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, announcing 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 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. Talking Book II was released in 2020. 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.
Bill has served as producer for the documentary film Rockabul, directed by Travis Beard.
He features on the album Celestial Mechanics by metal band Tronos. The band comprises of bassist Shane Embury, bassist Troy Sanders and drummer Dirk Verbeuren.
Yebiga is a fruit brandy created by Bill, brewed in Serbia and imported to the U.S.
Bill is a touring member of MC50, the tribute to MC5, with original member Wayne Kramer, Kim Thayil (Soundgarden), Brendan Canty (Fugazi) and Marcus Durrant.
Photo © Ross Halfin