Name: Matthew B.
Comments: Hi Trevor, first of all the usual compliments on
your work, it's really exciting and encouraging to hear such
top notch music. I saw you with Fantomas the two times you
came to Sydney and was blown away. Anyway, I make some pocket
money on the side teaching bass to kids (15, 16 mostly) and
while they usually bring in Limp Bizkit, Korn, etc., I've
been getting them to learn some more intricate stuff lately,
though my problem is finding it in the first place. I'm looking
at avant-garde type stuff I guess, with challenging fretwork,
unusual time signatures, etc. but preferably still with a
heavy feel to maintain their interest. The last thing I taught
them was the left hand piano parts to 'Jazz Study' by John
Cage, I'm getting pretty desperate. Well, keep up the good
work, hope to see you back here soon.
Well, there is no need to get desperate because there is
a lot of stuff out there. If you're into transcribing or
reading contemporary classical music, the oeuvre is vast.
Bartok is a good pedagogical source, ie, Mikrokosmos, or
the string quartets. There is tons of guitar music for this
genre as well...
Henze, Takemitsu, Crumb, Wuorinen...
In terms of metal, Dillinger Escape Plan, Meshuggah,---I
know I always mention the same metal bands...but these two
should keep your students on their toes for quite some time.
Comments: I was wondering if the solo piece you wrote for
Jon Deak, "Depaysement", is available for purchase.
Let me know. Thanks.
No, it hasn't been recorded. My plan is to record it myself
one of these days with a bunch of other "chamber" stuff....you
will be informed.
Comments: Hello Trevor,
I recently purchased an upright bass & take lessons weekly.
I am very interested in your style of playing on Debs & Cents,
How does one approach learning to play like this? What sort
of technique should i be studying?
What is your favourite film of all time?
Looking forward to Electric Masada in London! Thanks for
your time & the inspiration. Cheers. Al
For whatever kind of music I play, I feel studying traditional
technique, which I've talked about a lot on this page, is
priceless. What you eventually do with that information is
dependent upon your seriousness, and your personality, (which
is basically uncontrollable). The "style" of music
on D&C is simply an extension of my personality, there
is no specific technique geared towards that music. It's
the result of studying classical technique, playing jazz,
and playing rock.
Bunuel's Simon of the Desert.
Name: Hassan II
Comments: Hey Trevor, just curious as to what you would regard
as your favourite Mr. Bungle album?
Comments: trevor, hello. are you familiar with the work of
brian ferneyhough? if you are, what are your thoughts on
his music and the "new complexity"?
I'm not. Is this like, Boulezphiles? I don't know...I think
once in a century is enough....
Name: A big fan of yours.
Comments: I saw this band called Flattbush, are you familiar
with this band. The bass player is crazy.
yes, I agree, they are some muy loco Filipinos. His thumb
is like a de-tuned Slingerland bass drum.
Comments: The 64 million dollar QUESTION Will there be a
fourth and final Mr.Bungle album, I know it isn't on top
of the to-do list but some kind of inkling of info would
Why not 5th and final? Why can't we skip number 4. Four is
bad luck in Japan. But maybe five is a bit too Satanic, you
know, pentagrams? Six is obviously not a good idea either.
And Seven is probably too predictable. Yeah, I'd say hold
Name: Rob Jansen
Comments: Trevor, I was just wondering if you recorded with
Electric Masada in February like you said you might. I would
love to hear an album from you guys.
Didn't happen. Maybe later...
Name: jason e.
Comments: A website for fans and fanatics opened with a quote
from Chomsky! This is highly respectable! I have found your
answers highly informative and appropriate regardless of
whatever ridiculous banter tossed your way.
1. Do you read Chomsky?
2. Have you heard of bassist/composer Avishai Cohen? What
do you think?
3. Why bass? (I realize this is a very generalized question,
but could you comment on why you chose to be so dedicated
to the instrument. Was it admiration of a bass player when
you were younger, or some strange story involving a pact
with demons. Please, humor me.)
1) No, I just quote him telepathically. 2) No. 3)Why not?
It just happened. Basically because my brother played guitar
and I want something similar but
different. After about 2 days there was no escape.
Comments: Your own label? When? Why not? How to get signed?
When? Why not? DO IT!!!!
Fuck that. I don't need any more pains in my ass. I'm here
to play and write. Get signed by being lucky, knowing the
right people, being conspicuous and persevering.
Name: el stinko
Comments: how much input do the members of fantomas have
in the songwritting/arranging process? youve mentioned that
you've transcribed them to help you learn the pieces, how
are they received by you?
Not a whole lot. It's really MPs vision. I transcribe demos
that are pretty much in final form, as much a demo can be.
Some tweaking happens in the
rehearsal studio, and some more in the recording studio,
but the final decisions are mostly made by the leader.
Name: Alan Lawrence
Comments: Trevor, I'm writing a paper on Mr. Bungle, specifically
the album California (for a class on irony/parody/humor in
music). I was wondering if you thought that that music came
from a modernist or post-modernist perspective (any detail
you want to get into would be appreciated). Hope to hear
from you--love your work! Thanks.
Well wherever it came from it wasn't conscious, at least
not in those terms. I don't think of myself as post-modern,
but in an inescapable sense, I am. That music comes from
a bunch of 30-37 year olds who listen to and play a lot of
different kinds of music. Humor, irony, post-irony, neo-whatever,
but over-all sincerity are considerations in the song-writing.
But we NEVER talked about shit like that.
Name: Andrew Emer
Comments: Hey Trevor,
Love Bungle and I think we might have a few people in common...as
I have moved here from the bay area... So, I do have a question
for you; I play upright bass in a rock band...In the last
year we started playin The Bowery Ballroom and joints a like
down south..I am gathering any and all info I can regading
how to play upright LOUD in big venues and avoid feedback.
So, far I plug my f holes w/foam and have a mesa stack that
doesn't seem to give too many problems...but any advice or
thoughts you could offer up would be cool since I know you
prolly have experience in this area
yeah, that's a tough on. I borrowed a bass in Australia once
from a Rockabilly guy. He had made a trap door on hinges
in the shoulder where he was able to insert tons of foam.
