YOUR QUESTION:

09/01/2019 14:07:14 One Mean Cockfighter

Hello Mr. Dunn,
I was wondering who some of your favorite country artists are, if any?

MY ANSWER:

George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, Tammy Wynette. Louvin Brothers, Skeeter Davis.

Trevor Dunn

YOUR QUESTION:

08/31/2019 11:56:57 Alberto Jimenez

Do you have any music sheet for my ass is on fire?
Trying to get the bassline from ear but i dont know what to do on the beggining. Thanks

MY ANSWER:

I don’t have any. I don’t remember what what those initial clusters are — probably randomly improvised. The “Earthshaker” riff is based on minor 10ths and #11ths.

Trevor Dunn

YOUR QUESTION:

08/30/2019 19:41:44 Rob Schneider

What’s your honest opinion on the band Phish? I know it’s hard to see past their fans and the noodle jams, but have you ever listened to the earlier, composed songs? There’s some really musically interesting and beautiful stuff in there

MY ANSWER:

I’ve never given them the time of day and it is probably because of the cultural bias I have. I’m glad to hear there is something more than noodley jams. I’ll put your recommendation in the queue in my mind.

Trevor Dunn

YOUR QUESTION:

08/15/2019 17:52:27 Adam

Hello, I saw you perform in Cleveland with your Trio Convulsant and Fantomas 15 years ago. During your trio set, you said between songs that Mary and Ches shared an 8th of mushrooms, and joked "I don't know what the fuck they're playing, but it's not what I wrote!"

I assume you were joking about the mushrooms, but what are your thoughts on musicians using psychedelics for a creative boost? What typical, more "innocent" ways do you use to get your creative juices flowing if you ever feel like your writing is lacking inspiration?

MY ANSWER:

I was indeed joking yet I am not against moderate amounts of psychedelics or even a bit of weed and/or wine to break through those annoying self-imposed filters. I just answered a question about dealing with being uninspired so please refer to that!

Trevor Dunn

YOUR QUESTION:

08/15/2019 15:50:57 Richard

Hey Trevor, fellow bassist and huge fan of yours for years. I was wondering which bass you'll be using for the Mr. Bungle reunion shows. I seem to remember reading you used an Ibanez ProLine back in the demo days, any chance that will resurface? Scored a ticket to the SF show and can't wait! Cheers.

MY ANSWER:

I still have my ProLine but it won’t be resurfacing. The neck is slightly warped and a new bridge was improperly installed unfortunately. Still love that thing though. For the RW shows I will likely play my Alembic Europa. Not 100% sure yet.

Trevor Dunn

YOUR QUESTION:

08/15/2019 14:17:40 Beau

Dear Trevor,
When I invite people over to my humble abode for an evening of tea and sherry, I end up putting on the video of My Ass Is On Fire and my guests become horrified. I get strange looks, frowns and comments like, "Why do you always put that shit on every time I come over?" It's almost to the point where my once-popular soirees are dwindling in numbers and has really put a dampening on my social status. What can you recommend in the way of music that would be more enjoyable for high brow society?
Thank you
P.S. See you at the Warfield

MY ANSWER:

It’s curious that you saw the dwindling of your clientele happen slowly and yet chose to continue to offend them. I think you aren’t actually into your own soirees. Maybe you’re not the people person you think you are. The question “Why do you always put that shit on every time I come over” is valid and deserves an answer. If you’re going high brow and predictable I’d stick with some Bach or Scarlatti. Of course, if you’re going to do that y’all better be able to discus six-four chords, the counter-subjects of fugues and picardy 3rds.

Trevor Dunn

YOUR QUESTION:

08/14/2019 22:03:52 Sophia

Hello Mr. Dunn,
I have found that I lose motivation when working on art projects or learning songs on instruments. Maybe I don’t have the proper inspiration? Do you ever get that way or are you just too busy on various projects to ever get in a slump like that? I find I don’t even get joy going to concerts or comic cons. Did I lose myself somewhere? Any advice? Also-is a hotdog a sandwich?
Thank sir for your time & I hope I didn’t ask anything dumb.

