Faith No More’s unique blend of heavy metal, funk, hip-hop, and progressive rock has gained them a cult following. The band’s debut, We Care a Lot, featured Chuck Mosley’s abrasive vocals but was powered by Jim Martin’s metallic guitar. By the time they produced their first album in 1985, the band already had a run of lead vocalists, including Courtney Love. For the first time, the rap and metal aspects of Faith No More’s second album, 1987’s Introduce Yourself, did not seem like they were fighting each other.
During the recording of their next album, The Real Thing, the rest of the band sacked Mosley and replaced him with Bay Area vocalist Mike Patton. Patton, on the other hand, was a better singer, able to switch between rapping and singing with ease and injecting his lyrics with a far more strange slant. The band had also tightened their approach, which led to the genre-defying hit single “Epic,” which cemented their status as a prominent hard rock force.
It wasn’t as simple to follow up the strike, however. It was 1992 when Faith No More released Angel Dust, a record that would go down in history as one of the most difficult and perplexing albums ever issued by a major label. Although it sold well, the second album didn’t have the same wide appeal as the debut. After touring in support of the album, allegations began to emerge that Martin’s guitar had been removed from some of the final mixes of Angel Dust; this caused problems between Martin and the band. During the early 1994 recording of the band’s fifth album, Martin was confirmed to have been sacked from the band.
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For King for a Day/Fool for a Lifetime, Trey Spruance of Mr. Bungle was Faith No More’s guitar player. Dean Menta replaced him during tour preparations. For 1997’s Album of the Year, Menta was replaced by Jon Hudson after he only performed with King for a Day for the entire tour. Faith No More announced their breakup in April 1998, following the conclusion of their record support tour. Before joining Fantômas, Patton was the frontman of Mr. Bungle and worked on avant-garde projects with John Zorn.
He now plays in a band called Fantômas with Buzz Osbourne of Melvins, Trevor Dunn of Mr. Bungle, and Dave Lombardo of Slayer. Imperial Teen released their first album, Seasick, in 1996, and Roddy Bottum continued with the band. Who Cares a Lot, a retrospective of Faith No More’s career published after the band’s death in 1998.
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A Faith No More reunion tour was held in 2009, 11 years after the band disbanded; Jim Martin did not participate, but Jon Hudson and the rest of the band’s 1988 lineup participated. A new album was expected as long as the band continued to perform live, and in November 2014 they released a song called “Motherfu**er,” which they named with their trademark tongue-in-cheek. To coincide with the release of Sol Invictus, Faith No More embarked on a lengthy world tour in support of their first studio album since 1997, on Patton’s Ipecac imprint’s Reclamation Records.