For some reason, news of two ginormous rock reunions has been buried at the end of press releases in recent weeks.
First, there was an e-mail from the Recording Academy, which casually announced that [artist id="783"]Blink-182[/artist] would be reuniting at the Grammy Awards to present an award — which the band of course used to announce their reunion . And now, thanks to a press release touting singer Mike Patton’s involvement in the “major motion film ‘Crank 2: High Voltage,’ ” we know that [artist id="745"]Faith No More[/artist] — the much-celebrated, much-missed art-rock act that he fronted from 1989 until its dissolution in 1998 — are finally reuniting.
That news was, er, broken, in the final line of the press release sent late Monday night, which listed Patton’s upcoming performance schedule, including a stop at the Coachella festival and “the highly anticipated reunion tour with Faith No More in Europe this summer.” Needless to say, long-suffering FNM fans were pumped.
But is the news true? MTV News contacted Patton’s publicist, who told us that yes, the Faith No More reunion is happening … and no, they’re not going to be playing any dates in the U.S. (sorry, Coachella fans). This is will be a strictly European affair.
Patton won’t be doing any interviews to promote the tour, and it’s not exactly clear who will be in FNM this time around: Presumably mid-’80s singer Chuck Mosely (who Patton replaced after Mosely was booted for erratic behavior) won’t be on board, although it’s unclear whether epically-maned guitarist Jim Martin, who left the band in the early ’90s under less-than-friendly circumstances, will be coming.
Faith No More formed in San Francisco in the early 1980s, and after running through a spate of lead singers (including Courtney Love), settled on Mosely and released their debut LP, We Care a Lot, in 1985. Another album followed, FNM parted ways with Mosely and hired Patton, a musician/ performance artist with an epic vocal range and a manic onstage manner. (Patton was also the lead singer of Mr. Bungle, with whom he continued to work during his stint in FNM.)
In 1989, they released The Real Thing, an album which fizzled initially, but thanks to the success of second single “Epic” (and the iconic video, featuring Patton’s rapping, Martin’s soloing, an exploding piano and a fish gasping for air) quickly began rising up the Billboard albums chart and ultimately went multiplatinum. The band’s melding of rock, hip-hop and funk — not to mention Patton’s scattershot vocals — would prove hugely influential on the so-called nu-metal acts that would dominate the charts in the latter portion of the decade.
FNM followed up the success of The Real Thing with the confounding, contorting Angel Dust, which is widely considered to be one of the most uncommercial follow-ups to a hit album of all time. Full of gnarled song samples, frazzled rock, aboriginal chanting and operatic vocals, the album unsurprisingly failed to catch on with mainstream rock fans here in the states, although a non-album cover of the Commodores’ “Easy” provided the band with some mainstream airplay. While touring in support of Angel Dust, Patton seemed to take delight in testing the patience of FNM’s audience, standing center stage eating cigarettes (seriously), while perplexed fans headed for the exits. Upset with the direction the band was taking, Martin left in 1993 and was replaced by a revolving-door of guitarists.
In the years following its release, Angel Dust has come to be seen as a high-water mark, praised for its constant pushing of sonic barriers and its deft infusion of performance art into rock. Faith No More released two more studio albums before calling it quits in 1998, as Patton chose to focus on even more bizarre projects, like Peeping Tom and Tomahawk, and collaborations with Björk, producer Dan the Automator and others. Most notably, drummer Mike “Puffy” Bordin worked extensively with Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath; keyboardist Roddy Bottum continued with his band Imperial Teen.
Since FNM split, Patton has often been questioned by fans about the possibility of a reunion. He’s always answered that it wasn’t going to happen — except now, it appears that it will, and although they’re apparently just committing to the European tour for now, anything is possible.