MY ANSWER:

This is a deep question and worth exploring. Aren’t we all dulled by excess? ; ) Close to 20 years ago I started getting worried because no music was inspiring. It was a feeling that went on longer than I was comfortable with. Maybe it was due to excessive touring. I ended up at a concert of Feldman’s “Rothko Chapel” and something about that performance turned me around. I can’t really say what it was but it took me out of my slump. I am constantly looking for inspiration. The fact that you are concerned about it means that you want to be inspired and that is key. I’m a proponent of stepping outside the box. Go see/do something you’ve never done before. Go see bands you’ve never heard of. Try a different medium. Read the autobiography of an artist you like. Talk to strangers about what motivates them. Motivation is difficult and we as a culture are quite hard on ourselves about it. Spacing out and relaxing are also valuable and I say that being the workaholic I am. The creative power of hypnagogics are not to be discounted. Make a list of 5 things you want to achieve in the next 2, 5 or 10 years and stick to it. Collaborate with another artist on a multi-media project and push each other. Try fasting. Try mushrooms.

A hot dog is definitely not a sandwich but you can put a hot dog in a sandwich. That would make a hot dog sandwich.

Trevor Dunn

YOUR QUESTION:

08/14/2019 8:56:53 dfesenmyer

I'm curious what has been the most financially lucrative project / tour / etc you have taken on in your professional career? Touring with Melvins, Fantomas, Mad Love, Zorn, guest spots, one-off shows? teaching? something else I'm not thinking of? I assume (maybe wrongly?) - that recording isn't as lucrative. Your career has been so vast and diverse (a true working musician), it's always left me wondering "what paid best?".. thanks.

MY ANSWER:

It’s not easy to calculate as it depends on the length of the gig or tour or whatnot. When Fantômas played in Brazil our set kept getting cut shorter due to festival tech problems. I think we played for 30 minutes and Buzz and I reminded each other on stage during the set how much we just made for one tune. Bungle certainly got more lucrative in ‘99 and 2000. I got paid a lot per song on Brian “Head” Welsh’s solo album which I still have not heard to this day. I also turned down a tour with Korn because the offer was below my standards. Go figure. And teaching doesn’t pay shit, fyi.

Trevor Dunn

YOUR QUESTION:

08/14/2019 3:20:23 Garoint

What did you think of the last season of Twin Peaks?

MY ANSWER:

I was a bit disappointed. Though I thought there were plenty of good moments and tension, and loved Episode 8 among other more abstract scenes, I felt it was far too cluttered with subplots, needless characters, music “videos” and repetition. The season could have been half as long and had more impact. I thought Naomi Watts was terrible. Why all these particular cities? I don’t mind unanswered questions but those questions never sparked a deeper look. Or maybe it was just over my head. Lynch did what he wanted to and I respect that, but I somehow missed the ambiguity of the ‘90s seasons.

Trevor Dunn

YOUR QUESTION:

08/13/2019 19:47:50 Sam

Did Mr. Bungle ever play on The Tom Green Show? Watched some old clips and I'm near 99% positive 'twas you and Mike on cam playing some older song, Trey can be seen in the back.

MY ANSWER:

I’m 99% positive that you are hallucinating. I think I would have remembered that one.

Trevor Dunn

YOUR QUESTION:

08/13/2019 19:06:36 Luis M.

Congratulations on the Raging Wrath tour date announcement!
When you say you're doing Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny in its entirety, do you mean you guys are switching instruments around for Hypocrites and actually playing Evil Satan? Or should we reasonably expect those tracks to be replaced with others more in tune with the '86 thrash theme?
If you do play Evil Satan, will those be the first bass slaps you've played live since the Bungle days?
Thanks for making this happen, even though I'll only get to watch it from afar somehow.

MY ANSWER:

We have yet to decide on those anomalies of tunes but it’s unlikely we’ll do Evil Satan. I have actually slapped on Leverage Model recordings as well as some Zorn stuff believe it or not. We will also be unearthing a few gems from the ‘80s Crossover era that never saw the light of day as well as some classic covers. Stay tuned.

Trevor Dunn

YOUR QUESTION:

08/13/2019 15:17:19 Chiara Bazzani

So, Mr Dunn. Now we know.. Bungle are back. Almost thousands of people around the world are thrilled for this reunion. Can I ask you about the peculiar (in my opinion) choice to play the demo version of your first album? Thanks. Ps. I risked a heart attack today...

