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 neighbour Roddy Bottum.
He had an interest for music from an early age. The first album he bought was Elton John's Greatest Hits. His early influences were Cameo, Parliament-Funkadelic and David Bowie.
He started playing bass 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). Chuck Mosley lived in the same neighbourhood and would often play keyboards with them. Through the band Bill discovered early punk influences and new wave music with bands like XTC, Sex Pistols, The Fall, Pop Group and Joy Division.
When Bill was 18 he tried to launch a recording career by travelling to the UK, he soon returned home began to study Political Science at college in Berkeley then moved to San Francisco to study film. In SF he met Mike Bordin by answering an ad to join the band Sharp Young Men. He soon become 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.
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 opted the continue without Morris and in 1983 changed their name to Faith No More.
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. The final addition to the early lineup was Bowen's replacement Jim Martin who was suggested by Cliff Burton.
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.
By the time they were touring second album Introduce Yourself, released on major label Slash, Bill had become frustrated with Chuck's drunken performances which led to the two exchanging blows and eventually his departure from FNM.
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.
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.
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.
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.
1991 saw the beginning of a special relationship between FNM and South America,Bill also found that he had an interest in foreign culture.
While on tour with Guns N' Roses in 1992 he spoke out in the press against their rock n' roll antics which earned him a scolding from Axl Rose.
In 1995 he and Bordin went into the studio almost immediately after the AD tour concluded to work on King For A Day.
It was left to 'band leader' Bill to handle the press, anncouncing the Trey Spruance as Jim's replacement. 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 in his basement.
A year later and the members of FNM were busy pursuing personal projects, it was down to Bill begin the writing of Album Of The Year and to eventually regroup the band. It was Bill who enlisted his old friend Jon Hudson to take over on guitar.
From all the members of FNM Bill was the most hesitant over the band's 2009 reunion, the split 11 years earlier had effected him more so than the rest of band. However after touring together for 5 years it was Bill who began write music again for FNM and the majority of the bands comeback album Sol Invictus was his, Roddy and Bordin's vision. He also employed the production skills he had refined over the subsequent years by recording the album in his own studio, recruiting Matt Wallace and Maor Appelbaum for the finishing touches.
In 2016 Bill seemed to orchestrate the reissue of their debut album single handed after unearthing the original tapes in his loft. He and Wallace to remastered the recordings. PR duties fell to him and he gave the majority of interviews. Bill reached out to Chuck and Jim Martin (who opted out) to perform the early material at two special shows in the US. The reissue was all released via his own record label.
After FNM parted ways in 1998 Bill became disillusioned with being in a band, he concentrated on production and in 1999 set up Koolarrow Records. Koolarrow specialises in international non English speaking music. Something that is hard to sell to those who want to understand the lyrics but don't speak the language.
However this accommodates his interest in cultures outside that of the US. Bill uses his own talent and prowess to help these bands succeed. He has recorded and produced many also playing on their records. Not only are many international cultures represented on KA but also varied genres, for example the hip hop of Chilean Como Asesinar a Felipes, Bosnian pop outfit Dubioza kolektiv and the hardcore metal of US based Flattbush.
KA has also been a place for Bill to release his own projects.
Under the pseudonym of Güero Sin Fe Bill was a member of Mexican hard core band Brujera, he appeared on three albums during the 90s. In 1996 Bill went to Russia to produce music for Naive.
He was also involved in several supergroups, such as Shandi's Addiction (with Maynard Keenan, Brad Wilk and Tom Morello) as well as Black Diamond Brigade (with Norwegian rock musicians Euroboy, Torgny Amdam, Tarjei Strøm and Sigurd Wongraven). Furthermore, he played with Wayne Kramer and Fear Factory, and produced CMX's Vainajala album. His guest appearances include recordings for Romanian band Coma, and the production of Living Targets by German group Beatsteaks, Slovenia's Elvis Jackson,and the album 7 for the German rock band Harmful, in which he also toured with them the whole year 2007 as guitar player.
In the same year Bill joined alternative metal/industrial rock band formed by Korn guitarist James Shaffer, Fear and Nervous System, to record one album. He also performed and recorded with ex Dead Kennedys singer Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine on his album The Audacity of Hype.
In 2011 Bill explored his love for experimental music and released the Talking Book album a collaboration between himself and sound artist Jared Blum. The two, joined by Dominic Cramp, performed the music live in Chile. Also in 2011, Bill contributed to the production of the soundtrack for the documentary The Sequential Art , by Norwegian director Espen J. Jörgensen.
