As part of their critically acclaimed comeback, Faith No More once again used producer Matt Wallace for their latest effort, Sol Invictus. Matt Wallace has been the producers on 5 of Faith No More’s 7 releases, and he recently sat down with Diffuser.Fm to talk about Faith No More and how their comeback album came about.
Wallace started out by saying that the comeback album was really masterminded by the band’s bassist, Billy Gould.
“This record was very different in that it’s really Bill’s baby. I think everyone in the band has gone on record as saying that if it weren’t for Bill, this thing wouldn’t have happened. I would talk to Bill over the years and I’d go hang out with him up in San Francisco, and for the last 10 or 15 years, he’s been writing Faith No More songs. I’d say he’s got literally a couple of hundred songs or song ideas. He’s always carried the torch, so this was his baby. I’d offered to engineer, produce, or co-produce, but they really wanted to do it on their own. Bill recorded it, produced it — he was the guy.”
Wallace talked about how rather than do the same thing over and over again, Faith No More has come to him with original concepts time and again.
“If you just look at the transition from The Real Thing to Angel Dust, that’s a band that’s absolutely willing to let go of something that was really successful. They could’ve done The Real Thing Pt. 2 and probably made a really nice living, but they decided to really distance themselves from that sound that they helped create and move in a completely different direction. And their instincts were right: Angel Dust stands the test of time. People still applaud that record. But the Slash reacted by suggesting they title it Commercial Suicide. Someone there said ‘I hope none of you guys bought houses.’ No one, not even their manager, had confidence in them. Meanwhile, they were chafing at being termed ‘funk metal.’ They never wanted to be called that again.”
Wallace was also asked how he felt about the band going with a new producer for King for a Day and Album of the Year.
“I thought it was fantastic. For Angel Dust, I was the producer, the engineer, the assistant engineer and — since the studio wouldn’t answer the phone for us — we had our own phone line and I had to answer it. By the end of making that record, I said, ‘Listen, you guys either need a new producer, a new guitar player or both.’ And then I took two months off and didn’t work on any music for a while. It wasn’t out of any anger or anything like that. I just thought I’d taken them as far as I could and I wanted to let them not feel bad if they wanted to work with somebody else. I thought, ‘Yeah, it would be great to see who else might be able to pull some good stuff out of them.'”
Wallace also talks about his work with other bands, including the Replacements.
[Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images]