MY ANSWER:

After a few years of playing with Lombardo it occurred to me that The RW demo never got it’s due and would deserve to be realized by one of the innovators, if not the absolute master, of the genre. The demo was poorly recorded and for the most part amateurishly performed. I personally believe the music holds it’s own. I guess you can be the judge of that once you hear the ideas clearly executed. Peculiar? To me, not at all, but then again, have you heard my music lately?

Trevor Dunn

YOUR QUESTION:

08/13/2019 13:24:30 Cheap Tuesdays

Hey Trevor! I am a huge fan of your work, especially Bungle, Madlove, and all the work you have done with Zorn. I think we're all grateful to have this forum set up again, as it was super entertaining the last time you did it.
I do a university radio show, and I would love to do a feature on some of your favourite albums and/or songs across different genres. You have always seemed to have a wide variety of interests and playing styles, so I think it would be entertaining to me and my listeners to hear about what you listen to for enjoyment.
I was thinking of hitting at least one of each of the following genres: rock, metal, jazz, classical, movie scores, experimental, hip hop, electronic, but naturally whatever you want to share would be much appreciated. You could list individual songs or just the albums, whatever is easier for you.
Thanks and keep up the awesome work!

MY ANSWER:

Cool! Being a radio dj is a fantasy of mine. Depending on where you live perhaps we could share the dj role. Regardless, I’m happy to make a gigantic list for you.

Trevor Dunn

YOUR QUESTION:

08/13/2019 12:46:36 Javier Obregon

Dear Mr. Dunn,
I can't explain why certain musical pieces have such a profound impact on my emotions. It doesn't matter what context or setting I may find myself in, but there are some musical themes that stop me dead in my tracks. One that comes to mind is "Gabriel's Oboe," by Ennio Morricone. I'm not sure why this piece is powerful for me...almost like it unlocks something deep within that I don't quite understand. As a trained musician and someone who is masterful in his compositions, does music still strike you in this manner, or has it lost any of its power...or maybe it even makes you marvel and appreciate it more? Is there any music that stops you dead in your tracks? Secondly, is there anything you have personally written that you are particularly proud of? Thank you for creating music for us, my life would have been much lamer if you had chosen a different path. Excited to see you in February 2020.

MY ANSWER:

Ah, you like those dramatic descending bass lines and sus chords. That Morricone piece is very passionate and plays on a lot of our cultural expectations of tertian harmony. I appreciate your kinds words but I in no way consider myself a master. Regardless of what I know about the ‘bones’ of music I do still have moments like those you describe. Sometimes at a live concert I find myself laughing at the sheer intensity and passion of music. Seeing Messiaen’s Turanglîla Symphony live comes to mind, or the quartet Little Women, or the Baltimore-based grindcore band Full of Hell, or Patti Smith, or anything by Varese. I’ve have been brought to tears listening to Willie Nelson or Elliot Smith. Anything with real passion behind it has a lot of power.

I guess I’m particularly proud of most of the songs on the MadLove record and several things on my Four Films record as well as my recent Nocturnes for piano. It’s always nice to be solely responsible for something that you saw through to the end and which has focus and meaning to oneself.

Trevor Dunn

YOUR QUESTION:

08/13/2019 10:30:05 Jimmy Monack

Hello Trevor,
Longtime fan from the old San Francisco days (Bungle with Deli Creeps at Oasis... wow).
I am also a big fan of classical music (mostly Baroque) and was wondering if you could recommend some contrabass compositions I might like. Anything off the top of your head.
Thanks for the years of music. Looking forward to more.

MY ANSWER:

I’m not aware of any specifically baroque bass music but here are a few 20th Century classics like Tom Johnson’s “Failing” or Jakob Druckman’s “Valentine”. And for sure anything that Bertram Turetsky has anything to do with such as compositions by Paul Chihara. Also plenty of Scandinavian bassists these days like Bjørn Ianke or Dan Styffe. There are some collections on the Simax label with lots of great pieces. I realize I’m referring you more to bassists than actual pieces, but I think that’s a good place to start. Don’t forget Francis Grillo and Stefano Scodanibbio.
In terms of earlier music I would check out Bottesini, Dittersdorf, The Hindemith Sonata, Glier.

