Faith No More was originally formed as Sharp Young Men in 1979 by Bay Area, California musicians bassist Billy Gould, drummer Mike "Puffy" Bordin, vocalist Mike "The Man" Morris, and keyboardist Wade Worthington. Later on they changed their name to Faith No Man.
Wade Worthington was replaced by keyboardist Roddy Bottum, whom Gould had been friends with since the age of 10, in 1981. After Mike "The Man" Morris was ousted the group began calling themselves Faith No More, to accentuate the fact that "The Man" was "No More."
Faith No More went through a series of singers including a brief stint with Courtney Love. Billy Gould recalled of the Hole vocalist in the Nineties, "She was really good because she was annoying as hell and really aggressive."
Chuck Mosely was finally hired as the band's vocalist in 1983. Two years later, Faith No More's debut album, We Care a Lot was released and distributed through San Francisco-based label Mordam Records.
Faith No More signed up with Slash Records, and in 1987 their second album, Introduce Yourself, was released. However Mosely was proving unpredictable and often impaired by alcohol - he fell asleep onstage at the release party for Introduce Yourself. After touring the album the rest of the band chose to fire Mosely.
Mike Patton, who was singing with his high school band, Mr. Bungle, was hired in January of 1989. "He was super-talented," recalled Roddy Bottum. "He had a crazy range in terms of what he could do. I saw Mr. Bungle; they were doing a similar thing to what we did, just jumping all over the map."
Within a fortnight, Patton had written lyrics for the songs Faith No More was working on for their next album, and The Real Thing was released six months later.
The Real Thing
was a critical success. However, it wasn't until the song "Epic
" was released as a single in January 1990 that Faith No More's popularity took off in the US, thanks in large part to heavy rotation of the video. By the end of the year, The Real Thing
had gone platinum in the US.
Faith No More's fourth album Angel Dust
did not sell as well as The Real Thing
had in the US, but is now recognized as one of the most influential and intriguing metal records of all time. Their next two LP's King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime
and Album of the Year
received a lukewarm reception in comparison from the critics. The band's Billy Gould told us in 2012
their fans and musical peers have a different viewpoint. "Up until about 10 years ago, Angel Dust
was considered our commercial failure. At least by the media and record industry; but not with the fan," he said. "We went into the next two albums with the same intentions that we approached Angel Dust
; that is, we follow our gut instincts and not pay attention to certain expectations. You must be based in the US, because that is the only place in the world that believes that we received a lukewarm reception... everywhere else those albums were taken for what they were and generally were well received."
"As the artists who created these albums, I think that most of us in the band feel these two records were easily on par with all of the other efforts," Gould added, "and a lot of musicians have let me know that both of these albums were a major influence for them."
By the early months of 1998, there was speculation that the band members' many side-projects were taking their toll, and interest in Faith No More was waning. On April 19, 1998 Bill Gould announced their breakup.
In the years after Faith No More's dissolution, Roddy Bottum moved to New York, started collecting art and composed music for more than a dozen TV shows and films. "It was a hard stretch to sort of go into film scoring from being in the rock band," he told Rolling Stone. "The film scoring thing is rewarding sometimes, but honestly more often than not you're just coming in at the end of the day and sort of like supplicating someone's vision in some inconsequential way. More often than not, it's not the sort of thing I want to look back on my life and say that I spent a lot of time doing."
In February 2009 the band members convened for the first time in 11 years, and as a result of this reunion, mutually decided to reform the group. Following their announcement, Faith No More embarked on The Second Coming Tour from 2009-2012.
On September 2, 2014, Bill Gould announced that Faith No More had been working on their seventh studio album Sol Invictus, which was released in May 2015.
In the late 1970s Mike Bordin was in the high school band EZ-Street with future Metallica bassist Cliff Burton and future Faith No More guitarist Jim Martin. The group finished fourth in the 1979 Hayward Area "Battle of the Bands."
Mike Patton provided vampire voices in Will Smith's 2007 film I Am Legend.