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No More Faith No More

Funk metal quintet calls it quits after fifteen years

April 20, 1998 12:00 AM ET

During Faith No More's fifteen-year run, they spent nearly as much time diffusing break-up rumors as they did making music. As of today, they no longer have to worry about either. The band officially announced its break-up eleven months after the release of its sixth album, the optimistically-titled, but critically-panned and commercially-lackluster Album of the Year.

In a prepared statement, the band said: "By breaking up, the decision among the members is mutual, and there will be no pointing of fingers, no naming of names, other than stating, for the record, that 'Puffy started it.'" The band is currently in the process of canceling dates for a spring European tour.

FNM reached the height of their popularity in 1989 when vocalist Mike Patton replaced original frontman Chuck Mosely. Soon after, the funk metal outfit released the multi-platinum The Real Thing and, more importantly, provided the music industry a needed respite from glam and classic rock. Unfortunately for FNM, the group didn't get the chance to ride the coattails of the new music revolution for long. By the release of their next album, 1992's Angel Dust, grunge had already taken the U.S by storm, and FNM went from being music pioneers to just another metal band -- a label they seemed to embrace by opening for Metallica and Guns n' Roses on a '92 summer stadium tour. To date, Album of the Year has sold a mere 164,000 copies in the U.S.

Still, the more FNM's audience dwindled it the U.S., the greater it grew in Europe. So, instead of packing it in, FNM toured long and hard overseas and persevered with four different guitarists, two vocalists and a good deal of in-fighting. In January '97, bassist Billy Gould told Rolling Stone Network, "there's definitely tension in the band. There's been some arguments. But, I think Faith No More has been a priority for everybody for so many years that this is the time for everybody to do their thing."

Throughout FNM's reign, nearly every member split their time with various projects: Mike Patton fronts the experimental band Mr. Bungle; drummer Mike Bordin toured with Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath; keyboardist Roddy Bottum plays with Imperial Teen; and Billy Gould did remixes for bands like Rammstein and is currently working on a solo project.

As far as any unreleased FNM in the offering, Gould says it will see the light of day, "but it's all kind of new to talk about."

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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