Plus the entire thing, including the f-holes, was covered
in tape. I would suggest experimenting with different pick-ups.
The Underwood, which is what I use, is quite susceptible
to feedback. Also, a lower stage volume with support from
monitors will help---although direct sounds through monitors
usually sounds like caca. I never liked playing my upright
live with Bungle mainly because at such volumes it sounds
crappy. I would also check into compressor/limiters. SWR
often has a built-in limiter, but they aren't the loudest
amps in the world. Sorry I can't be of more help.
Comments: Hi Trevor - How did the Masada thing come up for
you? Also, is any of the Masada songbook available to buy
as sheet music ? - I'm learning the oud and am as keen to
play downtown Radical Jewish stuff as I am to play the traditional
Arabic stuff. Also what's with Jamie Saft's beard???? All
I first met Zorn when Bungle asked him to produce our first
record. Later, he asked a few of us to play on some of his
projects. Eventually I played in a west coast version of
the Masada quartet before the group solidified. Moving to
NY coincided with some of the first Electric Masada performances.
I don't think the songbook is published. You should just
transcribe the stuff yourself.
Name: ian mcelroy
Comments: Hello trevor, I just read an interview with Patton
and I was wondering is Mr Bungle really over?
I went to the most amazing Mexican tacqueria in Brooklyn
recently. I used to be kind of a California/Mexican food
snob, coming from the west
coast and all. But man! Amazingly fresh shrimp cocktails,
beautiful pork tortas, simple but really tasty tacos, divine
chalupas...I'm so happy my fat
Mexican friend turned me on to it.
Comments: I want to start by saying I'm a big fan of your
work and I'm looking forward to the new fantomas album that
being seid I'm only now starting to get into jazz and I don't
know much about it but I do know that I love Elysian fields
(I love femial vocals) and would love to here what you think
I might like ? thanks
Sarah Vaughan, Dakota Staton, Jo Stafford, Ella Fitzgerald...Maybe
you'd like Ann-Margret; I do. And if you're into Jennifer
Charles maybe you'd be into Hope Sandoval although she's
not really jazz.
Name: Moo Goo Gai Pan
Comments: Why are you so gay?
It depends on what you mean by the word "so".
Comments: Any progress on a new trio-convulsant record? And
what records do you recommend with Michael Vatcher playing
on them? I've heard from Spruance that he's a total genius
and from one of your past posts mentioning him as one of
your favorite drummers...
Trio-convulsant in the works.... Vatcher: He's based in Amsterdam.
He often plays with a guy named Michael Moore. Check out
a band called Available Jelly.
Name: Christian Wight
Comments: Aloha! Hey Trevor, a few qustions if you will .
. . 1st. I recently attended the Victoriaville fest and saw
you in the audience at a number of shows. What did you think
of the bass quartet w/ Leandre,Parker,Phillips, and Saitoh.
I was astonished and enchanted, absolutely stellar. See any
other shows ya dug?
2nd. As a muscian what do you think about the musicality
of electronic/sound instillation type stuff. Do you think
it involves a "musical" mind or just a good imagination
and familiarity w/ the tools. I play guitar and by no means
consider myself a "muscian" . . . adequate sure
but no Ribot. But I've played for yrs. and screwed around
w/ tons of cool gadgets and recorded lots of "sound
scape" stuff that I think sound as good as tons of this
kinda thing I see presented at these types of avant festivals
and what not. While I love that kinda music I'm kinda torn
on its actual musical validity. I mean if I as a average
at best muscian can do it . . .?? Any thoughts?
Sorry to say, I wasnt' really into that performance, although
I had high hopes. I guess that's what you get when you throw
together a bunch of people who are essentially coming from
different places and don't really play together often, if
ever. I thought Ms. Leandre was making the most effort to
listen and leave space. Ultimately I thought the whole thing
was a mess. I enjoyed Frith's thing although it was a bit
As far as your other question, yeah, there is a lot of hack-bullshit
out there. Although, you might say the same thing people
have said about Jackson Pollock...oh, well, I could have
done THAT....Well, you didn't, HE did. Art and merit is all
relative. You know what you like, and if it didn't impress
than the validity wasn't there for you. I think sound "sculpture" certainly
has it's musicality and the artist should take musical responsibility,
but more importantly, in order for ME to enjoy it, it's got
to have sincerity, emotional shape (or non-shape), structure,
and basically something that makes me think it's real. There
is no accounting for taste. I saw some stuff up there in
Victoriaville that I thought was garbage. Doesn't mean it
doesn't have merit...but it doesn't for me.
Name: Morgan Riley
Comments: Trevor, how many groupies do you sleep with a year
and what does your girlfriend think about all that?
I've lost track, but since they're all boys, my girlfriend
doesn't mind because she knows I'm not gay.
Name: Zeta (Patrick)
Comments: Hello, Trev... Yes, it's me again.
1. I was wondering what your thoughts are on the band Meshuggah,
or if you've even heard of them.
2. What about Candiria?
3. According to Senor Pattano, one of the newer Fantomas
CDs is going to be "more mellow." Are we to expect
a mellowness comparable to some tracks on The Directors Cut
(aka. Twin Peaks, Rosemary's Baby, etc...)?
4. Also, isn't it sad that people put so much stock into
a way a person replies to them on the internet? Who the fuck
1)Love 'em. Math that you can mosh to cuz it groves.
2)Forgive me, haven't checked 'em out yet.
3)I wouldn't say mellow. I just heard the final mix (and
I can say this because I had little to do with it), it's
one of the creepiest, tension-filled records I've ever heard.
4)No shit. What ever happened to the good old emotionally
weighted, irreversible, hand-scripted letter?
