Faith No More: “As an artist, you often have to say,” go to … ** “
They always play on the verge of different styles, they survived after Courtney Love visited their front-woman, survived the fall of the Berlin Wall, the madness of the music industry and the frenzy of hundreds of thousands of Metallica fans. And after all, they are responsible for Nirvana and Limp Bizkit.
Welcome to the outlandish world of Faith No More, which often walked ahead of time. Their partly prophetic play without borders continues – their first album has been released since 1997 and the group looks back at their past.
18+ Attention! Profanity
Frontman Mike Patton and bassist Billy Gould invited us to a rehearsal studio in downtown Auckland owned by the band. This place has a sharp contrast with the ultra-hippy San Francisco. Unless you can only see the bridge connecting San Francisco and Auckland. It has its own skid row (the infamous homeless neighborhood in Los Angeles – approx.ed.) – the last bastion of drug addicts, tramps and musicians who cannot afford luxurious lofts. There is no need to worry about Faith No More money: their 2009-2012 reunion tour was a triumph, there were more spectators than at the initial stage of their career. They do not need a label, or a manager, or an expensive studio, or a producer-legend. Patton and Co. create everything on their own. Including high-quality chaos, strong coffee, and still maintain a casual conversation.
For many years you rested your hands and feet, denied the reunion, but in 2009 you gave up. Why?
Billy Gould: Unfortunately, I was not present at that moment, but Roddy, our keyboard player, played a wedding and invited the whole group to a celebration, despite the fact that we had not seen each other for 10 years.
Mike Patton: At the wedding, we just talked, but not about music. They talked about personal things and poisoned stories. Like old people in Cyprus, cutting into backgammon.
Billy Gould: Then we realized: hell, we spent half our lives together. Therefore, we decided to see each other more often. And at some point they thought: okay, why don’t we play a couple of shows?
… who were so successful that it seemed that Faith No More was more popular today than ever.
Mike Patton: This is all a painful hobby for the oldies. I think that is even better. When we perform somewhere, we see so many young people who have not even been born when we released The Real Thing and Angel Dust. I suspect that they are brought with them by older brothers and sisters. Only here is what they like about us – I have no idea. Maybe for them it’s something like going to the zoo, how to gawk at animals. It’s as if we are the same monkeys that we must look at.
And you have exceeded the entire limit of expectations. Why did you decide to record an album after these three years?
Billy Gould: Personally, I immediately wanted to write an album. I really missed working with the group. But I can understand why others did not want this: the guys wanted to see if they were really ready for it.
Mike Patton: It’s funny that the guys didn’t tell me anything about the album. They worked on songs for almost a year and kept everything a secret. Probably because they knew what my skepticism is about whether we can, in principle, create something that will be relevant. Once Billy called me to his house and showed me some tracks. The only thing I thought: “It’s damn cool.” When I asked what it was, he said: “New Faith No More songs.”
Billy Gould: We tricked him a bit about what we have left.
Mike Patton: They knew that I was against comebacks and reunions. There are groups that have committed one of the worst crimes against humanity in this way. If they asked me directly whether I would participate in the recording of the new album, I would most likely answer in the negative. But I came across something that sounded really good. Therefore, I could not say no.
How are old Faith No More different from new?
Mike Patton: Being a member of this group is no longer such stress and now trust reigns between us. This, apparently, age is probably the simplest and most accurate explanation. We are in agreement with ourselves, the band and our music. New songs were created as fast and easy as never before.
Billy Gould: The huge difference is that the group no longer does what it does not agree with each other 100%. If one of us is not sure, then we stop doing it. It used to be different, because the slogan was: “If 3/5 agree, then both remaining can go to x **” (laughs). This was the only way to quickly resolve the conflict situation, since we are very different people. And we discuss everything – and this is not always pleasant. But if someone does not agree with something, then we are finishing work on this.
So now all D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself – Do It Yourself – Ed.) – Your label, management, ticket sales?
Mike Patton: They used to say constantly: “You have to do this and that. You need a studio that costs so much, a producer and an assistant.” All this garbage, in which we never believed, but which we always thought that was a concomitant evil. So people who wanted to control us invested in us.