365 Days of Mike Patton: “Digging the Grave,” Faith No More (1995)

It was my first Faith No More concert. I was standing in the middle of the floor at my favorite ever venue, the Masquerade in Atlanta. The lights went dark to signify the start of the show, the crowd roared, and Mike Bordin hit the cymbals four times. And then pandemonium ensued.

I got hit from the left. I got hit from the right. I got bounced around (hard!) a few times more in the newly formed mosh pit, and that’s when I decided I should listen to Faith No More a little bit further away from the stage. I remember being completely floored by the music and the energy and by Mike Patton’s screams. I also remember somebody lost a shoe in that mosh pit.

That’s probably when I fell in love with Faith No More’s (and Patton’s) music.

While people still remembered Faith No More for its biggest hit, “Epic,” a half-decade earlier, its subsequent albums, Angel Dust and King For a Day, Fool For a Lifetime, are my two favorites. “Digging the Grave” is the ninth song on the latter record, and it’s just killer.

It’s the perfect way to open a hard rock show.

See what I mean?

When I saw FNM on its King For a Day tour, it was playing in front of about 500 people in a mid-sized club. In the U.S., the band never could sustain its popularity after “Epic.” In much of the rest of the world, though, it was a different story, where King For a Day blasted into the top-five of the record charts in the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Sweden and Finland. Its peak in America was No. 31.

“By that time, we knew that our unpopularity in America and our popularity everywhere else was letting us know that we must be doing the right thing because American music was so fucking bad at that time,” bassist Billy Gould told Metal Hammer. “At that time we all went off and did solo stuff for a couple of years because we were so tired of all the bullshit that people bought to their experience of Faith No More. But that wasn’t fatigue with the music, just with being so fucking misunderstood. Which sounds primadonnaish but is true: Right now when people tell me they love that record I think, ‘Where the fuck were you when it came out then?’”

I was there, Billy! In the mosh pit, getting bashed around, watching somebody look for a lost shoe that was probably never found, falling in love.

Previously from King For a Day:

To follow along on the 365 days of Patton, click here for a list of each day’s post.

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