Published on May 23rd, 2021 | by Darren Paltrowitz0
Faith No More’s Bill Gould On The Success Of His “Yebiga” Rakija Brand, Future Plans & More
As a co-founder of legendary band Faith No More, Bill Gould first found international success when the 1987 single “We Care A Lot” took off. Faith No More would go on to mainstream success just a few years later when 1989’s The Real Thing took off and the group became an MTV staple. The band would eventually go on hiatus in 1998, remaining broken up until 2009. However, Bill Gould never slowed down, even during Faith No More’s years off, not only playing with other artists (including Fear Factory and The Dead Kennedys’ Jello Biafra), starting the Koolarrow Records label (which specializes in releases by overlooked international artists), and founding the acclaimed spirit known as Yebiga.
Yebiga is Gould’s own label of rakija. For those unfamiliar with rakija, it is a South Eastern Europe spirit which dates back to the Ottoman Empire and the 11th Century. Yebiga is made in cooperation with one of Serbia’s premier families of distillation, using 100 percent natural ingredients. Produced from various regional fruits, Yebiga’s “PRVA” is considered to be a textbook slivovica. It carries a respectable proof of 86 and is matured for a minimum of 18 months in local Serbian “Quercus petraea“ oak barrels. Notably, Marina Abramovic featured Yebiga for her reception in Belgrade, ordering and featuring 45 bottles to represent the 45 years since she had last performed in her homeland.
BELA is the latest release under the Yebiga label. It is lighter than PRVA, free of color and finished in stainless steel. With BELA, Yebiga returns to the everyday roots of Rakija. It is a delicious, rustic drink for everyday occasions, paying homage to the most common way one might find rakija across Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro and Bulgaria. Made to the same impeccable standards as PRVA, BELA also brings a new bottle design in a 750ml bottle, as opposed to PRVA only coming in 1-liter bottles.
On May 23, 2021, I had the pleasure of interviewing Bill Gould again, this time focusing on Yebiga’s past, present and future for the majority of the interview. After that he kindly entertained a few questions about Faith No More. More on Gould and Yebiga can be found here, here, here and here.