Comments: Trevor, I'm wondering, how did Zorn come to produce
the debut MB disc? Were you guys fans & sent him a demo,
or did another SF muso send him something/recommend you guys
'Frank Booth Studio': what do you think of it? I ask because
I feel some of the recordings that have come out of there
lately haven't sounded as good as I expected, i'm mainly
referring to "The Gift". There was something I
just didn't dig about the sounds (but the music was great)
- i feel your bass didn't have the power from other recordings
you've done with Zorn (Filmworks was GREAT!) & others...
Forgive me if it's a small & low-buget studio, good on
Saft & co.
Looking forward to seeing you in Oz again.
We approached him. He tried to talk us out of it, saying
that since we were on WB we would be better off with a more
commercial producer. We declined.
The gift was, I believe the first record I ever did at Frank
Booth, so obviously, improvements have been subsequent. It's
a cramped basement basically, but I really like it. I mean,
it's no Avatar...but not all music needs an Avatar. A lot
of music has been recorded there. Check out Saft's own stuff!
Comments: Hi there Trevor, What are your top 5 breakup albums?
1) The Essential Willie Nelson 2) Willie Nelson: Hello Walls
3)Willie Nelson: The Party's Over 4)Erik Sanko: Past Imperfect,
Present Tense 5)Slayer: Reign in Blood
Comments: have you heard pat metheny's new lineup as of yet?
may i recommend that you pick up his new disc? what do you
think about metheny as a composer?
I used to listen to Metheny more than I do now, which is
almost never. I really liked the record he did with Jaco,
and Song X. I haven't heard the new
line-up, and I don't really have an opinion about him as
a composer. Call me un-informed.
Comments: Do you believe there is a point where you can call
yourself capable enough to teach? I'm assuming you give double
bass lessons. At what point did you begin to teach and how
did you begin. Private lessons or thru an agency? I've played
electric bass for a number of years, and have been playing
double bass for just over 1 year. Is it irresponsible to
teach a total beginner double bass when you only have a year's
experience? I ask because I need to have an 'industry placement'
for my bachelor and I cant imagine having the balls to pretend
I know something well enough to teach it. Did you first teach
through studying? Do you/did you also teach piano/theory/composition?
Do you know what I'm getting at? It could be called a confidence
crisis or ethical dilemma or amazement at being employed.
I would appreciate some advice and/or history of how you
started it - it all seems so alien.
whoa! slow down there! breathe...
ok, I don't think you need TONS of experience especially
if you're teaching a total beginner. You DO need to know
what you're talking about, to be able
to play what you're talking about, and to be able to answer
all kinds of questions, many which come out of left field.
Teaching is really an art like anything else and takes practice.
The more you do the better you will become. You also learn
a lot about yourself in the process.
I started giving lessons when I was in high-school after
having 4 or 5 years experience on my instrument, and initially
I put up flyers, with the intent of
making a few extra bucks. I always work theory and technique
into the lessons, and yes, sometimes seeing it on the keyboard
It might be a bit premature for you to start giving lessons
on upright with only a years experience. Personally I think
there is much more at stake in
terms of learning bad habits, or bad technique on upright
than there is on electric bass. Mostly due to the complications
of the fingerboard, and, of course, bow technique. I had
a bad teacher once who taught me some pretty bad habits which
I'm still trying to break. So, yes, take the respsonsibility
There's also a lot to be said for professional performance
experience, recording experience, ...etc. Teaching isn't
for everyone. It takes patience,
confidence, time, and skill.
Name: Super Sonic Youth Super Fan-tastic!
Comments: Do you like Sonic youth? What do you think about
the band,music, etc...Would like to know yor fots. tenkiu.
Sorry, not a big fan. Some of what I've heard I've liked,
but it's just not my cup of tea. I'd rather listen to Led
Zepplin or The Swans.
Comments: Hi Trevor. Could you please give me a short update
on the current status of Mr. Bungle? New record planned or
My cat is really weird about eating. Most pets come running
as soon as you open the can, but my cat is very nonchalant,
nibbling thoughout the course of the day and night. She's
not eating as much now, I think, because it's so hot.
Comments: Hey, I'd like to get together and jam one day.
What do you say? I play guitar.
ok, cool. Meet me on the corner at 6:30.
Name: Dylan Hawes-Glynn
Comments: I have been wondering what your approach to song
writing is. How do you break down the songs you have written
for Mr. Bungle (as an example)? Do you take a theoretical
(as in music theory) aproach, or not concern yourself with
that? I am sure that the composition process is different
for each project, but feel free to give me the short version
(unless you feel like writing for a few days. Hey, don't
let me limit you!) Anyhoo, take care and keep up the good
It depends. Sometimes I start with a title, or a melodic
idea, or a chord progression. But whatever specific cell
I start with, I have a general picture beforehand. And I
try not to lose track of the larger-picture. For instance,
I'll say, ok, I want to write a melodic modern pop-song that
starts sparsly orchestrated and builds gradually all the
way to the end. The SHAPE of the piece, in other words, is
most important. Sometimes I might even draw a grapic sketch
of this shape.
Sometimes I sit down with a guitar and sing melodies, other
times it's sitting at the piano sifting through note combinations.
I may or may not apply conscious theory. I may record demo/experiments,
or I may do it all on paper. Really I have no specific technique
or process and all or none of this might happen in the process
of the same piece. Ultimately, I study orchestration, I write
what sounds good to my ear, I apply variation, I try to make
transitions work, and I try to be loyal to my original shape.
It's easy to lose that shape when you're inside the piece
dwelling on minute details. For me, I feel that original,
sort or organic, primordial shape is what is going to give
the piece it's balance and it's emotion.
Comments: I was just curious what Trevor Dunnís two cents
were on Phillip Glass?
Comments: Hey trev (or anyone else that can answer this question)
... can you tell me where I can get one of those trevor dunn
t-shirts kevin rutmanis is wearing in the photo on the ipecac
site? Says "a girls work is trevor dunn". Quality
play on words. Lemme know if i can give you my money for
one of these.
It's a WOMANS WORK!! As in ...so drop the mop and grab a
gun... You need to speak to the Melvins about that one...
