3 August 2015

BILL GOULD Q&A | Hosted By Bungle Weird



One of the longest established Faith No More fan pages and friends of ours Brazilian based Bungle Weird has hosted a fantastic Q+A with Bill Gould.


Bill took the time to talk on Skype for an hour with Pablo Fernadez from BW and the results are extremely enlightening. Bill puts a few ghosts to rest and gives us a wonderful insight into where the band are right now.

Bungle Weird have published the interview in Portuguese and kindly given us their permission to publish the English version.


BUNGLEWEIRD – 2015 Q+A WITH BILLY GOULD

By Pablo Fernandez
Email: trade@bungleweird.net.
Twitter: @bungleweird

It’s a Thursday noon and I got back home to have lunch. Normal day, as usual. Well, kinda. I just got an e-mail from Mr. Bill Gould, answering a suggestion that I gave him about doing the Bungle Weird Q+A on skype so I could transcript it later (because 34 questions was a little bit long to this busy guy answer it in an e-mail, right?). And he thought it was a good idea! And ask me if we could chat in one hour there? SURE I CAN! Talking to Bill, interviewing one of my idols? Come on!!

So one hour later, Mr. Bill Gould took my call directly from Atlanta, where FNM was going to play its 4th USA concert, 2nd leg of the tour

And so we started! Interviewing one of my idols, that was huge! And surreal! We’ve talked about a lot of things: Sol Invictus, B-Sides, leftovers, setlists and tours, past, present and future, Spanish ham and even more about that band called Faith No More!

Thanks to all of those who sent questions! And here’s the full transcription of the conversation:

Pablo Fernandez (i’ll put initials, PF): Hey Bill!
Bill Gould (BG): Hey! How’s going?
PF: I’m fine man, besides a little bit of coughing and a flu, but I’m ok!
BG: oh man..
PF: Cool! Thank you very much for taking our questions our community were 16 years old, we did a lot of things during this time, we organized that FNM tribute, we had that Q&A chat with you 15 years ago...
BG: All right, I remember that!
PF: And we like to celebrate that doing a Q&A with you, so many thanks!
BG: Cool, no problem! Let's do it!
PF: It’s like, 34 questions, it’s a little bit long, but..
PF: First, a question of mine, how's the tour so far?
BG: It’s good. I mean, it’s been good. It’s very hot, you know, we’re in Texas in fucking July, it’s crazy. But it’s good, the shows have been good..
PF: Yeah I was watching some concerts on youtube and you guys are sounding better than ever, so intense! I’m so amazed and proud because FNM is my favourite band so..
BG: Yeah... It's good, we're good. Ok, here we go, I just got them right now! Alright, man, so... ready to roll? Ok, first one.

From Alessandro Barbosa, Brasilia/Brazil
01) I was at the American leg of the tour (attended to 4 CA shows), and it was clear that something has changed in the relationship among you guys, It became even more clear when I met the band on the aftershow. what has changed since album of the year 1997 tour and now? Maybe was something unresolved or multiple projects that the focus was not ideal?

BG: So Alessandro, you're saying that something changed amongst us, but did it change for the better or for the worst?
PF: For the better.
BG: Yeah, you know, maybe so. I mean, we seem to be all working together now, we always kind of worked half together and half against each other, because we always had this kind of different personality... tension... I think we know each other well enough now... there's a little bit of security there, we kinda trust each other... but also y'know it depends... he probably saw us on a good day... we stil have like... every day is a different day with us, and every show is different... it's not anything we can control, it just happens.
PF: last time I met you guys, I felt like... you guys were ok, you don't have to spend the whole time together, but you're in good terms, talking, maybe it wasn't like that 20 years ago..
BG: Noo... hmmm. It was actually, it's just... I don't know, it's hard to say...

02) After almost 25 years of the epic (literally) participation on Rock in Rio II, some fans even say that it was the best FNM concert ever. there will be something special this year at Rock In Rio?

