Bottum performing with Imperial Teen in 2007
|Birth name||Roswell Christopher Bottum III|
|Born||July 1, 1963|
Los Angeles County, California, U.S.
|Origin||San Francisco, California|
|Genres||Alternative rock, indie rock, avant garde, alternative metal|
|Instruments||Vocals, keyboards, synthesizers, guitar, bass guitar, sampler|
|Labels||Slash, London, Reprise, Mordam, Merge|
|Associated acts||Faith No More, Imperial Teen|
Roswell Christopher "Roddy" Bottum III (born July 1, 1963) is an American musician, best known as the keyboardist for the San Francisco alternative metal band Faith No More. He is also guitarist and co-lead vocalist for the pop group Imperial Teen, best known for their 1999 single "Yoo Hoo" used in the movie Jawbreaker. In addition to popular musical career, Bottum also scored three Hollywood movies and composed an opera entitled Sasquatch: The Opera, which premiered in New York on April 2, 2015.
However, after 1992's Angel Dust and its ensuing tour, Bottum's input into Faith No More was reduced significantly. His keyboards, previously prominent in the band, were almost absent on King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime (1995). Bottum later explained that he suffered a nervous breakdown in this era and "all of that [time] is a real blur for me." He was addicted to heroin and also experienced the death of his father and saw the aftermath of Kurt Cobain's suicide on Courtney Love (Cobain's wife and Bottum's close friend, and also an early singer for Faith No More).
In 1994 and 1995, Bottum formed Imperial Teen with Lynn Perko, another Bay Area music veteran. The band's mainstream pop sound was a stark contrast to the aggressive metal of Faith No More, and is perhaps best known for their single "Yoo Hoo", used in the 1999 film Jawbreaker.
In 2013, Bottum moved to New York City and produced an opera called Sasquatch: The Opera. He wrote the music and libretto for the piece about the elusive beast of the forest, describing it as a dark and gothic fairy tale about a backwoods family and the relationship between a caged woman and Sasquatch. The opera premiered in Brooklyn in 2015 and went to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the summer of 2016 for a month of shows. Bottum also wrote a short form opera called The Ride about the AIDS LifeCycle Ride, a charity bicycle ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles, a ride Bottum participated in twice. The piece was staged with two stationary bicycles onstage.
In 2016 Bottum joined the art music collective Nastie Band. The group features an 85 year old singer Chris Kachulis and Bottum's long time friend visual artist, Frank Haines.
In 2018 Bottum made his acting debut in Sebastian Silva's feature film Tyrel about racial tension in America. The ensemble cast features Jason Mitchell, Chris Abbott, Michael Cera, and Caleb Landry Jones. The film premiered at Sundance Film Festival and had a theatrical release through Magnolia Pictures in 2019. Also in 2019, Bottum formed the band Crickets with JD Samson and Michael O'Neil. They cite minimalist and political influences in a stripped-down sound that defies masculine toxicity.
Bottum composed the music for Craig Chester's gay romantic comedy film Adam & Steve (2005)  and scored What Goes Up (2009). He also composed the music for the 2007 film Kabluey starring Lisa Kudrow and Scott Prendergrast. Bottum scored Gigantic, a film by Matt Aselton, starring Zooey Deschanel and Paul Dano in 2007. In 2010, he scored the documentary Hit So Hard about drummer Patty Schemel. In 2010 Bottum also scored Fred: The Movie for Nickelodeon. He has gone on to score the sequel to that film and the first season of Fred: The Show for the same network.
Bottum revealed his homosexuality in a 1993 interview with Lance Loud for The Advocate. In a 2001 interview in The Advocate, Bottum stated that "I would never have thought as a gay teen I'd be in a band that would be considered heavy metal or hard rock."
One of his contributions to Faith No More was "Be Aggressive," a song about oral sex. Bottum has said in interviews that he wrote the song largely as a joke at Mike Patton's expense, enjoying the potential embarrassment the heterosexual Patton might experience singing the song onstage. A fan favorite, "Be Aggressive" became the second most-played song at Faith No More concerts. Bottum would also describe gerbil stuffing in graphic detail to shocked interviewers.
A 1999 article in The Advocate said of Imperial Teen, "With lyrical allusions to wearing lipstick and male pronouns used to address love objects, Imperial Teen serves up a gay sensibility that ordinarily surfaces only from straight bands like Pulp or Pizzicato Five." Bottum noted "I think there's a resistance from gay artists to go that route just because it's so predictable. But it is annoying to see bands play it as safe as they do these days. That's why something that visually screams as loud as Marilyn Manson is such a breath of fresh air."
Before he came out as gay, Bottum was actually involved in a brief heterosexual relationship with Courtney Love in the early 80s, concurrent with the time she sang for Faith No More. The two remain friends decades later.
- Lance Loud (June 15, 1993). "Heavy Metal Homo". The Advocate. Archived from the original on July 11, 2012. Retrieved June 22, 2008.
- "Story Binge". Experiments In Opera.
- "Metal Hammer: Blog Archive: Story Behind the Album – Faith No More". Metal Hammer. March 13, 2009. Archived from the original on December 10, 2010. Retrieved April 9, 2011.
- "Faith No More News". Faithnomore.ipower.com. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
- "Roddy Bottum teams with Courtney Love on Adam & Steve soundtrack " - The Advocate Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine March 18, 2005
- Publishing, Here (February 16, 1999). The Advocate. Here Publishing.
- Publishing, Here (August 14, 2001). The Advocate. Here Publishing.
- "Faith No More Is Working on New Music, Roddy Bottum Says". Guitar.com. November 30, 2018.
- "Gay singer Roddy Bottum on tours, Courtney Love - Gay Lesbian Bi Trans News Archive - Windy City Times". Windy City Times. Retrieved June 5, 2016.