For the longest time, my only introduction to Faith No More was from the inclusion of their song “Epic” on the video game, Rock Band. I know, how could I have such little knowledge on such a household rock and roll name? Well, I was in the first grade in 1998, and probably off somewhere reading Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone. If I was listening to music, it might have been Will Smith’s “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit’ It” or Barenaked Ladies’ “One Week” on my CD Walkman, or Discman, whatever you would like to call it. Just about 10 years after the band’s breakup, I discovered The Real Thing. So I think it is safe to say, it took some time for me to get into the classics.
When it was announced that Faith No More would reunite in 2009 to play a number of shows, their fans were ecstatic. And when it was announced that the band would begin work on their seventh studio release, their first since 1997’s, Album Of The Year, they couldn’t be any happier. On May 19 of this year, Sol Invictus was available for purchase in stores and online. This was the first time that I was able to check out a Faith No More album on release. This one is also a record that I have been jamming to since it became available. Whether it be on vinyl or streaming platforms like Spotify or Google Music, Sol Invictus has made its way into my daily routine.
I was very fortunate to have a chat with the band’s drummer, Mike Bordin, to discuss all things Faith No More. We talked of the reunion shows back in 2009, digging back into the band’s catalogue, and how they began writing the new material. We also discussed the group’s session at Maida Vale, what fans can expect on the North American tour, and destinations the band would love to visit and perform. To read more on what Mike had to say about the band’s latest LP and upcoming tour, check out what he had to say below:
Was there talk of new material even before the 2009 reunion, or did that come later?
We actually did not talk about anything related to Faith No More until the 2.0 tour started in 2009. That is when we began discussing the band and what we wanted to do next. And when I think about it now, we really did have a clean break for a bit.
At what point did you guys begin actively working on the record?
Individually, we did not stop writing at all. We all had our own things that we were working on. But in terms of getting together as a band and working on new Faith No More material, it started before we embarked on a South American leg. We took some time in our rehearsal room and worked out one of Bill’s [Gould, bassist] demos. That song would become “Matador.” We were really curious as to how that would transfer over into the live environment. So, later on during that tour, we decided to play it in a few of the shows without any sort of introduction. It was a really good experiment to write something together again and immediately test it out on the stage. What we were doing felt really great, so we continued on from there.
Did you approach it any differently compared to your other LPs? Was there more pressure because of the break?
The beauty of this album process was that it was natural. It was very organic and it almost seemed like there was no work going on. There was zero pressure on us, so everything seemed to come together really well. You know, the five of us are all pretty different and there were a lot of opinions and perspectives being thrown into the pot. Because there were no outsiders checking in on us, we were able to work without distractions. So, we were isolated, unified, excited, and confident in what we were doing. And we all really loved what we were coming up with, so there was built in encouragement in that aspect as well.
So were you guys able to get back into the swing of things rather quickly? Or was it difficult at first to get everyone on the same page musically?
What really helped was going to those 2.0 shows. Being able to begin slowly by revisiting our back catalogue together helped a tremendous amount. By the end of it, we were completely comfortable with each other and were speaking the same musical language again.
This has been one of my favorite releases so far this year. From what I have read, fans and critics alike are loving Sol Invictus. Do you guys pay attention to the reviews at all?
It is hard to completely stay away from reviews and things like that with technology nowadays. Everything is online, so it is pretty much unavoidable, even if we tried. That being said, whether the reviews are good or bad, it has no effect on how we feel as a band. We are still very confident in the music that we have presented to the fans.
This also marks your first release where streaming applications are prevalent. Do you think these applications hinder or benefit musicians? Is it something they should even worry about?
It is certainly an interesting time to make music (laughs). Now, I don’t know much about these platforms or this new music universe, but when you think about it, it really shouldn’t matter in the end. The most important thing for musicians is to focus on the music that they create. That is and always should be the number one priority. Once that is done, it is just a matter of experimenting, honestly. You have to figure out what works best for you, or what plays in your favor.
I noticed when you were in the UK you were able to record a session at Maida Vale. That must have been exciting! How did that go?
Oh man (laughs). It was a total honor to do it. It was certainly a special moment for us as a band.
What can fans expect for this coming U.S. tour?
Well we take a whole lot of pride in our live shows. That will never change. There is always going to be a lot of energy and passion on the stage. And you can’t forget a little humor as well (laughs). You gotta keep the mood light and everybody relaxed. As far as the setlist goes, you can expect a lot of older songs. Of course, we will also sprinkle in a number of new tracks from Sol Invictus.
What is the preparation like for a tour like this?
Because we have been touring since February, it is incredibly important for me to take the time in between legs to rest.
You will be performing for the first time in Costa Rica in September. Is there anywhere else you would like to play for the first time?
We love to travel. We are all pretty adventurous and would love perform in so many different places. Iceland, India, and Vietnam are just a few that come to mind immediately.
Do you have any plans after the U.S. tour concludes?
Once the tour concludes, we will rest up and get ready to head on over to South America!
Faith No More will hit Madison Square Garden in New York City on Aug. 5. Sol Invictus is available now. For future tour dates and information, head on over to fnm.com.