Name: remy de la mora
Comments: so trevor..... is mr. bungle done or what? it seems
like you guys are all off pursuing other outlets. was there
a falling out or something? and by the way, whats your favorite
beer? (i'm a shiner bock man myself)
ah, yes, Shiner Bock from the great region of Texas. I also
like Brooklyn Lager, Dog Bolter, Negra Modelo, Newcastle,
Comments: I would like to know when or IF there will ever
be another MR. BUNGLE album released while i'm still alive?
Thank you for your valuable time.
I just found out that Steve Buscemi and John Turturro both
live in my neighborhood! Isnt' that cool?!
Name: trevor dunn
Comments: mr. dunn,my question is simple and im sure it pisses
you off to high hell & you will most likely tell me to
go there,but if you please?Is mike patton a pain in the ass
to work with or is he pretty easy going? also why dont you
When he doesn't have a .357 to my head, screaming obscenities,
dangling cash in front of my face, freebasing, punching me
in the legs, and asking me do to the impossible on my instrument,
he's pretty easy going. It's kinda like working with a Teletubby
and Marth Stewart combined.
Comments: I have a few small questions. I have written a
movie and plan to shoot it very soon on DV. Well, the movie
is book-ended by two Mr. Bungle Songs (None of Them Knew
(beginning) and Merry Go Bye-Bye. Now, how would I go about
getting the rights to these songs. Will this music cost thousands
of dollars to get because it is on Warner? Who owns what
and in what proportions? Thanks if you could help me out
with this. Also, what do you think of Tortoise? I think it's
good stuff, but they should quit now. Standards fell off
a bit in my opinion. Good day.
you know, I haven't the slightest fucking idea. It's probably
ok to use whatever you want as long as you give credit where
it's due, but don't quote me cuz I don't really know what
I'm talking about. You might want to speak with Greg Werckman,
Mr. Bungle's so-called manager. The band is no longer signed
on with WB, and they never gave a rat's ass anyway. (However,
they still own the records, of course).
Comments: great site trevor! i especially like the way you
are patient enough to answer so many questions, so here's
mine. when/how much/what style can we expect new fantomas
We just recorded two records at once. The first one has a
medical theme. Most of it doesn't really sound like a "band".
It's a collage-type ambient
sound-scape so to speak. I'm sure it will alienate a lot
of people, especially those who liked Director's Cut.
The second one has a cartoon theme and has more in common
with the first record: cut-up, metal pieces. Fuck you if
you don't buy them both.
Comments: Hi Trevor! I'm from Hungary and i like to ask when
will any of your band is coming here or near. Sorry for the
bad english! Cheers: Sangre
I wish I could tell you. I'd love to visit Eastern Europe,
but alas, there is little money there to pay for pinche little
bands like the ones I'm in....sorry.
Comments: I've listened to the Mr. Bungle album California
many times, and each time I tend to notice new things. I
noticed on retrovertigo that the percussion is done by "beat-boxing" (ie.
vocally). Am I correct or does it just sound like that? If
so, who does this? It sounds really good.
yes, that is vocal beat-boxing. Who do you think it is? I
mean, it IS a vocal part....
Name: joao do cao
Comments: mr. dunn, as a portuguese fan, i was specially
proud to find your taste for fado. i trust you noticed in
some songs the distinct sound of the steel strings portuguese
guitar (with a varying number of strings - from 12 to ...).
you should definitely check the sound of the genius Carlos
Paredes. now a question: what other instruments take you
to paradise (or hell)? by the way, the influence of ars moriendi
is too obvious (movies from kousturica are always a matter
of excitement for the portuguese cinephile community) - please
take it as a compliment. all the best
yeah, I think it's obvious, too. Although, it's not from
a movie. Other instruments that take me to hell? What in
gods earth are you talking about. I like the clarinet, the
female voice, viola, metal percussion, casios...
Comments: I have a question for Trevor- or anyone that knows...
What work did you do with the Kronos Quartet? I am a bassist,
and have worked with a few bands, but I really want some
classical influences. I really want to hear what that sounded
like... Thank you for always being such an inspirational
Mr. Bungle was commissioned, as a band, to write a piece
for Kronos back in 1992. It was given one performance at
Theater Artaud in SF. It was way too long and convoluted
in my opinion. Sort of a disaster you could say. Each of
us could have done a better job individually. You will probably
never hear it. Have you checked out Stefano Scodanibbio?
Name: Steve Haze
Comments: Which Aim has made mr Bungle? I want a new album,
by now California, D.V and Mr Bungle are consumed! I want
a new album!
Aim to confuse.
Name: jeff bowen
Comments: trevor, i'm sick of playing simple funk rock in
my band, but the rest of them want to continue to wallow
in mediocrity. i was wondering how i should break it to them
that i would like to incorperate styles of music that we
have not touched upon before (modern classical (in the style
of khatchaturian), avant garde, ect.)?
Break it to them by breaking up the band, breaking their
heads, and breaking out of the prison you now reside in.
Funk rock is dead. In fact, it was never born. Do what you
want to do before it's too late and you die!
Comments: Hi, Trevor. I'm totally not surprised that you
were freaked out by The Mouse and His Child. It takes one
to know one. I am currently searching for it's score or soundtrack.
Any leads? Thank you for your music.
None, whatsoever. It might be worth just putting a microphone,
or a 1979 Sanyo tape player up to the TV and then listening
to the entire thing, dialogue, narration and all, with the
lights out, drinking Limoncello.
Name: Dexy's Midnite Runner
Comments: Trevor, I'm curious of what you think about Charlie
Hunter and his music. Also do you ever have a chance to catch
Stefon Harris there in NY and are you by any chance a part
of his 12 piece ensemble that he's touring with now? (Doesn't
hurt to ask). Oh and Adam Cruz, do you dig those Blue Note
fellaz or are they a bit tame for you?
yeah, haven't bought a Blue Note record in many, many years.
I think Hunter is an amazing musician. He is incredibly specialized
and untouchable. And no, I'm not in that band.
