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Interview: Bill Gould (of Faith No More)

on October 08, 2010, 12:01am
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Tensions in the band didn’t end with Martin, though. There were always rumors swirling about problems between Gould, Patton, drummer Mike “Puffy” Bordin, and keyboardist Roddy Bottum until the band announced its breakup in 1998. Because the band was breaking up while on tour for Album of The Year, I ask if the end of this tour (Faith No More recently announced their Chilean show would be their last) is any different from that.

“It’s a lot different,” he says. “I can only speak for myself, but what pisses me off about the last time was that I kind of had my reality thrust upon me. I didn’t get to take part in the decision making. Now, we are cool. I think it makes all the difference in the world. It might be the same conclusion but it’s different.”

He goes on to say that the reunion tour has only gotten better and better. With each festival or venue they hit, whether it’s in South America or Europe, their live act gets tighter, and the response from fans only intensifies. It helps that their shows remain one of the most unpredictable out there, with a manic Patton doing everything from rampant stage diving, to eating a shoelace on stage and regurgitating it back up, to doing a flip onto the drum kit and taking Puffy out.

“Even we don’t know what’s going to happen,” Gould says with a smile. “And that’s how we like it. I mean, Patton, he’s not young you know. He hurts himself…that kind of adrenaline, it’s really important to have that. You don’t feel it. That’s part of the fun. It’s a tribal thing, an animal thing. People need that. It can’t be all business, like oh go check out a band because they are ‘up and coming’, as if it’s like buying a stock.”

Not surprisingly, Gould thinks the whole conservativeness and control over live shows, such as lip-synching (ahem, Muse), is part of the problem with the music industry today.

“I feel sorry for this generation of kids because they don’t go out to shows and make them events where things can happen. The unpredictability and liability is really the thing, the spark… you know people wanted to see Jerry Lee Lewis, it was a bit of a wild thing, and it’s become very, very controlled now.”

He notes that one of the main issues with the state of music today is the absence of appreciation for where most music comes from and the lack of authenticity with these factory-produced bands and Auto-Tune instant pop stars that seem to sprout up every season.

“When I was a kid, we knew a lot about the older bands. And now there’s not so much of a historical continuum. It’s very focused on the present. There isn’t much of a tie-in with the past. I mean, I have a personal problem with that because culture is not politics, it’s the thing that make things better in life, and if you lose the thread of that, it’s kind of schizophrenic, and it reflects in a lot of other things in life. There is a certain thing now, this formula, that’s a turn-off.”

seattle 0411 195x260 Interview: Bill Gould (of Faith No More)A formula is the last thing that Gould would follow. When Faith No More decided to commit to a reunion tour, they shunned the usual publicity machine and marketing mouthpiece and handled the reunion on their own terms. According to Gould, it was the smartest thing they could have done. Without the media latching onto interviews and finding ways to exploit their weaknesses, they were able to remain in control and be responsible for everything themselves. There was a total underground vibe, which was illustrated by having Chuck Mosley appear on stage with them during the last of their shows at San Francisco’s Warfield Theatre back in April. Instead of milking the historic appearance for publicity, Mosley became a novel surprise among the fans there that night.

“(Having Chuck there) was weird,” he laughs. “Funny. Great. Soundcheck was great, we were laughing, he was just so out there. I grew up with him, way before FNM. He was like an older brother to me, and he saved me from listening to a lot of bad music. And when we got rid of Chuck, we were probably at the most opposite ends of the spectrum. So it was really great to come back as friends. And the music is a lot different with him in it, I really like it. It’s more simple, a little darker, a bit goth in a way. We were trying to get Jim to do it too but he didn’t want to do it. He thought about it for a couple of days and came back with a real big ‘No!’ Jim was all business, and sometimes the business isn’t the point.”

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