Preview: Faith No More
The unexpected rise and return of rock's weirdest success story
This article is from 2015.
Faith No More were always an odd proposition. They took a few years to really hit their groove (both Courtney Love and Chuck Mosley fronted the band in the early years) but it was the addition of vocalist Mike Patton that sent FNM into the mainstream. Their fusion of funk, metal and hardcore on 'Epic' and 'From Out of Nowhere' saw them transformed into unlikely MTV stars.
Follow up Angel Dust was even more frantic and eclectic, ranging from the death metal screams of 'Jizzlober' to an easy listening cover of John Barry's 'Midnight Cowboy'. Two more albums followed but rumours Patton had quit started to circulate in 1998 which was finally confirmed by the band by fax a few months later.
Then in 2009 FNM announced their return. The Second Coming tour looked like it would be a final victory lap. 'When we split up we explored what we could do on our own,' explained bassist and founding member Billy Gould. 'During that time, we each developed what was a natural part of ourselves. Now, coming back, we have a wider perspective so we can do things we didn’t even think of back in the day.'
They defied expectations returning with an incendiary and constantly inventive new album, Sol Invictus, exploring a new freedom recording and producing the album themselves in Gould's studio. 'When we were kids, there was a producer in the room with us, but now it’s just us doing it. We don’t need anybody else, it’s empowering.'
'Hypnotic and gothic, we’re coming back to where we were with our first album,' said Gould. 'Siouxsie and the Banshees, Roxy Music. Then Patton being Patton, crooning, screaming, with a bit of soul underneath it all. We’ve always taken strange influences and smashed them together.'
This mini-tour (with stops at the Download Festival, Glasgow and London) will be the first chance to hear Sol Invictus live. 'We have chaotic shows,' Gould says, 'we invite chaos, it actually becomes normal after a while. Your threshold for insanity goes up a little.'