Australia

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1002, 2017

LONG READ: The story of Faith No More’s first number one

February 10th, 2017|Faith No More, News|5 Comments

“We’ve got to crack that radio attitude. Too many bands that were great bands have withered up and died because they didn’t pursue it and most of the world never got to hear about them.”

Faith No More bassist and talisman Bill Gould was speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald in June 1990, making no excuses for a band seeking chart and commercial success. It was fitting then that Australia proved the locus for their breakthrough chart success. on 26 August, 1990, the band’s Epic single reached the top of Australia’s official ARIA singles charts.

It was Faith No More’s first number one anywhere – and the first of two in Australia. Remarkably, the band had not even set foot in Oz until one month before topping the chart. Their first show was in Transformers in Brisbane on 29 July. They also played a live session for leading Australian radio station Triple J around this time. Officially dated as 30 July and broadcast on that date, the session may actually have been recorded on the 28 or 29 July. The redoubtable FNM Live site reports: “Puffy walks out during “War Pigs” due to taunts from the band about his playing. He had hurt his ribs during bungee jumping in New Zealand. Patton takes over drums on the song.” That bungee jump was widely reported with the San Francisco Chronicle capturing some band comments:

“It was sheer terror, I would never have done it except for the peer group pressure from the other guys in the band,” said bassist Bill Gould, who arrived Monday in Sydney with the group’s entourage for six performances. “It was so bloody high, I’ve never been so horrified in my entire life,” Gould said. “But it turned out to be the best thing I’ve ever done.” Vocalist Mike Patton added to the adventure by dangling from the elastic cable clad in only his undershorts and a sweatshirt.

Check out some discussion of and footage from that jump here on New Zealand TV (via Faith No More Followers)

And here is the actual session

The band played an impressive 13 shows in Australia in late July and August – and this and a promo roller-coaster propelled them to the top spot. Not that the critics were completely overwhelmed by their live shows, with the Sydney Morning Herald reviewing one of their two Marquee Sydney shows under the headline: “THE CROWD CAME FOR THE NOISE, AND NOISE IS WHAT THEY GOT”. The article also stated:

“While their name suggests a kind of disaffected nihilism, perfectly suited to the times, they are, in reality, strikingly loyal to their antecedents; their present is very much the literal transfiguration of their past, the sum of their influences.

They come on stage to a tape that sounds like Shostakovich meeting Metallica, or the brooding soundtrack to some big-budget Hollywood feature, and attempt – not always successfully – to maintain that sense of the epic, the cinematic, throughout the course of their performance.

There’s no reason why it shouldn’t work: on record, their music is a seamless fusion of abrasive power chords and symphonic keyboard washes – the effect veering oddly between some of the more pompous excesses of the ’70s(Rush, Emerson Lake&Palmer, et al), and contemporary hardcore speed metal.

Witnessed live, however, volume and distortion conspire to deny that all important balance, with the effect that guitar swamps the proceedings, and much of the subtlety is lost.”

The review concludes:

“This is not to say it wasn’t good – for a metal concert (which was, after all, what most of the audience expected and desired), it was fine. As an event, though, it lacked only that ineffable something that would have taken it from being merely good, into the realm of the truly extraordinary.

I’ts a pity, because that other, higher goal was always within sight, but proved just out of reach.”

The rest of Australia was hooked, however. The re-released single of Epic, with a B-side of The Morning After (and including a yellow cassette single version) was released in late July. Here’s what it looked like, courtesy of Patton Mad.

Epic entered the chart on 22 July 1990 at a creditable 31, the highest new entry of the week. By the following week, it had risen to number 17, nestled between Madonna’s Hanky Panky and Snap’s The Power.

(All chart images and info courtesy of the incredible Chart Beats website)

The following week (5 August) it hit the top 10, reaching number 2 the week after. But Epic was held at bay for two weeks by the continued dominance of none other than…MC Hammer. With U Can’t Touch This.

