VAJ Magazine - Inteview with Roddy Bottum
An Interview with Faith No More
by Matthew Klem
In a recent phone interview, I spoke to Roddy Bottum about his thoughts on their new album.
VAJ: I was just kind of curious if you could give me an idea what you guys
did as a band after Jim left?
Roddy: We probably got our heads together for a long time. It took awhile. We started writing songs.
VAJ: Was Trey your first replacement?
Roddy: Naw. We tried a lot of different people, but it was difficult to narrow it down to certain people. It seemed Trey was the obvious choice that we should choose. But sometimes I think when you are forced to choose like that you sometimes avoid the obvious choice. We tried a lot of different outfits and played with a lot of different guitar players and then we finally decided on Trey.
VAJ: And Trey recorded everything that you did for KFAD?
VAJ: Alright, then Trey left the band...
Roddy: Trey didn't want to tour.
VAJ: Then you brought Dean into the band. Basically how did that come
Roddy: Well it was someone we'd know for a long time and like Trey it just seemed like another obvious choice. We never seem to make things easy for ourselves. But when it came down to Trey leaving it was like geez we needed someone immediately to play what Trey had recorded.
VAJ: When did you start writing material for KFAD?
Roddy: Billy started writing stuff probably immediately right after we stopped touring. I didn't really get involved until about ... yesterday.
VAJ: Did you play any live shows with the new material before you started
Roddy: Nope. None at all. We always liked talked about doing that.
VAJ: Well basically I was kind of curious as to how you guys go about writing
Roddy: Its been different everytime we've recorded. Every working scenario has been distinct to that time...This time it went around a lot of Billy sitting at his computer and just bringing out ideas...
VAJ: Mike writes all the lyrics?
VAJ: Alright, well out of curiosity, in the song "Cuckoo For Caca, there's a line
that goes, "Take it from our drummer Puff, being good it gets you stuff." Is
there any particular story behind it?
Roddy: Well he put it in there because it's the damn truth!...He's always been collecting things, you know, material things. Little presents and goodies ya know, by being nice to people. He's being a really greedy thief and I don't see why.
VAJ: Why are there not a lot of guitar solos on the album?
Roddy: I don't know. Were there on any of our other records?...I hate guitar solos. I think they're really self-indulgent...I don't like the sound of them...I dunno, I mean a lot of people like guitar solos. I don't like to try and imitate anything that's really been done before.
VAJ: There's 14 tracks on KFAD but there are no covers, on the last couple of
albums, you had covers. How come none this time?
Roddy: I think when we were in the studio we had enough songs that we didn't need any. There was like way too many songs so we didn't need any.
VAJ: How come you changed producers from Matt Wallace to Andy Wallace
Roddy: I think we pretty much needed an overhaul in our sound. There was a lot going on in the last couple albums. There were a lot of changes. I think what we tried to do is strip down the sound and make things sound a little bit more basic. We've always been a band that's prided ourselves in doing new things not ever repeating ourselves, so with that in mind, it's kind of ridiculous to keep using the same producer...
VAJ: How long have you been on tour? Are you having fun?
Roddy: About three months...Yeah actually yeah, we'd be surprised at how many different times we do...I mean it comes down to getting away from what we do...and not just thinking about Faith No More and doing that, but if you can work it to your advantage and do other things...that's great.
VAJ: Where do you guys like playing?
Roddy: I think the only place I don't like to play is Florida.
VAJ: You personally, what is your favourite original to play?
Roddy: What's the song that goes, "this is the best party I've ever been to?" (King For A Day), we have like code names for our songs so...but that one playing live is really great.
VAJ: The whole album now seems to have a more mellow
tone to it, where did that come from?
Roddy: Well I think that sounds have gotten a lot more simple, the songs are a little bit more simple, however I'd like to think they may be mellow...like I know that "Angel Dust" was very chaotic, there was a lot going on there...and we weren't absolutely positive where we were. Maybe "King For A Day" is about us getting older. I know I've heard that some question posed to other members and I absolutely disagree, like no way. This has got to be the heaviest ever made.
VAJ: I noticed for "Digging The Grave" you're playing
guitar. What brought that on?
Roddy: Well there's a lot of songs without keyboards on them, and I have another band where I play guitar and I'm getting better at playing guitar...
VAJ: Do you find that any of
the other side projects interfere with Faith No More at all?
Roddy: Hopefully in the future they will. I would love to see a band fucking things up. It's like a lot of diversity, you start getting into the pattern of FNM and you need something else...ya know, we're gonna tour with FNM for a year, 18 months, I dunno, fuck that, I'd like to see other things become important.
VAJ: Anything you trying to accomplish with the new album?
Roddy: Well expand our musical horizons.
VAJ: You've been with FNM since pretty much the
beginning, and a lot of things have happened. What would
you say are some of the biggest events that have
changed FNM, since that days with Chuck?
Roddy: Right. Last night we played a show in Philadelphia and we invited the audience on stage. We've done that before...more and more people started coming on stage and security gave up on us, ya know "sure alright"...and they left...there's probably like a couple hundred people on stage, but we were able to comandere it. We told everyone to like sit down and everybody did. And we did it in a way that was really cool...after the bouncers left it was like "fuck you, you're on your own". We were able to get them up there, sit down, watch the show, and then get them off there all on our own. The fact that we were able to pull that off was a really good thing. Hiring Mike was obviously a good choice. My father died last year so it changed things for me...
VAJ: Have you ever thought
about re-doing any of the old stuff and re-releasing it?
Roddy: No. I dunno it wold be like saying we have nothing else so go back and re-do that stuff again.
VAJ: What do you think about the whole "Caca Volante"
mailing list about FNM fans on the internet?
Roddy: I think it's really cool. It works really well. But it's flattering to think that people are that interested to do that thing on that scale. I think it's better actually that we're off the list. I keep hearing that things change after we come back to the list.
VAJ: Do you have any final comments to all your
screaming Faith No More fans out there?
Roddy: Quiet down!
Thanks to Matthew Klem.