Faith No More is is mourning the death of their early lead singer, Chuck Mosley. Mosley died at age 57 of addiction-related illnesses after “a long period of sobriety,” according to a statement from his family posted by Rolling Stone.
Mosley was the singer on Faith No More’s first hit, 1987’s “We Care a Lot,” before being fired by the San Francisco rap-rock band after nearly five years as frontman. Mosley became the singer of Bad Brains in the early 1990s and later went on to a solo career as Faith No More continued to rise to MTV fame with new lead singer Mike Patton. After a period of estrangement, Mosley reunited with his former band as recently as last year when Faith No More’s first album was reissued.
Faith No More issued a statement on Chuck Mosley’s death, describing him as “a reckless and caterwauling force of energy” and expressing gratitude for their work with him.
“It’s with a heavy, heavy heart we acknowledge the passing of our friend and bandmate, Chuck Mosley. He was a reckless and caterwauling force of energy who delivered with conviction and helped set us on a track of uniqueness and originality that would not have developed the way it had had he not been a part. How fortunate we are to have been able to perform with him last year in a reunion style when we re-released our very first record. His enthusiasm, his sense of humor, his style and his bravado will be missed by so many. We were a family, an odd and dysfunctional family, and we’ll be forever grateful for the time we shared with Chuck.”
In addition, other musicians and celebrities took to social media to remember Chuck Mosley, including Megadeth bassist David Ellefson, Riki Rachtman, the longtime host of MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball, and the rock band Korn, who covered Faith No More’s “We Care A Lot.”
While later songs “Epic” and “Falling to Pieces” became Faith No More’s signature songs, the Mosley-fronted “We Care A lot” was the band’s breakthrough MTV hit. The song is now known as the theme for the long-running Discovery Channel series Dirty Jobs.
In an interview last year with The Quietus, Chuck Mosley talked about his acrimonious exit from Faith No More and his reignited friendship with the band.
“They decided that that would be the best thing to do because it would cost a lot more after the third record [to get rid of me],” Mosley said. “Because everybody knew the new record, The Real Thing was going to pay off whether it was me or Mike. They were putting the money into push it, so it was already a done deal more or less.”
Mosley also said that 30 years later it was all “water under the bridge” and that he was “super good” with Patton and his former Faith No More bandmates.
After Chuck Mosley’s exit from the band, Faith No More went on to three Grammy Award nominations for the 1990 album The Real Thing, 1991 song “Epic,” and 1993 album Angel Dust. Mosley continued to make music on his own terms, telling Quietus he has always been a rebel and admitting that’s what probably kept him “poor.”
“I’m just working class,” Mosley said. “I can pay the bills most of the time, usually from royalties. I maybe get a few thousand here and there, but mostly we’re just hundredaires.”
Plans for a memorial service for Chuck Mosley have not yet been announced, but his family revealed that they will be accepting donations for funeral expenses.
[Featured Image by Robb D. Cohen/Invision/AP Images]