The press release for Small Victories: The True Story Of Faith No More is quick to point out that, although the book isn’t an “official” biography of the band, it is endorsed by them going so far as to tout a quote from co-founder and bassist Bill Gould regarding the book and its’ author, Adrian Harte: “It’s a quality piece. The man has done his research, and it shows. It provided me with more than a few revelations… and I’m in the band.”
But I digress.
Our first book review and is it ever a doozy! Coming at you from the mind of Harte, whose Faith No More 2.0 blog has become the be all/end all for fans and their incessant FNM needs (Check it out here), Small Victories is a hefty and thorough look into the world of your favorite San Franciscans from their very early days straight through to the untimely death of former vocalist Chuck Mosley late last year.
When your introduction starts by comparing the band and their musical style to that of a coffee bean that’s shit out of an animal to produce its’ signature flavor (Kopi Luwak! It’s a thing!) then you know you’re in for a compelling read. Forget the fact that the band itself has had seven singers and twelve guitarists, an assortment of music luminaries counted among their legion of friends and fans, and a career that has been equal parts outrageous and opulent (“Huge in Chile!”), starting out comparing the collective sound to that of a shit coffee and we’re already on the edge of our seats. Fitting as that would be the reaction from most fans when it comes to listening to or seeing Faith No More.
From their early beginnings as The Animated to Sharp Dressed Men where the core of drummer Mike Bordin, keyboardist Roddy Bottum, and bassist Bill Gould (Alongside Wade Worthington and Mike Morris, who, like their superhero alter ego alliteration names, are pertinent to the origin story and the eventual name of the band) developed and honed what would one day become Faith No More as we know it, Small Victories answers all of your burning questions along with insight even the most faithful FNM devotee may not know. Where did Mike Bordin get the nickname “Puffy”? How does Cliff Burton fit into all of this madness? Was Courtney Love actually a one-time FNM vocalist? Did the band really reach out to Chris Cornell when Chuck Mosley was ousted?
And what happened with Mosley? According to Mosley: “The Man, not the drugs” The band: “It was the drugs”, The press: “FNM was going ‘too metal’ for Mosley”. Before that, though there’s stories of counting Danzig as an early fan (“Bordin! You sent me that tape!) to getting kicked off a Ministry tour after Mosley accidentally destroyed a $50, 000 synthesizer of theirs.
And this is from barely the first third of the book!
From there, you get into the more well-known Mike Patton years and insight into genre-crossing groundbreaking albums such as The Real Thing (“Falling To Pieces” was pretty much hated by all members) and Angel Dust (Producer Matt Wallace: “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a band at that level of animosity in all the years I’ve worked on records”) and beyond (Justin Broadrick of Godflesh and Geordie Walker from Killing Joke were both considered to replace Jim Martin), to even alluding at what might be coming down the line even. And although there are no answers as to why Mike Bordin was on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? back in 2001, it’s still the most comprehensive Faith No More book you’ll ever get your hands on, hands down, and a must own for fans of the band or of the evolution of rock music.
Small Victories: The True Story Of Faith No More will be released via Jawbone Press on September 12th. You can pre-order a copy now by clicking here or go here to see where it all started from Adrian Harte and get the latest info on the book as well as Faith No More.