While a member of Faith No More from the early '80s until his departure in 1993, Jim Martin's crushing heavy metal guitar riffs served as an important and major force in the band's sound.
Born in Oakland, CA on July 21, 1961, Martin began playing guitar as a teenager, emulating his heroes Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, and Led Zeppelin. Through one of his first bands, EZ Street, he met future Metallica bassist Cliff Burton and future Faith No More drummer Mike Bordin. The trio hit it off and became good friends, even after Burton and Bordin left to join other bands. When Bordin was putting together a new wave/alternative/experimental band in the early '80s with friends Roddy Bottum (keyboards) and Billy Gould (bassist), Martin was asked to lend his heavy guitar to the mix. First named Faith No Man, the band eventually switched their moniker to Faith No More. The band first signed to independent Mordam Records, then with Slash Records, employing the services of two vocalists, Chuck Mosley (1985-88) and Mike Patton (1989-98). It was the Patton lineup that proved to be the most successful, resulting in such alterna-metal classics as 1989's The Real Thing and 1992's Angel Dust. Martin also had a cameo appearance in the 1991 film Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey. But relations between the band members in Faith No More had always been strained, and by the time recording sessions began for the follow-up to Angel Dust, Martin and the band came to a mutual agreement that he should leave, citing artistic differences. After laying low for a few years, Martin formed Behemoth, which eventually transformed into his own solo project (along with members Brent Weeks and Joe Cabral). Their debut album, Milk and Blood, came out in 1997 as a Europe-only release. In 1996, Martin also appeared at an all-star radio jam with friends Metallica, guesting on their cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Tuesday's Gone" for their 1998 Garage Inc. release. In late 1998, it was rumored that Martin had joined the death metal outfit Fang full-time. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi