BILL GOULD 55 His history with Faith No More.


Today is Bill Gould's 55th birthday. To celebrate we are chronicling his 35 year long career with Faith No More (minus those 11 during their hiatus). 
Bill has consistently been the backbone of FNM since the very beginning, both in a managerial and musical sense. He has been the instigator of each FNM album and the architect behind their success. 




"You can probably read between the lines and say that I have a tendency to be a bit of a control freak. Since then, I’ve tried to stand back a bit and let things go the way they naturally go. I still am really involved with band stuff pretty much. I’m still very active. We kinda came from a thing where we started as ourselves and ran things ourselves. No matter who we worked with, we have always tried to keep control of the content…. For better or worse, in the era I came up in, you were always paranoid about record companies screwing up your stuff. There were a millions stories. We always were super protective that that wouldn’t happen to us." 2016


Pre-FNM

William David Gould was born on April 24th 1963 in Los Angeles California.  Bill grew up the prosperous Hancock Park district of Los Angeles and attended Loyola High a Catholic school with Roddy Bottum. The affluent Hollywood neighbourhood didn't suit the two boys who found ways to rebel.

"Our neighbourhood was pretty sterile, very Hollywood. In some instances it was an exciting place and in others a dull one. But the chemistry of us getting together always meant mischief. We just always ended up causing trouble, climbing trees and throwing things at cars. We used to make bomb-threat calls too. I remember this one time, we made a bomb threat when we were 10 years old and called up a Safeway supermarket near my house. Then we were so cocky, we walked up to see what had happened there. Of course there was chaos, the bomb squad was there, people had been evacuated but we walked right up to the manager and said 'Hey, what's going on?'" - Roddy 1994

He had an interest for music from an early age. The first album he bought was Elton John's Greatest Hits.

"My father was really into music - Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, David Bowie - and about a year before I bought that Elton John record he took me to see Bowie live.That gig showed me that music isn t just about music, that it was about a lifestyle which was different to my middle class American upbringing. It taught me that music is a gateway into another world." - Bill 2018

"I think what really did it for me was there was a couple of albums that I heard that kind of gave me a strange…opened my eyes to what music was and what music could do, they were two albums of my father's. One album was Space Oddity by David Bowie and the other one was Plastic Ono Band by John Lennon. Those two albums were pretty radical, and I was about nine years old and they made a big impact as far as how I looked at the world and what I thought music should do." - Bill 2015

Spurred on by Roddy's classical piano lessons Bill started taking bass lessons at the age of 12 and at 15 was in his first band The Animated with friends from his Boy Scout group, Mark Stewart (guitar), Paul Wimms (vocals/guitar) and Kevin Morgan (drums).  

"When I was learning, it was more like Chris Squire [Yes]. He had the great tone and he was a big part of it. But as it lot later, more of what got me into bass actually was tone like Lemmy. His tone really got me excited. Gang of Four was a really interesting band because it was funky but it was edgy and I liked that as well." - Bill 2015

Chuck Mosley lived in the same neighbourhood and would often play keyboards with them. 

"Chuck was about 19. He'd go to all the shows, he was the experienced one, he'd take acid and I was still 'the kid', my Mom would drop me off at practise with my guitar and my little amp." 1994

Bill had a distaste for rock music and found no connection with bands like Led Zepplin, he found early punk influences and new wave music with bands like XTC, Sex Pistols, The Fall, Pop Group and Joy Division. Bill also found inspiration from funk music. 

"When I was in high school I worked for a pharmacy, I used to do a lot of deliveries for them. I spent a lot of time driving around South Central, LA, dropping off supplies, and when I’d get out of my car, people would be blasting Parliament-Funkadelic. I didn’t even like it that much back then, but it became part of who I am because I was so exposed to it, if that makes any sense. It wasn’t really that cool at the time!” - Bill 2013

Bill was always a dedicated to promoting his music at 18 he tried to launch a recording career by travelling to the UK to get distribution for The Animated.

"It kind of failed. Every time I'd call to ask how the record was doing, they'd ask me when I was coming over with the band. I was 18 with limited funds, so it wasn't going to happen. The rest of the band weren't motivated. The best thing Chuck knew was how to get out of work, loaf around, drink beers, get into shows free by climbing through a window, finding the scam." - Bill 1994

Bill began to study Political Science at college in Berkeley then moved to San Francisco to study film.  