BG: Two things: when I played the Rock in Rio, it was an amazing concert, but at the time I wasn't happy after the show, I thought we really fucked up! So, I never had that satisfaction of what a great thing it was.. but everybody else that watched the show loved it. So it's always funny how subjective things are to the person playing and the people watching. Maybe it was a great show.. but I always felt... I had a weird feeling about it.. For this year, I don't know.. Usually when we do special things they're very spontaneous and they come very right before the show.
PF: I just laughed my ass off because I just read a Brazilian newspaper with an interview with you that the guys asked the same thing and you answered that you guys were planning to throw a balloon full of condoms on the crowd.. (laughing..). you answered that...!
BG: Oh, did they print that? (laughing)
PF: Yeah! (laughing a lot)
BG: Like that was true, right? Like, they said that was true? God, I cannot fucking believe they printed that! (laughing)
PF: And you were just messing with him, gosh! (laughing)
BG: Oh shit!
PF: That's classic FNM interview!
BG: Yeah! (laughing)

From Marcos Benatte, Sao Paulo/Brazil
03) What made you pick Palmeiras brazilian soccer team to support, I’ve seen you and Mike Patton always paying homage to Palmeiras down here and I wonder if it was because of João Gordo or Max Cavalera influences. And would you like to attend to a Palmeiras game when you come here in September? Long life to Faith No More and HERE IS PALMEIRAS!!!!

BG: I learned about Palmeiras from the Cavalera brothers (Igor and Max Cavalera from Sepultura). And when I was down there back in 1991 we used to hang out, when we first toured in Brazil, that's when we hooked up with the Cavaleras back then and when I was over their house we watched Palmeiras games and stuff, they always got me t-shirts of Palmeiras. You know, living in the States I don't follow as much as I should so i'm kind of a poser Palmeiras fan. Even though I do love Palmeiras, I don't know them the way a lot of fans do.
PF: yeah, I have two friends of mine that know Palmeiras directory and they're really interested in try to contact you and when you come here to Sao Paulo to get you to the new Palmeiras stadium, Palmeiras just got a new stadium last year and they're so crazy to get you and the other guys and bring to the stadium, i'll ask them again if they're interested if you want to.
BG: That would be amazing. That's so funny!
PF: I can ask them..
BG: We'll see what happens.. I feel a little bit of, you know, like, conscious because i'm not like a diehard Palmeiras fan, because I don't watch the game all the time, I live in the States, so I can't say that, you know... I don't wanna be a dickhead.
PF: but the Palmeiras supporters loves that fact..
BG: But I love Palmeiras and that's the team that I like, so I support Palmeiras! Definitely!

From Daniel Reis, Sao Paulo/Brazil
04) Why not any promo videos this time? I know you guys are not obligated by contract to do that once you are free but I think it would be nice! 

BG: You know, we're asking ourselves the same question. I think what happens is... because we're doing so much work ourselves with the label and with the touring... and I was doing the production, I mean... we talked about videos and there were just things that had to happen right away and we didn't get to those as fast as we should and I think we're doing that now. So we're gonna have a video. We're gonna do a video, but it just took longer than it should have.

05) I love all the FNM records the same way... same level to me... and I like FNM even better live than studio. I would like to know from you which record you think it sounds better live... or which songs you like the most or feel comfortable to play it live on tour?

BG: Hmmm.....you know? (long pause). I don't know, I'm really subjective on that, I don't know what sounds better live and what sounds better in the studio.. I can't make up my mind to be honest.. I think maybe King For A Day.. maybe the music sounds better live than in the studio to me.
PF: yeah.. I agree.. and I think that last Maida Vale live studio was so amazing!
BG: That was cool, right?
PF: so amazing! everyone was like (different voice, like impersonating some dude) "WOWWww, those guys in a controlled environment, playing so well..they're so good, almost like listening to the record.." mind blowing, mind blowing!
BG: Yeah... We're in a good situation right now, definitely, with the playing.

From Rodrigo Roros, Sydney/Australia
06) Hi Bill! If in the future we have another fnm album, do you think it will be recorded in a rehearsal room like sol invictus, and have Matt and Maor as well? Do think these are the reasons the album sounds unique?

