Kerrang! Issue 554 July 15, 1995
Who the hell is Bill Gould?!
- Born: April 24, 1963
- Previous Bands: None
- Faith No More formed: 1980. Legend has it that the band got their name from a greyhound on which they placed a bet.
- Faith No More Album Discography: "We care a lot" (1984) "Introduce Yourself" (1987) "The Real Thing" (1989) "Live at the Brixton Academy" (1991) "Angel Dust" (1992) "King For A Day...Fool For A Lifetime" (1995)
- Kurrently: Getting set on their headline appearance on the Phoenix main stage on July 15. New single "Evidence" is released on July 17!
They were MTV darlings - now they're the band that America forgot! Yeah, FNM are still ultra-hip in the UK, but it's all gone horribly wrong back home! Bass man Bill Gould and his old K! buddy Steffan Chirazi try to make some sense of it all...
It is a monday night at London's Regent Hotel, and both Bill Gould (FNM bassist) and Roddy Bottum (keyboards) could think of other places to be than sitting around a cocktail bar at 1am talking to me.
Both could easily enjoying a few days off in Israel (where the band are next due to play) but they have instead sworn themselves to the grindstone of international press duties and flown in from Oslo , Norway, to appear live on a US radio station (by satellite from London) at 4.30 am. And now there's me to entertain too. Tee-hee.
Both Gould and Bottum are philosophical about about their silly schedule. Latest album "KFADFFAL" is an immensely important record for the band personally, and whilst doing the business once again in Europe, it isn't really catching on in America.
Thus the aggreement to fly over and stay up all night to talk to a US national radio station. So here we are, Bill Gould's room, 3.30 am, waiting for the (US label) Warner's car to show up and whisk the band away. Time for the K! interview? As good a time as any...
Kerrang!: Right now, how pleased are you with how things are going for Faith No More?
Bill Gould: "It's been - ironically as usual - going in both directions. The shows have been consistently awesome and I'm feeling really good about touring this record. I feel like we're getting a lot of respect for this album and I feel like we're doing great in Europe. For all the work this band have done over the years, it's probably the best it's been. In overall terms we're probably at aour peak. The States? We're probably a bit disillusioned with the way things are evaluated."
K!: What is it about America these days?
BG: "I dunno. The shittiest band in the world can be credible so long as they sell lots of records. I don't think it's the same in Europe; a shitty band cannot be credible there just because of albums sold."
K!: Is that because American audences are thick?
BG: "That's a bit general! I do believe that sometimes people are trained not to think and that their lesser instincts are taken advantage of for the purpose of trade..."
K!: Which basically means unless you're on prime-time MTV, then...
BG: "Well, yeah, that's it, that's America. Everybody can see that; a guy in Asia can see that. Even a guy in Sumatra can see that if you're on MTV in America, you're big. It's the power of MTV."
K!: These are the people who wrapped their loving arms around FNM and helped make you huge!
BG: "Yeah, so it's hard for me to say anything bad ybout MTV because they're the only reason we're probably touring like we are now! It's very strange, tough; there's a lotta money to be made in America - which means there's a lotta people scared to lose their grasp on all that cash. Which makes for a very hypersensitive industry. It re-invents itself every three to six months."
K!: Do you feel like veterans of this industry?
BG: "I don't know what this industry really is. I theink 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."
K!: Was it like that even when you were huge over in the States?
BG: "We missed it. We were in Australia when we were hige in America, and by the time we came back 'Epic' had come and gone. We didn't really know what happened!"
K!: Do you ever look back and regret seeing that time go by so fast?
BG: "I think if we'd allowed ourselves to enjoy it, we would've had to go along with what our band was being representedas, and I don't think that was us. I think going along with that Funk Metal tag just wasn't us."
K!: So you feel that your success was founded on an image that was created for you?
BG: "Absolutely 100 per cent. But I'm thankful for the expierence of seeing what goes on. Right now we're writing better music - as far as I'm concerned - and whatever happens with us I think our records will hold up. That's really our responsibility."
K!: So you prefer 'KFADFFAL' to 'TRT' - the LP that broke you all over the world?
K!: Don't you feel a little guilty considering everything that album did for you?
BG: "It's like baby pictures. Your high school pictures. You're so naive. When you're a kid you do things and look back thinking, 'I can't believe i did that shit!' - and musically I fell like that about 'TRT'. But now we can concentrate on why we're here in the first place."
K!: The personality conflicts have died down, then?
BG: "They're not really an issue. It's nothing that makes us interesting."
K!: There's always this situation where you can f**k or fight, and you always seem to have gone for the latter! How much does not having a clown in the band hinder you?
BG: "I don't know. You can sell anything, I guess. We could be a circus band or not a circus band; it's whatever we feel comfortable about."
K!: Why is it that people always focus on frontman Mike Patton and the legendary story behind him once eating shit?
BG: "I think they want us to remain the band we were seen as but which we never were."
K!: The quirky shit-eaters?
BG: "Yes. I think the shit-eating thing to begin with was an attempt of our band to take over our perception of what we were perceived as. And to *not* have some writer do it for us."
K!: Do you feel that the media's a chore now?
BG: "Yeah, media's a fact of life. Bit we're working harder than we ever have and the shows are better. And media? Yeah, f**k the media! You have to work it - and if we don't work it, then it will be worked upon us."
K!: Right now, are things a little easier for you to deal with?
BG: "I'm having a good time. Sometimes I regret that we have to tour for two years to keep ourselves going because of how radio and certain kinds of media operate."
K!: But what#s the problem? What box have you been shoved in?
BG: "Different boxes. Radio will say that our song 'DGT' is too hard for them, too Metal. If we do a song like 'Evidence', then none of the Metal stations will want it!"
K!: You're currently on a tour of festivals in Europe...
BG: "What's cool is that we're doing really big shows, they're working and we're not relying on any cheap shitty tricks. And as a band, we've all come to a point where we all agree that we're trying to do our best."
K!: The Phoenix festival - a pinnacle?
BG: "Definately. Just because it's England - where our biggest crowd and biggest supporters are."
It's 6:10 am. The car from Warners never came, and Gould and Bottum are quietly steaming. In a cab on the way back towards the hotel, the cabbie asks who FNM are. "Sounds like Gospel stuff, yeah?" he tries. Bottum smirks liek a schoolboy behind his hand. He says: "Yeah, you got it, Gospel with a little bit of Calypso for good measure!"
Ha! The bastards are back!
You wot?! - Bill Gould gobs off!
- "We're gonna do a special request for Glen Benton! We're gonna dedicate 'Easy' to him! Maybe we can get him on stage with us! What a stud!" - K! 420, November 1992
- "The most perverse thing that I can think of right now is that Jim Martin still lives with his Mom!" - K! 420, November 1992
- "Well, I must say that I think British people seem very hung up on sex!" - K! 287, April 1990
- "I'm very interested in murderers!" - K! 287, April 1990
- "Many people would rather sit in their house and wank off than risk desease!" - K! 287, April 1990
- "Jim Martin got the message that he was out of the band via a fax machine!" - K! 535, March 1995
- "I can honestly say that Milli Vanilli are helping me cope with life!" - K! 246, July 1989
- "The audience started booing us BIG time, so I figured I'd better give 'em a bass solo!" - K! 261, October 1989