Joe Zon is the CEO and founder of Zon Guitars. He talks about getting his start playing bass in school and being handy, he beginning to repair his own instrument and eventually deciding to build one, similar to his Gibson EB3L. Joe began to develop a reputation and honed his craft working at a repair shop whose patrons included Rick James, REM and Genesis. After going to school to study composites Joe focused on building a stable and reliable bass that would solve the common problems like neck warping. Rick James was the first to buy one of his custom basses.
Billy Gould is the bassist for Faith No More. He talks about his signature Zon bass model, one based on the same bass that was built for him in 1991, his main instrument to this day. Billy talks about his approach to the design, the tone he is after and the electronics that give his signature bass its sound. Joe talks about the price points and various models of hand-built Zon basses, including the flagship Legacy, Sonus, Mosaic, and the Hyperbass, capable of 10,000 different tunings.
Billy talks about picking up the bass at age 12 so he could join a band, playing through high school and joining Faith No Moore at 18 in San Francisco. He talks about the years of slugging it out it took for the band to find its unique niche and audience and the varied mix of influences that informed its sound. Billy tells about playing a battle of the bands with Primus (both bands losing) and talks about his friendship with Metallica’s late bassist Cliff Burton. He goes on to talk about his choice of amps.
Joe discusses the declining, directionless state of the music industry and the way distraction and propensity for instant gratification is robbing kids of the same kind of burning passion that fueled artists of his generation. Billy talks about Faith No More being lucky to have made a name back when music industry was thriving and goes on to talk about upcoming projects, soundtrack work and his record label Koolarrow, which works with international bands that people in the US aren’t likely to discover on their own. www.koolarrow.com