BG: Uhmm... I think that the way we recorded this album, it does sound unique because it was kinda of a weird way to record it. But I think it has a vibe and I think it worked for this record.. if we do the next ones? yeah, maybe we will.. I learned a lot doing this one and I think if we did it again it would probably... It would sound as good or better.... and having Matt and Maor? I don't know, we'll see what happens when we're there.
PF: Maor just did technical stuff, right? Just mastering..
BG: Maor is mastering. Maor helped us out because we didn't really record it in a recording studio, so what was really cool of him is I sent him some rough mixes that we were working on and he could tell me if he heard any kind of errors and stuff that we would have to worry about later. So he gave me really good information that really helped make ourrehearsal studio actually sound good.
PF: yeah like, when you're inside the process is hard to figure out what's wrong with it.. if it's here or there..
BG: There's that about being involved, and also a mastering studio is completely scientifically correct in the sound and they can hear things maybe I can't hear in a strange room. So it's great having his information because he can say "I would have to fix this later" and I can fix it on my part of the process. So by the time it gets to him, it's already in pretty good shape. So we worked like a team and a lot of mastering guys don't do that. So this was a really great thing that he did.

From Vanderson Pimentel, Sao Paulo/Brazil
07) What about the flowers and white clothing onstage this tour? why that? Macumba?

BG: The flowers and the white clothing started in Brazil (2011, actually they played like that in Argentina too). When we played in São Paulo, that was the first time and we just kept it. It worked for us. It's what we do and it works with the record. And it works with the music, we're happy. 

From Marcos Jr., Sao Paulo/Brazil
08) It's known you wrote more than 10 tunes for "Sol Invictus" so in your opinion, are there any other noteworthy ones that didn't make the final cut?

BG: There are definitely noteworthy ones that didn't make the final cut, but they didn't get finished. So I don't know what will happen. I actually don't know, and I'm not thinking about it right now because I'm thinking about touring.But we can see.
PF: (trying to get more information...).. it was like.. 25 scratches right?
BG: Pretty much. Yeah.

09) Favourite moment of the current tour so far?

BG: Right now my favourite moment was last night when we had a day off and I went out and I had a steak dinner. So far that is my favourite moment. I needed it.
PF: And what was that thing about quitting coffee, man? come on.. what was that, I was shocked by that!
BG: Y'know, it's good to quit coffee and come back. It works for the best.
PF: ohhh, ok..
BG: If you drink coffee all the time, your body gets used to it and it doesn't work so well any more. See, sometimes you have to like dry out a little bit and so you go to the green tea for like two weeks, go back to the coffee and you're gonna be much happier.
PF so it's not for good?
BG: No, no, no! Never!
PF: about the tea subject, I like a lot a south African infusion called Rooibos, it's very good, you have with strawberries and lots of other stuff.
BG: Interesting, cool!

From Pedro Cruz, Brasilia/Brazil
10) Can we expect that the material not included/leftovers in Sol Invictus (it's been said you have plenty of it) is there a chance of it coming out one day as B-Sides? 

BG: That was kinda answered at the question 08.
PF: yeah.. no b-sides..
BG: Uhm... I don't know, we don't know. When the touring is finished we can talk about what we wanna do.

11) How was the reception of the new record among musicians, I mean, did any artist/band get in touch with you guys to talk (compliment) about Sol Invictus?

BG: The musicians I talked to either are a lot of liars or they really liked it.
PF: hahahahaa!
BG: (laughing). But I've only heard really good things about the record by people who've heard it.
PF: me too!
BG: And I think that's really cool, it feels great and it's a relief and also at the same time it makes me wonder there's gotta be some people who don't like it. And what the fuck? But no, it's good, all good.
PF: if I could put in percentages, at least 90% of people like it.
BG: It seems like it. Also the critics reviews which we never ever got really good reviews with the press and they've all been really good too. Amazing actually!

From Hevisley Ferreira, Poços de Caldas/Brazil
12) On King For A Day album, what was the REAL contribution of guitarist Trey Spruance on the album composition/writing.

BG: Well, lemme think about this for a second... (pause..) Trey has a really good intuition. And Trey is the kind of guy where if you tell him an idea you have he knows where you wanna go with it and he can make it better. And he doesn't need to make it about himself, he knows how to make it better for the big picture,for the music and that's what I really liked about working with him.
PF: I remembered that we (Bungleweird) interviewed Trey back in 2003 and he said that his proudest moment during the King For A Day sessions was when you showed him a scratch of Just a Man and at that time it was a track that wasn't supposed to be on the album. And he convinced you to make it.
BG: That's funny! Yeah, he did actually! You know what? That's true and I forgot all about that! I wasn't sure we were gonna even use it and he was the one that really wanted it to happen. That's right, he's correct.
PF: I think Just A Man so good, is one of the best FNM songs ever!
BG: Trey was actually the guy at the very end of the thing he had a lot to do with arranging that final part at the end. He made it a lot better. A LOT. It was great working with him, and recording was great.

