Matt Wallace

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Matt Wallace
Matt in the original "Dangerous Rhythm" Studios (Parent's Garage) 1983.
Photo courtesy of Laurie Nelson.

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Matt Wallace has been producing professionally since the 1980s.  Among his credits are the Faith. No Man single and 4 studio albums by Faith No More.

Matt, how did you first get involved with Faith. No Man?
I met the band through Bill Gould who was producing a band called Your First Born. He somehow found me and we were working in my parents garage in Moraga, California. After I finished their recording he mentioned that he had a band called Sharp Young Men (later became Faith. No Man). We tracked the band all playing simultaneously/live in my small recording studio. We overdubbed lead vocals and probably fixed/dropped in some minor guitar or keyboard fixes. During one of the takes Mike Bordin hit his hand with a drum stick and was in pain but didn't say anything until the take was finished.

Your 'recording studio', that was in your parents' garage right?
Yes, it was in a suburban garage in a quiet/stuffy neighborhood. It was very small as I only used 3/4 of the available space because my father's workbench/work shop was still there. I had a small guitar amplifier booth so that we could record drums live in the room, we recorded the keyboards and bass direct (no amplifiers) and overdubbed the vocals.

Recording Studio flyer

Dangerous Rhythm Studio; Matt Wallace's studio recording flyer.

According to M Morris you weren't quite familiar with that kind of music, is that right?
I was familiar with the kind of music that they were doing although I hadn't recorded that specific kind of music. Prior to Sharp Young Men / Faith. No Man I had recorded a band called B-Team and they were both influenced by Killing Joke. I'd also recorded other bands that were sort of punk. Maybe I wasn't quite familiar with their aesthetic.

You've been called FNM's '6th member', but you didn't start out as their producer?
With FNM, as with other bands, I originally started by giving them input/suggestions in the studio when they asked me. As time progressed I started going to their rehearsals and helping them fix things before going into the studio. Originally I was strictly an engineer but, as time progressed, I became more of a producer or co-producer for the band. The memories were always good because we were all doing something that we were very passionate about.
Their first demo was recorded at my studio in Oakland, California. Initially Chuck screamed all of the vocals (kind of like a scream-core singer) and then the band and I talked with him about trying to be more melodic. We even invited him to 'croon'. So, the following day of recording Chuck started singing the way that it ended up on the demo.
Matt Wallace on the Faith No More albums:

We Care a Lot (1985): we recorded in two 3 day weekends (total of 6 days) at Prarie Sun in Cotati, California including mixing and we all slept together (all 6 of us) in a very small loft type of building just outside the control room. It was very cozy. The record was paid for by Ruth Schwartz from Mordam Records. She was an early believer in the band. We also did a single recording day at Starlight Sound in Richmond, California where we recorded "The Jungle".
Faith. No More 1985

Matt Wallace and Faith. No More, Prarie Sun Studio in Cotati, California, 1985.
Photo courtesy of Mike Bordin.

Introduce Yourself (1987): we tracked it in Studio D in Sausalito, Ca. and did the overdubs in Los Angeles at a place called Ground Control (I'm pretty sure). Mike Bordin, Jim Martin and I (and maybe even one more band member) all lived in one hotel room at the Tropicana Hotel in West Hollywood. Again, very cozy. It was the last record with Chuck Mosley.
Faith No More - Anne's Song (Official video) - from the album Introduce Yourself

The Real Thing (1989): again, we tracked it in Studio D, Sausalito Ca.  We did overdubs at Studio D and then mixed it at Scream Studios, Studio City, Ca. Mike Patton joined the band and wrote all of the lyrics within 10 or 12 days while staying at Mike Bordin's house. While the band and I believed in that record we never thought that it would become as popular as it did. In our minds it SHOULD have been a huge, smash record. But the parent label to Slash records, Warner Brothers, would say to us 'great album, we love it  but, radio just won't play it because there's nothing like it on the radio'.
Faith No More - From Out of Nowhere (Official video) - from the album The Real Thing.

Angel Dust (1992): tracked at Toast Studios (formerly Coast Studios) in San Francisco, Ca and mixed at Scream Studios, Studio City, Ca. This is the record where the band wanted to separate themselves from the legacy that they'd built... funk-metal. They didn't want to sound like The Real Thing. Also, I recorded more low end/bottom end and used very, very little compression so that the record sounded completely different from The Real Thing.
Faith No More - mixing session for the song  'The Perfect Crime'.