"It was a really chaotic place but in a good way, it was a post-hippy, very free environment and there wasn't a lot of industry, so it was very cheap to live there and you could more or less do whatever you wanted." - Bill 2015

Faith. No Man

In SF he met Mike Bordin by answering an ad to join the band Sharp Young Men. He soon became immersed in the SF culture and left college to concentrate on making music.  He discovered thrash and metal and through Bordin he was introduced to the late Cliff Burton of Metallica

"I moved to San Francisco when I was 18, I met Bordin, whose drumming style was totally different to any other drummer I’d known before that. He really got me thinking, because his strengths and weaknesses are different than the average drummer. I learned to work with the way that he works, and we found a way to work together. Even to this day I have a hard time playing with other drummers, because they’re on a different cycle and a different rhythm. He definitely accents things differently. He hits hard, too, and he has a little bit of a delay in his hits which I’ve made part of my rhythm as well. If you delay things and hold them back, they’ll come off a little heavier, and we got into similar stuff together. Even though I’d been in bands for five or six years I’d say that these were still my formative years when I was 18. I was still discovering dub music, for example. Public Image was the first album to me which was groundbreaking." - Bill 2013

Sharp Young Men soon became Faith. No Man, with Mike Morris (guitar/vocals) and Wade Worthington (keyboards). After Worthington left Bill drafted in Roddy to take over keyboards. Morris was often hard on Bill which caused a rift within the band. Gould, Bottum and Bordin quit the band and opted the continue together without Morris, in 1983 changed their name to Faith No More. There first shows were as the backing band for Joe Pop O Pies.

"We’d go down the street and visit Cliff, who was recording in Denmark at the time. That was a huge deal to us. In our early days he’d give us a lot of advice. For example, we fired our first managers because Cliff said they were thieves, ha ha! He was the one with the experience, and that was really crucial in 1982, ’83. We were playing really weird music in San Francisco and we couldn’t find any bands to play with. We knew we had something really cool going on, but we didn’t really have a way of getting it out there. It wasn’t like there was a crowd of people who knew we were out there: we were outsiders. I remember Puffy was talking to Cliff at a party and he asked us, ‘How’s it going with you guys?’ and we were like, ‘We don’t even have a manager, we don’t have a record deal, we don’t have anything’ and he was like ‘You’re on step five – you should just think about step one!’ That was very sobering advice, actually. It really made a huge difference: after that we were like, ‘Let’s just work with what we have’. And things did work out for us after that." - Bill 2013 

The three enlisted Mark Bowen on guitar who lasted for a year, whilst they experimented with singers including Roddy's one time girlfriend Courtney Love until settling on permanent fixture Chuck. 

"I told him to have a few beers and get out there, yell whatever the hell he wanted. We trusted his judgement and he went nuts, screamed his lungs out, went absolutely ape-shit which was great." - Bill 1994

The final addition to the early lineup was Bowen's replacement Jim Martin who was suggested by Cliff Burton. 

We Care A Lot / Introduce Yourself

Bill soon became the driving force behind FNM and it was through his business understanding that the band landed their first manager Ruth Schwartz with Mordam Records, releasing their debut album We Care A Lot in 1985.

"We met Ruth and she wanted to distribute the record, but we only had half of it recorded. She said, 'No problem, I'll put up the money for the other half.' She gave us this ragingly great deal where after a certain amount of years, we got the rights to the album back, and that deal is one of the reasons we’re able to re-release this record now. It was an extremely fair one-page deal in a time that was famous for record deals being the worst, a lot of bands practically signed their lives away. This was Ruth’s first release on Mordam and she was absolutely fantastic, we owe her everything." - Bill 2015 

The music was a collaboration of different sounds dominated by the unique style that Bill and Bordin were playing.

"I was getting out of punk rock and getting more into post-punk stuff like Killing Joke and there was a band called Basement 5. I listened to a lot of dub music but more on a philosophical level, what happened was Mike Bordin and I went to school together and there was a class in Berklee where there was a Ghanian drum guy and he was teaching free drum classes. It was really more about the way to look at rhythm. Mike started taking those classes after school and it really kind of blew his mind because he started looking at things in circular rhythms as opposed to linear patterns." - Bill 2016 

"We were all kind of learning our voice. We wanted to do some things that had some rhythmic, repetitive, hypnotic quality to it, but we wanted it to be heavy. It wasn’t quite that heavy yet but we were trying (laughs). You could tell where we wanted to go. I can’t say that we went there all the way yet – I think we still had some growing to do. You can hear the vision that we had, I think…
One thing that stands out on We Care A Lot is this real, raw energy that’s not self-conscious at all. It might be the way it was recorded – we did it very quickly and didn’t have time to polish anything. Part of the unpolished-ness about it is kinda cool." - Bill 2016

Soon the band were picked up by major record label Slash and a tour with Red Hot Chili Peppers followed. However Bill had become frustrated with Chuck's drunken performances which led to the two exchanging blows and eventually his departure from FNM.

