The Many Musical Projects of Billy Gould From Faith No More
Billy Gould of Faith No More
Billy Gould is an original and founding member of Faith No More with drummer Mike Bordin, playing bass guitar in the band that started out in 1981. After two full-length albums, We Care A Lot (1985) and Introduce Yourself (1987), singer Chuck Mosley was replaced by Mike Patton. The Real Thing (1989) put the guys on the map with the huge breakthrough single, ''Epic.'' After that, they released the alternative '90s blueprint album Angel Dust (1992), and the rest, as they say, is history.
I've been interested in Billy through the years, and would always take the time to read or watch his interviews. I like his genuine approach to music, which comes off as very cerebel and in the ''zone,'' so to speak, as his passion for music shows through to me in a matter of fact and real way. Also, he seems like a great guy, someone you would enjoy having a deep conversation with and talk all things musical.
Billy has a great ''feel'' in his bass playing, with excellent finger vibrato, great slap, and pop finger skills along with a killer tone and sound. It doesn't hurt having drum monster Mike Bordin at your side either, who has simply incredible timing and chops. Both work in unison to forge an absolute hypnotic, crushing rhythm section that slays anything in its path. Playing together for so many years is how they've achieved this chemistry. You just don't roll out of bed and do that by accident.
Along with Faith No More, Billy has embarked on many other musical endeavours over the years. Let's take a further look.
Billy at one point was involved with a band called Shandi's Addiction. If there was a more interesting or intriguing nineties supergroup lineup other than Shandi's Addiction, I would like to hear it. The lineup read as Maynard Kennan from Tool on vocals, Tom Morello on guitar and Brad Wilk on drums, both from Rage Against The Machine, and rounding out the group was Billy Gould on bass. Ridiculous, right?
This was definitely a one-off group and not really any kind of a functioning productive band, as no album was produced, and I am not even certain they even played a show for that matter but I may be wrong. You had members from three active and top bands at the time and I am sure working on the project would have been a total logistical nightmare.
Still, Shandi's Addiction did record this awesome Kiss cover, ''Calling Dr. Love'' and was included on the Classic Kiss Regrooved compilation tribute album in 1994. Billy also produced the song. The album also featured tracks by Anthrax and Dinosaur Jr.
''Calling Dr. Love'' (Kiss Cover) by Shandi's Addiction
Much like the modern metal outfit Ghost, Brujeria were most likely the first all anonymous metal group, with a name that referenced Spanish witchcraft. The debut album, Matando Gueros (1993), was mine and my teenage metalhead crew of friends exposure to Brujeria, as we always had an ear out for new metal happenings, and purchased such at our local record store.
Brujeria was presented to us as being a band formed by ravaging Mexican ruthless warlords, roving the lands of their territories, stealing, marauding and using illegal activities to finance their hi gain amplifiers and studio costs to bring killer and insane riffs into our stereos, and then our brains. I think we sort of believed it too, mind you, this is before the internet.
Billy was a founding member, and the band notably included Dino Cazares on guitar and Raymond Herrera on drums, both from Fear Factory, and punk legend Jello Biafra from Dead Kennedys involved in the early incarnation. Pretty much all of these members were gone by the early to mid-2000's, as Billy moved on and troubles within Fear Factory brought tensions to the project. Brujeria is active as of today with new members.
''Consejos Narcos'' by Brujeria
Fear And The Nervous System
In 2008, Billy joined up with Fear And The Nervous System, a project put together by James ''Munky'' Shaffer of Korn. The band also features the drumming talents of Brooks Wackerman from Bad Religion. 2012 saw the release of the self-titled debut, Fear And The Nervous System. Billy plays on the album but is not a touring member of the group.
''Chocking Victim'' by Fear and the Nervous System
Black Diamond Brigade
While perhaps not as high profile as the previously mentioned Shandi's Addiction, Billy did another quick hitter band with some Norwegian musicians forming Black Diamond Brigade. And once again another Kiss cover was produced, ''Black Diamond'' back in 2003.
''Black Diamond'' by Black Diamond Brigade (Kiss Cover)
In 2007, Billy shared some of his talents with Harmful, an alternative rock band based in Frankfurt, Germany. Billy produced the bands 7 album, and also released the effort on his own Koolarrow Records. Billy also hopped back in the van with the guys, going on tour as a second guitarist for support of that album.
''Old Mistakes'' by Harmful
Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine
Off of his collaborations with Jello Biafra in Brujeria some fifteen years earlier, Billy did a stint in Jello's Guantanamo School of Medicine project, supplying bass on The Audacity Of Hype album in 2009.
''Strength Thru Shopping'' by Jello Biafra And The Guantanamo School Of Medicine
As well as the many bands Billy's has been in, he also has lent his skills to many other studio and live projects, whether being a featured musician on Fear Factory's Transgression album, working with Jeff Walker from Carcass on his project, and kicking it with Wayne Kramer from MC 5. Another interesting collaboration Billy was involved with was a cover of the Jimi Hendrix classic ''All Along The Watchtower'' included for the Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter video game in 2006. The song featured Everlast on vocals and members of Fear Factory, Kottonmouth Kings and Billy on bass.