Hammer was wrong. One week later, Faith No More touched number one – and they would stay there for three weeks in total. (Holding off firstly the challenge of Concrete Blonde’s Joey and then Jon Bon Jovi’s Blaze of Glory). It was finally knocked off the top spot on 16 September by the hirsute New Jerseyian’s cowboy anthem.

Well-timed touring, Australia’s openness to rock music, a killer song and targeted promotion all combined to earn Faith No More’s first number one. Local record store Utopia also claimed some of the glory. In September, the Morning Herald featured an interview with Dave Defig from the Sydney store. He said: “We basically discovered Faith No More here years ago; somebody woke up to them finally and they’ve now had a number one.”

The band would score two further notable triumphs in Australia in 1990. Epic ranked at 22 in the chart of the year’s best-selling singles. Then on 23 December Faith No More won the Gisborne Handicap (1,000m) at Moonee Valley. A horse named in their honour, of course.

I’m Easy

Faith No More would go on to have a second Australian number one in 1993. I’m Easy, as Easy was entitled on this release, reached the top spot on the singles chart on 16 May – after nine weeks on the chart. It stayed there for two weeks – dropping Lenny Kravitz’s Are You Gonna Go My Way to 2 – before being usurped by Janet Jackson’s That’s The Way Love Goes.

Just like in 1990. Faith No More’s chart-topping came just after a the band had played a series of shows in Australia. In fact, the band played 11 shows in little over two weeks and were in New Zealand playing in Christchurch they day they hit number one in Australia again. And this time the reviews were more positive:

What makes Faith No More more than just another bunch of hairies who know how to crank it up is the perverse, self-parodying streak that runs through their work. You get the feeling, as each song begins, that it might end up somewhere completely different, maybe even visiting a few interesting places along the way.

The addition of keyboard player Rodney Bottum to the standard guitar-based lineup gives them room for contrast and, recalling the Mothers of Invention, he spends a lot of his time inserting atmospherics that run against the grain of the work, odd juxtapositions that convert what might otherwise be too linear into a tangle of ideas.

In one song, they sample the Happy Mondays’ Hallelujah, and in another, begin with a funkier version of the theme from Twin Peaks. Any band that can include fragments of the Bay City Rollers and the Birthday Party in one of their own tracks, Be Aggressive, has to be applauded.

It is this sense of playfulness, this undercurrent of mischief that makes Faith No More so appealing and made the Hordern crowds stand on the seats to catch a glimpse.
(Sydney Morning Herald)

And the band performed the show live on Nine Network’s evening show Hey Hey It’s Saturday in late April.

In an interview with – you guessed it – the Sydney Morning Herald on 6 May, Mike Patton explained some of the logic behind I’m Easy:

“I remember we were talking to a guy from this death metal band called Morbid Angel. They’re this amazing band who are really powerful – but hilarious at the same time.” He frowns: “Though I’m not sure if they’re aware of that or not …

“Anyway, this guy said how much he loved our version of Easy, and I said, ‘Well, why don’t you guys do something like that? You’re the guys who should be trying that. I mean, you’d just take people’s heads off if you were to do something like an easy-listening album.’

“And he just looked at me and said, ‘You don’t understand. We can’t do that. We physically can’t do it.’ Which to me, just goes to show how people in the entertainment industry build their own prisons. This band will never do that.”

Faith No More’s two number ones means they have as many chart-toppers in Australia as David Bowie and Prince. Even more incredibly, they have twice as many Aussie number ones as Australian icons AC/DC, INXS, Nick Cave and Nathalie Imbruglia combined.

 

 

 

1012, 2015

Vote Faith No More in Triple J Hottest 100 poll

December 10th, 2015|Faith No More, News|0 Comments

Australian radio station Triple J have included two Faith No More songs – Superhero and Sunny Side Up – in their very longlist for their annual and now iconic Hottest 100 poll. Voting in the poll started today and the rules specify that 10 songs can be chosen from the list provided by Triple J – which includes the two FNM songs – or voters’ own songs.

newhottest100

All songs that were officially released for the first time between 1 December 2014 and 30 November 2015 are eligible, and only votes for eligible songs will be counted. The poll closes on 22 January 2016 and the Hottest 100 will be announced on 26 January.