Comments: i wanna play retrovErtigo (Mr.Bungle) via midi
file. Can I? tengo tu permiso? saludos
No me importa que hace usted.
Comments: hi, i was just reading that you worked with Terry
Riley. did you make a record with him? what was it like working
with Terry Fucking Riley?
I played in a large ensemble at Mills College, Oakland, CA
in a 30th anniversary performace of IN C. My actual, personal
interaction with Mr. Riley was
Comments: Hey Trevor, what do you think of Norah Jones winning
all of those grammies (that's if you would regared them as
being a prestigious award)... I noticed quite a few of your
collaborators feature on the album - Adam Levy, Kenny Wollessen,
Rob Burger etc.
I say good for her. In order to win a grammie you have to
play music that a fuck of a lot of people want to listen
to all the time. I was especially happy
that Jesse Harris won as well, because I think he's a great
Name: Cornelius Keizer
Comments: Kiaora Trevor, Are you a fan of synth based music
like Skinny Puppy, Ohgr and (the mighty) Kraftwerk?
Have you ever considered emulating synth bass lines on an
electric bass; and if so how would you go about this? Rugby
yeah, Kraftwerk is cool in a sort of retro way. I like songs
about pocket calculators. There aren't enough in my opinion.
I also like Ladytron which I
guess I would put in that category. I tried some stomp-box
once that basically translated what you played into various
synth sounds. But ultimately it's not my thing. That is,
it's not my forte, or my mode of expression. Not to say that
I don't enjoy listening to it.
Comments: can you answer this question what band did paul
mc cartney form after the beatle s broke up?
Was it Blondie, the travelling wilburys, Pink Floyd or Wings
could you please be quick i'm on a time limit.Please Please
Please could you answer on your questions and answers page
c u @ the page.
For those of you who often wonder what my private messages
say; what possibly could anonymous strangers have to say
to me that is so exclusive to not be shared with the public;
what dark, scandalous dialogue could be happening "behind
the scenes" for someone living the glorious rock n roll
lifestyle... Here, my friends, is your answer.
Name: peter peter
Comments: hey there dude, i here that you are playing with
the openly gay homos exual drummer mike "ive got pride" pride.
what made you step into the world of new york gay pride music?
thanx for spreading the love into the homo sex community.
Hey there. No problem. My pleasure. Keep up the fight! And
now a question for you: Is there a reason I should NOT step
into the world of "gay pride music?"
Comments: so who did you enjoy more Rufus the stunt bum,
or bling bling the crack dealer?
In terms of pure enjoyment Rufus takes the cake. Very lovable,
Comments: Do you know if it would be possible to send my
bands demo tape to Ipecac Recordings? I mean where could
i send them? I know! This is a fucking stupid question...sorry
about that...and sorry about my english. I'm from Finland
and my english sucks. Thanx! Rock!
You guys drink too much in Finland. So the next time you're
sober--which is probably the next time the sun comes up there--check
out your favorite Ipecac recording. Or just pick one. Go
ahead. Go to the record shelf, check the back of the CD.
There should be an address there. Ok, step 2: Buy an envelope.
Put your demo in the envelope and address it to the record
label of your choice. Believe it or not, it's TOTALLY possible.
In fact, besides firearms, explosives, alcohol, aerosol cans,
drugs and other unlawful items, it's pretty much possible
to send stuff places.
Name: mike McMike
Comments: the second song on California "None of them
knew they were robots" I believe the word FENRIS is
used. I have looked in the dictionary, a science and technology
dictionary, medical dictionary and a latin to english dictionary
online and have not found the definition of the word. What
is it referring to?
You know, I haven't the slightest fucking idea. Those are
Trey's lyrics, and if you know Trey, you know that he knows
about a lot of stuff that you don't know about. There are
many things in this world that I don't know about and I have
chosen to spend my time learning about a small number of
them. Therefore you won't find me, for one, spending a lot
of time researching that word. Sorry, I mean, I know I'm
in the band and all...
Comments: i believe you stated before that you would in fact
give lessons. is that still so? i've been playing for 10
years now & just want to learn everything i can. i really
dig what you do & think i could learn a great deal from
I give occasional lessons (not regular, or weekly). I suggest
you introduce yourself in person and we can discuss it further.
Thanks for listening!
Name: Potato Maker
Comments: I've heard some various referances on your Q&A
about Medeski, MMW, and John Scofield. I'm huge fans of these
guys, and I've been busy collecting bootlegs of their live
shows. I was wondering if you knew the dates and venue to
any sets you have played with these guys, or similar artists.
I've never played with John Scofield. But I know Jesse Murphy,
a really great bassist who was with "Sco" for a
while. You can often see "Murph" playing with the
Love Trio down at Nublu (Ave C between 5th and 6th). My performances
with Medeski have been limited to various Electric Masada
gigs which are usually at Tonic in NYC or abroad.
Comments: Trevor Dunn- have you or Mr.Bungle had your equipment
stolen before? ive been playing bass for 2 years and just
recently a cocaine addict stole mine,its dampered my skills.
just curious thanks
It's never happened to me, knock on wood... You should check
with ALL of the pawn shops within 100 miles of the scene
of the crime. Also, for future
reference, insure you instruments! Keep photos and copies
of the serial number in a safe place.
Name: lee harvey phonics
Comments: I'm going to San Francisco for part of my reading
week and was wondering if there are any must see must do
things that you'd recommend to someone? (there's a max ernst
display on at one of the museums that i've been hipped to
already) thanks bro.
Ah, the city by the bay...
La Tacqueria on Mission and 25th st. There's a good Butoh
festival that happens around August, I think. Ameoba. Check
out Donald Baily playing at Bakar. Pet cemetery in the Presidio.
GG Park. Castro Theater. Chez Panisse in Berkeley. Mills
College library. Yank Sing. Farley's coffee.....
