts out, it always turns to shit!"
Faith No More Introduce Yourself
The Real Thing
June 28th 1989.
Faith No More Live At Brixton Academy
(Video) August 20th 1990.
(Audio) February 4th 1991.
June 8th 1992.
Milk and Blood
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