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  • Writer's pictureFaith No More Followers

Bill Gould's Koolarrow Records 25


In 1998 Faith No More broke hearts and minds by going their separate ways. Even though it seemed inevitable it was a difficult time for bassist Bill Gould, he had spent fifteen years of his life as the backbone of FNM. We spoke to Bill in 2016 about Koolarrow.

"I was also disillusioned with being in a band, it was the last thing I wanted to do; but I still wanted to work with music, and I needed to find a way to maintain inspiration." - Bill

Extensive touring had introduced the bass player to cultures and music from around the world which had provided the much needed inspiration on foreign soil.

"It was a strange time for me, because I wasn’t finding in San Francisco, or the US for that matter. But touring had enabled me to get a glimpse outside the bubble, so to speak, and that’s where I went. I found what I was looking for in the bands I began working with." - Bill

Bill founded Koolarrow Records in 1999, the first music he released was labelled KACA-001 a compilation album of Latin Rock music called Spanglish 101. The album featured music from Mexican death metal outfit Brujeria and Barcelona hip-hop group 7 Notas 7 Colores amongst the track listing. Koolarrow then facilitated the US release of Sand on Seven, the third album from Not From There, and Post Alcoholic Anxieties by Russian punk band Наив (Naive).

"Every band has a signature, and I’ve learnt something from every band I’ve released. They are all very different, and have been new experiences for me. Approaches to music, musical histories, personal stories, languages...all new stuff, all very stimulating." - Bill

"My artists cover a huge spectrum…the one thing in common is that I personally hear something of value in each. Like food or wine, a lot of it really depends on one’s tastes. I would recommend going to the KA site releases page ( and on each individual page there is a sound player where you can get an idea of what to expect."

Soon Bill was releasing music from all over the globe incorporating many diverse cultures and genres. The Balkan folk music of Kultur Shock, the pop sounds of Dubioza Kolektiv, Chilean hip-hop from Como Asesinar a Felipes and the hardcore homegrown / Philippino sounds of Flattbush.

"For us the work with Bill is built over two simple and complex things: Love for the music and trust. In this times of individuality he still believes in connect people around the world, and his passion for the creativity is inspiring for CAF. We never signed a fucking paper, only shake our hands and start to work, those kind of things are very important to us. And of course his love for the food, coffee and the Balcans. Gracias por todo Koolarrow!!!" - Como Asesinar a Felipes

"I just don’t see language necessarily as a factor that should determine my amount of interest. There are many different approaches to making music; there are languages, like Russian for example, that can be very profound in a literal sense, in a way that doesn’t exist in English…traditionally the lyrics can have far more significance than the melodic structure of the song. This makes me want to get a deeper understand to what I’m listening to." - Bill

It wasn't long before Bill offered his skills as a producer, composer and even a musician to some of these outstanding bands. He has recorded and produced many albums at his very own Estudios Koolarrow, and performed with the likes of German alternative rock band Harmful and The Mexican Dubweiser.

"Making music is always the most exciting, this is really what I was made to do, and I don’t see that part of me stopping. However, I like a good fight, and a victory here and there for one of my bands is a great feeling." - Bill

Koolarrow has also been a place for Bill to release his own projects such as three records conceptual artist Jared Blum, of the SF based mid-fi sound collage label Gigante Sound. Two under project title of Talking Book and the soundtrack to the Serbian movie Eclipse (2023).

"’s total soundtrack stuff, it just goes a bit further where soundtracks don’t usually go. I mean basically music that’s slower, instrumental, moody often get grouped in the “soundtrack” genre. In my case pretty much all my music, even my recent 80’s pop stuff is soundtrack inspired." - Jared Blum

In 2012 Bill worked on House of Hayduk with Danish/American composer Mads Heldtberg of Düreforsög.

In 2016 Koolarrow released a deluxe reissue of the debut FNM album We Care A Lot, which has officially been out of print since 1996.

In 2018 Koolarrow released Voyage, the seventh studio album from Russian band Usssy.

Also, Como Asesinar a Felipes released Disparan (Fill the Skies), a collaborative single with The DeftonesChino Moreno.

"I received an email from Billy Gould with some songs from Como Asesinar a Felipes and I was captivated by the sound of the band. A few weeks later I met the boys when I went to Chile with Deftones. We talked about the track and how it could sound something together. I am very proud to have worked with such an incredible group from such an amazing country." - Chino Moreno

Two more Usssy albums followed - Po Krugu (2020) and Naghma (2022). The most recent release from Koolarrow is the improvised industrial/experimental score of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari by Sleepbomb.

“Billy has been a long-time mentor to Sleepbomb and a never-ending font of great ideas and advice. When Billy offered to release The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari via his personal imprint, Koolarrow, we immediately said yes. We are honored and grateful for this opportunity and can’t think of a better home for our first label release!” - Sleepbomb

Bill continues to be personally involved with the bands he supports and we are looking forward to the next 25 years of Koolarrow Records.

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