"There was a certain point when I went to rehearsal, and Chuck wanted to do all acoustic guitar songs. It was just so far off the mark – I think I actually attacked him again The upshot was that I got up, walked out and quit the band. Just said: ‘I’m done – I can’t take this any longer. It’s just so ridiculous’. The same day, I talked to Bordin, and he said: ‘Well, I still want to play with you’. Bottum did the same thing. It was another one of these ‘firing somebody without firing them’ scenarios". - Bill 2009 






The Real Thing 



The band begun writing new material and looking for a new singer. Initially Bill was unsure about new recruit Mike Patton, however it didn't take long for him to realise that Patton's voice would elevate the band into a different class. 

"We look at it kinda like cooking, you know? Trying out different ingredients, and trying to find an ingredient that works. When Patton came, he was a lot younger than us, and definitely coming from a different place than we were. It wasn’t what I expected our singer to be. But when we recorded the demo for the first time, he fit really well and it kind of surprised me. I didn’t expect it. The way we kinda looked at it was, this is what works with the material, and this is what we gotta go with. We looked at it musically, really. I guess we speak this language musically that I don’t think is very complex, but is different than a lot of other bands. It’s either you click with it or you don’t. If you click with it, I don’t think there’s any wrong kind of singer. But it’s been hard to find people to click with." - Bill 2016

FNM experimented with an unpredictable mish-mash of genres, which stood out against late 80's hair metal contempories. 

"The way we write songs comes not so much from a style, but more like a visual scene that we see in our heads. Then we try to create something that gives us the feeling of that scene. So rather than just being songs, they also paint a picture." - Bill 1991

The band's sound became more commercially viable and success was inevitable.
During the early 90's FNM soon earned a reputation for being awkward in interviews and distanced themselves from the metal scene they had been associated with. Bill discussed his interest in serial killers and joined Patton in berating their contemporaries. 

"To a certain extent but more realistic is the fact that we really behave like school children. We are socially retarded people still, in as much as we do a lot of childish things to keep our sanity." - Bill 1989

The idea of provoking their audience usually came from Bill. For example adding their faithful cover of the Commodores classic Easy to counterbalance their other cover song Black Sabbath's War Pigs

"First off, we did it live. We used to do (Black Sabbath's) 'War Pigs', so the meat heads started coming just to hear us do that all the time, and Jim's chest was puffing out. He got to be Mr Black Sabbath, so we decided we wanted to do 'Easy' to fuck with people. We heard It on the radio and went, 'This is a great song, let's do it!'' - Bill 1995

Bill began to gravitate towards foreign cultures and found he had animosity towards The States and the American recording business.

"I think it's down to three things. One is that the British audience takes less bullshit in their music. Case in point is the first time we played there, they'd play Slayer before the show and kids would be jumping around and getting into it. You'd just never see that in the US with a band that's so heavy and unconventional, not with masses of people anyway, so in Britain there's a more open frame of mind. "Second, the business is just different in Britain and the third is communications where you can have magazines that come out once a week going all over the country. In the USA the only one that even comes out every two weeks is Rolling Stone and by the time you're in Rolling Stone you've already hit the masses, so in Britain that communication means a lot. Then Rolling Stone isn't so much a magazine as a symbol which represents what is doing well and is telling you this is it. A magazine like Kerrang! might do a feature on an unsigned band that nobody's heard of but because of that story they will and people will check 'em out. Maybe they suck, but maybe they don't..." - Bill 1990


"I think people are a lot more open minded in England and Europe," says Billy, "cause they have a lot more access to independent records. They've got bands like Napalm Death and Carcass. The States is just such a commercially orientated place. In England it is too, but it's different. There's independents, and there's independent distribution, and people are just exposed to it even if they don't like it. They have access to it.  They have music magazines like the NME that will write about Whitesnake and The Cult. then write about Napalm Death, and then write about Sade." - Bill 1990


The press found there was no pigeon-hole to put the band in, so therefore created one. FNM were classified as 'funk-metal' a term which Bill was extremely uncomfortable with.

"Y'know, we get classified with this funk/metal thing, and really we've got nothing to do with it at all. I mean, we listen to metal music and we listen to funk music, but we're just kinda playing what comes out of our heads. It's kind of a shame to be put in some trendy category to make some advertising guy's job easier, some writer's Job easier, or the record company's job easier. Really, you're kinda shortening the life span of your group and you're not taking something at face value - you're comparing it to a category" - Bill 1990



"For some reason, all music has to be segregated and labelled, the only reason can think of for that is to give the marketing departments in record companies, and the press, a black-and white substance to work with. God, without labels, there'd be no business, apparently. But it's the labels that confuse everything. Faith No More are, evidently, a 'Funk Metal' band. Actually, we are, but we're a lotta other things too. But maybe a category with, like, ten words in it is too ong for the press and record companies to handle..."  - Bill 1992



Bill's first forey into film making resulted in the video for Surprise! You're Dead!, which included footage he had collected from their European tour. 



