Roddy Bottum

Roswell Christopher Bottum III was born on July 1st 1963 in Los Angeles, California. Roddy grew up the prosperous Hancock Park district of Los Angeles and attended Loyola High a Catholic school with neighbour Bill Gould. He studied Classical piano from a very early age, his mother would make him practise for two hours every morning. The moneyed Hollywood surroundings meant Roddy would mix with celebrities form an early age, he even baby sat for Rosanna Arquette's family. When he was 18 he relocated (with Bill) to attend San Francisco State university as a film student.
In 1983 he joined Bill and Mike Bordin in the band Faith. No Man replacing Wade Worthington on keyboards.  Courtney Love sang for FNM on several occasions over the next year and Roddy and Courtney were lovers who became life long friends.
During Chuck Mosley's time in FNM the two became close and after Chuck was ousted they continued their relationship despite tensions with Chuck and the other members. Roddy co-wrote the lyrics to the song We Care A Lot for their debut album of the same name in 1985, due to his rap influences including Run DMC he helped to bring hip-hop into FNM's early sound.
On 1989's The Real Thing album his keyboard sounds added a more commercial pop side the FNM's music.......
During their 1991 South American tour Roddy kept a tape recorder on him to collect audio samples, some of which would be used on FNM's forth album Angel Dust. The record company accused the band of 'gratuitous sampling' and FNM ensighted a law suit from Iris Lettieri after using a sample of her reading a flight announcement at the Rio de Janeiro-Galeão International Airport.  Roddy co-wrote the lyrics to the song Be Aggressive which describes male oral sex .
Whilst on tour with Gun N' Roses he spoke openly to the press about his distaste for their treatment of 'groupies'.
In 1993 Roddy discussed his homosexuality in an article published by The Advocate. He explained that he had never hidden the fact that he was gay, only that the question had never arisen.
In 1994 Roddy suffered personal tragedies with the loss of his father and close friend Kurt Cobain. Coupled with the fact he was struggling with heroine addiction this led to him contributing little to the writing and recording of FNM's fifth record King For A Day Fool For A Lifetime. However he recovered in time to tour the album often playing guitar. 
It was at Roddy's wedding in 2007 that FNM re-connected after not seeing each other for some time, and talk of reforming the band began.
In 2014 After 5 years of touring old material FNM released their first new music in 18 years. The premiere single from 2015's Sol Invictus was Motherfucker , Roddy provided lead vocals for the first time in an FNM song. The music on the album heavily featured live piano and very little programmed synthesiser sounds unlike its predecessors.
In 2016 FNM reissued their debut album We Care A Lot , the band played two shows to celebrate their early roots and Roddy was excited to be working with his friend Chuck once again.

Imperial Teen

In 1994/95 Roddy formed the indie pop band Imperial Teen (originally Star 69) with Will Schwartz (guitar/vocals), Lynn Truell (drums/vocals), and Jone Stebbins (bass/vocals). Imperial Teen became known for their boy/girl harmonies and for all four members switching off on instruments during shows.
The group have released 5 studio albums and their 6th Now We Are Timeless will be released on July 12th 2019.

Sasquatch The Opera

In 2016 Roddy composed a mini-opera called The Ride, for the Experiments in Opera (EiO) Story Binge series. The opera was about two gay men from different generations who bicycle from San Francisco to Los Angeles for an AIDS charity, based on his real life experiences. 
In 2017 he took Sasquatch: The Opera to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland for a full month. Sasquatch: The Opera tells the story of a hillbilly family who con tourists in search of the mythical monster known as Bigfoot, until the daughter, Dodder, meets him and falls in love.

Other Projects

Roddy has over the years returned to his roots in film and composed the music for several movies. Including Adam and Steve (2005), What Goes Up (2009), Kabluey (2007), I'm Reed Fish (2007) and Gigantic (2007). In 2010, he scored the documentary Hit So Hard about drummer Patty Schemel and Fred: The Movie for Nickelodeon. Roddy has also tried his skills in front of the camera with playing the role of 'Dylan' in Tyrel, an American drama film, written and directed by Sebastián Silva
Roddy performed with Dinosaur Jnr. in 2015 and is an occasional live member of Nastie Band. In 2018 he formed a new band called Crickets with DJ, producer and songwriter JD Samson and Michael O'Neill.



