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American Alt Metal Band Faith No More’s Return From The Grave

The band’s guitarist Jon Hudson on reuniting and writing ‘Sol Invictus’, their first album in 18 years

Anurag Tagat May 21, 2015
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Guitarist Jon Hudson’s part in American band Faith No More can make any fan feel for him. Hudson joined the band in 1996, after the band had shuffled through two guitarists in three years following Jim Martin’s firing in 1993. But just two years after Hudson joined and worked on Album Of the Year [1997], Faith No More called it a day. Says Hudson over the phone from California, “I was pretty bummed about that for a couple of years, but I said to myself, ‘I’m okay with that and I had a great time.’

Hudson went back to work, managing real estate in the Bay Area, specifically condos. Says the guitarist, “My tenure with the band wasn’t like I was going to retire or anything. For me, I had to go back to work.” In fact, Hudson, who handled a large number of properties in the Bay Area and Oakland described his work of managing property as a “very fascinating job.” Says Hudson, “It required some creativity, but certainly not difficult at all. It felt like music was so far removed from me at that point of my life. I wasn’t even playing, but I was too busy to worry about it. I basically wasn’t playing anything at all. I’d pick up a guitar once in a while.”

But when the announcement came in 2009 that Faith No More was regrouping for festival sets in Europe, Hudson was ready to get back into gear, calling his second innings in the band as “an added bonus. We weren’t expecting it or anticipating it.” After reuniting in 2009 for big ticket festival shows such as Download and Soundwave, Faith No More gained steady footing and even took most of 2011 off before they finally decided to write new material for an album – Sol Invictus – their first in over 15 years, due for release on May 18th. Hudson says the band spent last two years recording and writing material on and off, the starting point coming from bassist Billy Gould-composed mystery song, which was later titled “Matador.” Says Hudson, “The great thing about this process was that we hadn’t talked about it with anybody else, except maybe our family or our spouses or what have you. My wife knew, but we didn’t tell anybody. In this age of Twitter and Facebook, it doesn’t take much more than a casual click and then the whole thing is out.” Hudson adds that it was pretty much an unspoken agreement amongst band members not to talk publicly about a new album. Adds Hudson, “Everybody just became comfortable with that. We thought, ‘Is it possible that people don’t know we’re doing this?’”

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Faith No More. Photo: Dustin Rabin

Faith No More. Photo: Dustin Rabin

The band gave fans the first taste of new material with the brooding, sinister “Motherfucker” in November last year and followed it up with the more ballsy, half-metal “Superhero” in March 2015. Sonically, he says there’s more twisted metal at play. Says Hudson, “It’s certainly has elements on the heavier side that most people tend to call metal, but there’s more than that. There are elements of rock, but also elements that people associate with this band. I wouldn’t say it’s a radical departure. It’s another chapter, you know? It’s not going to sound like the other albums – people might really like that and there will be some people who might not. We’re not worried about that at all.”

While Hudson is mum on whether there are any more singles or music videos set to release ahead of the release, he is excited to see how fans receive Sol Invictus. They’re taking the album on the road through North America and Europe until August this year, frontman Mike Patton’s antics included. When asked about the time Patton did a flip on to drummer Mike Bordin’s kit to finish a song, Hudson jokes, “You just have to make sure you know which way he’s jumping. But other than that, we’re pretty straightforward, we don’t go out with massive props or pyrotechnics. We just go out there and play the music and if that’s what it takes, then he’s doing what he does best. Anything can happen.” As for bringing the show to India at some point, Hudson says the band is certainly open to the idea. “I assure you, if that offer had come up, we’d have played there already. If we get the chance, we will be there, in a second.”

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