Interview Filter

BILLY GOULD

Die meisten werden Billy Gould als Bassisten der legendären FAITH NO MORE kennen. Aber auch bei den Lärmfetischisten BRUJERIA hat(te) er seine Finger im Spiel. Eher weniger bekannt ist seine Tätigkeit als Labelchef von Koolarrow Records, ein Label, welches für unkonventionelle und politisch oft auch unbequeme Sounds steht. Darüber plauderten wir ein wenig mit Billy, der kein Blatt vor den Mund nimmt, egal um welches Thema es geht, doch lest selbst…

HI! HOW ARE YOU? WHERE ARE YOU? I’m fine, and I’m in San Francisco. HOW AND WHEN DID YOU SET UP KOOLARROW? WHAT WAS THE MAIN IDEA BEHIND THE LABEL? What made Koolarrow possible was that at the same time FNM broke up, Brujeria was released from it’s Roadrunner contract. So it seemed like a good time to do something like that. But that wasn’t the main idea behind the label. The main idea was that I was living in the States and was totally bored with all the music I was listening to. HOW DID IT FEEL TO START RIGHT FROM SCRATCH WITH THE LABEL? AS WELL AS BEING A CHALLENGE, THERE MUST HAVE BEEN A FEW MOMENTS OF FRUSTRATION. Starting from scratch was much more difficult than I had imagined; let me put it this way: I’ve had to start this thing from the ground, literally. In the beginning it was just an idea; I had no distributor, and had never done this before, so I had to make some mistakes and learn some of the rules. So, yes, it’s been challenging. And there were many moments of frustration; in a way it has reminded me of the early Faith No More days. DOES IT SOMETIMES HURT YOU, HOW FEW PEOPLE WILL EVER GET TO KNOW ABOUT THEE MUSIC OF THE BANDS ON YOUR LABEL? OR DO YOU FEEL THAT THE UNDERGROUND AS A CONCEPT FOR THOSE WHO NEED AN ALTERNATIVE SHOULD BE CLEARLY SEPERATED FROM MAINSTREAM MUSIC? Well, this could take a long time to answer. Actually, one of the main reasons I started this label was because 1) I was going to record stores and couldn’t find anything I liked, and 2) I was discovering great bands through my travels that had no way of getting signed. The shit we put out, in my opinion, is first class; what DOES bother me is that people don’t always listen to music with their ears; labels have become a “lifestyle” thing as much as anything else. I don’t believe alternative and mainstream should be separated, for one thing because that mentality produces the kind of alternative elitism and snobbishness that I detest – but I also believe the purveyors of mainstream music should be more responsible with their content; think more like artists and less like accountants, and basically have more of an confidence that they can help make our culture more interesting. As far as “underground” as a concept goes with Koolarrow, I’m not as much a proponent of keeping things obscure, as I am against the way the modern mainstream business works on a mechanical level. YOU ONCE SAID THAT NOTHING COMPARED TO PLAYING LIVE. DO YOU SOMETIMES MISS BEING IN A BAND? HOW MUCH FUN HAS THIS LABEL PROJECT BEEN UP TO NOW? Yes, there is nothing like a great live show, and really, I’m a bass player and songwriter. I’m very happy that I’ve been able to work with the bands on my label as a producer, manager, whatever…but I need to make an album of my own. Which means I now have to make the time to do that. HAS ACTING AS A PRODUCER FOR THE BANDS ON KOOLARROW EVER BEEN A SOURCE OF CONFLICT? IT SEEMS THAT THERE COULD BE TWO DIFFERENT INTERESTS: THOSE OF THE BAND AND THOSE OF THE LABEL, HOW DO YOU COPE WITH THAT? I respect the band as a musican.. I can disagree, but it is ALWAYS the band that has the final word. As a label guy, I am extremely sensitive about how I promote them; I try to keep the financial side of things well known. This might be a little idealistic, but fuck it, I’m a musician and idealism and music often seem to go hand in hand. Communication is important and it is crucial that we all respect each other. I want these groups to have long productive careers.Also, I’m pretty lucky that most of my bands respect my previous work, so they usually take my opinion seriously. HOW GOOD IS THE STUFF THAT YOU ARE SENT AS A DEMO? HAVE YOU EVER REFUSED A BAND, BECAUSE THEY WERE TOO “STRANGE”? I didn’t expect this, but the quality of demos I get is generally very high. Dureforsog came as a demo. So did Flattbush. And Hog Molly. I’m not sure if “too strange” would be a reason to refuse a band…it’s really about the fact that we’re a small company that only has the resources to put out a few releases a year, so I’ve gotta pick what I feel is the strongest stuff… HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERISE THE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE BANDS ON YOUR LABEL? FRIENDSHIP OR PROFESSIONAL? Professional, but extremely respectful on both sides. WOULD THE THOUGHT OF SELLING MILLIONS OF RECORDS WITH ONE OF YOUR BANDS, SUCH AS THE OFFSPRING DID ON EPITAPH, FRIGHTEN YOU OR RATHER CREATE NEW OPPORTUNITIES? It wouldn’t frighten me at all, because I don’t have any bands like the OFFSPRING. If any KA bands sold a million, I