The poll is clamping down on campaigns to encourage artist votes this year after a huge campaign including support from KFC for Taylor Swift Shake it Off last year. The guidelines state: “Don’t troll the poll. Votes made as part of a competition that promotes a song or artist, or a campaign that undermines the Hottest 100, may be disqualified or ignored. We want genuine votes, from genuine listeners. If we feel something’s preventing that from happening, we’ll look into it for you and take appropriate action.”

So naturally, only vote for the Faith No More songs if you genuine feel they are the best of the year.

So vote here

106, 2015

CHARTS: Faith No More in at number 6 in Portugal

June 1st, 2015|Faith No More, News|0 Comments

Another top 10 album placing for Sol Invictus with the Faith No More album going in at number 6 in Portugal.

It is the only anglophone record in the top 14 on the chart and testament to the hardcore support the band have in the country – as anyone who saw them at the Optimus Alive festival in 2010 will testify.

In other chart news, the album slipped to number 35 in the official UK album charts in its second week, number 10 in Australia and number 11 in New Zealand.

But in terms of peak positions and opening week placings, Sol Invictus has hit the top 10 in 18 countries (if you include the proper US chart)

Sol Invictus in charts worldwide (peak position)

#1 in Finland
#2 in Australia
#2 in Czech Republic
#2 in Norway
#3 in Switzerland
#4 in Belgium (Flanders)
#4 in Germany
#4 in Poland
#5 in Scotland
#6 in Denmark
#6 in UK
#6 in New Zealand
#6 in Portugal
#6 in US album sales
#7 in Austria
#7 in Netherlands
#9 in Canada
#10 in France
#10 in Ireland
#15 in US Billboard chart
#15 in Belgium (French)
#20 in Italy
#23 in Spain
#27 in Sweden

2305, 2015

CHARTS: Faith No More Sol Invictus number 2 in Australia’s ARIA charts

May 23rd, 2015|Faith No More, News|0 Comments

Faith No More’s Sol Invictus has gone straight in at number 2 in Australia’s ARIA album charts.

It matches the #2 slot attained by King for a Day… and The Real Thing though previous album Album of the Year was a number 1.

The band were held off the top spot by local act Hermitude.

UPDATE:

Faith No More were way ahead on the physical album sales. Sol Invictus sold twice as many as second-best selling album Pitch Perfect on physical sales. Indeed, it sold almost 3 times as many physical copies as Hermitude.

But thanks to digital sales, the Aussie act ended up over 3,000 sales ahead if FNM in the overall chart.
  

2005, 2015

CHARTS: Faith No More number 3 in German midweek charts; number 1 in Europe on iTunes

May 20th, 2015|Faith No More, News|1 Comment

Faith No More looks set for a high chart placing in Germany according to the official midweek figures for the German album charts which have just been released.

Faith No More’s Sol Invictus is number 3 in the midweek chart behind two other new entries from former Eurovision winner Lena and Andreas Gabalier.
The official full chart is published on Friday.

germanmidweek

Putting that German performance into context, FNM’s best ever chart performance in Germany saw Album of the Year reach number 2 in 1997. Angel Dust and King for a Day both peaked art number 8 and The Real Thing at only 37.

One more curio from Germany. Superhero is currently number 15 in the Indie Disko Top 40. This is an official trendcharts.de chart in Germany based on DJ, radio and college DJ plays. This was up from 36 the week before.

Australia

No figures from Australia but The Music reports that Faith No More are in a battle for the number one spot in the ARIA chart. They report:.

“Veteran US rock group Faith No More just yesterday released their first studio album in eighteen years, Sol Invictus, but they may have to contend with a certain Aussie duo for glory on this week’s ARIA Album Charts.
While the San Fran founded quintet look to clinch a top three spot, electronic group Hermitude are in a similar spot after the release of their fifth studio album, Dark Night Sweet Light.
It will be a very interesting week for sales and we gave both albums glowing reviews, while Hermitude received our pick for album of the week”

iTunes

Faith No More remain number one in 7 countries in the iTunes album chart – and are number one in Europe and number 2 globally on the kworb chart of overall chart peformance (not sales) on iTunes. At present, they are number one in Chile, Denmark, Finland, Israel, Norway, Poland and Slovakia and number 8 in the US.