In 2012, he collaborated with Charles Hayward of This Heat and Mads Heldtberg on a project and release entitled House of Hayduk.
More recently Bill has served as producer on the documentary film Rockabul, directed by Travis Beard.
"As a musician, I don’t like the idea of being some kind of political spokesperson, but as an American, is important to look outside and get connected with people in other places. I’ve been privileged to travel and learn about things and if I see something that’s not right, or being misrepresented and I have information that says otherwise, I have to say something".
Faith No More Followers
"Making music is always the most exciting, this is really what I was made to do, and I don’t see that part of me stopping. However, I like a good fight, and a victory here and there for one of my bands is a great feeling."
"Pissing people off was fun. We came from a scene where teasing people was okay."
Faith No More Followers
"This might sound strange, but it’s been quite awhile since I listened to...any of our albums. What I can say, though, is that when we made it [KFAD], we had hoped that it would withstand the test of time."
"I started off playing when I was like twelve. If you wanted to be a musician in, I guess it’d be 1974-75, basically prog rockers were the guys that dominated. If you wanted to be a musician, those were the guys you’d look up to."
"We've been through a lot of different changes. We've lost people and we've gained people. I personally like all the changes that we did because I was involved in all of them [laughs]. So it made sense to me. The good thing I can say about this band is we always made situations that kept us working in a direction which helped us stay inspired and where we knew where we had to go. And everything came out okay."
"...what we tried to do, even when we were having tough times is try to be honest with where we were. I mean, a lot of people don’t like where we were and that’s fine, but we were there, and we tried to put that in the music."
"...it's been 30 years and we've made six records and they've all kind of been different from each other. I think we just had a point where and I don't know about all of our fans, but for a portion of them this was something different they hadn't heard before. It was just another interesting facet of the band that might make them look at the band differently."
"I mean we did a lot of things that didn't make sense to people outside of the band but I don't think that's ever been a problem, as long as it made sense to us, we always kind of found our way through it. We were playing this weird music and we just got lucky!"
"I don’t know if the personality clashes came out in the music. If it did anywhere, it would be probably with the guitar. We came from different places, so we had a little bit of aesthetic disagreement there. Other than that, no. Every band is kinda dysfunctional. We had this particular dysfunctionality that we had to live with, it just came with the package."
The Punk Rock Theory
"In our early music you can hear more the influence of bands like Theatre of Pain and Killing Joke. But we discovered ourselves and because we didn't grow up in the environment that those bands grew up in, we had things that were our own. I think a lot has to do with having self-confidence to be yourself and who you are and where you come from and not being afraid or ashamed. In San Francisco, a lot of people were trying not to be themselves. And we were the same in the beginning. It happens to a lot of bands."
Inside Estudio Koolarrow
"This is a unique band. There’s all kinds of processes and we try to keep our processes open to basically anything, just like we try to keep our styles open in just about any way. I think the thing that we try to do is keep ourselves out of boxes so that we’re not always using the same formula to approach songs. We get things from old ideas and new ideas. Sometimes, somebody starts something and that starts the process, and sometimes somebody’s written a whole song. It comes from wherever we can get it, really. The most important point is that it all fits together at the end as a whole, and that actually takes more doing than the writing. Coming up with the material is a lot easier than making it all fit together."
"...your music is like your child, and if your going to raise your child, you're going to want to get him in the best school you can, you want him to have every chance to succeed in life. But yes, you're right – if you have something good, it'll find it's way."
"I approach the bass as a songwriter. When I write, I’m taking all the rest of the instruments into account, much like a composer would. Every musician has a different way of writing, and every approach is good if it works and the music is good. As a bass player, I’m always finding a way to put myself inside the song to make it better and give it some personality, without dominating it."
"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."
Kerrang! Issue April
"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."
"I've listened to experimental music for most of my life, beginning when I was about 14 years old. But ironically, I've never played it... and I learned right away that in this genre, listening and playing are two different things! The more I do it, the better I get at it, but it is an acquired skill."
Consequence Of Sound
"I'm a control freak and like doing everything myself. It's like growing vegetables in your garden and cooking it in your own restaurant. I like it, I like doing it that way. It's more rewarding, but I'm at a certain point where it's too much."