13) In your opinion, how this record (KFAD) contributed to the quintessence of the FNM discography ?

BG: It's another record, that's all it is. It's just a stage of our lives and it's where we were in 1995. What it means to the whole thing of the discography? I really don't know what that means. But I think that when we made it, this is us being honest at that time. This is what we wanted to do.

From Rafael Nascimento, Sao Paulo/Brazil
14) Considering you are in comeback mode as a band for quite some time now, I'd like to know about your music influences, past and present. Was there any band you were looking up to when first starting out that stood through time as an influence?

BG: Hmmm... (long pause).
PF: Tough question, right? Maybe it changes all the time, right?
BG: Yeah, it does. But also when you get old I think what happens is your early influences stay with you. So I am more influenced by older music than I am with newer music. I never used to be that way but I see that happening more and more and I would say that my earliest influences, my very earliest influences, I'm talking about when I was like 10 to 12 years old have the biggest impact. But I would say John Lennon, David Bowie... (pause). And probably for me... and then the Sex Pistols, I think those were the big three for me.

From Ronald Barros, Foz do Iguaçu/Brazil
15) How do you write music and what has changed on the songwriting process since the early Faith No More albums? Do you write from the bass or you focus on the music as a whole?

BG: The music song writing process has always changed a little bit because we're always trying to do something and going to places that we haven't gone before so we always try to explore new territories. And that means that not always relying on the same old tricks for writing songs, but trying to discover new ones. On the way I write, I write for my bass sometimes and sometimes on the music as a whole. It really depends. Sometimes I write songs that start with the piano or guitar, sometimes it starts with drum beats. It really depends. Every song kinda... There are no rules. Every song has a different origin.
PF: Like.. "From The Dead.. I never heard anything like that on FNM.
BG: Never! We never did that. Never, never, never. That one started with guitar.
PF: But "Matador", Superhero" both are sooo FNM.
BG: It is.
PF: it's a big contrast.
BG: Yeah, totally. It is and it isn't because actually, Matador, those chords... we've never used chord progression like that before. So it feels like FNM but it is still a different kind of song than we've done before in some ways.
PF: But you know what? when we listened to Matador for the first time.. 2011.. everyone I know, like diehards.. (were asking each other).. this is like, an Angel Dust leftover? It's so like it.. it's like from there.. it's not? So it was a weird feeling about it (before knowing it was a new song).
BG: Yeah, strange, strange. Yeah. I mean, that's what you want to try to do, is have something that gives you this familiar feeling but still goes to a new place. That's the goal.
PF: FNM usually makes that with fans.
BG: We try. It takes a lot of work. But so far, so good.

16) Are you an enthusiastic about bass techniques and what other musicians are doing? Who or what has most influenced you?

BG: Yes and no. I see myself really like a songwriter more than a bass player a lot of times. And I see myself with my bass as a way to fit in to the song like a puzzle. So I look at it more in a very mechanical point of view. And also just the way our drummer hits and how towork with him. A lot of people have influenced me in that I like what they do but all of them kinda have a different signature to me. So I can't do them as well as they can do themselves. I have a very strange way of approaching it. I don't know, it doesn't really jive exactly with anybody else.

From Leandro Jacobina, Rio de Janeiro/Brazil
17) The band released its only live video album in 1990. Is there a chance of releasing a live show in bluray in the future? I’ve heard that some concerts were professionally recorded.

BG: We do have some recordings, I don't know what we'll do with them, we haven't talk about it because we're still on touring mode. But it would be cool to do. we have some really good stuff recorded. Our sound man is recording most of the concerts and it would be a great thing. It's just when you go down this direction is a whole new set of responsibilities and until the tour is finished we are not ready to do that yet.
PF: I remember the Warfield 2010, concert with Chuck, was professionally recorded.
BG: Yes, it was, we still have it.
PF that one would be very good.
BG: That would be cool. I think we recorded the one when he played in Detroit too (this year).
PF: My favourite FNM concert that could be released and I attended is the one in Chile 2011, King For A Day with Trey, so special. Specially because of Just A Man with a choir.. so special, everyone there was crying!
BG: Yeah, that was cool, huh? Super cool. That was a great show. Even Trey had fun!

