The A-Z Of Faith No More
From Angel Dust to Zombie Eaters – it's Faith No More!
In tribute to this month’s Metal Hammer cover stars, here’s everything you need to know about Faith No More, in a handy alphabetised format.
**A is for Angel Dust
**The finest rock album of the 1990s? Quite possibly. Faith No More’s follow-up to the hugely successful The Real Thing album is unquestionably one of that decade’s darkest, most bitter releases, and surely one of the most nihilistic records ever released on a major label. When the president of Faith No More’s US label first heard these songs about sadomasochistic sex (Be Aggressive), serial murder (Crack Hitler) and masturbation (Jizzlobber) his first comment to the band was “I hope nobody bought houses.” Ouch. “The key phrase from the label was ‘commercial suicide’,” bassist Bill Gould later noted with no small amount of pride.
B is for Big, Sick, Ugly Jim Martin
For many, guitarist Jim Martin was the ‘face’ of Faith No More in their first decade as a band. An unreconstructed metalhead, who’d played alongside future Metallica bassist Cliff Burton and future FNM bandmate Mike ‘Puffy’ Bordin in a high school band called EZ Street, Martin became the band whipping boy as Faith No More hit the big-time, mocked by his bandmates for his gleeful embrace of the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. Side-lined during the Angel Dust sessions – during which Bill Gould would frequently wipe and re-record his guitar parts – Martin was sacked following the band’s headline appearance at the 1993 Phoenix festival. He’s now an award-winning pumpkin farmer.
C is for Covers
Given what a twisted, schizophrenic band they’ve always been, there’s something typically perverse about the fact that Faith No More’s biggest ever hit was a straight-faced cover of The Commodore’s smooth soul classic Easy. Throughout their career, in fact, FNM had a penchant for making ill-fitting songs their own (copyright Louis Walsh), whether tackling Sabbath’s War Pigs on The Real Thing, releasing the Bee Gees' I Started A Joke as a single or treating an initially bemused Download 2009 crowd to a rendition of Lady Gaga’s Poker Face. Talented bastards.
D is for Download
Great credit for Faith No More’s surprise resurrection must go to Download festival promoter Andy Copping, whose offer to the band to headline the festival in 2009 kickstarted the group’s comeback. The quintet’s 22-song set on the evening of June 12th, 2009 remains one of the great Download performances: the whole show is on YouTube for those wishing to whet their appetites for the band’s imminent return to Donington Park on June 13th.