Comments: A question: When writing a song which has lyrics/singing,
is it hard to imagine someone singing it? Since you know
Patton I'd imagine that it helps, but what about when he
isn't singing what you write? Singers tend to be cheesy fellows;
how do you make sure that the finnished product (say Retrovertigo/Vanity
Fair) turns out how you want it to? I have also been reading
the guestbook, and despite what a couple of people feel the
urge to write, it is very much appreciated that you make
yourself available at all. Most people would not. Please
It's definitely not easy writing for vocals, especially if
you don't have the chops to work on it yourself at home.
Vocalists do a lot of weird things in terms of phrasing,
breathing and dynamics that instrumentalists just don't do.
Also, words add another dimension. Sometimes what is written
down on the page, when played or sang, sounds really stupid.
It's good to know a person's comfortable range. I'm spoiled
because Patton's range is so wide and his ear so refined
that I can pretty much write anything in any key, and he'll
be able to sing it, and make it sound better than I expected.
Whether you have the chops or not it's good to really think
about the "sing-ablity" of the material. Is what
you're writing really for the voice, or is it for
another instrument? Sing it yourself to see if it is in anyway
vocal or not. The voice is not only about the throat and
lungs, it's also about the tongue.
Vowels, consonants...all that shit comes into play.
I think imagining the sound of voice is the same as any other
instrument or instrumental combination. It's best to know
the voice/person your're working with and to learn the limitations,
strengths, etc. And also to be flexible as a composer. For
more on the voice or any other orchestral instrument check
out Alfred Blatter's book Instrumentation and Orchestration.
As for your last comment: my pleasure! It's not long that
we have on this planet and I feel the sharing of knowledge,
or the sharing of inquiry for that matter, is priceless.
Especially in small circles.
Comments: Just a quick question- Have there been an really
memorable recording experiences i.e; where everything just
worked, that come to mind. Also who are some of the best
engineers and studios that you have worked with? I love your
music and thanks a lot.
Most of the filmworks stuff I have done with Zorn has been
incredibly efficient and painless. The Twice Told Tales record
was recording in less than
two hours and our set-up time was almost zero thanks to the
engineering mastery of Jim Anderson. Avatar and Systems Two
(the Marciano brothers) are both incredible NY studios. And
Comments: Could you forsee yourself, lombardo, or buzz having
any significant compositional contributions to the fantomas
project, i understand its his baby but the direction might
be more creative and less wasted with the level of writing
talent in the band? you should consider updating your reccomendations
regularly, its nice having an objective dude with taste on
yeah, I could foresee it, but each of us has other outlets.
For the time being, I like things the way they are.
I try to update this site regularly but it's never as frequently
as I would like. Thanks for viewing!
Comments: Do you have any favourite foreign movies to suggest?
Just on a minor note, someone mentioned Macabre and rather
stupidly stated they were like DEP. They're not at all but
still a fine band. Do you not like them?
Oh, I like the usual suspects like Bunuel and Godard. I also
like a lot of those films that Takemitsu did the music for
like Nagisa Oshima's Empire of Passion or Shinoda's Double
Suicide. Kusturica's Underground is unforgettable. Alphaville;
Branded to Kill....
I'm not a big Macabre fan. I do remember when they first
appeared and blew my mind. I was, like, 18 or some such shit.
Christ, I'm old.
Comments: Trevor, The Electric Masada show this past saturday
was incredible. You played one solo, and it was very nice,
very fitting, if a bit reserved (it seemed). Why no more
than one solo for you? Is there a reason that you played
(mostly) ostinato patterns the whole time? wups, that's two
questions. oh well. poop dragon.
I don't make the decisions about when to solo in that band.
That comes from the guy waving his arms around and playing
the saxophone. My role in that band, as everyone else's,
is pretty much specified and controlled by the leader. Sometimes,
as a bass player, it's difficult to make your one moment
of soloing shine, especially in the midst of your role as
foundation. On the other hand, maybe I was feeling reserved...who
Comments: I am bothered by 'Holy Filament'. Bothered by the
fact that it reminds me of some music I heard somewhere as
a little kid, in the limbo somewhere between the demise of
the 60's and the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. Is there
something specific you can point to, or a genre, or is it
just influenced by a certain mood you were in at the time?
In other words, I just need *something* to reference that
insanely cool track TO.
Thanks for being bothered. That makes me feel good in some
weird way... I don't know where that song came from. The
chord progression and melody where written way back during
the DV sessions. The arrangement and bridge came later. At
the time I was listening to this Peggy Lee album called Is
That All There Is? But I don't think that will help you much.
Could it possibly be referencing an album that freaked me
out as a child? Walt Disney's Black Beauty? Probably not,
plus, I grew up in the 70s.
Name: Surrealestate Agent
Comments: Hey ya Trevor, Saw that you've mentioned Willie
Nelson and Jerry Reed on your "The More You Know..." section.
Any other favorite country / western artists (and which albums)?
Any favorite movies by Ford or Goddard? Keep up the excellent
Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, George Jones, Hank Williams, Tammy
Wynette---pretty much anything by these incredible artists;
Treasure of Sierra Madre;
Comments: hey trevor, do you change the positioning of your
bass when playing in Fantomas? It looks like it's lower than
some other times i've seen you with say your 5 string with
mr.B.... is this because it's easier to for "thrash
Yes, basically. A lot of the Fantomas music requires more
forearm and shoulder leverage. My 5-string has come down
a bit over the years. I used to be one of those guys who
was potentially raising it up to the chin and then I realized
that not only did it look stupid, but it was putting my right
hand wrist into a really awkward angle. Fuck that. And YOU,
stop paying so much attention, damnit!
Comments: trevor, hey how you doing? i was wondering where
i would be able to find your debutantes and centipedes cd,
i went to every cd store in my area and they all told me
it was out of print! thanks
Hey, I'm doing fine, thanks. I'm pretty sure it's NOT out
of print. I've seen copies on line at amazon.com and cdnow.com
(some are used and cheap!)
Comments: mr. dunn; been playing six stringed guitars for
roughly three years and have been recently seriously considering
the investment of an upright bass. i've researched sales
online, but would rather have some purchasing advice from
a man such as yourself. What (or where) would you recommend
a beginner to this field start with? thanks for your time.
check your local string shop. In NYC there is David Gage.