“It was preposterous to me that people would have issues with it, but it was a difficult time. I was in a band [Faith No More] that was being embraced by bands like Metallica and Guns N’ Roses. Really hetero vibes and really over-the-top, sexist, clichéd camps of musical dinosaur vibes.”


The Quietus
"....that was the really cool thing about Faith No More. It was a really weird mix of people, and I’m glad everyone sorta got their say. So I was able to smuggle blowjobs into storytelling." 

Best Line Of Fit
"I’m a team player, I always have been. I’m a keyboard player and I play well with others. It’s a talent, a gift I’m proud of but it’s also a survival instinct that I had to develop." 

Sasquatch The Opera
"Our fans are the best. I mean that. We get such praise from such a weird and uniquely diverse group of people. It never ceases to amaze me."

The Guardian
"We were trying to get under people’s skin and that comes from a weird place. It’s really attention seeking in a way I don’t identify with, but I realise that I still do that."

Huck Magazine
"I do have an insane self-confidence that’s not really justified – maybe that comes from growing up with a lot of sisters and just being convinced that I’m always right."


Metal Hammer
“There was a witch named Rhianna, in Washington D.C., that used to gift me a lot of things. She had a couple of ferrets and was a full-on black witch. She used to send me different strange stuffed animals, like dragons, very Dungeons & Dragons sort of fantasy, stuffed animal things. It got a little crazy. She also gave me all of the stuffed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but I ended up giving them to a friend’s child. They were lovely, but I passed them on.”

Experiments In Opera
" As a person getting older, I tend to look down on young people and I think that’s sort of a typical thing. An older man will say, "Oh when I was your age, you know, I had to buy my own records and hear 'em for the first time and just spend money and like learn the record that way." This attitude contrasts with the reality that kids today can just download music on the computer."


Butt Magazine
"Faith no More is all about the contrasts. It was always my role to sort of bring in sweet strings and a piano melody. Making, you know, the pretty parts. Not to stereotype or put in a box what the gay man does, but I love arranging flowers and I love pretty things."

"I've been Roddy since I was a kid. It's a nickname, but it’s on my driver's license. It’s all I've ever been called, but it is a super-funny name. Can you imagine having that name growing up in school? 'Roddy Bottum' read aloud in front of a bunch of kids? It was a tough one, very character-building."

Clash Magazine
"That's all we know how to do. I think it's like extremes. Extreme highs and extreme lows. Intensity and release. When we think about our music we think about it more in terms of that, as opposed to the confusing process but I think as a result it does confuse people."

"Someone will see something or a couple of us will see something or hear something together and we’ll brainstorm and cover it or do something derivative of what we’ve experienced. One thing we all collectively share is a fetish for the dramatic."

"I could put dramatic accents on the rhythms. There's a rhythm section, and then to put textures and something pretty over it — that is really a powerful place to be as a musician."

The Star
"It’s odd to me. It’s always been weird to me. In my opinion, we do such a weird thing. It’s very bizarre and all over the map, and it’s a weird sort of place to bring the mainstream and it’s weird that anybody got on board with it."

The Skinny
"There were chapters of the band I didn’t really like; we all had ups and downs. But then there are songs that I never really gravitated towards or appreciated back in the day where playing them live now means a lot to me and it’s come to be something a little more personal. Over the course of touring over the last couple of years we’ve developed different relationships with the songs for sure. There’s certain songs we won’t play, and others that we genuinely like to play over and over… that just goes with the territory of touring."

The Washington Times
"Back when we were making records, it was whoever screamed the loudest got his way. We are now at this mutual respect place with each other. We now sit back and let each other have a place. Everyone brings in ideas, and we collaborate on the ideas. We also are better at making decisions together: what we do, where we play, our stage show. The decisions are made together and pretty clear-cut."


After The Show
"My stylistic approach has changed a lot. I'm bored with the 4/4 time signature, honestly, and I like to confuse it up a lot more than I used to. It used to bug me when rhythms were confusing but now I like it.  I also am open more to sounds as opposed to riffs.  But I still really like a cheeky perspective. That sounds kind of lame but I think you know what I mean."

