365 Days of Mike Patton: “Superhero,” Faith No More (2015)

The first time I heard “Superhero” live, I was decidedly unimpressed. On the Tonight Show, Faith No More was playing the second single from Sol Invictus, its first album in 18 years, and it just … I don’t know … left me underwhelmed. In retrospect, it’s my least favorite song on an album I enjoy very much. But the song has grown on me slightly.

But only slightly (mostly because I really dig Roddy Bottum’s piano playing and Jon Hudson’s soaring guitar work in the middle of the song).

Appropriately, the song first premiered on Marvel.com, because bassist Billy Gould is such a big Marvel Comics fan and because, according to him at least, the song has a superhero vibe. Gould said that idea was always immersed in the tune’s DNA and that it was called “Superhero” before Patton even wrote the lyrics.

“’Superhero’ actually just started from the sound of the song, where it has these pounding drums and it has like this throbbing kind of pulse, and we just called it the ‘Superhero” song,’” Gould said, via Song Facts. “Because, a lot of the ways we write we visualize things.

“Actually this is kind of interesting because we’re probably a unique band in a way. While we write music we’re talking about chord changes and different things like that. What we do is we describe scenes together, and we can visualize the scene and the music kind of comes. We kind of make movie scenes for movies that don’t exist.”

Hey, I’m not a comic book guy, so maybe the vibe of the song and I just don’t get along. Either way, here’s that Tonight Show appearance.

In hindsight, I still don’t love it, and it’s not the song I would have chosen to try to sell myself and my new album to a national audience. But the performance was impressively intense nonetheless.

Previously from Sol Invictus:

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

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