18) FNM have diehard fans in countries like Brazil and Chile, so why not playing songs like Malpractice, Jizzlobber and The Morning After next September?

PF: Fan request! hahaha!
BG: We respect fans' opinions but the band ideas and band's point of view comes first and we don't like them. There you go!
PF: I think Jizzlobber was played once, Brixton Academy 2009, first reunion concert.. right?
BG: We did. It didn't work, it didn't feel good. We're like "ok, we don’t want to do that one for a while". Maybe we'll bring it back but right now we're not feeling it.
PF: also Malpractice was played during 2009, a short version of it.
BG: Exactly. It's ok, but it doesn't feel natural to all of us on the stage.

From Andrew Bowie, Melbourne/Australia
19) - One of my favourite things about Faith No More used to be the amazing b-sides you released on singles. The covers (I Started A Joke etc.) and the non-album tracks like Absolute Zero and The Big Kahuna. Now that CD Singles are a dead format, do you miss the opportunity to release tracks like that, or was it always a burden to fill up CD singles with bonuses? I'd love to hear some Sol Invictus non-album tracks!

BG: Sol Invictus was finished two weeks before our tour of Australia (February). So there wasn't really even time to revisit b-sides yet. The second question: Whether there is or not, it also depends on all these other ideas, what we wanna do with them, whether we wanna do a live record, so I really can't say what we'll do.We haven't really discussed it actually, as a band.
PF: And as you told us before just 10 tracks were recorded and no b-sides.
BG: That's right.
PF: maybe the Bacharach song (this guy's in love with you) recorded in Maida Vale, that's so good. Maybe that one?
BG: That was cool, huh? Maybe. I mean, if we can use those, that has some potential, definitely.

20) - Were you ever tempted in the studio for Sol Invictus to swap instruments? Have Roddy play guitar, Jon on keyboard etc? Just to see what happens?

BG: I think we could have but we didn't. The problem with recording is you have to be very precise, it's not like something spontaneous in a live show. Recording takes a lot of focus and usually people that play their instruments for a long time can be very focused and record things very well. With a new instrument sometimes it doesn't sound as convincing on the recording part, where it might sound good live. Does that make any sense?
PF: Yes
BG: I'm a shitty guitar player, I played a little bit of guitar on Sol Invictus but it took me a lot longer than it would take Jon, that’s for sure
PF: I remember I saw you playing a guitar in a FNM promo video, Another Body Murdered!
BG: That's right. Exactly.


21) Bill, about setlists: usually who makes it, who decides which songs will be played: is it you and Puffy Bordin? And is it at the same day of the concert? and when you guys are not playing a song for a long time (for instance, Collision or Falling To Pieces) and finally decide to put it an oldie back to the set list, just a rehearsal during sound check is enough to play it again in a live concert?
and a fan request: please play Mark Bowen HERE IN BRAZIL! :D

PF: My questions.. I think I "over questioned"
BG: Ok. We're really really bad with the set lists. We usually decide our set list one hour before we go on stage. And nobody wants to talk about it, but we always try to do something where the flow is a little bit different. If we do the same set from the night before it's because the night before felt really good. But it's always a big challenge because this band also with this kind of music we play there's a flow that works. There's only one flow that really feels good for us to play and for the audience to hear it. When we change it too radically it can be very boring and we're very paranoid about that happening.
PF: and when you guys try to get an old song back to the setlist during the tour is impossible to make it or ok?
BG: Yeah. If we do a sound check, than that's when we'll rehearse the new song.
PF: and PLEASE PLAY MARK BOWEN HERE, MAN! (laughing)
BG: (laughing too) haha, ok! cool!
PF: I love that song when I saw FNM back here in 2009 in Belo Horizonte, we were not expecting it and Mark Bowen was played at the encore and it was awesome (madly singing the beginning of the song)
BG: haha, that's funny!
PF: (still out of his mind) I HAD MARK BOWEN LIVE IN BELO HORIZONTE, PLAY IT AGAIN HERE BECAUSE IT WAS AWESOME
BG: haha, cool, ok! That's awesome (thinking oh my god this guy is crazy).

