MR. BUNGLE played its first show in close to 20 years last night (Wednesday, February 5) at the Fonda Theater in Los Angeles, California. The concert saw the Eureka-born band performing its 1986 demo in its entirety, and marked the first time these songs have been played live in over 30 years. MR. BUNGLE also played a new track reportedly called "Meth", as well as covers of songs from SLAYER, S.O.D. , SIEGE, SEALS AND CROFT and THE EXPLOITED).
MR. BUNGLE's 2020 lineup consists of original members Trevor Dunn, Mike Patton and Trey Spruance, along with Scott Ian (ANTHRAX, S.O.D.) and Dave Lombardo (DEAD CROSS, SLAYER, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES).
MR. BUNGLE has two more shows scheduled at the Fonda before traveling to San Francisco and New York.
Said Spruance: "Ever since Trevor hatched 'The Raging Wrath Of The Easter Bunny v.2' idea a few years back, Patton, Lombardo, he and I had each been incubating some idea of that egg. Lombardo called me one day and asked me to make some guitar demos so he could learn the songs. He had this generous idea to surprise the other guys with being totally ready to go with the tunes. It just so happened that I was in Eureka at the time. So, I found myself revisiting all of those riffs in the same goddamned town and in the same goddamned house where I recorded all the original guitars on that demo 33 years earlier. There was something about actually physically working out the mania of those riffs again at Dave Lombardo's request, in that environment — it just split my head open. It wasn't long before the train of destiny had picked up too much speed for any of us to jump off."
Added Dunn: "When we recorded that demo, we were 16 and 17 years old and we were absolutely serious about the music. At the time, we were living the deluge of '80s metal and absorbing every riff and every drum fill from every known band from Denmark to San Francisco. The recording and playing were amateurish (save for Trey's video-game-solos) but the schooled composition and spirit were solid. I always felt like this music held its own and deserved to be presented in a clearer and more defined package even if it meant being 33 years later."
Said Patton: "I remember writing riffs for this cassette in my parent's garage, with no heat, so I recorded in a sleeping bag for analog warmth, playing a one-stringed acoustic guitar that was piped into a ghetto blaster. Thank god I had Trevor and Trey to help decipher my rotten riffs into something intelligible!"
Commented Ian: "When Mike hit me up about this, my brain thought he was asking me if I wanted to come to a show, him knowing I am a HUGE BUNGLE fan. When I realized he actually meant for me to play guitar with them, it broke my brain; I was a giggly drooling mess. Somehow I pecked out Y E S on my keyboard and holy crap I'm playing in MR. BUNGLE. Seriously, it's an honor and a privilege to get to play with my favorite 'Mr.' band of all time."
Said Lombardo: "I don't know what was in the water in Eureka, California, but it certainly wasn't clean. This is going to be a ridiculously, insane band to play with and I am honored to have been asked to join the wrath."
The idea that Dunn, Patton and Spruance are being joined by their early musical heroes is not lost on the musicians.
Said Dunn: "They are a significant percentage of the 'Big Four,' all of which had a major impact on us. Aside from their obvious skills and — for crying out loud, INVENTION of this genre — there's nothing like being in a band with those whom which you have rapport. If we are going back to the source with this stuff we might as well go ALL THE WAY back."
Added Patton: "To have Scott and Dave with us on this suicide mission is more than an honor. THEY are a big part of the reason we wrote this stuff in the first place, and to realize it 30+ years later with these maestros is an absolute miracle… we can finally play this teenage nonsense correctly! A total catharsis for us."
Commented Spruance: "At our very first show, at the Bayside Grange Hall, Nov. 30, 1985, we played SLAYER's 'Chemical Warfare' and a S.O.D. cover. I mean, are you kidding?? We WORSHIPPED those guys! And now they're gonna PLAY in our band?"
Support at MR. BUNGLE's February shows is being provided by a mix of artists that both influenced the Eureka-born outfit's 1986 demo, as well as current bands that the musicians are both fans of and feel are carrying on the spirit of that era, both musically and in attitude. Hand-picked by the MR. BUNGLE bandmembers, the openers include CATTLE DECAPITATION, POSSESSED, HIRAX, THE MELVINS, HO99O9, C*NTS and SPOTLIGHTS.
"Putting these shows together it occurred to us that this was a great opportunity to expose unsuspecting audiences to some of the absolutely legendary thrash, death metal and hardcore bands that originally inspired us in the mid-'80s," explained Spruance. "And if we're going to do that, why not reunite with some of the equally legendary bands we were close with in the '90s? And why just concentrate on the past? Of the current bands that have taken some kind of inspiration from the heavier side of MR. BUNGLE in doing their own thing, why not invite the select few that have managed to inspire us back?"