Music Video Monday: Faith No More

by robinhardwick

Faith No More, “Falling To Pieces” (1989)

I discovered Faith No More like most eleven-year-olds did in 1989; I saw the video for “Epic” on MTV and I was floored. The amount of power cords plus keyboards plus catchy chorus convinced was, even to my untrained ear, something unique. I fancied myself a “heavy metal” fan then, but Faith No More was not like any other heavy metal band I liked, i.e., they did not wear makeup and spandex.

I actually prefer this second, lesser popular single from Epic. The video is even more insane; it seems these kind of special effects just became available for music videos and the trend of including random objects in motion was already paved by Peter Gabriel. Flying fish? Mike Patton in a clown costume and then in a fast food employee cap? Neon paint dripping everywhere? A skinned head singing the lyrics? Sure, sure, sure , sure.

One of the most striking things about their sound was the heavy use of keyboards. Keyboardist Roddy Bottom later went on to form the power-pop-rock band Imperial Teen, and I remember in an interview he was still amazed that he ended up in Faith No More. Something to the effect of, “who would have thought a skinny queer kid would find themselves in a metal band?” But, good for him, although I doubt he felt completely comfortable coming out. He does leave the legacy of the unforgettable piano solo that accompanies the flopping fish, an integral part of music history.