22) I’ve read some interviews with you saying that Matador was the first new song (2011). And in 2014, you guys played Superhero and Motherfucker for the first time.
And what about the other Sol Invictus songs, when most of it were written? It was all between 2013 and 2014? Which was the last song written and included on Sol Invictus and why? (because I remember some interview about Just a Man being the last song included on KFAD - and almost out of the final cut -  and, personally, is one of the best FNM songs ever).

BG: I would say between 2013 and 2014 is when most of the music was arranged and written, definitely. Matador we first did in 2011 but it was a while before we did more stuff after that.
PF: So it was a gap between Matador and the others
BG: It was a gap. Exactly.
PF: There was a gap to wait the guys to join the process or..
BG: Yeah and also people were doing other things too, not everybody was altogether where we can actually sit down and focus on stuff. Yeah, it's just the way it worked out for everybody.

From Thiago Brandao, San Diego/USA
23) We've heard a lot about the songs that didn't make the cut on Sol Invictus. Regardless of what might happen to them in the future, were these songs fully recorded, mixed, etc as well as the 10 songs in the album?

BG: Not fully recorded because they didn't quite get finished and they're not mixed, so they're just ideas still. So right now we can do whatever we want with them or we can do nothing with them, we'll just have to see.

24) How often do you practice and play the bass when you're not on tour? Do you still study / learn new things?

BG: When I'm not on tour, I always have a bass around my house, I have a bass whatever I am near me that I can always have next to me because it's just what I've always had. I like to learn and study new things, I always do because I always feel like I'm aware of my limitations and I always try to get passed them. So yes, I do.

From Gustavo Marques Biasioli, Limeira/Brazil
25) What were the feelings when you really decided to get back to studio and record a new album?

BG: I don't know, I can't really answer that. I think everybody felt different things. I can't say what the feelings were (from the others) but I can say what my feelings were and it was like: "FUCKING THANK GOD!"
PF: haha!
BG: I can't say about anybody else.
PF: (laughing) FINALLY!!!
BG: (laughing too) Yeah, you'd have to ask other people.

26) You are visiting a lot of countries this year. Pick one country, one beverage and one food.

BG: hmmmm (long pause).. One country... Country... This year I would say... Denmark!
PF: Denmark.. you stayed there after the european tour, right?
BG: Yep, I loved it, I got more experiences there than I had before and I really like it
BG: Beverage... Wine... from Austria..
PF: woww!
BG: I discovered some good wine, not expensive, great stuff. Austrian wines, didn't realize how good they could be. Great!
BG: One food... oh... (long pause) so much food!
PF: hahah! yeah, I know that! (laughing)
BG haha! ohhhh! (sighs)
BG: I would say... Dammit! It's hard! It's like asking the music you listen to now, it goes blank!... Probably... Shit... Oh! It would have to be in Milan. It was a restaurant that our monitor guy Nico took us to that was from a part of Italy, from the south... lemme see where it is (opening a browser)
PF: Calabria, Salerno..
BG I'm seeing the map of the regions, then I can tell you... PUGLIA! Puglia, yeah, fucking great, great great! Never had pugliese foodbefore, fantastic.
PF I travelled to Tuscany last month and I was like (ohh.) eating every two hours.. it was hard to walk there..
BG: haha!
PF: and I went to some wineries there too and it was like, 5 euros for a good bottle of wine, so cheap!
BG: That's amazing! You can get really good wine there that's not expensive and that's really good! That's cool!


From Eduardo Figueiredo, Rio de Janeiro/Brazil
27) Why Rise of The Fall was the last song to be played live? is there a reason? why? Play it here in Brazil, please!

BG: We didn't learn it all live. It was a song that Roddy wrote that we kinda recorded in the studio but we hadn't played it together.
PF: oh, it's Roddy's? (surprised)
BG: It's Roddy's.
PF: oh, nice!
BG: So we did learn how to play it all together in sound check.