I would say, for a beginner, look for a plywood bass(the
top of the body is plywood). There are some great ones and
they are much cheaper. I'm sure you could get a good one
for under $1000. My advice is to play as many as you can
get your hands on (regardless of price) until you know what
feel and sound you're looking for. Sound is something that
you can develop and improve (via technique and actual repairs/upgrades
to the instrument). The physical "feel" of the
instrument, I think, is less flexible. So look for something
that feels comfortable to you. Of course, you want a nice,
big sound, but that may be something that comes later with
the instrument. Obviously, don't buy something that sounds
like absolute shit just because it feels good. If you go
to a place like Gage you can make an appointment to try basses
in your price range, and you can rest assured that they know
what they are doing there. They won't rip you off, and they
can advise you on what needs to be done in terms of improvements.
Name: Sir Millard Mulch
Comments: Comments and Question for Trevor:
In comparing the demo version of Platypus with the album
version, I notice mainly a difference in the performance
of the players as a whole -- on the demo version, the notes
were all very accurate and "hard", like a rock
album, and the performance on the album version has a lot
of washed-out playing, like a classical or jazz album. In
the production, it sounds like not as much close mic'ing.
This is very noticable, especially in the rhythm section...
aside from the piles of Kipple on top of the album version.
I apologize for bringing up such an old tune, but it seems
to me to be the best representation of this idea I can think
of. My question is this: what was the motivation behind that
radical change in timbre, and how purposeful was it? I strongly
suspect the shift in approach to the performances even between
the other demo songs from Disco Volante and their counterpart
album versions was premeditated by the entire band. Just
It depends on what demo you're talking about, because there
are several versions of that song. One being from about 1989.
Platypus was originally recorded for the first Bungle album,
but didn't make the final cut, due to contextual considerations.
After continuing to play it for years and then deciding it
might work on DV, I decided to re-arrange/interpret the song.
That song in particular is one of our more collaborative.
And the re-arrangement was also collective, mostly between
Trey, Danny and myself.
Ultimately, we were sick of playing the song, but wanted
to salvage it and give it a chance on a record. This led
us to collapse the song in on itself so to speak. In terms
of the performance we did what came naturally after playing
something until sick of it, so I don't think that aspect
was very conscious. Also, we were much more familiar with
the material which took on a malleable quality, as might
happen with a jazz tune. The mic-ing: all I can say is different
studio, different engineer, different time, etc...
Comments: a couple days after sept. 11th 2001 you played
with fantomas in chicago. after the show i gave your road
manager "tony" a kalimba (thumb piano)and a pack
of blood capsules to give to patton. do you know if he recieved
them? also... as a musician/composer, do you ever get in
a rut and cant write? and if you do, how do you get out of
that rut? or do you?
yes, he received them. He put the kalimba in his butt and
sold the capsules to a minor under the notion that they were
I definitely experience writers block. To remedy this, I
go back and forth between instruments (piano, guitar, bass),
read scores, go to museums, stop
thinking about music for a while, listen to Stravinsky, watch
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas....whatever works.
Comments: Will we hear Mr. Dunn playing more on SC3's Book
Of Truth than in Book M?
I haven't got the slightest idea what you're talking about.
But my guess is no.
Comments: Only stupid questions;
1. What videogames are you playing right now and what systems
do you own or prefer? (add all the games you like)
2. What do you think of Gregg Turkington's Bands: Zip Code
Rapists, Three Doctors, Faxed Head, Bon larvis Band, Neil
1. Is pinball a videogame? I've been playing Simpson's pinball
down the street at a local bar n grill.
2. I love Faxed Head, especially live. Neil Hamburger is
also good particularly good live. The other stuff I haven't
Comments: Dunn, you rock my world! i grew up on the Mr.B!
ide like to ask some numbskull questions:
* Is there a Mr.Bungle memorial in Eureka,CA in anyway?
* What did you make that giant face mask from in the early
days of MB that you wore on stage? or was it store bought?
*sorry if these questions annoyed you*
1. By memorial are you suggesting death? There are many Bungle
treasures all over Eureka. You should go there, spend a few
weeks or longer. Get to know the people, the dialect, the
crab. Smoke some pot, climb a redwood, smell the pulpmill.
You will find them
2.That mask was custom-made based on my design by mask maker
Nina Barlow in San Francisco. It's made of paper pulp.
Name: Cink Refinsta
Comments: Mr. Dunn, I'm a guitar player and have tried many
times to start up a group.. The dillema is the people I try
to play with are either not interested in creating art (in
other words, long to be pop stars) or look down their nose
at me according to whatever small subsection of music they
listen to dictates (i.e. "You're not this or that enough).
The musicians that I've known for a couple years always fall
into the first group, and they're not even that good... My
question is should i try hard to forge something enjoyable
with my friends who don't really like similar music and want
pop attention, Or if the answer is no, Where do I look, short
of the academic route, for musicians who just want to make
good music? I've put out ads and talked to everyone I could...
Does Sacramento just suck?
yeah, not a big fan of Sacramento. I would venture towards
the Bay Area, or NYC. There ARE people out there with inst
rests similar to yours. If you have a particular vision,
perhaps you should become a control-freak, autocrat band
leader and pay people to play your music. It might be the
right thing to do. But also consider that it might be awhile
before you're truly happy with your company. Where does your
music come from? Maybe you should go to the source.
Comments: Ever written with a fisher space pen? They are
the coolest pens ever created!
Some say the pen is mightier than the sword. Well I say fuck
the pen. Cuz you and DIE by the sword! EEEEEEEEAAAAAAaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrggg!!!!!!
Comments: Hey Trevor, would your life change dramatically
if Mr Bungle went multi-platinum with the next album. Is
Axlanbay a good name for a band? Ciao.
moot point, but no.
Axlanbay is a stupid name. What about The Squealing Pigs,
or howabout The Cordless Ameobas, or say, Five Chinese Backpackers,
or Your Brain Has Swamp? or Pezless. or Din. or Slackjaw
Comments: How much importance do you place on technique?
