Chuck hails from South Central LA and Venice, Ca.. He played in a band briefly in LA with Billy Gould (Bass, Faith No More), then Haircuts Can Kill. Auditioned in San Francisco to fill the revolving door of lead singers for Faith No More (a list notably including a bald headed Courtney Love). He helped firmly establish their sound live, then recording the band's first lp.(released in 1986) on legendary underground mainstay Mordam Records headed by Ruth Schwartz. Mordam also operated as a distributor and was responsible for bringing a large portion of the Punk subculture (including the Dead Kennedys and upwards of 20 labels) to the world, so this was big news and a big help when the record scored a huge underground and college radio hit with 'We Care Alot', a unique mock rock/rap song who's funny, yet poignant lyrics touched a nerve of the post punk generation living on the fringes of the fatuous, indulgent and sabre rattling mid-eighties.
They parleyed this success into recording "Introduce Yourself" for major Indie, Slash Records in 1986. They re-recorded 'We Care Alot', fueling the misperception of Faith No More as primarily a RapCore or Rock/Rap band ( more influenced by Killing Joke, Metallica, and ultra savvy pop awareness-ask 'em), and sells Chuck's vocal contributions short. Noteably, that " He can't sing, etc.", belying a clever singers self aware lampooning the sometimes bloated pomposity of Rock culture; tapping a rich historical vein.
Chuck's singing style was a cultivated crooner warble introduced by Screaming Jay Hawkins, who played with the tonality and resonance of his tone by stretchng and contorting the chamber of his mouth throughout held notes, along with other more mimicable cartoonish fun. Later in Rock, you find David Johansen using it with the Dolls decidedly playful music. David Bowie has encorporated it throughout his career, but particularly on the "low" lp., "china girl" and throughout his Berlin period. Thusly influencing Iggy Pop from "the Idiot"(check out 'funtime') on forward('I'm a conservative!' or 'wild america', f'rnstance). Jeffrey Lee Pierce of Gun Club was great with this style of using rock'n roll to play with itself. Dave Vanian with the Damned, of course. The Goth'ers used it to great lugubrious effect (Bauhaus, Joy Division).
It was Chuck Mosely (and a boat load of punk attitude) that used that warbling croon (juxta)posed against/ and in ironic tandem with Jim Martins towering metal chords to comment and play with a Genre of Rock known for taking itself a little too seriously (Yngwie, nuff said). He'd artfully fall off a note only to take it back and finish it clean. Listen to his layered tracks on "spirit(and excellence)", one track is pure and on, the other is absurdly, wildly off. Finally, I leave you with "faster disco" (in deed and in meaning) to demonstrate his purpose:
"styling, you know you are styling. So look to the mirror (there), and blow yourself a kiss (muah!)".
Iggy himself payed direct homage to Chuck and FNM's approach on the song "Lost" in 2000.
The band toured hard, tough often the success of the hit maddeningly overshadowed the rest of their vision. Chuck could be flippant onstage and I'm sure it carried over. Eventually the joke wore thin on the band; but their solution was a decided ambition to take that next step out of the San Francisco underground, and we all wished them luck. You could see them growing apart before they went down to start "Real Thing" in LA, I think Chuck could see it less so.
Mike P. was a real go getter, and was lock step with Roddy and the boys. Vox style in antithesis initially, but then by 'caffeine' there is slightly sterile decided return to the wounded croooner thing.
Mike P. does good and well by the underground- he's cool. But I miss FNM, and really miss Chuck - and tip my hat to his contributions.
ted offensive, San Francisco Mission dist.,7/08
24 Jul 03:43
Chuck Mosely was the singer/front man for Faith No More.