UK

As we reported yesterday, Faith No More’s Sol Invictus is on target for a number 3 placing in the official UK album chart. It is unlikely to catch fellow new entries Brandon Flowers or Paul Weller for the number one or two spot and will have to hold off competition from toff banjo bandits Mumford and Sons and non-dance dance act Hot Chip for the number 3 slot.

 

 

 

1505, 2015

CHARTS: Faith No More Sol Invictus in top 10 in iTunes charts in 8 countries

May 15th, 2015|Faith No More, News|6 Comments

On the day it is released to most of the world (sorry US and UK fans), Faith No More’s Sol Invictus is making significant chart impact in Europe and Australia – and Chile, (always Chile!).

The album is number 1 in Luxembourg and #3 in Australia and Chile.

Here’s the full list

#1 Luxembourg
#3 Australia
#3 Chile
#5 Norway
#6 Finland
#6 New Zealand
#8 Ireland
#8 Switzerland
#11 Germany
#14 Belgium
#18 Hungary
#21 Netherlands
#29 Austria
#43 Russia
#48 Denmark
#70 Brazil
#78 Italy
#91 United States
#91 Belarus
#106 Poland
#116 Czech Republic
#121 Slovakia
#147 Canada
#148 Bulgaria

1405, 2015

Faith No More Sol Invictus now number 7 in Amazon.com chart

May 14th, 2015|Faith No More, News|5 Comments

Maybe it was the Tonight with Jimmy Fallon bounce or the impending arrival of the album, but Faith No More’s Sol Invictus is now at a peak number 7 in the Amazon.com music chart.

Put it this way, the album is selling more than Taylor Swift and Mumford and Sons’s godawful effort even thought it has not been released yet.

screenshot-www.amazon.com 2015-05-14 13-59-40

 

The album is #5 in Germany, number 15 in the UK chart and #9 in France.

On iTunes, the album is also making an impact and number 25 in Australia.

iTunes

#4 Hungary
#6 Chile
#8 Finland
#20 Norway
#25 Australia
#29 New Zealand
#30 Sweden
#46 Russia
#54 Belgium
#63 Netherlands
#65 Italy
#65 Switzerland
#66 Belarus
#71 Denmark
#72 Brazil
#75 Germany
#84 Slovakia
#94 Austria
#108 Bulgaria
#110 Canada
#114 Poland
#121 United States
#140 Estonia
#161 Czech Republic
#189 France

1405, 2015

SOL INVICTUS STREAM: AUSTRALIA First Play on iTunes

May 14th, 2015|Faith No More, News|1 Comment

Australian fans can now stream Faith No More’s Sol Invictus via iTunes First Play.

LISTEN HERE

1405, 2015

SOL INVICTUS REVIEWS: Australia, Germany and Norway plus About.com

May 14th, 2015|Faith No More, News, Sol Invictus reviews|0 Comments

Here’s today’s early raft of reviews have a strong Australian accent.

Sydney Morning Herald

Leading Australian newspaper has a concise but 4/5 review:

“Sol Invictus is musically focused and concise, striking on a moody palette of darker atmospheres, thrash outbreaks, dramatic piano and the ferocious power of Mike Patton’s vocals. Long-time fans may bemoan the lack of an easy-listening pop ballad and the extreme schizophrenia, but the pay-offs are powerful fare like the erratic jazz-pop of Sunny Side Up, the hallucinogenic From the Dead and Mother—-er’s soaring, parting-of-the-clouds chorus. Seems like they haven’t missed a beat.

