Chuck Mosley, the singer and frontman on the first two albums from influential alt-metal band Faith No More, has died. Mosley—who was kicked out of the band after the release of 1987's Introduce Yourself—drifted around the funk-rock world for years, playing with groups like Bad Brains, and his own band Cement. A statement from his family today said, “After a long period of sobriety, Charles Henry Mosley III lost his life, on November 9th, 2017, due to the disease of addiction.”
Born in California, Mosley joined Faith No More in 1983, replacing founding vocalist Mike Morris. He appeared on both of the band’s first two albums, We Care A Lot and Introduce Yourself, lending his vocals—distinctive for their rap influences and intentionally atonal qualities—to singles like “We Care A Lot” and “Anne’s Song.”
Mosley was ejected from the band just as it was hitting its stride toward mainstream success; a 1988 European tour was the breaking point, with his reportedly erratic behavior leading fellow band members Billy Gould, Mike Bordin, and Roddy Bottum to replace him with singer Mike Patton. Mosley’s relationship with the band over the following 30 years was often contentious; although he reunited with them from time to time—most notably for a concert in 2010, where he sang a number of songs along with Patton, and a recent collaboration in 2016—legal battles between himself and the remaining members still occasionally cropped up.
After Faith No More, Mosley toured for a few years with Bad Brains, before forming Cement. He released two albums with the band—Cement, and The Man With The Action Hair—but touring for the latter album was cut short, when a tour bus accident left Mosley recovering for more than a year with a broken back. He spent the years after living in Cleveland, working as a chef, raising a family, and compiling new music. He finally released at least some of it in 2009, in the form of Will Rap Over Hard Rock For Food, which featured appearances from members of Korn, and at least a few of his old bandmates from Faith No More.
The band issued a statement about Mosley’s death today, paying tribute to his contributions to the definition of its distinctive sound:
It’s with a heavy, heavy heart we acknowledge the passing of our friend and bandmate, Chuck Mosley. He was a reckless and caterwauling force of energy who delivered with conviction and helped set us on a track of uniqueness and originality that would not have developed the way it had had he not been a part. How fortunate we are to have been able to perform with him last year in a reunion style when we re-released our very first record. His enthusiasm, his sense of humor, his style and his bravado will be missed by so many. We were a family, an odd and dysfunctional family, and we’ll be forever grateful for the time we shared with Chuck.