Call it a purge.
Asked recently to perform at a friend’s memorial service, former Faith No More frontman Chuck Mosley felt inspired and kicked into songwriting overdrive, churning out 11 compositions in two months.
“It was all of a sudden,” Mosley says. “I had to block the faucet because they were coming out faster than I could learn how to play them.”
Fans of the Los Angeles-bred, Cleveland-based musician won’t have to wait long to preview the material. Mosley plans to play three or four of the new songs when he hits Howlers July 29 as part of a nationwide tour. Post Traumatik and Dumplings also will perform.
The show marks Mosley’s first trip back to the Steel City in roughly 20 years and — no surprise to anyone living here — much has changed, from the music scene to the local cuisine. While Mosley will skip much of Pittsburgh’s booming restaurant scene — “the Primanti’s sandwich, that I’m gonna get. The foodie stuff? I can get that anywhere,” he says — he’s looking forward to reconnecting with the Pittsburgh crowd.
For that opportunity, fans can thank Nicole Naab and Nick Schmitt, two Pittsburghers who answered Mosley manager Doug Esper’s call on the internet for venues.
“He’s one of those shows that’s on my list. I’ve always wanted to see him perform,” says Schmitt, who lives in Carrick. “Pittsburgh seems to get skipped over a lot. Me and Nicole and Doug started talking and just said, ‘Let’s do this!’”
Esper, who plays congas in Mosley’s band, says Mosley’s absence has nothing to do with “the whole Pittsburgh/Cleveland thing.”
“I’ve lived in Cleveland, Buffalo. My parents lived in Detroit. I’ve lived in Youngstown, Ohio,” he says. “These former steel towns, we’re similar. There’s a kinship.”
Mosley, who grew up in Los Angeles’s nascent late-’70s punk scene, toured with Bad Brains and fronted Cement after leaving Faith No More 30 years ago in the wake of the band’s second LP, Introduce Yourself. He now fronts rockers VUA and recently completed a solo acoustic tour in England. Many of these angles will figure prominently at Howlers.
“It’s a total mix. I guess you could call it an anthology of my whole career, going back to [the band] Haircuts That Kill,” Mosley says. “It’s mostly acoustic but we’ll throw out some electric stuff we can pull off. There’s some Cement, a little Faith No More medley in there, a Mike Patton tribute.”
Pittsburgh isn’t the only thing that’s changed since Mosley’s last visit to Southwestern Pennsylvania.
“I’ve got a little more gray hair. My voice is rustier and I’ve learned to stay in tune more than I was back then,” Mosley says. “The new set is totally awesome. We’ve got four dudes playing, which gives it a full sound ... I’m actually proud of that. You know, I am what I am — I’m self-deprecating and I’ve got low self-esteem, but I’m going to put the emphasis on doing a good show. That’s what I do.”