There was this greyhound at the track that was all scraggly and scrawny and downright measly looking. Naturally, it was the long shot of the race. And just as naturally, the boys in the band said, "Hey, why not?" and put their money on it.

It came in first.

With the $2,000 in winnings, they bought a port-a-studio and christened the band after the fairy god-dog: Faith No More.

In the beginning, it was bass player Billy Gould and keyboardist Roddy Bottum. They grew up in L.A., "knew each other since we were really little kids," says Bottum. Together they went up to San Francisco and formed millions of little bands. "It was pretty much the bass player, the drummer {Mike Bordin} and myself, and we switched other people around," says Bottum. Then they added guitarist Jim Morton.

That's when they went to the dog track and found a name. Cut a record and toured. Got a bigger record contract and did bigger tours. About two years ago, they hired a new lead singer, Michael Patton. Now they tour all the time, Bottum says.

Their sound is a grooving, very heavy metal. The guitar is loud, the vocals are screeching. But what makes it different is the funky thunk, thunk da thunk of the bass. It makes you swing your hips like the girls on "Soul Train."

Their latest album, "The Real Thing," was released a year and a half ago, but this winter received a Grammy nomination. Another long shot that paid off.

"It's taken a while," says Bottum. "It was kind of like a hobby, but then we got nominated for a Grammy, and I think that earned us a lot of respect. It's funny. When you do it, that's what you are aiming for, but when it happens, it's a shock."

Faith No More is performing tomorrow night at the Bayou at 8. Tickets are $12.50 at the door. For information, call 333-2897.