It’s safe to say most Faith No More fans were introduced to the band via the platinum 1989 album, The Real Thing. The record also produced the hit single “Epic” and signaled the arrival of singer Mike Patton. Yet the band released two previous albums that helped lay the groundwork for their eventual commercial breakthrough. But those featured a different vocalist: Chuck Mosley.
Over the years, a new appreciation of the Mosley era of Faith No More emerged. It culminated last year with an expanded reissue of the group’s 1985 debut, We Care a Lot, along with a pair of West Coast reunion shows between Mosley and the band.
The singer spoke with me shortly before he plays a solo show at Mr. Beery’s in Bethpage on July 22 and at the Union Hall in Brooklyn on July 25. He promises a setlist that will reflect “a menagerie” of his career.
How was it playing the two reunion shows with Faith No More last year at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco and the Troubadour in Los Angeles?
It was a blast. I’d seen them a few times and played with them a few times over the last few years. And the one thing at their shows [with Mike Patton on vocals], it’s been very open as far as intensity, so they’ve got a lot of room to breathe in those shows. On these two shows, there was no breathing room—it was just back-to-back brutality! It was ridiculous. But it was a lot of fun. There were people there that I hadn’t seen in a lot of years.
This year marks the 30-year anniversary of your last album with Faith No More, Introduce Yourself. Any plans to celebrate it?
They were talking about that, but I’m not sure what’s going on. I just wait for the phone calls, and I go, “OK.”
It would be great to see a more substantial tour and/or new music between you and Faith No More.
I know. We’ll see, but I don’t know. Nobody knows. Those guys are so busy.
Would you say that you were one of the originators of the “rap rock” style?
I would say I am the originator. Some will argue and say the Chili Peppers, and I will say, “No, that was funk.” Some will say the Beastie Boys, and I’ll say, “No, they were playing punk rock, then they started playing the beats, then they started playing the rock.”
Clearly, the [Faith No More] song “We Care a Lot,” because that’s the one that’s all over the place. But really, I have to give credit to Mike Patton and “Epic,” because when he did it, it was a platinum record, so everybody looked at that. Technically, they say that first, and then all the younger folks went back and found out, “Oh, they’ve got two more records in their catalog,” and then found the original prototype. Anybody will tell you, I suffer from low self-esteem and lack of confidence, but I will own what’s mine.
How will the upcoming performance in Bethpage be different than your appearance there a year ago?
I brag about how terrible my guitar playing is, so I got another guitar player and a bass player [plus a conga player], so there’s four of us. On a sadder note, a friend of ours died and we’re playing a memorial. Right when they asked me, I wrote a song for him, and then all these other songs came out instantly. It turned into eleven new songs. We’re playing some of them. Everything sounds a little bit better.
Do you have any upcoming projects or recordings coming out?
There is a band, Primitive Race, which is a conglomeration of a bunch of people—the last one was Tommy Victor from Prong and MGT [Mark Gemini Thwaite] from the Mission and now it’s Dale Crover from the Melvins—and they asked me to sing. It was going to be two songs…now it’s the whole album. That’s going to be out in October. And the [second album from Mosley’s band Cement], Man with the Action Hair, is going to be re-released, because when that originally came out [in 1994], I had a bad car accident and that pretty much got shelved. That got remastered and is coming out in September. And then the album with all the new songs of mine will probably be called either Chuck F**king Mosley or just Chuck Mosley, and will hopefully come out between January and March.