28) I’ve noticed that you guys have played the entire Sol Invictus album live at least twice. How that happened? Just minutes before the concert? Do you guys have plans to make it once again? If yes, what are the chances of this happening here in South America in September?

PF: (complementing) I think it was two concerts on that tour: Santa Ana (but without Rise of the Fall) and that special show for TV in Berlin..
BG: That's right! We did the whole thing. I don't know, we don't know, it was fun when we did it and I would like to do it again but we haven't made any plans. I can't say.
PF: it just happens like you said before. you guys decide just moments before going on stage
BG: Exactly! It's spontaneous.

From Daniel Manna, Sao Paulo/Brazil
29) Sol Invictus is the first album in almost 18 years. Despite all the band members being very active during this period in other musical projects, in the band perspective, how was the adaptation process to the new music industry reality in terms of press, radio and album promotion? Has it changed too much since then? is it better or worse in your perspective (as musician AND as label owner)?  

BG: Music industry has changed for us because we are releasing our own music ourselves so we had a different perspective on the music industry. It definitely changed for a lot of bands and we're very lucky because people already knew about FNM and who it was and actually we became more popular after we broke up, so a lot of problems with surviving in the music industry, we were very lucky that we missed some of those. We actually had a demand for our music, people actually wanted to hear it before they even heard it. So this was a good thing, but... you don't sell many records, that's for sure. We got a lot of great press, we got a lot of attention, great reviews everywhere, but the records sales, the numbers, it's not like itused to be, that's for sure.

30) We know that this is an era with a lot of creativity freedom for the band, without label interventions/pressures. On the other hand, we knew that in the past labels usually defined goals, album sales targets (being platinum or gold certified, etc..). So, how’s Sol Invictus selling performance so far, digital and physical? Is it doing better than your initial expectations? And WHAT you guys expected (for real) before all this buzz on the press?

BG: Funny enough, I haven't been paying that much attention on the sales of Sol Invictus. We heard about it about two months ago, right when it came out and I know it did really well on the charts right when it first came out but what it meant... what it means now, I don't know. This might sound like bullshit, but to me the goal and the thing that's a reward for me is that we actually made the album, we finished it, we did something that we liked and we put it out. And to me that was the end, that was the victory for me! And as far as where it goes and what it's going to do I actually don't know and I almost don't even care because I kinda feel like we already won. That's kinda the way I look a tit.
PF: I totally agree with your perspective.
BG: I mean, what else are you gonna do? After 18 years, I'm just happy that we did it, you know? But people are gonna make up their own minds and we can't control it, and we can't understand it.

From Luis Misiara, Sao Paulo/Brazil
31) If you wouldn't mind settling this bit of urban mythos (never found official confirmation for this): is it true that Geordie from Killing Joke auditioned for the band after Jim Martin was out, got the gig and THEN blew you guys off saying you were "too suburban" for him? By the way, if that's true, he's an asshole!

PF: haha, tricky question!
BG: This is actually good! This is good! He did.He didn't really audition for the group, he came over to San Francisco for a couple of days, we played around, we did some recording, not really recording, but we kinda fooled around rehearsing King for a Day music. He is an amazing guitar player, he's a cool guy.
PF: and if i'm not wrong, you are a huge Killing Joke fan, right?
BG: Yeah! Huge fan! And I would say as far as the guitar players in the world he's probably my favorite guitar player in the world. That story about "too suburban"... that was really... Jaz said that in a video interview (Jaz Coleman, Killing Joke singer) and somebody showed me that..
PF: (laughing).
BG: All I can say is that I think the guy Jaz is a compulsive liar because that's one of the craziest stories I've ever heard. What didn't work out with Geordie was... is that his sound, his signature sound is so much about him, so Killing Joke and so him... that his personality musically is so big that... FNM would sound like Killing Joke. I mean, we could've done it but I think it wouldn't be doing justice to Killing Joke or to FNM. And that's a shame because he really is probably one of my favorite guitar players of all time.
BG: But he wasn't an asshole at all, he was totally cool.
PF: this was before Trey joining the band?
BG: Yeah, before Trey.


32) Tell us about the basses you've used along the years, what you seek in an instrument compared to other brands and you you ended up with the particular bass model you use today!