In 1991 FNM played in South America at Rock In Rio II and Vina Del Mar, Chile. These shows were the foundation of a special bond between Bill and South America. 





Angel Dust

Writing began during their first South America tour, three weeks after the band returned to San Francisco Bill , Roddy and Bordin entered the rehearsal studio. When it came to recording the new material Bill took a more authorative role.

"I like being there every day when we record. I like being around a lot. But the bottom line is that it's a vote. The majority gets what they want in the studio or anywhere else." - Bill Gould 1992

The diverse musical content of AD was an obvious departure from the TRT. In some ways FNM deliberately tried to distance themselves from the crowd it had attracted by creating a record which was much more challenging, but for the most part it was simply the direction the music had naturally taken. 

"We're the same band making another record, and if people say it sounds a little different then obviously we're doing something right. We're doing the same thing we always do, but we're making it interesting enough that people realise it."  - Bill 1992

Shortly before the record was released FNM embarked on a five month stadium tour with Metallica and Guns n' Roses. Although the tour was good for business it soon began to take it's toll on the band. 

"I hate rock music. I've always hated it. Like Led Zeppelin and stuff like that. I mean, my dad used to listen to that shit. It's the least interesting thing in the world, the excess and all that stuff, it's so boring. The world has gone through its period of exploration in that area. A stadium gig is fun to do once in a while, but that Guns N' Roses thing really got me down because it's as rock as it gets. It's the mentality I don't understand. I think it's disgusting. It's not natural, it's all role-playing. complete bullshit and I hate it when our band reflects things like that." - Bill 1993

"For the past 10 years, we've been playing in this band as professionals. We get offered this huge stadium tour, and we figure that this is where it all leads to, the highest point. "But to be on that level, you have to WANT to be on that level. Touring at the highest level is a disappointment, because you see a tot of unreal things, a lot of bullshit. And whether it's conscious or subconscious, you wonder to yourself, 'Is this where I'm headed? Is this where it all leads to? To this bullshit?"

"The conditioning of this industry is that that's where you go - you head for that level, as opposed to doing something that you're happy with. If you headline stadiums, you've gotta WANT to do that. It's great if you're into it, but we learnt that we aren't people who could do something like that..." - Bill 1993



Bill and Patton in particular found the free time allowed them by playing so few show led to boredom, which led to mischief. Bill, Patton and Roddy used the press to expose the rock n' roll lifestyles of Axl Rose and co. 



"Being able to talk shit in the press and have a lot of people read it! That was really fun. That was how we got our amusement. We like to create dissension. It was this gigantic body of people that travel just like some big circus, where no one ever really communicates with each other. We thought that if we could stir it up just enough to where we wouldn't get in trouble, it might make it more interesting! After all, it's kind of uncool when a band invites you on tour and you diss 'em a little bit just to have some fun."  - Bill 1992 



What did they say?



"When is this interview going to be printed? You see, I have to watch what I say...but hey, fuck that, just print this: I hate the whole circus thing, we all hate it. But at the moment we don't have the power to do what we want to do, so we still have to eat a little bit of shit. (Seems were back to the catering lady again) We almost have the power to control what we do, but not quite, so we're just gritting our teeth and getting through it best we can.
"Every band in the world might think they want to open for Guns N'Roses, but lemme tell you, it's been a real ugly personal experience, having to deal with all the shit that surrounds this fuckin circus. I've always hated that aspect of rock music and I've never wanted to be part of it, so to find myself being associated with a tour this big kinda sucks." - Bill 1992



Of course Axl read FNM's comments and gave them a reprimanding. 

"He read all the bad press we said about him and asked us about it! We actually talked to him for a while, and y'know what? He was pretty cool! One day we came to the concert, and Axl was there waiting for us. Like, 'What's the deal?'. And we just said we tried to stir up as much trouble as we could. We told him we felt like that was our job, and he just laughed. He just sat and explained his position to us a little bit. He's an easy guy to take pot-shots at, and we definitely went for the easy thing. He was cool about it. He likes to see the system shook up as much as anyone, but he's in an awkward position. We left the tour friendly. It was like making friends with the Devil. I thought all hell was gonna come down, and he let us off with, 'Aw, right, you f"kin' idiots'. That was a cool response. Most people in his position would have been real uptight dicks. I can think of 100 other bands we've done a lot less to that have freaked out 10 times as bad!" - Bill 1992

The tour led to Bill making confirmations about his own career.

