Craig McLean plumbs the depths of Faith No More, who have broken Barrowland records with their forthcoming four-night stint.
1992: What the hell is going on? ‘You’re the master, and I take it on my knees. Ejaculation. Tribulation. ISWALLOW, lSWALLOW. . ."I don’t think people will like this record at all.‘ ‘Your menstruating heart, it ain’t big enough for two.’ ‘Every band in the whole world might think they want to open for Guns N’Roses, but lemme tell you, it’s been a real ugly personal experience, having to deal with all the shit that surrounds this fuckin’ circus.’ ‘Go on and wring my neck, like when a rag gets wet. ’ ‘Rumours that the band are to work with Right Said Fred have been strenuously denied by a spokesperson.‘ ‘lfI speak at one constant volume at one constant pitch at one constant rhythm right into your ear, you still won ’t hear. ’ ‘When I was staying in a hotel room once, I took a shit, rolled it into a ball and put it in the hairdryer so that the next guest to dry their hair would get hot shit in their face. Ain’t that rock‘n‘roll?‘
Ain’t that Faith No More? Loins girded and teeth clenched, muscles tensed and insanity unchecked. Buckle under and submit to this weird and wonderful rock opera.
‘When I first heard Angel Dust, the word I thought was sonic . . . supersonic. It was quite a different sort of sound to anything else.’ Eugene Manzi, master of the understatement, is press officer for Faith No More, and reﬂects upon a campaign, assault, that has seen the San Franciscans EXPLODE. Before 1992 . . . so they cared a lot. So they were epic. So funk-metal became their stomping ground as they revitalised, along with the Chili’s, heavy rock‘s ﬂagging flatulence. So they’d survived a change of singers, a change in fortunes, and baulked at the thought of becoming rock’s new bell-wether band. So they made Angel Dust.
‘We deﬁnitely have more confidence now,‘ says Faith No More drummer Mike Bordin, by way of explaining the indefinable, un-categorisable, ragged, bilious glory of their third album. ‘You could do it two ways. You could say, “Well, now I’ve got this audience, I don’t want to lose it, so I’m‘ just gonna do the same thing because I know they like that.” Which is bullshit. That insults people, man.
‘Or the other thing you can say is, “Wow, that’s great, these people really like my cooking— now I’m really gonna cook something for them!“ ’
Chow down, then, on this meaty feast. Like Bordin says, when pondering their third album, i
Faith No More erased commercial considerations and generic limitations from their memory banks. Famously now. the American record company gulped uneasily on hearing the end results. ‘Hey guys, what formula. what category are we gonna put this in?‘ quoth the pointy heads before lobbing Angel Dust Europe-wards. Five months later. 150.000 Britkids and 500.000 Deutcheskinder own a record that tweaks the nose ofartistic discipline. kicks the butt of market expectation.
‘The point is that there‘s some established ground rules that say that probably the band is gonna kiss the label‘s ass. give the label what the label wants. But the fuckin’ label signed the band for what the band does!‘
Way to go, Mike!
‘I think, in the long run, the record company just wanted to feel like they were involved. But I still think their reaction was wrong, I think it was very closed-minded and short-sighted. Now it’s a
natural thing to them, now they can understand it.‘
Psycho-ologists and metal-urgists, meanwhile,
are equally baffled by the phenomenon they‘re
calling FNM. Mike Patton, gymnastic vocalist
} playing fast and loose with satanic mimicry and ' homosexual fellatio and assorted mid-life crises, is
giving particular cause for concern. Then there’s
guitarist Jim Martin — a chap so sophisticated he‘s
deserving of the soubriquet ‘Big Sick Ugly’, and a
tall-walking repository of the more familiar HM
demonology. And why is Mike nicknamed Puffy? ‘The whole band has got a strange sort of
ON FOLLOWING PAGES: GLASGOW TRYST O ROY HARPER O NEIL YOUNG ALBUM
Faith No More
chemistry.‘ concurs Manzi. A chemistry where elements curdle together and violently ﬂare. Magnesium hitting water, solids turning to steam, unique compounds a-forming. Weird science a-go-go. where straight-up covers of such tear-jerking classics as the theme from Midnight Cowboy and The Commodores ‘Easy‘ jostle for attention midst the mighty rock skullduggery elsewhere afoot.
Compared to the inert gas heavy metals of Guns N‘Roses — whom Faith No More opened for in a summer tour of the global enormodomes -— FNM l are . . .just brilliant. AND, chastened bytheir experiences on that tour, FNM now do anything to avoid their fans being suckered by the rip-off
- fiasco that is the stadium gig. Thus the four nights at the Barrowlands instead of one night at the SECC.
They‘re showmen, self-mockery is their touchstone, and, hey, they care.
Mike Bordin nods sagely. ‘To me, that’s really it, and especially when I’m standing behind our singer and watching him — he doesn‘t want to be that far away from the crowd.’
‘What’s so wonderful about the band as people,‘ enthuses the press ofﬁcer, ‘is that they don’t want all the trappings of success, they rail against it.‘
It. Shouldn‘t. Bother. Them. But it does. Take
them on your knees. Gobble up Faith No More. It’s pure protein and it’s the sound of 1992.
3 Faith No More play The Barrowland, Glasgow
l from Tue I—Fri 4 Dec.
The List 20 November — 3 December 1992 27