'Ricochet', KURT COBAIN and RODDY BOTTUM
Admittedly there aren't a great deal of connections between the Seattle grunge overloads Nirvana and Faith No More. However some links do exist and there are just enough for us to scrape together an article.
"Kurt... he's one of my very best friends.....he's a good person, a good inspiration. Just the fact that he was on the cover of that magazine [Advocate] was a very powerful statement." - Roddy 1993
Roddy Bottum and Courtney Love's friendship began in the early 80s when she briefly sang for FNM [ read more about Courtney Love and FNM ] and of course Kurt and Roddy would too become good friends. In fact Roddy was one of the last people to speak to the troubled musician before this tragic suicide on April 5th 1994.
"I knew the situation was bad, they were arguing a lot. I went to seem him a week before he killed himself, hoping there was something I could do to help. When it became clear that there really wasn't, I left. Knowing...knowing what would happen. It was clear where he was going. The last thing I said to him was, You're going to die. I felt pretty guilty, but there was nothing I could do. When somebody really wants to die there's really nothing you can do to stop them." - Roddy 1995
This was difficult period for Roddy as he was struggling with his own addictions and would lose his father in 1993. These elements go somewhat to explaining why he was absent for the writing of FNM's 1995 album King For A Day Fool For A Lifetime.
"After rehab I went through a lot of loss,’ he recalls. ‘A good friend, my dad, Kurt Cobain, I was surrounded by a lot of very real and dark issues. Also, being out recently in that point of history was challenging, especially with the kind of band we were. I felt like prioritising my goals. I wish I’d had the wherewithal to seek solace amongst the band and push through it in that way, but I felt alone and solitary in where my life was going. I was in no way prepared to make another record, that’s for sure, and as I withdrew, the record became more what I was not. That made me pull back even more. I was able to be there physically for the process—but barely, honestly. It was a really difficult time." - Roddy | Small Victories : The True Story of Faith No More
Track two on the album Ricochet is often referred to on their set lists as Nirvana, this coupled with the negative nature of the lyrics has led to speculation that the song was written about Kurt and his troubles. In truth this was only because the song was penned on the day of Kurt's death.
"It was written the day that Kurt died. That's just why it was called "Nirvana." (Pause.) I like that one. The vocal harmonies are really really great. And those are my favourite lyrics on the record." - Roddy 1995
Nevermind, Nirvana's 1991 sophomore record projected them into the forefront of modern rock music. It was mixed by Andy Wallace the same chap FNM turned to in 95 to help them find a fresh sound. Howie Weinberg mastered Nevermind and also two FNM albums, King For A Day.. and Album Of The Year.
Several lyrics on 'King' seem to snarl against the trap of celebrity, entrapment and the ageing process. But Patton dismisses any suggestion that the Kurt Cobain saga had any effect on him ("I didn't know him or anything").As a singer in a rock n roll band who may have gone through some of the same things that he did, you had no thoughts or feeling about the whole business?
"What can I say? (Laughs). What can I say? I'm sorry? Bad things happen, y'know? I'm sure it wasn't as great as everyone thinks it was."What wasn't?"His suicide, I'm sure wasn't such a glamorous event." NME | February 1995
In 2009 Chris Novoselic made the statement in an interview that FNM paved the way for alternative bands like Nirvana.
"Living on the margins for so long, living in the underground scene it's like: 'Oh this will never catch on'. But it did, and it was starting to change where you had bands like Faith No More and Jane's Addiction.They were these rock bands but they were more like alternative or edgy. Then they paved the way for Nirvana."