FasterLouder

And leading Australian music site awards the album 8/10, saying:

“Sol Invictus translates as “unconquered sun” and in typical FNM fashion they’ve cleverly twisted that into “son” and the spirit of individuality and enthusiasm (see the cover art) that still pervades a young person’s formative years. The album conveys that via Patton’s border-of-insanity lyrics and the restless musicality that conveys both claustrophobia and unbridled passion. They are still kicking against the pricks and the socio-political machine but they’ve done it in a way that doesn’t sound like grown men re-enacting their long shorts and askew baseball cap years.”

They conclude:

“The expectation was there for a good return to form from a band that always followed their muse no matter how much it threatened to derail their commercial potential. The reality is they’ve far exceeded that with Sol Invictus, an album that in its finest moments matches the best of their golden years. Rock isn’t dead, it sometimes just needs time to regroup and rejuvenate.”

Tone Deaf

Staying in Australia, Tone Deaf give the album their Hit or Shit and opt for Hit overall. I don’t get their criticism of the first half of the album as I think Side A is the better side but here’s their overall verdict:

“It’s hard to fault a new Faith No More record based on the fact that Faith No More would have to try pretty hard to release something lackluster. Luckily for fans, the band have seamlessly returned into their groove, and delivered a record that is not only an acceptable return to form, but also a genuinely great release by their standards.

With the exception of a few less-memorable tracks towards the beginning, Sol Invictus is a worthy addition into Faith No More’s catalogue, as well as an incredibly solid Alternative Rock album in general. Even after almost 18 years of inactivity, Faith No More remain a fully-fledged creative force. Welcome home, indeed.”

About.com

About.com award Sol Invictus 4.5/5 in a lengthy review, concluding:

““Matador” is brilliant and is as strong as anything the band has accomplished. Haunting melodies blend with a building chord progression before exploding into a grandiose addictive chorus. Patton’s voice is emotional and incredibly powerful. Bassist Billy Gould and drummer Mike Bordin provide the perfect backdrop and lock into a hypnotic groove. The chorus finds the band at their best as it drives into your cortex refusing to leave.

A huge advantage of Sol Invictus is the fact there isn’t a minute of wasted space. Clocking in at under 40 minutes it is easy to consume and dive into the complex material they compose. The music world needs a band like Faith No More to push its boundaries and comfort levels.

Sol Invictus is a gigantic achievement as it can easily sit alongside the rest of their brilliant catalog. This is a reformation that wasn’t forced or done strictly for financial reasons. This sounds like a group of guys who wanted to continue to play together and it shows in the creativity of the material.”

Ghost Cult 

Ghost Cult magazine also go into detail in their review and award 9/10:

“‘Separation Anxiety’ is the heaviest track on Sol Invictus and certainly if you are the type of person that pines for the first three FNM albums, this is the song that will resonate with you the most. ‘Cone of Shame’ is wildly dynamic and strange, but also driving and melodious. Patton shows off the most of his insane vocal ability here too. The perfect blend of all of the rollicking elements of the band you want in one track.

Although Billy Gould, who produced the album (except for Patton’s vocals) is always seen as a driving force of the band and definitive mouthpiece, Roddy Bottum’s keyboards dominate this album. All of his weird 80s synth-pop craziness, mixed with his deft jazzbo piano stylings are ever-present in songs such as the torchy ‘Rise of the Fall’, the sinister yet beautiful ‘Matador’ and elsewhere.”

Norway review

Two leading Norwegian newspapers have also had their say.

Dagbladet laud the record:

“To accentuate a single cut is however a little vain. All the songs speak to each other and therefore so that “Sol Invictus” should be heard in its entirety for maximum effect.” They also describe the record as “40 intense and effective minutes” and state that “Faith No More are not in the habit of writing the same record twice.”

Aftenposten‘s review is headlined: “Faith No More: searching, mysterious and sexy” and add.

“From the creepy, angry riff of “Separation Anxiety” via Americana-themed “Black Friday” to uptempo-pop ballad “From The Dead”, the whole is the sound of a rock band trying to be a rock band…[Faith No More like] “Queens Of The Stone Age through the last decade, searching, mysterious and sexy rock bands that know the rule book so thoroughly that they know exactly when it is best to break the rules”.

