Faith No More: 15 Amazing Facts About King For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime

Faith No More: 15 Amazing Facts About King For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime

faith no more 1995
Faith No More, 1995 (Photo: Ebet Roberts/Getty Images)

From the brooding lounge soul of "Evidence" through to Mike Patton’s incredibly unhinged, get-me-a-restraining-order howl on "The Gentle Art Of Making Enemies", King For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime is another classic Faith No More lesson in extremes. A quarter of a century on, the alternative rock album still sounds utterly phenomenal; put it on the stereo while you absorb these FNM factual tidbits...

1. "Ricochet"’s chorus ‘It’s always funny until someone gets hurt - and then it’s just hilarious’ was adapted from a one-liner by US comedian Bill Hicks. Revered by fellow ‘90s alternative rock heroes including Tool and Radiohead, the cutting and outspoken comic died of pancreatic cancer in 1994.

2. Touring Australia with the 1994 Alternative Nation festival a few weeks after King For A Day…’s release, Faith No More popped up on popular, unfashionable light entertainment show Hey Hey It’s Saturday to perform "Evidence". Performing live vocals to a backing track, at 3:16 Patton laughs into the mic and then exclaims "I fucked it up, man!".

3. Also worth noting in above Hey Hey video is new guitarist Dean Menta wearing a Shihad T-shirt. The New Zealand band would join Faith No More for an immense King For A Day… tour across Europe in 1995.

4. Faith No More keyboardist Roddy Bottum suggests in the liner notes to 2016’s King For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime deluxe edition that the band’s infamous tour with Metallica and Guns N’ Roses across the US in 1992 shaped this album. “That particular scenario really upped the ante with regards to us showing the world what we were, and how we delivered,” Bottum noted. Faith No More were actually a second choice for supports on the disastrous first leg: Axl Rose had requested Nirvana, but Kurt Cobain turned him down.

5. While Faith No More guitarist Jim Martin left the band after touring 1993’s Angel Dust, Roddy Bottum recalled a peculiar incident to a journalist about his former bandmate appearing at a German King For A Day… playback. Bottum, who fired Martin by fax and hadn’t spoken to him since, said Martin rocked up to a Hamburg listening party to hear the album. “He showed up with this huge thug of a guy who was really heavy, like a Mafia type,” Bottum said. “He stayed at one end of the club and we were at the other end. It was a boring night.”

6. Having worked with producer Matt Wallace for all their previous albums, King For A Day… saw Faith No More record with Andy Wallace at Bearsville Studios, Woodstock, New York. “We liked that he’d done Slayer and Run DMC, it felt kind of perfect,” Roddy Bottum noted in King For A Day…’s 2016 reissue liner notes.

7. Given Mike Patton’s penchant for ‘shit terrorism’ and abusing audiences, it seems apt Faith No More would cover a song written by the impressively degenerate GG Allin. Allin, who died from a drug overdose in 1993, was known for his offensive performances featuring masturbation, blood and taking toilet breaks on stage. Faith No More’s version of his song "I Wanna Fuck Myself" initially appeared as a "Ricochet" B-side, but now appears on the deluxe edition of King For A Day…

8. The "Digging The Grave" single featured a B-side cover of The Bee Gees’ "I Started A Joke", which was later released as a stand-alone single following the 1998 dissolution of the band. In 2016, Billy Gould explained to The Guardian how they came to record the Australian-formed group’s 1968 hit. “We had a night off in Guam and we went to some military bar. There were big-screen TVs showing hardcore porn and they started playing "I Started a Joke" on karaoke. It was like God speaking to us: ‘You have to do this song.’”

9. "I Started A Joke" and "I Wanna Fuck Myself" are two of the only Faith No More tracks to feature incoming guitarist Dean Menta. With Jim Martin’s replacement Trey Spruance departing upon completion of recording duties for King For A Day..., former guitar tech Menta stepped into the role. “He used to work for the band so he’s in it for the long haul and we trust him,” Mike Patton told interviewer Richard Evans in 1995. So much for Patton's clairvoyance: Menta was out of the band before the recording of 1997’s Album Of The Year.

10. The lyrics to King For A Day… tune "Caralho Voador" are in Portuguese. Always fans of absurd humour, the song title translates to “Flying Dick”, with lyrics about a guy driving around picking his nose.

11. Proving his aptitude for linguistic athleticism, Mike Patton can be heard singing "Evidence" in both Portuguese and Spanish on the deluxe edition of King For A Day... A studio version of the single is also said to have been recorded in Italian, however it remains unreleased.

12. The woodcut-style album artwork are comic panels lifted from Eric Drooker's debut Flood: A Novel In Pictures. Drooker, a frequent cover artist for The New Yorker, won an American Book Award following Flood's publication in 1992.

13. Working titles for King For A Day... songs prior to the album’s release included: "

The Velvet Hammer" ("Caralho Voador"), "The First Song" ("Cuckoo For Caca"), "Patton II" ("The Gentle Art Of Making Enemies"), "Dirge" ("The Last To Know") and "Nirvana" ("Ricochet").

14. "Ricochet"’s working title of Nirvana stemmed from the fact it was written on the day Kurt Cobain’s death was announced (8 April 1994). Courtney Love, Cobain’s widow, had been a member of the fledgling Faith No More in the 1980s.

15. While we’re talking fallen grunge icons, have you ever pictured a world where Chris Cornell fronted Faith No More instead of Mike Patton? After the departure of ‘80s vocalist Chuck Mosley, Cornell was apparently tapped on the shoulder about the vacancy. “Soundgarden opened up for us a few times in Seattle, we were friends with them” bassist Billy Gould said in Classic Rock. “I think one day, Mike [Bordin, drummer] and I went to Chris’s house to jam, but I don’t think that we had a musical connection.” Reports suggest 20-year-old Mr Bungle frontman Mike Patton had already auditioned for the vocalist role by the time of this surreal jam, taking up the mic for Faith No More soon after. The rest, of course, is history.

Listen to King For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime on Spotify

Listen to King For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime on Apple Music

Related Posts