Type in a search for “Faith No More books” on your favorite search engine or online store. There will be a surprisingly short list- one came out in 1994 and therefore leaves much of the story still to be discovered, one (The Faith No More and Mr. Bungle Companion) which was also reviewed here in Screamer covers more of the Mike Patton years of the band as well as Patton’s other musical projects. Now with Small Victories: The True Story of Faith No More from Jawbone Press, Adrian Harte tells the most detailed story of the band to be found so far.
Harte runs the website Faith No More 2.0 and is clearly a fan in addition to a writer. Compiling hours and hours of interviews of his own, in addition to massive amounts of additional research, the author has split the books into four sections. The introduction gives the reader a taste of what’s to come: “Since 1983, Faith No More have ingested elements of almost every musical style and flavoured them with their own musical musk to produce seven studio albums- music like no other.” And the story is about to begin: “The Faith No More journey takes in 1970’s suburban Los Angeles ennui, the 80’s music underground of San Francisco, and the 90’s MTV alternative music gold rush. It is the story of Faith No More as autarkic outsiders, as buzz band, as heavy metal miscasts, as reluctant arena act, as anaphasic relics, and as comeback kings for a day, fools for a lifetime.”
Part One of the book covers the background of the core band members and how the band came into being. And so begins the revolving door list of guitar players that have been a part of the band throughout the years, and the reader may even be surprised to hear some of the names of players that were considered but didn’t make the cut. Also included is that brief stint where Courtney Love was the singer. There is also a great amount of detail on former vocalist Chuck Mosley and all the antics that ensued during the early era of the band.
Mike Patton makes his debut in Part Two of the book and the author leads the reader through an in-depth history of the making of those iconic albums, touring years and the band’s sudden unexpected stint as MTV darlings. Scattered throughout the book are pages of full color photos from all eras of the band, some from the band members’ personal archives.
And yes, there is a Part Three as well as a Part Four of the book, but we can’t give away everything now can we? Just know that Harte has definitely done his research. Unfortunately, Mike Patton would not be interviewed for the book, so quotes from him are from previously published interviews, but Mike Bordin, Roddy Bottum and Bill Gould were in full cooperation, offering their insights to the book. Unless or until Patton decides to offer his story, Small Victories is as close to the full story as a fan will find in one package.