''All Along The Watchtower'' cover from Ghost Recon
Billy has also worked with Mexican Dubwiser, playing on some tracks and co-releasing albums on Billy's own Koolarrow Records with Kin Kon Records. Mexican Dubwiser is the brainchild of Marcelo Tijerina, who bonded a friendship with Billy years earlier and helped Billy during the formation years of Koolarrow Records, Billy's record label.
Mexican Dubwiser and Billy did a radical remix/cover of the Faith No More tune ''Stripsearch'' off Album Of The Year, done in a Cumbia Latin music style called ''Trouble In My Soul'' and was included on the Revolution Radio album. Billy also contributed to the ''Bad Behavior'' song on the Electric City album.
''Trouble In My Soul'' by Mexican Dubwiser
Billy has also worked producing albums for a number of different artists, including co-producing Faith No More's Album Of The Year in 1997 with former Swans drummer Roli Mosimann. Billy also produced and engineered the 2015 Faith No More comeback album Sol Invictus, which I think sounds wonderful, using warm analog sounding tones while maintaining a modern punch and aesthetic without sounding fake and processed. Billy also produced music for Elvis Jackson, Kulture Shock, The Beatsteaks, CMX and Naive. Billy produced an early Fear Factory demo as well.
Album Of The Year by Faith No More holds a special place for me, just as much as any album by the band. This was in constant rotation back when it was released, and the joke was that they named it such, because indeed it was, literally the album of the year. It has stood the test of time, too, and still sounds fresh and remains a steady go to.
''Pristina'' from Album Of The Year was a killer choice for a closing number. It builds up with dreamy guitars and keyboards, then explodes when drums kick in for the last half with Patton's searing vocals adding mystique, with the refrain ''I'll Be With You''...I'll Be With You'' droning onward and onward.
Billy did a really cool remix of the song ''Pristina'', using a trip-hop inspired perhaps electronic drum and bass beat, giving it a whole different drive, and even breaking down to bare bones rhythm and vocals, as opposed to the wide open spaces of the original. Billy made the end part nice and spaced out too, adding some nice whale/seagull type ocean sounding embellishments. While I do prefer the original, it is an awesome take on a great Faith No More song.
''Pristina'' by Faith No More (Billy Gould Mix)
''Caffeine'' (Engove Remix)
Billy also did this keyboard-heavy and atmospheric remix of the Angel Dust track ''Caffeine'' for the 1995 various artists compilation album Metallurgy. The album also featured great music from many artists, including Fear Factory, Helmet, Quicksand, Sepultura, and others.
''Caffeine'' by Faith No More (Engove Remix by Billy Gould)
Based in San Francisco, California and starting out in 1999, Koolarrow Records is an independent record label run by Billy. Koolarrow is a record label run by musicians for musicians, and its mission statement is to bring music that may have been denied access a voice to be heard.
Notable Koolarrow releases include Kung-Fu Cocktail Grip by Hog Molly, which featured Tad Doyle formally of the influential Seattle band TAD. They were definitely a promising band but unfortunately fizzled out after the debut album released in 2000.
Another Koolarrow release is Billy's own collaborations with experimental composer Jared Blum, titled The Talking Book. This is deep and dark and very ambient and textural music that challenges the listener. It was really cool to see this other side of Billy, and I am personally a fan of these type of sonic adventures.
Koolarrow also handled Faith No More's We Care A Lot Deluxe Band Edition release in 2016. This is a reissue of the group's debut full-length 1985 album, We Care A Lot. The original 10 track album was remastered from the original tape reels, under the supervision of the band. There are a plethora of extra goodies included too, including demo versions from 8 track tapes, new mixes of songs from producer Matt Wallace, and two live tracks from that era. The set also includes new behind the scenes photos and liner notes from keyboardist/vocalist Roddy Bottum.
''We Care A Lot'' by Faith No More (2016 Matt Wallace Mix)
''Sundown'' by The Talking Book (Koolarrow Records)
Faith No More BBC Sessions
In 2015, Faith No More stopped by at Maida Vale Studios for BBC's Radio 1's Rock Show with Daniel Carter in support of the new album at the time, Sol Invictus. The guys ran through a four song set live in the studio, featuring ''Superhero'', ''Sunny Side Up'', the classic Burt Bacharach cover ''This Guy's In Love With You'' along with ''Separation Anxiety''. A definite favorite new Faith No More moment for me, as it shows Billy and the rest of the guys really flexing muscles and showcasing their massive musical chops, especially on this intense and blistering version of ''Separation Anxiety'' from Sol Invictus.
''Separation Anxiety'' Live at Maida Vale Studios
Faith No More Blog Website
- Faith No More Blog
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