MR. BUNGLE, which recently released its first album in over two decades, "The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo", has partnered with acclaimed director Derek Cianfrance ("The Place Beyond The Pines", "Blue Valentine") for the band's "Sudden Death" video. The clip debuted this morning via Movieweb and can now be seen below.
Cianfrance said: "If you lived in Lakewood, Colorado, during the early 1990s, there's a slim chance you would have seen and heard a 16 -year-old boy driving slowly around town in a white, 1974 Mustang II, with his windows rolled down, disrupting the neighborhood by blaring the music of MR. BUNGLE. That 16-year-old kid was me, and that music that I listened to, over and over and over again, set the bar for my life as an artist. So, 30 years later, when I got a call from Mike Patton asking me to direct a music video for one of the songs on their new album, 'The Raging Wrath Of The Easter Bunny Demo', I questioned whether my life was really a dream... I informed Mike that I had never directed a music video before, but he wasn't dissuaded. I listened to the album and asked if I could work with the song 'Sudden Death'. It reminded me of the feelings of angst I carried throughout my youth while growing up in the shadow of a looming, forbidding thermonuclear war. I decided I could make a short film (well, not so short — the song is almost 8 minutes!) about these fears that haunted me. I was also interested in meditating on the theme of desensitization in modern society, where citizens are gradually and systemically numbed to the possibility of cataclysmic consequences. Since the song was written in the mid-'80s, I determined that the video should feel like it was made during that time and imagined it as some sort of rediscovered relic. Shooting during a global pandemic proved a fitting backdrop to the malaise of the song. It also presented a unique challenge as I was too nervous to work with actors — so I had to come up with another solution. making this video with a small team of trusted collaborators, and working with my life-long heroes, was nothing short of a total dream come true."
Cianfrance and Patton came to know one another after working together on the 2013 film "The Place Beyond The Pines". Cianfrance said in an interview with Pitchfork that once he shot the film, he knew the only person who should compose its score was Patton. Cianfrance has also incorporated music from Patton's discography into his current project, HBO's "I Know This Much Is True".
"When we first worked together, he told me he was a fan, and I didn’t believe him," said Patton. "Years later, he told me he gravitated to the most difficult tunes on BUNGLE records ('Dead Goon', 'Merry Go Bye Bye', 'Goodbye Sober Day') so him choosing 'Sudden Death' for this iteration of BUNGLE actually made perfect sense. The least commercial and longest song? That's where his ears and eyes go."
The video arrives as the band, whose current lineup features original Bunglers Trevor Dunn, Patton and Trey Spruance with Scott Ian and Dave Lombardo, celebrate not only the release of "The Raging Wrath Of The Easter Bunny Demo", but the wildly successful "The Night They Came Home!" livestream and the album's impressive entry on to worldwide music charts. The 11-song album entered Billboard's U.S. charts at No. 1 on Current Hard Music, No. 2 on Independent Albums, No. 3 on Rock Albums, and No. 6 on Top Current Albums. This is the first MR. BUNGLE album to enter the Top 10 on any album chart. Internationally, "The Raging Wrath Of The Easter Bunny Demo" debuted at No. 1 on Canada's Hard Music Chart (No. 7 Top Current Albums), No. 3 on the U.K.'s Rock & Metal Albums chart, and No. 6 on Australia's Top Albums chart.
"The Raging Wrath Of The Easter Bunny Demo" was produced by MR. BUNGLE, recorded by Husky Höskulds at Studio 606, and mixed by Jay Ruston. Rhea Perlman narrates "Anarchy Up Your Anus".
"Recording this music with these guys was an enormous head-rush of virtuosity and surprises every day in the studio," explained Patton. "Trey's video game-esque solos, Scott's bionic right hand and cyborg-like precision, Dave's caveman-meets-Bobby Brady-like drum fills, Trevor's solid foundation and laser-focus to detail. There is nothing sweeter than getting your ass kicked by true comrades…where everyone has a singular drive and mission."
Dunn added: "Recording this record felt like we were finally utilizing our Ph.Ds in thrash metal. All we had to do was go back to our original professors for some additional guidance and talk them into joining us. Turns out we were A+ students. We even went for extra credit by revisiting some tunes that we'd given up on back in the day. It was less like a trip of nostalgia and more like the refining of an original, worthy document. We were haunted for 35 years by the fact that this music wasn't given its due respect. Now we can die."
"The Raging Wrath Of The Easter Bunny Demo" track listing:
01. Grizzly Adams
02. Anarchy Up Your Anus
03. Raping Your Mind
04. Hypocrites / Habla Español O Muere
05. Bungle Grind
08. Spreading The Thighs Of Death
09. Loss For Words
10. Glutton For Punishment
11. Sudden Death
MR. BUNGLE was formed in an impoverished lumber and fishing town by a trio of curious, volatile teenagers. Trey Spruance, Mike Patton and Trevor Dunn beget the amorphous "band" in 1985 up in Humboldt County, California, sifting through a variety of members until around 1989 when they settled on a lineup that managed to get signed to Warner Bros. Records. No one really knows how this happened and it remains a complete mystery that even the algorithms of the internet can't decode. Up until 2000, they released three albums ("Mr. Bungle" in 1991, "Disco Volante" in 1995 and "California" in 1999), toured a good portion of the Western hemisphere and avoided any sort of critical acclaim. Some argue that the band subsequently broke up but there is also no proof of this. What is true is that they took 20 years off from performing under said moniker while they pursued various other musics that, in contrast, paid the rent.
Photo credit: Buzz Osborne