"Touring with Guns n Roses made me realise I'm not in a Rock band. When the indulgence thing first happened, with people driving around in limos, no one knew how far the money could go. But now most people are realistic, so to perpetuate that myth now is, I think, unconscious behaviour. The thing that bothers me most about the music industry is how people are programmed. We had such a hard time getting our record accepted because no one could categorise our music. If we played in Czechoslovakia, people would accept us at face value, because they haven't been fed a lot of hype, and they're not into thinking in a prescribed fashion. People in the West are really sophisticated because they think in regimented thought patterns. The worst thing is that record companies and radio stations like people to think in those Ways because then they can target their audience all sell their product. The  worst thing is when bands themselves think like that and perpetuate it.
"I think bands like Nirvana are guilty of that kind of behaviour to an extent, because they smash their guitars up. but at least they're not coming from a background where people worship themselves. We've found that even with the way we are and the way we look, which is like bums, people treat us like royalty; if we don't play with their game they feel insulted. It's a very twisted thing. We're just normal guys making music and the fact that it's made into such a big deal shows how out of touch people are." - Bill 1992

Jim Martin found the rest of FNM's treatment of their tour buddies as disrespectful and he was at home around GnR's rock n' roll antics. This perpetuated a rift between Jim and the other four members of the band which had begun with the guitarist's lack of involvement in the writing of Angel Dust. FNM had always thrived off inner conflict however this was something deeper. 

"You can't put your finger on any one thing that we dislike about each other. I guess we come close to falling apart about every couple of weeks, which is good because it keeps you on your feet.  We've all learned how to survive living the way we do. I mean, if we actually sat around and had a political discussion with each other over a cup of coffee that would get ugly." - Bill 1992

As the band toured through 1993 interviews revealed that all was not well and the band would inevitably have to make changes in order to survive. Jim was fired by fax at the end of the year. 

"Jim was a really interesting guy. Smart guy, but different. I don't think he accepted our kind of lifestyle, if that's the right word. His was more traditional like a back to nature, rock and roll, truck driving, Ted Nugent-listening kind of guy. We were kind of a weird band anyway, but putting him in my band was kind of an experiment to see what if we had this and we mixed that? And it worked. But the maintenance gets hard. After a couple of years, everyone wants to do something for themselves, and what he wanted to do for himself was more guitar, more guitar solos and things like that. There was nothing wrong with what he wanted to do, but it wasn't what we wanted to do, and we couldn't explain that to him. It also has to do a lot with us growing up. I mean, we were in our 20s' you get to a certain point where you have to communicate with other people. You either do or you don't. Bands go through that. Everyone does, for whatever reason." - Bill 2010


King For A Day

Bill didn't waste any time, he and Bordin went into the studio almost immediately after the AD tour concluded.

"I had a lot to do with writing these songs. About two weeks after resting from our last tour, Puffy and I went into the studio and just started playing - getting grooves together and writing. We wrote the record without a guitar player, from the ground up, so the riffs were written on the bass first. That way, the record was anchored from the start." - Bill 1995

It was left to 'band leader' Bill to handle the press, anncouncing Trey Spruance as Jim's replacement. 

"We knew we had songs that worked. We tried out a lot of guitarists and Trey definitely understands our language. He had his own very capable language and is able to lock into what we're thinking too. It's exciting to be able to finally get in and do the album we've been waiting to do all this time." - Bill 1995

The band made several other changes to help realise their vision, they broke with long time producer Matt Wallace and relocated from San Francisco to Bearsville New York to record.

"We usually record in San Francisco, and there's always distractions. I have to pay my parking tickets or some bullshit, show up late, people are running in and out, friends come over....but this was cool. The studio's out in the middle of the fucking forest. It's on this dirt road, there's just this studio and a cabin for two miles. It's just like sensory deprivation. But the good thing about it was we had nothing else to do but record. We actually tried to stay in the studio as much as we could, because if we left the studio there was nothing to do." - Bill 1995

The material on KFAD was much more aggressive. Bill had an explanation for this.

"The new album was a catharsis for us. We made a record that was very liberating. I think we really learned how to use our power as a unit. I mean, I have a total submarine view of it, but I see it as more of a release type thing. There is a great amount of stress being let off in this album." - Bill 1995

The record featured the Bill Gould song Take This Bottle.

