Chuck Mosley, the vocalist for the mid-Eighties run of pioneering alt-metal outliers Faith No More, died Thursday at the age of 57. The singer pioneered what would eventually become rap-rock on the band’s first hit, 1987’s snarky MTV breakthrough “We Care a Lot.” He left the band shortly after and did a stint as the singer of Bad Brains in the early Nineties. After embarking on a solo career, he made a handful of onstage guest appearances in the years since Faith No More’s 2009 reunion.
“After a long period of sobriety, Charles Henry Mosley III lost his life, on November 9th, 2017, due to the disease of addiction,” Mosley’s family wrote in a statement. “We’re sharing the manner in which he passed, in the hopes that it might serve as a warning or wake up call or beacon to anyone else struggling to fight for sobriety. He is survived by long-term partner Pip Logan, two daughters, Erica and Sophie and his grandson Wolfgang Logan Mosley. The family will be accepting donations for funeral expenses.”
Faith No More added in a statement, “It’s with a heavy, heavy heart we acknowledge the passing of our friend and bandmate, Chuck Mosley. He was a reckless and caterwauling force of energy who delivered with conviction and helped set us on a track of uniqueness and originality that would not have developed the way it had had he not been a part. How fortunate we are to have been able to perform with him last year in a reunion style when we re-released our very first record. His enthusiasm, his sense of humor, his style and his bravado will be missed by so many. We were a family, an odd and dysfunctional family, and we’ll be forever grateful for the time we shared with Chuck.”
Mosley came up in the vibrant punk rock scene in Los Angeles, playing keyboards in the Animated, the taut New Wave band of then teenaged Faith No More founder Billy Gould and his own Haircuts That Kill. He joined Faith No More in 1985, adding his distinctive post-punk yowling and rapping to a band who was years ahead of the curve of the post-modern mix of funk, metal, hip-hop and pop. Though, as Mosley told Fear and Loathing last year, “It was all punk rock to me, man.” The band’s second album, Introduce Yourself, spawned the hit “We Care a Lot,” bringing the band to national attention. The song is now best known as the theme to popular Discovery Channel series Dirty Jobs.
During his stint in the band, Mosley’s behavior was unpredictable. In the most famous incident of the era, he fell asleep onstage at the Introduce Yourself release party. Faith No More eventually split with Mosely, taking on teenaged firebrand Mike Patton and going on to release the platinum 1989 album The Real Thing.
In 1990, Mosley briefly replaced H.R. as the vocalist for hardcore punk pioneers Bad Brains. Following one of that band’s many break-ups, he formed funk-metal band Cement, who were derailed after Mosley broke his back in a bus accident. He moved to Cleveland in 1996, working at restaurants and focusing on being a father.
In 2009, Mosley released his solo debut, the cheekily titled Will Rap Over Hard Rock For Food, featuring an appearance from famous Faith No More fan, Jonathan Davis of Korn.
His long out-of-print 1985 debut LP with Faith No More, We Care a Lot, was reissued in 2016. The band celebrated the re-release by reuniting most of the vintage line-up – billed as “Chuck Mosley and Friends” – for two shows in California.