BG: Really, only a couple. I started with a thing called the Gibson grabber. On the first tour that we did, We Care A Lot album and I broke that in half so I had to get another one and I started with an Aria Pro II and Cliff Burton (Metallica) turned me on it because he had an Aria Pro II. He took me to the Aria guys and they gave me a bass. Really early when nobody knew who FNM was, and it was really cool. So I kept that bass all the way up until Angel Dust. And then there's this guy from San Francisco that makes guitars named Joe Zon, Zon Guitars. And I met him and he made me the bass that I'm playing now. So the bass that I'm playing on the concert tonight is the same one that I've had since 1991. Yeah, and I love it! And I don't really feel like I need another one. I'm happy!
PF: yeah!
BG: It's my bass!
PF: it's like a part of you
BG: It's part of me, absolutely! Part of me.

From Rogerio Machado, from Portugal:

33) I'm a fan of FNM since the KFAD era. From my knowledge FNM played in Portugal in 92, 93(2x) , 95, 98 (last show before the reunion), 2009 and 2010, I have all these shows in video and in all of them the crowd was amazing, which means that there is a lot of FNM fans in Portugal. And they're still here because both 2009 and 2010 shows were sold out. But this tour for the first time since FNM touring in europe, there was no show in Portugal. What happened? no one invited FNM to play in portugal? it was impossible to find dates?
I know we are not like the Chileans but we always welcomed FNM with arms open, and this time we were only able to watch the new album tour on youtube...

BG: No show in Portugal. Yes, big problem,actually. The big problem is that we toured Europe for one month this summer. And the way the timing worked out to play Portugal we would have to extend our tour longer. And I think that when we were booking these shows some of the guys in the band got a little bit protective where we just didn't want to commit to too many things and get burned out. So generally speaking when we got back together to the reunion shows we tried to keep our tours limited to three weeks. Because that's just long enough time where we can play really well but right when you start getting kinda tired, it's over and we can manage that. And we already did one month in Europe and it just seemed like taking on another week or two of shows was too much. So that's why it didn't happened and actually I think all of us were pretty bummed out about that. We didn't go to Spain either and it's a shame too. I really hope we can come back and do that.
PF: especially because you lived in Spain ten years ago, right? I remember that.
BG: Yeah, I lived there for a year!
PF: I remember that!
BG: I love Spain, Spain is a great country, it was a great place to live!
PF: also especially because of Jamóóón! (laughing)
BG: Yeah! I think I had a little too much Jamón when I was there. Everyday I had fucking Jamón, man. (sighs)
PF: alright!
BG: haha! it's.. I ate so much fucking Jamón you can't even believe it! Everyday!
PF: haha! last year i've been in Barcelona and I took a short course about Jamón..
BG: Did you? Cool!
PF: the whole afternoon, about the pigs, the ham.. the Jamón de Belotta
BG: PATA NEGRA! Yeah, it's awesome!
PF: yeah, PATA NEGRA! And eating it during the course! that's the best thing..
BG: Cool!
PF: so, let's go to the last question!

34) Do you have any memory from any of the Portuguese shows you did in Portugal? Whats the best thing that you remember?

BG: I have total memories of the Portuguese shows I've done in Portugal, absolutely. The best memory I have... well, we did one about 4 years ago that was in the south of Portugal, fantastic! Great, it was really late at night when we played. And I just remember driving thru Portugal just at night, just to come to the concert and it was beautiful the countryside. Also we did great shows in Oporto, totally remember those. And we did an amazing show near the bridge in Lisboa... Maybe 18 years ago... Somebody gave me some absinthe and we played with the band Therapy? and that was an wild show, totally remember that one too!

PF: So that's it! We're done!
BG: Alright, man, cool!
PF: Thank you very much for your time!
BG: Thanks! We'll talk soon! Thanks, Pablo, bye!
PF: tchau!

Bungleweird thanks again ALL THE PEOPLE who sent questions helping this thing turns into an interesting conversation! And thanks Mr.Gould for being so generous and kind answering all that fan curiosities!


Also thanks to my friend Cassiano Rodka for helping with the transcription.



2 comments:

  1. This was probably one of the best, if not the best interview I've seen in the sol invictus era. Well done

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  2. Painful questions over questions. Billy was so patient. What a great guy!

    ReplyDelete