MATT WALLACE ON FAITH NO MORE
He kindly responded with this fantastic and eloquent answer:
I've been asked a lot lately about what makes Faith No More such an innovative and perplexing musical juggernaut and, so, I thought I'd post some thoughts (instead of my usual attempts at inspiration or political considerations).
FNM have long eschewed a defacto leader (although some will argue that, post The Real Thing, Patton carries more 'voting power' as he is the singer) but, generally, they operate like a 5 point spider web with each leg stretching out in different dir...ections. It is that dynamic tension between 5 individuals with disparate musical tastes and with each advocating for his own artistic vision that gives their music it's unique blend of metal/pop/prog rock/art music/etc.
They boldly follow their influences and no singular band member is ever told that he can't follow any specific music that excites him. In fact, they seem to encourage each other to pursue their own muses and passions. They work together and ferret out, doggedly pursue and then excavate excellence. Not every song they write and perform is listenable to me but there are some that I listen to over and over again.
But, I admire them because they are unafraid to do things that other 'heavy' bands wouldn't do. They know to operate in darkness and light, uplifting and depressing, whimsical and profound. There is no other lead singer (or band) that I know that would write and perform a song like 'Be Aggressive" which is about a very specific act that most other bands with incomplete confidence or a façade of machismo wouldn't have the backbone to pursue, much less the vision to even conceptualize. The fact that Patton is so willing to take on any persona to get the artistic point across is truly inspiring and a band and singer have to be confident of who they are to take on some of the wildly unique perspectives that this band has pursued.
There is no other musical group that I know of that does what FNM does. The fact that they still push themselves is a testimony to who they are at their core as band members and as people. I agree that Frank Zappa and Led Zepplin are close contenders (and, of course, inspiration), but, FNM have blazed a more confoundingly unique musical and lyrical territory than any artist or band I know of. It's been an honor to work with them for over 30 years.
Matt has recently helped with final mix of FNM album number seven 'Sol Invictus'.