Swedish Television, Interview with Billy Gould and Mike Patton

Swedish Television, Interview with Billy Gould and Mike Patton

by Tony Balogh

Patton: You're not supposed to think when you listen to music. You're supposed to fucking pickup on a girl. You're supposed to get drunk. You're supposed to listen to it in your car.

Gould: It's supposed to reinforce your life as a productive cow. As a guy who works his ass of all week, y'know, makes a shitty amount of money, gets fucked up on the weekends and listens to music that makes him feel better so that he can go back to work again and work like the drone he is without thinking about their lifes. That's a very cynical way, but that's how the (music)industry's based, y'know. That's the function it fills. You've got to think, you've got to think about who you are, you've got to think about what you're doing, you've got to think about what you think.

(Here they show a clip from Easy)

Gould: I think it's good to think about it, at least with our music..hey our music is different than a lot of other music, as cooking....and eating food. We're the cooks and we make the food. We use this spice and this spice and these spices, there it is. "Why did you use those spices?" Well taste it! This is why!

Patton: Is it good?

Gould: You like it? You don't like it? Ok.

Patton: You don't like it! Ok, I'm not gonna force it down your throat.

Gould: We use curry and pepper because curry is good with chicken. And when you cook chicken you should use curry and pepper.

Patton: We didn't go to school, we didn't go to cooking-school. There's no exact reason why that+that=that...

Gould: And we're all self-taught musicians too so we kinda like try to work things out on our own.

Patton: Sure. You know it's like you went in and you're eating something and it was *amazing* and afterwards you asked the cook what it was and he told you it was human balls. Would you be upset?

Gould: (Giggles)

Patton: (Giggles more)

(Here Easy continues)

Balogh: What do your fans see you as.

Patton: I dont know...

Gould: A lot of times, unfortunately, the fans tend to see us the way media writes about us. They go, like during 'The real thing': "Dear Faith No More, I really love the way you mix funkstyles and metalstyles together. I'm starting a funk-metalband"

During 'Angel Dust':

"You guys are really weird and really different and I like to drink my own piss"

Patton: "You inspired me..."

Gould: Yeah, I mean who the fuck knows. Unfortunately a lot of kids believe what they read.

Patton: Instead of believing what they hear.

Gould: People in the media, there's always an allusion that they know more than everybody else because they're famous and because they're on TV. Ther's a icon type of thing where a person watching TV can see somebody else and think that they know more because that's how they got where they are, that's how come everybody knows who they are. It's wrong to encourage that because people in the media are just equally stupid as anybody. There is no secret of life, nobody knows. All you can do is to comunicate. If you can get a comunication with somebody and you can have a mutual understanding, that's the best you can do.

(Epic)

Balogh: You think that you're very different from the music business in general....

Gould: We dont really like the music business.

Patton: I don't know if were different from it, but we don't like it.

Gould: We're really like just another band. We're doing the same shit. we're fuckin pumpin' and pimpin' our own record right now. We're doing press, y'know. Because we're in to the record, this is all promotion, y'know, but we believe in it. That's basicaly as far as you can go, y'know. And WE believe in it.

Patton: That's your only responsibility, believe in it and like it.

Balogh: What is it that you don't like about it apart from doing promotion for your record?

Gould: It's obvious, look at the scumbags in other bands for one thing.

Patton: This is where little boys play with other little boys.

Gould: Look at Spinal Tap, look at the media industry. There's this huge attempt to make pop-culture valid and take it self seriously. Pop-culture is just shit, y'know. Basicly. We're in pop-culture, it's hard to take our selfs seriously. What we're doing is, we're contributing to pop-culture. It's just not that big of a deal.

Patton: It's like putting shit on more shit. Hopefully our shit smells a little different.

Gould: Yeah, I mean fuck. I'm glad kids listen to music but...fuck.

Balogh: Forgive me for saying this but you sound so cynical.

Gould: Well we are! (Both laughs)

(Midlife crisis)

Balogh: I, alongside with alot of other people who listen to music are...talks in a way that people who make music are supposed to be some way, and you dont go by that? (??? This is what he said.)

Gould: It's not true.

Patton: It's not true. It's a lie.

Gould: You think that somebody like......I don't want to say any names because they're gonna sue me. YOU say a name. Ok? Name a famous artist that you say have something to offer people.

Balogh: Anyone?

Gould: Pick one!

Balogh: Ahem...Lars Ulrich...Metallica?

