Roddy Bottum

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Roddy Bottum
Bottum performing with Faith No More in 2015
Bottum performing with Faith No More in 2015
Background information
Birth nameRoswell Christopher Bottum
Born (1963-07-01) July 1, 1963 (age 60)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
OriginSan Francisco, California, U.S.
  • Musician
  • composer
  • Keyboards
  • guitar
  • vocals
Years active1980–present
Member of

Roswell Christopher Bottum[1] (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 in April 2015.[2]

Early life[edit]

Bottum was born July 1, 1963, in Los Angeles, California, to Mary (née Hustead) and Roswell Bottum II, both natives of South Dakota.[3] Bottum has three sisters, Catherine, Elizabeth, and Stephanie.[3] His father was a federal prosecutor for the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, who later went on to found the law firm Bottum and Feliton in 1981.[3]

Bottum was raised Roman Catholic.[4] As a child, he studied classical piano.[4] Bottum attended Loyola High School, a Jesuit Catholic school in Los Angeles, from which he graduated in 1981.[5] He moved to San Francisco shortly after graduating to attend San Francisco State University in 1981 as a film major.[6]


Joining his schoolfriends Billy Gould and Mike Bordin in Faith No More in 1981 (replacing Wade Worthington), Bottum remained in the band until its demise in 1998.[4]

In 1985, Bottum wrote the words to Faith No More's first internationally-recognized song, "We Care a Lot".

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 witnessed 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).[7]

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.

Bottum with Imperial Teen in 2007

In 2009, Bottum returned to Faith No More for a reunion tour, and in 2015, the band released their seventh studio album, Sol Invictus.[8]

In 2013, Bottum moved to New York City and produced an opera, 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 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, a Brooklyn-based band, with JD Samson and Michael O'Neill. They released their eponymous debut record on Muddguts Records in 2020.

In 2020, Bottum released the song "Daddy" under the name Man on Man, with partner Joey Holman.[9] The video for "Daddy" was banned by YouTube for "violating rules of sex and nudity". The video was re-instated a month later on YouTube after receiving much criticism from the band and Rolling Stone magazine.

The second Man on Man single and video, "Baby, You're My Everything", was released by Bottum and Joey Holman in August 2020.

Man on Man released their self-titled debut album via Polyvinyl Record Co. on May 7, 2021.

Film and TV scoring[edit]

Bottum composed the music for Craig Chester's gay romantic comedy film Adam & Steve (2005) [10] 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 (2008), a film by Matt Aselton, starring Zooey Deschanel and Paul Dano. 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.

Personal life[edit]

Bottum revealed his homosexuality in a 1993 interview with Lance Loud for The Advocate.[11] 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."[12]

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."[11] 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."[11]

Before he came out as gay, Bottum was involved in a brief heterosexual relationship with Courtney Love in the early 1980s, concurrent with the time she sang for Faith No More. The two remain friends decades later.[13]



  1. ^ Lance Loud (June 15, 1993). "Heavy Metal Homo". The Advocate. Archived from the original on July 11, 2012. Retrieved June 22, 2008.
  2. ^ "Story Binge". Experiments In Opera. June 11, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c "Obituary: Roswell Bottum (1936–1993)". Rush Funeral Home. Archived from the original on May 16, 2021. Retrieved May 16, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c Traynor, Cian (July 28, 2017). "Faith No More's Roddy Bottum on learning to love Bigfoot". Huck. Archived from the original on July 23, 2019.
  5. ^ "'Requiescat in Pace'–May They Rest in Peace". Loyola Magazine (Fall 2020). Loyola High School: 24. October 14, 2020. Retrieved May 16, 2021.
  6. ^ Murphy, Tom (September 8, 2015). "Roddy Bottum of Faith No More: "Bigotry Is Chickenshit."". Westword. Retrieved February 2, 2021.
  7. ^ "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.
  8. ^ "Faith No More News". Retrieved December 5, 2013.
  9. ^ "Man on Man, Feat. Roddy Bottum (Faith No More), Release "Daddy" Single". Metalsucks. May 24, 2020.
  10. ^ "Roddy Bottum teams with Courtney Love on Adam & Steve soundtrack " – The Advocate Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine March 18, 2005
  11. ^ a b c The Advocate. Here Publishing. February 16, 1999.
  12. ^ The Advocate. Here Publishing. August 14, 2001.
  13. ^ "Gay singer Roddy Bottum on tours, Courtney Love – Gay Lesbian Bi Trans News Archive – Windy City Times". Windy City Times. May 29, 2012. Retrieved June 5, 2016.

External links[edit]