He studied classical piano from an early age, until moving to San Francisco when he was 18.
He is also a part of 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. Joining his schoolfriends Billy Gould and Mike Bordin in Faith Number More in 1982 (replacing Wade Worthington), Bottum remained in the band until its demise in 1998.
However, after 1992"s Angel Dust and its ensuing tour, Bottum"s input into Faith Number More was reduced significantly.
In an interview made available to fans on the band"s King for a Day. Fool for a Lifetime album (vinyl collection box set), Bottum explained that his contributions to the band"s efforts had necessarily declined because of the death of his father that year.
In 1994 and 1995, Bottum formed Imperial Teen with Lynn Perko, another Bay Area music veteran. The band is perhaps best known for their single "Yoo Hoo", used in the 1999 film Jawbreaker.
In 2009, Bottum returned to Faith Number More for a reunion tour and possibly a recording.
Bottum came out as gay in 1993. In a 2001 article 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 Number More was "Be Aggressive," a song about oral sexual Bottum has said in interviews that he wrote the song largely as a joke at Mike Patton"s expense, enjoying the potential humiliation a straight vocalist would subject himself to onstage.
"Be Aggressive" became the second most-played song at Faith Number 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 Number More.
The two remain friends to this day.
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.