"Roddy, Puffy, and myself like to jam together. We're the guys who started the band, so we like to get in the same room and play. A lot of my playing comes off the drummer. So when we get together, we can really work things out together and fine-tune stuff. A lot of times we come away with a bed to work from."
Kerrang! Issue 554 1995
"I don't know what this industry really is. I think when we're touring in Europe, I feel like I'm working. We made a record, we're touring a record, and we get back we'll go and write another record. When I'm in the States there's all these other complications. In the US there's this high-stress work ethic level, to start with. So you always feel like you're f**king up when you're there."
"You think it's really funny now, but if you do it long enough, it's going to start becoming what you are all about. In a way, that is what happened to us, eventually we became a rock band."
"Everyone in this band has their own way of doing things, and you have hardly any control over the whole picture," continues Bill. "If one guy does one thing.- for example, Puffy will walk out after the show and hand out his drum sticks to everybody, which embarrasses the shit out of me, cos it's like, Who are you to hand out your drumsticks, you cheapskate son of a bitch? I'm ashamed for myself cos its like I'm doing it, if he does it."
Kerrang! Issue 420
"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."
Kerrang! Issue 380
"...this whole Funk Metal thing is really disgusting. The last thing I ever want to be in is a Funk Metal band - we're gonna try to be anything except that!"
"If you're not gonna like us, then you're gonna hate us, so we're gonna make sure you hate us! We're gonna get you to move one way or another, you're not gonna sit there like you're watching a movie. Our shows are audience participation 100 percent..."
"We feel like total monkeys sometimes, just running on a wheel so all these people can get the energy generated from it and light their homes.There are so many people who make a living from the Grammys and that kinda shit. In American especially. But, hey, I'm still fooled into being flattered. It makes me smile."
"We were about 21 -years-old so a lot of things seemed very important at the time, and music was pretty much the only thing we did that was really enjoyable. And l think that had a lot to do with why we are as dedicated as we are now and why we've been touring as long as we' have, because the very core of the group centres around knowing that we have nothing better going on in our lives."
"...ever since MTV started playing the video, that's been happening. We've had some really sick groupie types in spandex pants, which for our group is very uncommon. It's kind of hilarious, so unlike the way we are, we have to accept it because it's so unique. "Suddenly we're being accepted into the mainstream and mainstream attitudes are coming, so it's kind of hilarious. The rock thing, the groupie thing, is so unnatural that you have to laugh. I see them as victims of manipulation. They have to act and think a certain way, narrow down their interests. It's kind of sad."
"I think a lot of any dismay I have comes from seeing kids who want to be musicians and I feel an obligation to tell them that it sucks in a lotta ways. You're buying kind of a lie. The reality of that lowers the importance of the musician and I think a lot of musicians don't want that to happen - especially when they feel like God or something. I hate to perpetuate that idea, that myth of being a god or whatever. It's important to keep a human element."
Kerrang! Issue 287
"Pornography isn't as hot as it used to be, but maybe gay pornography because many homosexuals have been buying gay pornography due to the whole AIDS situation. Although having said that many heterosexuals too would rather sit in their house and wank off than risk disease, the country as a whole is turning to pornography much more."
Faith. No Man Quiet In Heaven / Song Of Liberty
Ministry Of Propaganda Records.
Faith No More Introduce Yourself
The Real Thing
June 28th 1989.
Faith No More Live At Brixton Academy
(Video) August 20th 1990.
(Audio) February 4th 1991.
June 8th 1992.
Faith No More King For A Day Fool For A Lifetime
March 28th 1995.
Faith No More Album Of The Year
June 3rd 1997.
Faith No More Sol Invictus
May 19th 2015.
Brujeria Matando Güeros
July 6th 1993.
Brujeria Raza Odiada
August 22nd 1995.
May 17th 2000.
Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine
The Audacity of Hype
October 20th 2009.
Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine
Enhanced Methods of Questioning
May 24th 2011.
Fear And The Nervous System
September 18th 2012.
House Of Hayduk City Of Quartz
November 23rd 2012.
Bill Gould / Espen J. Jörgensen Fugly
April 24th 2013.
Bill Gould and Jared Blum The Talking Book
May 24th 2011.
Koolarrow Records. DISCOGS
Bill Gould 10 Best Bass Lines
Happy Birthday Bill 2017
Happy Birthday Bill 2016
Happy Birthday Bill 2015
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