"I wrote 'Take This Bottle' on a 4-track at my house; I didn't even think it would be appropriate for the band, but I played a demo for everybody and they liked it. I was kind of intimidated to volunteer it, but I'm glad I did, because I think it really adds to the record." - Bill 1995

When it came to touring the album Trey was replaced by Dean Menta and it was at this time that Bill began to produce music. He recorded the b-sides I Started A Joke, Greenfields and I wanna F**k Myself in his basement. 


Album Of The Year

Faith No More toured King For A Day for only seven months, no time at all compared to the two years plus they were on the road promoting The Real Thing. This tour was cut short so that the band could get back into the studio and work on their next record.

"Usually we put out a record every three years, and then we tour it to death for a year or so until we're sick of each other. The last thing we want to do after a tour is go right back into the studio, so on the last tour we decided to cut it short, stop while we were ahead, and get back into the studio and crank out another album while we had some momentum." - Bill 1997

However as per usual with FNM, things did not go to plan. Bill, Roddy and Bordin went into the rehearsal room with ideas and soon found that was no creative connection with guitarist Menta.


"We rehearsed, but we weren't coming up with anything that any of us liked. It was a drag because Dean, our guitar player at the time was really good live, but you never know if the chemistry is right until you start writing together. We tried to write for six months, but it was just a frustrating thing."  - Bill  1997

And after months with no satisfactory results the band became dispirited and for the first time in their history each individual pursued artistic endeavours outside of FNM's ranks.

Bill took a sabbatical spending a few months travelling in Europe, where he produced music for the Russian band Niave. He alone was left to work on the album and keep FNM from an untimely end. Bill drafted in his friend Jon Hudson on guitar.

Faith No More decided this time that they would handle the production of the album themselves . Basic tracks for the first dozen songs were recorded at Brilliant Studios in San Francisco, the band kept this from the record company to avoid any complications.

"If you tell a record company you're going to produce your own record, they usually don't like it. So we told them we were going to make 'demos' of these songs, but we knew all along that we wanted to keep them as final tracks." - Bill 1997

"It just turned out to be that way. We didn't need a producer. We haven't been into the studio very long and then Roddy had to go on tour with imperial teen again. During that time we recorded other stuff and when everyone was back again the record was nearly finished so we could start mixing. I'm the one who was always there, I knew the recordings in all steps...so I became the producer." - Bill 1997

"And then we started back from square one, repeating the same [songwriting and recording] process. After the second time, we had something like 20 songs to choose from, and we started to realize, 'Hey, we're pretty much there.' So, in a stealth-like way, recorded our album without anybody really knowing we were doing it ourselves."- Bill 1997

After all the material was recorded the band then retreated to Bill's basement for editing and decided they needed a fresh pair of ears to help achieve the final sound of the album. They enlisted the talents of the Swans drummer turned producer Roli Mosimann. Bill essentially recorded and produced the album while Roli processed and edited the songs using computer technology.

"Until now we everytime we did an album...we recorded that on tape and mixed it then..roli changed our point of view. he copied all the stuff to the computer and we started to edit it then. we didn't do to much of that...we just really fucked up one song in the computer. most we did were little things that really improved much. and roli also mixed the album and his extreme mixing style was really good for us." - Bill 1997

Towards the end of 1998 the band member's other projects had overshadowed FNM and they called it a day. Bill had dedicated his life to the band since he was 18 so naturally he took it hard.

"It was heartbreaking trying to be in a band where nobody wanted to be in it. So breaking up the band was a bit of relief. But yeah, I always felt a little frustrated because I felt we didn't really ever get to say everything we wanted to say and I lost my vehicle to say it." - Bill 2015

"When we were dysfunctional and we split up, I contributed to that as much as anybody. To look back and go, 'Well, I was kind of a dick then. If I behaved differently, how different could this be?' Actually, it's been completely rewarding on that side."
"I was a real hard-ass on people. I took on the role, myself, of being a whip-cracker. I grew up in a nice middle class family and got good grades in school. Dropped out to be a musician, I never graduated. I was completely unemployable. I worked at Domino's Pizza and I had shitty minimum wage jobs. This band was kind of like where I put all my focus, this is what I want to do with my life." - Bill 2015

"Well, I dropped out of school to be in a band, thinking, This is what Im going to do with my life. So when when Faith No More got successful I took it personally, because it was kind of a validation of the choices I'd made in life.Then when the band split, I felt like I couldn't separate myself from that, because I felt that it was the only validation I had in my life, and Id lost my identity. It took me close to a decade to figure out that it was not necessarily my band." - Bill 2018

He added his own words to the band's official statement.

"I personally would like to thank all of you folks who've done such a fantastic job in keeping this band alive, and growing with us through our changes, but especially in helping make our band available through the internet, because I'm absolutely convinced that without all of your help we would have been ignored (especially in the States). Seeee ya...."