Gould: YOU did it! I didn't do it!

Patton: (Laughs his head of...)

Gould: YOU think THIS guy has something to offer people?!? You think this guy can change peoples lifes?!?

Balogh: I havn't been able to study that in depth...

Gould: What is your gut feeling? You really think that this guy has something the world can benefit from?

Balogh: He might have had ten years ago...I don't know about today...

Gould: Well, just say someone YOU think might have something the world can benefit from.

Balogh: Ehhh....Bob Dylan?

Gould: You think that he's not just some crazy old drunk......forget it! (Patton laughs) Forget I said that, ok! I don't mean that. (Patton and Gould laughs for some time) Do really think that he takes himself that seriously?

Balogh: I don't think so...

Gould: Ok. Good!

Balogh:...but you never know.

Gould: (Mumbles) Yeah, you never know.

Patton: Most do! That's the point! I think that most artists are the reason why this industry SUCKS!

Gould: Yeah, they encourage that.

Patton: They encourage it, if there are stereotypes that are projected, the artist live up to them, no problem!

Gould: Human nature has this thing where a persons ego always like to think that it can change a large number of people. Everybody wants to affect the world, y'know. Everybody thinks they can affect the word. Everybody wants to admire someone that they think can affect the word. In reality you can never really change or affect the world. You can only deal with people that you came in contact with. The only way you can make a change is with the people you deal with one to one. The rest is just hybris, it's pride, it's bullshit. People don't change.

(A small victory)

Balogh:Do you recognize the country you grew up in 20 years ago compared to now?

Gould: It has changed a fucking hell of a lot...for the worse. Definitely.

Patton: No one had guns when I was in High-School. Now they have metaldetectors. (laughs)

Gould: Education gone down. I mean the country's bankrupt, it has got this huge deficit that nobody can control, y'know. Now the republicans want to increase military spending again.

Patton: Spending, spending, spending...

Gould: You've got a mentality in America of victim psychology. Lawsuits. Things like this. It's ridiculous.

Patton: Everyone is a victim.

Gould: Yeah, traditionally in America it has always been a psychology that...if you send your kids to school and give them a good education, they'll grow up and live better than you did. And it's not like that. The standard of living that a kid can expect is much less. People can't afford to own their own houses anymore. You know my parents own their house but my expectations were totaly different than theirs. So you got that kind of thing...I mean how is an average American to come across 50 000 dollars, a downpayment on a house? Really, for most people if you get hit by a car and sue somebody. REALLY!

Patton: It's hard to do it the right way. And in our systems there are so many easy ways.

(Another Body: Faith No More/Boo Ya Tribe)

Balogh: When you read interviews and see interviews on TV with other artists who think they are very important, you just laugh?

Gould: Who cares. Let'em. It's...

Patton: It's a calling in life...

Gould: Some people have to market their personality.

Patton: Some people are too stupid to be politicians and pick up a fucking guitar...

Gould: ....and they don't have to be logical. They don't have to be consistent in what they say.

Patton: Exactly. You can even be an asshole.

Gould: People who are famous as musicians probably have a lower IQ than other jobs, y'know.

(Digging the grave)

Balogh: How are you to interpret the words to the song 'Digging the grave'?

Patton: However you want. Whatever floats your boat.

Balogh: There's no specific reason?

Patton: There's no right or wrong in words. It's just like music.

Balogh: Aren't you afraid that you will be missinterpreted?

Patton: I don't care.

Balogh: You don't care?

Patton: I really don't care at all.

Balogh: So if someone would say: "I think this is a pro-nazi song"...

Patton: I'd laugh in their face.

Balogh: But you're not gonna say wether it's right or wrong?

Patton: No. Who am I to argue. (Laughs)

Gould: How can you say that music is right or wrong? The words are just part of the music really.

Patton: Exactly!

Gould: I think that it's like McDonalds culture. Everybody knows what they are gonna get before they get it and if there's a little bit of danger or something doesn't make sense they'd want it litteraly explained to them because they don't want something they don't understand and can control right away. It's stupid to encourage that kind of mentality in people. People have to think sometimes. We make music, we're not philosophers, we're musicians. We make these songs, we make a record. Please buy the record!

Patton: Forget about all this philosophy. JUST BUY THE RECORD.

(Digging the grave continues)

Thanks to Johan Svard.

Source: Johan Svard
© 1995-2001,2011-2012 Stefan Negele