How much time a day/week would you say you devote to it?
Sometimes I feel like I get too fixated on it, and it effects
my productivity? Has this ever happened to you, and if so
(aside from playing with my own feces) do you have any suggestions
that might help ease this brand of anal retention?
I place a lot of importance on technique. I feel it's priceless
to have total control of your instrument in order to make
it do what you want it to do. But, yes, it can be a trap
sometimes. Many people who practice getting faster and more
efficient on their instrument always sound exactly like that.
Fast and efficient. Sometimes I say, who cares? There are
other aspects of music to develop: your ears, spontaneity,
expression, knowledge away from the instrument, etc. Give
yourself a break sometimes. Play music for the pure enjoyment
of it. Hold on to that feeling of why you wanted to be a
musician in the first place before you had ANY IDEA.
Comments: hey Trevor, 2 questions, do you listen to any hip-hop
Not really, although I do like some Missy Elliot, earlier
Jay-Z...Dalek! Is that hip-hop? Classic Public Enemy.
Comments: Are all the ILLUMINATUS TRIOLOGY/DISCORDIA/Shea
and Robert Anton Wilson referances through-out Bungle and
Chiefs material something thats common knowledge to most
fans? Hoping you would talk a little about the connection.
I would say no. I would also say it's probably not even common
knowledge to most of the band!
Comments: Can you tell me where can i order Mr.Bungle t-shirts
and stuff..there is no way that i could find a shirt from
any store here.
I believe that mrbungle.com, or bungle.com or something...anyway
it's, like, an official website, might be coming into existence
soon with the sole purpose of selling t-shirts....hmmmm,
more logic from the worlds non-est band.
Name: Barefoot G.
Comments: I was going to ask you for advice on bass instruction...
but you seem to get alot of that. So to break up the ho-hum
I figured I'd ask this: If animals could understand the numerous
languages humans spoke and we didn't know they possessed
this knowlege would we be screwed? Thank you.
I think we're screwed regardless.
Name: Ryan F.
Comments: Trevor-I love the sound you get. It is incredible.
What is your main bass and rig that you use for mr. bungle?
also, what type of strings do you use on your electrics?
SWR SM-400 with an SWR 4x10 Goliath Jr Cabinet.
Electric: D'Addario regular, nickel. Upright: Tomastik SuperFlexible
Comments: Hey Trev; quick question. On The Directors Cut
for One Step Beyond and I believe The Omen it states that
those are re-mixes. So what's up with the first mixes of
those songs and where can I hear them if possible? Take it
They don't exist in all honesty. Those are actually home
recorded versions by the arranger, intended for demo purposes,
but too good to re-do.
Name: Damon Strickland
Comments: My questions to dunn is about midi and keyboards
and how to make them work with a band
Midi Schmidi. I don't understand your question. How to make
keyboards work in a band? What century are you from? Plug
it in and go, bitch!
Comments: Come on, admit it! You were obsessed with Flea
when you started out. The balls on the head, the moves. It
is so obvious!!! It's nothing to be ashamed of. Flea is a
God and you worshipped him. Don't deny it. I freely admit
to impersonating you when I'm on stage. And you so enjoyed
being Flea at your Halloween show with Mr Bungle. Fess up
Nope, sorry. He sucks. I was way more into Fishbone and Bad
Manners back in the day. If I want to listen to somebody
ripping off Louis Johnson or James Jamerson....oh fuck, what
am I saying...that Fleabag can't touch them!!
Comments: I have studied the music of Mr.Bungle quiet extensivly
(I'am a second year university student majoring in comp)
and am most amazed at the thematic qualties I can find in
almost every MR.Bungle album. For Example, the constant use
of bells or chimes in almost every song in California, or
Mike using almost exclusivly his head voice, or the constant
use of reverb. Or in Disco Volante with its noise core sections,
and the many jazz pieces. Regardless of writing credits these
themes reside amongs most of the songs on the albums. My
question is, how does this come about? Is this a group band
decision on focusing on themes (musical & instrumental),
kind of picking and choosing, or is every one in the band
at once into reverb, chimes, bass picking, and slide guitar
(the shared themes in an album)?
I think, in general, it's the latter, which is why we worked
well together. The musical tastes were uncannily complimentary.
Certain things, like spring
reverb became almost a signature sound. And the studio was
our real playground, especially with percussionist William
Wynant at our disposal. It often blew my mind how often we
were all on the same page, compositionally speaking. I can't
really explain it. I think it was a Eureka thing.
Comments: When is this stupid Bungle bickering going to end?
Bungle is the best thing any of your guys ever do/have done,
especially you, Trevor. Sounds like everyone in the band
wants to do it except you and Mike. What gives? How can you
turn your back on the thing that has touched and influenced
the most amount of people out of anything you have ever done?
Fuck you. You don't know jack-shit. I'll tell you what gives:
You're an idiot.
Comments: hi trevor, long time since i seen you know,
1, will you be touring the uk europe (not fantomas ) any
time soon are you looking for anyone to book any shows in
2, do you make a living out of music or do you have a job
to pay the bills
1)yes, coming right up 2)not at the moment
3)I make my living solely as a professional musician.
Comments: Hey trevor,
Mr bungle seem to take long periods of time to release new
stuff, is this the way the band likes to work, or you guys
busy with other projects?.......iam hangin out for your next
album 4 sure!
Part of those periods were, as you suggest, filled with other
projects but mostly I think they were the result of blowing
our wad each time. Most bands that churn out an album every
year or two are churning out the same tired shit. If there
is one thing I'm proud of, it's that all three Bungle albums
are completely different entities, coming from different
places, referencing different things, but somehow creating
a linear trilogy.
It takes a long time to come up with that shit, not to mention,
arrange, rehearse, record....Those albums were taken very
seriously from beginning to end. So I, for one, was quite
fond of the long periods of repose between. It gave us time
to tour, reflect and then invent something we'd never done
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