The Second Coming

"The only thing that would make me interested in it is maybe to do it in a club in Bakersfield without telling anybody - for 50 bucks." he says. "Then I would do it. If we couldn't do that, I don't think there would be any reason. It would be fake." - Bill 2006

"If someone said, will you do it for a certain sum of money, it would make me want to do it even less. I think it would take us to bump into each other somewhere, be in a good mood and have a nice evening together and just say, why don’t we fuckin’ do something? That would be the bext reason to do it. But rather than become a covers band of ourselves, I’d rather just leave the band dead.Money’s great and all that shit, but it’s my life too." - Bill 2009

"If anything like this were to happen, it would have to come from the band, and I haven't spoken with any of them in over a year. So as far as I know, there isn't anything to talk about, and I'm pretty sure that if you were to contact Patton, he would tell you the same thing." - Bill 2008

Bill told Classic Rock Magazine in 2006 ,Terrorizer in 2009 and Kerrang! in 2008 that there would be little chance of reunion. However members of the band regrouped after years apart to celebrate Roddy's wedding in 2008 and there was talk of reuniting. Bill was absent from the wedding and when he heard of the plans he was hesitant.

"There was no way of knowing how it was going to go. I mean, there’s a whole lot of bad reunions out there that we all know about, ha ha! I didn’t want to be one of those, and I was extremely paranoid about getting into something that I’d regret, because when we split in 1998 it was on a high note and we were proud of what we’d done. But we gained trust among each other and I’m really glad about what we’ve done." - Bill 2015

However of February 24th 2009, Faith No More issued the following statement written by Bill.

Faith No More has always stood out as some sort of unique beast; part dog, part cat—its music almost as schizophrenic as the personalities of its members. When it all worked, it worked really well, even if the chemistry was always volatile. Throughout our 17 years of existence, the mental and physical energy required to sustain this creature was considerable and relentless. Though amicable enough, when we finally split, we all followed paths seemingly destined to opposite ends of the universe. 
Yet during the entire 10 years that have passed since our decision to break up we've experienced constant rumors and requests from fans and promoters alike. Nevertheless, for whatever reason, none of us kept in regular touch, much less to discuss any possibilities of getting together 
What's changed is that this year, for the first time, we've all decided to sit down together and talk about it. And what we've discovered is that time has afforded us enough distance to look back on our years together through a clearer lens and made us realize that through all the hard work, the music still sounds good, and we are beginning to appreciate the fact that we might have actually done something right. 
Meanwhile we find ourselves at a moment in time with zero label obligations, still young and strong enough to deliver a kick  ass set, with enthusiasm to not only revisit our past but possibly add something to the present. And so with this we've decided to hold our collective breaths and jump off this cliff.... BACK, GOD FORBID, INTO THE MONKEY CAGE!!!
We can only hope that the experience of playing together again will yield results erratic and unpredictable enough to live up to the legacy of FNM.Who know where this will end or what it will bring up...only the future knows. But we are about to find out!

The band took a 'no PR' stance and the only member of the band to speak in any detail publically about FNM in this time was Bill.
After nearly 2 years of successful festival and club shows all over the world, including countries that most bands wouldn't dream playing, FNM revealed they were writing new music.


Sol Invictus

Luckily, in their decade of absence, Bill never stopped writing new stuff for Faith No More.

"Even when the band split up, I wrote music for us because this is how I learned how to play. I learned a language with these guys. I don't know where this is going, but this is what I do. I was just doing it for it's own sake." - Bill 2015

Bill played "guitar, drums, keyboards, everything" on a personal, instrumental demo of Sol Invictus song Matador around 2009, before the band had even reunited. He presented it to the band and they played the song in 2011.
This led to Bill mic'ing up Bordin's drums in the rehearsal space and the two jammed together. Gould wrote some guitar and bass parts; the result ultimately turned into second single Superhero.

"Then we're like, 'Uh, we haven't talked to anybody else yet. This is coming pretty quickly and easily — what does that mean?' Well, let's just keep on working. It doesn't haven't to mean anything." - Bill 2015

They asked Bottum, who was in New York, if he wanted to be a part of the process and he agreed. "Then one day I got a thing from Roddy," says Gould, "and it was like five songs."
Sol Invictus was recorded in the band's rehearsal room and produced by Bill with no engineer, no budget, no label. The microphones used were ones Gould had in his drawer, much of the keyboards were tracked on a piano that Bordin's grandmother had left him. To this day, no one who was working with the band in 1998 — save Matt Wallace who did some post-production mixing — is involved in Faith No More's operation in any way.

