Chuck Mosley has been out of the spotlight for a while now. Since leaving Faith No More over 20 years ago, he’s played in Bad Brains and two other bands, relocated to Cleveland, and become a chef. Now he’s returned with Will Rap Over Hard Rock For Food, his debut solo album that features guests Jonathan Davis, John5, and FNM’s Roddy Bottum. Metal Insider caught up with Mosley and talked about the album, his influence on rap-rock, and his thoughts on the reunion of his former band.
My name is Charles Henry Mosley the 3rd, also known as Chuck Mosley. I’m the original frontman of Faith No More for the first two records, We Care a Lot and Introduce Yourself. I replaced Courtney Love. In 1988, they fired me, because we weren’t getting along at the time, and I had a big mouth. I resumed playing with my band Haircuts That Kill until 1990, when I was recruited to play in Bad Brains, which I did for approximately two years. After they got HR back, I went back home and started playing with my childhood friends in a band called Cement. We put a few records out, and one week into a yearlong tour, a driver fell asleep at the wheel, we got in an accident, and I got a broken back, so that record got shelved. One year later, I moved to Cleveland, with the five year plan of honing my cooking skills and putting a band together out here and recording. Five years later I reconnected with Michael Seifert, a wonderful producer, and we really got to business about a year and a half ago.
Have you noticed a change in the industry since the last time you released an album?
Yeah, I noticed people rapping over hard rock! That’s why we titled the album that, poking fun at myself and what a lot of people said I started. It came out of singing over the melodies that Faith No More presented to me, and when I couldn’t find a melody, I’d basically yelp to the beat. I’m a terrible rapper, but I love rap, so I wasn’t going to let the fact that I was no good at it stop me. So everybody picked up on my shortcomings and made a whole new style out of it.
Do you feel like you’ve influenced a lot of people?
I think I did, especially after being told so in person. When I moved out here to Cleveland, we’d be tuning into radio stations, trying to find something good, and my friends that have known me a long time would say ‘thanks a lot, Chuck.’ I wasn’t really good at singing, but being in the Bad Brains taught me focus on being a singer and taking myself a little more seriously as a singer than I ever did. I guess I’m rapping over the hard rock maybe 30% of the record.
How did you wind up getting the guests you got on the record? Were you aware of them?
When I moved out here in ’96, I was aware of Korn. I wasn’t really aware of their music, but they were playing at the Agora, and my friend told them I lived here and they wanted to meet with me. They told me had I not been born, they would not be a band. At that point, I started hearing them, and really became a fan of Jon’s voice. When it came time to get the vocals done for the record, I reached out to Jon, and he replied that he’d happily do it. The same with John5. And I’d always been in touch with Roddy. He was the godfather to my first daughter. We started doing “We Care A Lot” as a joke, because whenever we’d play our shows, people would be yelling requests for us to play it, so we’d play the intro to it and stop, to tease the audience. We kept on going, and kept on going, and all of a sudden, it turned into a whole song with a new intro, and we updated the lyrics and slowed it down. I asked Roddy, and he did it, and that was pretty easy. Mike, my producer knew Michael Cartellone, who’d been playing with Skynyrd for the last ten years, and he lived in Cleveland. When he heard it, he was happy to do it. I’m flabbergasted and humbled by the fact that everyone agreed to play on a record of mine. It’s a good group of people playing on it, and I’m flattered.
There are two Transformers movies out now. Do you still care a lot about them?
Sure! I haven’t seen the second one yet. That was Roddy and myself that wrote that. He’d come up with one line and I’d finish them.
What do you think of the way the industry’s changed?
It’s definitely changed. I don’t know if it’s for the better or worse. I’ll let you know in six months when I see how it effects my record. With the Internet, it goes both ways. I don’t mind giving music away when I can, but I would like to get in on the tail end of actually trying to make some money off it, because that’s what I do. I want to do this for another minute while I still can. If Iggy Pop, Neil Young and Willie Nelson and those characters can still keep going, then maybe I can still do it too.
What are your thoughts on the Faith No More reunion?
I think it’s great. More power to them. They actually invited me to come out and do the “Reunited” cover with Patton. Unfortunately, they asked me two weeks before they hit the road, and I couldn’t get my passport together. Also, we were just finishing up this record.
Do you talk to them regularly?
Yeah. In fact, the last time they played here before they broke up, Billy invited me to come up and sing my songs. But it was too sudden, and I didn’t want to come out and do it half-assed. I have this reoccurring nightmare of that happening and me going up there and flubbing it. That would just reinforce the rumors of how terrible a singer I am.
Is there any music you’re currently listening to that might have helped influence the record?Not really. It took so long for me to get this record done that there’s music on it from before we moved here up to the last six months or so. It’s the same old stuff. I think rap turned into rock in the ‘80s, where it’s just everyone talking about the fruits of their success. It’s all about the money and the girls and the bitches and the hoes and the 40s. I haven’t heard much stuff that’s meaningful since Public Enemy or something really funny since Pharcyde. The same with rock. There’s some stuff out there that’s original, but after winding down on the Nirvana, Korn sound, there’s nothing really amazingly new there. I still like mixing things up and putting things where they don’t belong. I didn’t really copy anyone’s style too much. I just choose to rock hard like I’ve always done and have a lot of feedback, psychedelic wah wah, and all the stuff I’ve always liked.