Mike Patton: Not at all. The reason that the reunion shows went well was because we didn’t even talk about that shit. It was just like, “Hey, let’s reconnect and revisit a place in our lives.” You do that for two years and then it becomes a question mark, like, “OK, what next?”
Roddy Bottum: Who wants to be an old dinosaur band lugging around a bunch of old material? It just felt very ugly.
Patton: Those guys were working on stuff, and if the music wasn’t so great I wouldn’t have been a part of it. But it was incredibly great. It was a part of our history that we had never really fully exploited. Meaning, we had never really got there. So this record was a way of expressing that shit -- the shit that we never did.
You wrote and recorded Sol Invictus in secrecy -- no label, management or producer. Why?
Bottum: We kept it in-house and behind closed doors. And we were fortunate to be able to keep it as insular as we did because we had no expectations or deadlines. Really, it’s a chicken shit way to do it. (Laughs.) But at the same time it allowed us freedom.
Patton: It’s a post-punk record with tons of atmosphere. It’s like ELO or The Beach Boys going through a gothic laundry cycle.
Faith No More Reportedly Working on New Album
Faith No More is often cited by newer rock and metal acts as a big influence. Do you hear yourselves in other people’s music?
Billy Gould: I don’t. We’re so weird we don’t even know who we are. If there was a band playing polka and they said they were inspired by Faith No More, I could see that more than a band that was just doing some, like, rapping over funky metallic grooves. That just seems like something that’s already etched in stone. It’s well-trodden territory. But it’s not us.
Do you think people want to hear new Faith No More music?
Patton: I have no idea! Who knows whether they will like it or not? I never wanted to be a 50-year-old guy making music [for] teenagers. I don’t think any of us did. But all I can tell you is we’re making good shit. I don’t care who listens.
This story originally appeared in the May 23 issue of Billboard.