Faith No More are an absolutely tremendous band. They are one of the few bands that have the ability to evolve in a way that is untouchable. The versatility of the band and how damn good each member compliments each other shows on each album, no matter who is in the line up. I personally am very partial to the Jim Martin era. I’ve always thought he brought such a unique touch to the songs. That’s in no way a shot at Jon Hudson or Tre Spruance. I will always be bummed I didn’t get to see Faith No More with Jim but, when I get that time machine, you bet your ass I’ll be going back to see Faith No More with Jim. That being said, this performance here, is Jim’s last with the band. It’s a pretty awesome performance and how. The setlist is pure gold and the energy on stage is contagious.
Faith No More- Live July 17, 1993 / Phoenix Festival / Stratford-upon-Avon, England:
Faith No More’s album Angel Dust is an absolute masterpiece. From start to finish, it’s a work of art. The moment, “Land Of Sunshine” begins, you know you are in for a treat. The song itself has a very interesting history too. The song was released as the second single. The lyrics contain, amongst other things, questions from Scientology personality tests, with one of them, the question “Does emotional music have quite an effect on you?” Mike Patton also wrote more lyrics to this song, during a sleep deprivation experiment and included lines taken almost directly from fortune cookies and the Oxford Capacity Analysis personality test offered by the Church of Scientology. He also watched much late-night television to get into the right frame of mind. “Land Of Sunshine” is an absolute banger and live, holy hell is it huge!
Ever since I started Audioeclectica, I’ve constantly been thinking of different topic ideas to add to the fun. One that I’ve been thinking about a lot as of late is a spotlight on solo albums. There are so many out there and certain ones really deserve to be given their proper due. Solo albums are tricky to pull off. A lot of the time the solo album tends to fall flat or sound too similar to the artists main band.
Back in 2002 following the passing of Layne Staley, Jerry Cantrell was readying a new solo album. The album was recorded before Layne had passed but, was dedicated to him when the album was released two months later. The album I’m speaking of is Degradation Trip. This opus is truly a remarkable album. The story behind it is pretty interesting too. To quote Jerry, “In ’98, I locked myself in my house, went out of my mind, and wrote 25 songs. I rarely bathed during that period of writing; I sent out for food; I didn’t really venture out of my house in three or four months. It was a hell of an experience.” Something else that makes Degradation Trip a stand out solo album is Jerry using a different backing band, enlisting the help Mike Bordin (Faith No More, ex- Ozzy Osbourne) on drums and Robert Trujillo (Metallica, ex- Ozzy Osbourne. Another intriguing tidbit about this album is that while making it, Jerry would be left without a label and a slew of studio bills. Jerry would go on to mortgage his home to continue on making this record. Upon completion, Jerry would sign a new deal with Roadrunner Records. After the signing, the label had asked for the album to be condensed from 25 songs to 14, but promised it would release the other songs at some point. Which explains why there are two different versions of Degradation Trip.
Jerry Cantrell is one hell of a songwriter and on this album he really carves his own niche. While the material on this album has many similarities to Alice In Chains, there is a purity to it that makes this a memorable and artistic triumph. Songs like “Psychotic Break,” “Owned,” “Angel Eyes,” “Solitude,” “Hellbound,” “Gone,” “Castaway,” She Was My Girl,” “Anger Rising” and “Thanks Anyway” are among my favorites on the album. The guitar work on all throughout the album is masterful. Not only are Jerry’s riff skills impressive, his use of melody is what really separates him from the pack. Always one to write deep and introspective words, Jerry doesn’t stray from that on this album. In fact I find these songs to be some of the most poetic songs he’s written since Dirt.
Jerry Cantrell really comes through on delivering a true solo album. This album deserves to be regarded and given the proper accolades it deserves. It’s not easy to go out on your own especially when you are part of something as special as Alice In Chains but, Jerry did it with grace and artistry. Check out Degradation Trip and let the music consume you.
The great thing about Faith No More is that they always did what they wanted to do. Their music was never easily classified, it ranged from metal, jazz, funk, rock, psychedelia, new wave, and then some. The band with Roddy Bottum, Billy Gould, Mike “Puffy” Bordin Jim Martin and Chuck Mosley released one album Introduce Yourself featuring the song “We Care A Lot.” When Mike Patton took over for Chuck Mosley, everything fell in to place. Their success took hold when The Real Thing was released. Featuring the songs Epic, From Out Of Nowhere, Falling To Pieces and the great cover of War Pigs. That album plus play on MTV garnered them plenty of exposure. Their follow up album Angel Dust was a departure from their previous effort. Songs like Midlife Crisis, Caffeine, Land Of Sunshine and Jizzlobber to name a few were far more experimental. After touring that album Jim left and was replaced by Trey Spruance (Mike’s bandmate in the great band Mr. Bungle). They would go on and record the album King For A Day… Fool For A Lifetime. The album stepped up the experiments venturing into the world of bossa nova, country, and gospel. Songs like Evidence, Digging The Grave. Their final opus Album Of The Year was released in 1997 and featured Jon Hudson on guitar. Ashes to Ashes, Last Cup Of Sorrow amongst others highlight this piece of work.
The individuals of the band are quite influential to many people in their own right. Mike Patton especially. His vocal style is undeniable and his ability to hit certain ranges is incredible. His numerous other projects including Fantomas, Tomahawk, Mr. Bungle (R.I.P.), Peeping Tom, etc are all influential and quite awesome. Billy Gould’s bass tone is copied by many in the heavy rock community. Mike Bordin is a beast behind the kit. After the break up of Faith No More, he would go on to play for Ozzy. Roddy Bottum is a mater of the keys. His arrangements and effects really helped to make Faith No More substantial. Their guitarists Jim Martin , Trey Spruance and Jon Hudson all different helped to shape the sound of each album they played on and it shows.
Faith No More reunited for a bit between 2009 and 2012. Sadly they have said that is it for now. Hopefully they change their minds.