With certain loses you die a little, a part of yourself goes away. This is how I feel about Chuck Mosley's passing away. I know he wasn't a mainstream musician anymore, and all I got to know of his work was two albums, but I consider him a big influence of mine and always respected him as a very original artist and free spirit.
As most of my peers, I got to know Faith No More through "The Real Thing", and later "Angel Dust", both already under the Mike Patton mantle. A bit later, in summer 1993, I made my first big travel abroad, to a town in Maryland, US, and one of the first key locations I pinpointed after arriving was the record store. That summer for sure created the foundation of my musical taste.
Among the myriad of records I acquired that summer, I grabbed and listened with great curiosity "Introduce yourself", FNM's second and last with Mosley's vocals, to find that FNM had replaced a singer of great personality with another. Mosley's voice struck me with his very personal tone; and his original way of phrasing (for example, in "The crab song", or the supercreepy "Death march") has for sure influenced my own singing style. All in all, I like "Introduce yourself" better than "The real thing", where I find the music, don't get me wrong, great, but a bit more watered down to the usual chorus-verse-chorus, that is way less than what this band has shown it can do (in the same way, and for the same reasons, I prefer 1000 times Nirvana's "Bleach" over the ultrablockbuster "Nevermind" -- Of course this says more about me than about the music...)
I remember reading very rough comments from the band against Mosley, then later I got surprised reading an interview with him where he seemed to me as laid back and easy going as his voice in the albums seemed to suggest (btw, the band's comments should not be held against them; everybody in their 20s is highly inflammable, and to put things worse at that time they were all under the terrible pressure of record companies, Rolling Stone magazine pushing their buttons in search of the "hot declaration"... FNM's song "Motherfucker" is referred to that period).
A bit later I got "We care a lot", FNM's first work with Mosley. Again rough and intricate music, my kind of deal, with not an ounce of "fruitcakeness" coming from the fact of having keyboards and being in the 80's... on the contrary, everything dark and rough as an electric chainsaw, with Mosley on front directing the chaos (but man what a tight chaos), and you could tell how revolutionary and underground of a band they were, the first shows must have been incredible, with people looking at each other in confusion...
Only two albums, but created in an absolute state of grace. As usual, it's sad seeing someone dear leaving before their time, an original spirit with still so much to say. Musicians are delicate creatures, that seems to be both the blessing and the curse of the profession... Rest in peace, Mr Mosley, and thank you for being a part of my life forever.
I have a guitar and I'm gonna use it