Chicago Pride
"I just finished a couple of kid's movies. I like doing it. It's a different exercise for sure. It's a weird hat to wear. You take on the role as a supplemental music maker as opposed to doing music only for music's sake. Being the boss and calling the shots. As a composer, you're in the role of supplementing a big project, a big movie or action that you didn't necessarily create. It's kind of a stretch, but I like it a lot."

Windy City
"It was a good point to make back in that era. That was the era of such macho crazy hedonistic bands like Guns N' Roses. We had gone on tour with them and Metallica. It was such a highly charged testosterone macho environment that it made sense to sing a song about blowjobs."


Kerrang! Issue 649
"I'm becoming more childish as I get older. I like being in this band, though. I like being forced to deal with the others perspectives, directions and intuitions. Being forced to compromise is a way of opening windows for me."

Kerrang! Issue 659
"It's hard for me to turn my back on this band's history. Record by record, Faith No More never really sounds the way I'm comfortable with. But a part of me believes some day there might be the perfect Faith No More record that would make me happy."

Keyboard Magazine
"I just do everything organically. Like, if I'm doing a drum thing, I'll just bang on something. If I need to play a melody, I'll just do it on a guitar or sing it I'm sorry," he laughs. 'I'm the worst keyboardist to talk to about this stuff."


Kerrang! Issue 444
"The most interesting thing about rock 'n' roll is the mystery factory, the ambiguity, the whole 'what if...' factor. It's always fascinated me with bands. If someone'd asked me before if I was gay, I think I would have been absolutely honest about it. But, I was kind of willing to keep it a mystery, too. The way I see it, my band's career will probably go on for another five to 10 years, so I think it's probably good to stretch out the different aspects of what's going on behind the scenes."

"To me, throughout our career, the representation of the band and the way I've been portrayed everything has been so homosexual every we've ever done. I've portrayed some absolute blatant, stereotyped homosexual. I've been the boy in bondage, the sado masochistic cop, the homo-cowboy. I mean. I've been so blatant about it - it just blows me away that people don't pick up on something like that. Y'know. what am I supposed to

do? Hit people over the head with this? That hurts, right? It hurts your head and it's an insult to people's intelligence."

Kerrang! Issue 452
"I liked Kraftwerk a whole lot, they were one of the first real influences. And when I first heard The Young Gods, they were just amazing. Also, early on,I was able to relate to Elton John when I got into rock stuff because he used a lot of piano in his music."


"It's a real problem coming to a mutual decision over something in our band. It's not just the music, everyone has radically different perspectives. We don't really get off on the tension but it's inevitable and we deal with it. The thing that I respect most about us is that we don't try to hide the fact that a lot of times we don't get along. If we were going to split because of it we'd have done so when Chuck left, but we all get along much better since he left."

"When we started we were really pompous, pretty arrogant. We were deliberately offensive, and I think we still are. Shock value, it's always effective...and anyway, it's exciting. We've never had limitations before, but it's gotta happen sometime."

Faith. No Man Quiet In Heaven / Song Of Liberty
Ministry Of Propaganda Records.
Faith No More We Care A Lot
November 1985.
Mordam Records.
Faith No More Introduce Yourself
April 1987.
Slash Records.
Faith No More The Real Thing
June 28th 1989.
Slash Records.
Faith No More Live At Brixton Academy
(Video) August 20th 1990.
(Audio) February 4th 1991.
Slash Records.
Faith No More Angel Dust
June 8th 1992.
Slash Records.
Faith No More King For A Day Fool For A Lifetime
March 28th 1995.
Slash Records.
Faith No More Album Of The Year
June 3rd 1997.
Slash Records.

Faith No More Sol Invictus
May 19th 2015.
Reclamation Records.
Imperial Teen Seasick
May 7th 1996.
Slash Records.
Imperial Teen What Is Not To Love
September 5th 1998.
Slash Records.
Imperial Teen On
April 9th 2002.
Merge Records.
Imperial Teen Live At Maxwells
October 22nd 2002.
DCN Records.
Imperial Teen The Hair The TV and The Baby
August 21st 2007.
Merge Records.
Imperial Teen Feel The Sound
January 31st 2012.
Merge Records.



Happy Birthday Roddy 2016
Happy Birthday Roddy 2015
Happy Birthday Roddy 2017
10 Best Roddy Keyboard Parts

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