Billy Gould (Faith no More) sound on "King for a day"

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by BassEnvy78, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. BassEnvy78


    Jun 28, 2012
    Hi guys

    I have been listening back to FNM's "King for a Day..." album and just got stuck on the title track. IMO, the best song on this CD.

    If I'm not mistaken, Billy Gould is using a fretless bass.

    Do you guys know how he got this sound? Very punchy stuff.

    I'm looking at a new amp (RH450) but also a fretless bass.

    Do you think a Fender Jazz can get this type of sound?

    Thanks for the input.
  2. BrBss


    Jul 9, 2010
    Albuquerque NM
    Sounds like a fretless, favoring bridge pickup, with round wound strings.
  3. punchdrunk

    punchdrunk Inactive

    Jun 22, 2013
    I'm thinking he used Zon basses on this album.
  4. sloppysubs


    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    Billy switched on this album from the Aria Pro II basses he was using to a modified, custom Zon Sonus 4.

    Billy's Zon had a solid poplar body (soft wood) and the graphite neck. All of his basses were/are fretted. I think he mentioned to me once in a correspondence that he had a fretless (????) but didn't use it or sent it back because the neck warped or something. I honestly can't recall. His modifications to the bass were all electronic. Billy really liked the P/J combo and thus had Joe put the guts to a P in a soap bar for the neck and then the single coil in the bridge. The bass has an internal mid-control. All Zons, at least they used to, are stock with Bartolini pick ups.

    As far as amps go, he used Peavey at the time. He liked how bad their stuff was... liked the break up on the speakers. He was either using a TB Raxx pre amp or (if they had them then) a SansAmp PSA-1. If he wasn't using the SansAmp on KFAD then it was definitely on AOTY. I think he had a pair of 8x10's and a pair of 1x15's. He used round wound strings.

    I am almost absolutely certain the bass on the record is fretted. Without going on a total limb... I had a Zon Sonus that was an exact replica of Billy's and something about the way you could play that bass... it always had a strange fretless-like sound. Thom Brady (vegas..532?) has played my bass and knows what I mean.

    Great, great player, very underrated. Amazing sounds and tones.
  5. BassEnvy78


    Jun 28, 2012
    Thanks for the detailed answer zongeek
  6. sloppysubs


    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    No problem.

    Billy is my favorite! He's the whole reason I even wanted to play bass.
  7. Zon is what he uses.
  8. Yeah, it's fretted alright. Sometimes people can be fooled of the bass' response because of the fretless-y character that's going on; for instance the slide in Last Cup of Sorrow from Album of the Year: (0:26 approx)

    Not much "fret" in the sound there! ;)
  9. Billy Gould is way underrated. FNM is my all time favorite band and I hope to one day play/own a black Zon like his!
  10. RedMoses


    Jul 4, 2012
    I saw the FNM reunion tour a cpl years back and Billy was using a ZON...

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