think that it could be a fantastic opportunity to do some real damage. INTERNATIONALISM SEEMS TO BE AN IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR LABEL-CONCEPT. WHILE SO MANY PEOPLE COME BACK FROM THEIR HOLIDAYS WITH GREAT MUSIC FROM COUNTRIES SUCH AS POLAND, MEXICO, AUSTRALIA, PORTUGAL AND MANY OTHERS, BANDS FROM THESE COUNTRIES STILL DO NOT MAKE AN IMPACT ON FOREIGN MARKETS. COULD IT BE, THAT A LOT OF MUSIC NEEDS TO BE LISTENED TO WHERE IT IS CREATED AND THAT IT IS NOT NECESSARILY THE NOTION OF AMERICAN MUSIC BEING “BETTER”, BUT MORE “UNIVERSALLY COMPREHENSIBLE” THAT MAKES IT SO SUCCESSFUL? Sometimes that true; American music is a bit universal these days, English is the most commonly used cultural and business language, so, yes, it is universally comprehensible. However, that is only part of the story. Institutionalized prejudice and ignorance is another. The fact is, the American music business isn’t much different from the American film business…most of them don’t know what’s going on outside of America, and they really don’t care. All they are interested in is exporting their products and controlling as many markets as possible. That’s how the business model is set up, and that runs in direct contrast to the concept of cultural innovation and creative evolution. And what really sucks, is when American artists buy into this mentality. Tell me, what makes these idiots think that they deserve to be the center of the musical universe? Here’s one reason why culture awareness matters: Part of why my country is so fucked up politically is because, despite all the money and might at our command, we have very little understanding of the world outside our borders. Something like 40% of our lawmakers don’t even have passports…Bush only left the country once before become president, and it was only to England; and it’s obvious when you look at how we’ve dealt with Iraq (we’ve killed thousands of civilians in the past few months, and don’t even bother accounting for them), for example. Or Kosovo. If there is no cultural reference, it is harder to make a human connection with another part of the world. Getting Americans to understand the world, and ENJOY the world from different viewpoints is a quality of life issue. It protects us from blind consumerism, and might make us more sensitive to the damage that we do. LET’S FOR A SECOND SHORTLY TALK ABOUT TWO OF THE BANDS ON YOUR LABEL. FLATTBUSH FOR ONE, TRULY BLEW ME AWAY WITH THEIR DEBUT. WHERE DID YOU MEET THESE GUYS AND WHO ARE THEY? THEIR ALBUM ALSO BRINGS UP THE QUESTION OF YOUR STANCE TOWARDS POLITICS AND MUSIC. MUSIC ISN’T REALLY GOING TO CHANGE ANYTHING, IS IT? Flattbush was one of the more outstanding demos that landed in our mailbox.They are an intense, intelligent, and SUPER focused band that are capable of smashing any obstacles that stand in their path. Okay, now, regarding politics and music, and the question of whether music can really change anything: for me, music is the only tool I have. Ultimately, music is political, because the business that promotes music is political. Whether in the end it changes anything or not, I don’t know, and I suppose in some ways it doesn’t really matter. What matters is what you do with your energy; if you don’t like the way things are, try to do what you can to change them yourself. THE SECOND BAND IS UNJUST. HOW INSPIRING WAS IT FOR YOU, AS A SELF-CALLED “FAN” OF THE BAND TO WORK WITH THEM? I was honoured. Their new album is totally different from anything else I’ve worked with…it’s really not quirky at all, probably won’t appeal to more eclectic music snobs, but they made a brilliant their album and they did it themselves, and I want to work my ass off to make sure it gets it’s due. They will definitely be coming out to Europe this year, though they’re only on Koolarrow in the US… I LISTENED TO YOUR WALTARI-REMIX AND THOUGHT IT WAS PRETTY COOL, WOULD YOU LIKE TO DO MORE OF THAT IN THE FUTURE? I WAS BEMUSED TO FIND A LOT OF CONFUSED REVIEWS ON THAT TRACK, DO YOU STILL LIKE TO PROVOKE AND DENY EXPECTATIONS? Sometimes it’s okay to deliberately provoke, but not always, because that only becomes predictable and boring. Sometimes just being oneself can surprise people. I honestly thought the vocals could work well in a more soulful context, so that’s what I gave it. YOU ONCE SAID THAT YOU WERE FED UP WITH BAND POLITICS. EVER THOUGHT ABOUT CREATING AN ALBUM AT HOME WITH YOUR LAPTOP AND A FEW SYNTHESIZERS? I have thought about it. And I do hate band politics. But I like collaboration. Doing things solo is like having a conversation with yourself…there are rarely any surprises. WHAT INTERESTING RELEASES CAN WE EXPECT ON KOOLARROW IN THE NEAR FUTURE? I’m working on that….! WHO’S THE GUY ON THE PICTURE ON THE “ABOUT US” PAGE ON YOUR INTERNET SITE? Me, after a wild weekend. DID ANY BAND EVER SEND YOU A DEMO TAPE WITH A FAITH NO MORE COVERVERSION ON IT? No, thank god. THANK YOU!

Es ist noch kein Kommentar vorhanden.

Hinterlassen Sie einen Kommentar.

Mehr zu BILLY GOULD auf terrorverlag.com