"It's funny how when you're in a recording studio and someone's girlfriend or wife came in, the whole chemistry of the room changes. It's totally different. You were in this comfortable little shoe and all of a sudden everyone's being polite — it's not wrong, it's just different. People are susceptible to one new element. [In the Nineties] we had this network of people — these agents and people who kind of affected what we did and how we did it. We had to record this record like this with no engineer because we didn't want anybody in the room." - Bill 2015

"A lot of people are afraid of us making a new record, and I get that, There's a template to this, I think: You were a good band, you break up, you get back together and you put out a shitty album. But we tried really, really hard to resist that template. We kept our minds sharp and we still have a lot to offer.
"But people like the stuff we did in the past. We're older now and they're afraid of what we might put out as an older band. They're worried that the music we might make today might not hold up. But even if this new record fails, I'm still a lot happier doing something creative and productive than I am just going to work and playing the old songs." - Bill 2015

"We always worked in our own bubble. Other bands talk about their influences a lot, but we are cooking with our own flavours. I think if you look to the outside then you end up sounding old. We always follow Music, just to know what's going on. But personally feel there is a lot lacking in music right now, and I try and fill that void with what I'm writing. I don't know what to compare the album to! I can't compare it to some emo-core band or Arcade Fire. I don't know where it's meant to sit." - Bill 2015

The band went on to release their comeback album on May 18th 2015, and toured it for a year.






We Care A Lot Reissue

In 2016 the Sol Invictus tour was done but Bill was keen to keep FNM rolling. After cleaning out his basement he found the original master tapes for their debut album We Care A Lot.

"I've been a touring guy most of my life, even when the band split up, I was still travelling a lot and I kept picking up all kinds of stuff and storing it in the basement’ he says of the discovery. ‘I have stuff in boxes that I haven't gone through for years and my wife got to a point where she said, 'We're living in boxes! You don't even know what’s down there, can we just dump some of that s**t you have down there!?’ ... and that's when I found the tapes. I was like, 'Oh my God, what is this?' I’d found the half inch masters, which were the finished mixes and I found one 24-track reel that had the three songs that Matt Wallace has remixed for this re-issue (We Care A Lot, Pills For Breakfast and As The Worm Turns). I said to him, ‘if you could remix these songs today, what would you do with them?' and what you hear on the record is the result." - Bill 2016

Not only did the band release a deluxe remastered version of the album but they got together with Chuck Mosley to perform two special shows in their home cities, LA and SF. These would be the last time Chuck would perform with his former band mates as he sadly passed away in late 2017.

Most recently Bill and Matt Wallace teamed up with Sonarworks to release a true-fi version of their song Cone Of Shame.

" Hey Guys, Bill here… 
I wanted to send a message out to you all, and maybe fill you with a little background about this Sonarworks experiment. I’ve been familiar with these guys for a couple of years, and it was around the time we were ready to mix “Sol Invictus” when Matt and I were given a demonstration of their mixing software. In a nutshell, the idea behind their software was to compensate for imperfections in mixing rooms in order to provide a more accurate listening environment. We liked what we heard, and we were one of the first bands to use this software for a major release. It was relatively new to the scene at the time, but since then it has become quite popular in the recording world.A few months ago, the Sonarworks folks contacted me again; they wanted to take this software out of the recording studio and bring it into the world of home audio. This time, they would attempt to address imperfections in a wide variety of headphones…and to take it a step further, rather than requiring someone to download and install their software, they would be able to run the test through a web browser.I like the guys, they’re a small company from Latvia but with very big ideas, so we decided to give it a spin with “Cone of Shame”. As a band we try to take chances and explore new concepts all the time, and realized in this FNM tradition, that it might be cool to include some of our fans in on the experiment—as far as I know, no one has done anything like this before. So in this spirit, check it out, and let the guys know what you think. Tastes can be subjective, there are no right or wrong answers, but your feedback can go a long way toward improving the quality of our listening experience."

The Future

Are FNM still together? Certainly Bill is still their spokesman, his most recent comments were to Kerrang! in March 2018.

"We talk all the time. Are we still a band? I can't tell you. Last time around, we didn't even tell our wives that we were making music again, so I'm fucked if I'm going to tell you!"

"That I don't know. I'm open to any outcome. If we do another one It'll be because we're 100 per cent behind it if not, I don't see the point. There's so much shit out there and so much noise, the world doesn't need a half-hearted Faith No More record."



Bill Gould Profile

Comments

  1. Happy birthday to one of my favorite bass-players and part of the greatest rhythm section ever! Hopefully we´ll hear about some new FNM-stuff soon!

    ReplyDelete

Post a comment

Popular Posts