Germany reviews

The popular German music site laut.de gives Sol invictus 4/5 and give a lot of praise to Mike Bordin and Bill Gould in particular: Of Mike B, they state: “His heavy grooves, a healthy mix of the powerful and the accentuated shape the sound design of FNM more than strings.”

And Musikexpress.de gives the album 4.5/5 and states:

“Patton croons and croaks, barks and roars. His talents are nowhere better off than in this band. The tracks here are inspired mainly by the band’s own discography: “Sunny Side Up” is as funky as “Evidence”, “Cone Of Shame” takes off where “Home Sick Home” stopped, and “Separation Anxiety” is reminiscent of the dark moments of Angel Dust. That is also the downside: Sol Invictus adds to the recent work nothing new. But who knows: Maybe Faith No More are just warming up again. If anyone is capable, it is them.”

 

1305, 2015

Links for a Day…(vol. 174): Tone Deaf interview; Boston Globe praise, Die Welt review, Swiss special

May 13th, 2015|Faith No More, Links for a day, News, Sol Invictus reviews|0 Comments

We are getting such record reams of Faith No More news that even interviews barely merit more than a passing mention.

Tone Deaf interview

Australian site Tone Deaf has published its interview conducted earlier this year and it includes some nice good-natured chat from Mike B, Roddy and Jon:

“I think we’ve made a real career of being outsiders”, softly spoken Roddy says, of their veteran presence on the festival circuit. “We’ve never really considered ourselves part of any sort of movement. So we went out of the way to distance ourselves from other musical things that were out there, and we didn’t honestly have a lot of affinity towards other bands.
We toured with them, and we’re friendly with people, but our entity was kind of always on its own, so we don’t really feel a connection with the rest of the music world,”

And more Roddy:

““We’re a weird band. I mean, I’m grateful for where we are, and it’s great that so many people like us, but it blows me away – I can’t believe people like what we do, that’s so weird for me,”

Die Welt review

Leading German newspaper has today published a Sol Invictus review/feature. They say:

“The result is a slim but energetic collection of pieces that revives the old thread while at the same time bringing new perspectives. Faith No More – referred to by rock greats like Nirvana, Metallica or Anthrax as formative – offer much more than what some experts tried to label as”funk metal”.”

Faith No More Observatory full gig on Evergig

Evergig cleverly knits together fan footgae from conerts and syncs audio to offer full concerts. Here’s Faith No More at the Santa Ana Observatory.

Listening parties

A few US record stores are offering Sol Invictus listening parties for those who want to go beyond the streaming experience.

Record Store/Bull Moose are even offering free pizza on Monday as well as an early US taste of the vinyl.

Zia Records also have a competition to win a test pressing.

Boston Globe Orpheum review

A glowing review from the Boston paper:

“They also roared through back-catalog tunes with a nimbleness and heat that made it clear they still have energy to burn.
They kicked off the night with a foreboding and sinuous new track with an unprintable title, setting the tone for what was to come as they careened from brawny riffage to slithering rhythms, heavy-metal freak outs, and smooth soul symphonies. Patton’s still astounding voice, its range and power undimmed, surfed atop it all, injected with his uniquely maniacal aplomb.”

Faith No More special on Swiss radio 

Leading Swiss public radio station SRF 3 will be airing a Faith No More special from 20:03 CET tonight. It seems that the station – which is already streaming Sol Invictus on its website – will be playing the album in full on radio as well.

They say: “For their excellent and eccentric comeback album “Sol Invictus”, the crossover pioneers Faith No More returned after 18 years and sound as if they had never been away. In Rock Special you will hear the album as a German-speaking Swiss radio premiere.”

Swiss radio special II

My local station and the station with the French-speaking exclusive of Sol Invictus in Switzerland, Couleurs 3, have the album as their album of the week this week – and they played Black Friday on their show last night. The presenter makes the germane pint that the band have yet to announce a date in Switzerland for 2015. Sort it out!

Check here from 39:30 onwards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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