Trevor Dunn

YOUR QUESTION:

08/13/2019 7:40:03 Alex F. Julien

Hey Trevor. I was hoping that you could give Mr. Bungle fans your side of the story about the "Bowel Of Chiley" recording session and releases. How many songs were actually recorded during that session and at which studio did this take place? There's a lot of contradicting information on the web that the band's self-released version had 17 songs, but I've never actually seen an official/band-released version of this demo tape! Did one really exist?

I'm only aware of the 9 songs that were used on a split tape with Rancid Decay that Phil Riola put together (was this official/authorized?) and of the two well-documented 14-song "Bowl Of Chiley" released by Mike Briggs, first through Playhouse Productions and then through Rastacore Records. I've spoken with Briggs over the years and he always maintains that back in 1987, Mr. Bungle had given him permission to release the demo tape (Briggs was a pretty successful concert promoter and had his own Arcatones imprint back then, and I believe Agent 86 played some shows with Mr. Bungle). But that by the time that he finally got around to it, in 1991, you guys had signed with Warner Brothers Records, and to his surprise, were no longer allowing him to put it out and put a stop to it. I would really love to have your side of the story!

MY ANSWER:

This one is gonna take some jarring.
Of all our demo tapes “Bowel of Chiley” is the only one I really consider a demo in the true sense of the word. The other three were more like amateur albums. Bowel was recording in several different friend’s parent’s living rooms or sheds where we used to rehearse. I don’t remember how long it took but we just threw in sessions wherever we could. The purpose of that tape was to get gigs. There was never artwork for it or any effort to publish or sell that tape. Ah, I say that but then see your comment about Phil Riola who was, in fact, a tape trading friend of ours, so that one was authorized by us. The number 17 seems accurate but we later whittled it down to less for purposes of brevity considering the patience and work load of promoters— there may have been a couple different “whittled down” versions. (less songs, and new songs as they came along like “Snap, Crackle, Poop” and “No Strings Attached” — songs that were heading more in the direction of GILA).

It’s quite possible we gave the tape to Mike Briggs —the self-appointed “Pope of Punk” of ‘80s lore — in order to help us get gigs. But I honestly don’t remember allowing that tape to be “released” or sold. No one ever owned the rights to any of that music except for the band. And we never sold BOC ourselves.

I think it’s pretty telling that in ‘91 when we were actually making a name for ourselves and on a major label that a small punk label would decide that’s a good time to sell some archives. We had, of course, done 2 other demos since then and had all but abandoned 98% of the music from BOC. So the timing to me seems suspect. Ladd-Frith did a similar thing when they started selling Raging Wrath at Tower in SF. The ‘90s “release” of that tape included a sticker on it that said something along the lines of “featuring Mike Patton from FNM”. Not very cool, nor punk. We had to shut them down, too.

I’m just gonna add here that I think that BOC is our worst music. We were definitely still finding our voice post-metal while listening to Parliament, Stravinsky, Die Kreuzen, Fishbone, Pat Metheny and The Meat Puppets. Some of it is embarrassingly bad and derivative. It is what it is. I just wish the internet would liquidate it.

Trevor Dunn

YOUR QUESTION:

08/13/2019 5:44:32 tURD gURGLER

Followup to the "linchpin" question - Clearly you are not one to look back - very evident from your musical path. I think you & Mike & Trey would make something completely inconceivably and tremendously new - given the musical paths you have each gone on since Bungle. My guess is that it would be impossible to re-visit that & call it Bungle w/o revisiting the old material. Am I on the right path? What is your reasoning if not? Would it be possible to do something w/ those guys & just call it Bill and Wanda's Fabulous Baloney Bus and go in a totally new direction?

MY ANSWER:

I think that anything Trey, Mike and I do together will somehow be under the moniker of Bungle. Why rename it? That band doesn’t have a blueprint and never will. I’m sure someone will read into that but it’s not necessary to do so.

Trevor Dunn

YOUR QUESTION:

08/13/2019 2:40:57 Mindbait

The compliments: Love your work, from Carry Stress, Retrovertigo and Holy Filament (and everything else, but those are favourites) with Bungle. Madlove (was living in the UK, usually from NZ, and saw your show at ATP), Trio Convulsant and the brilliant Four Films. Excited about Sperm Church and the Singer/Songwriter Record.

The Recommendations: got into Jaco Pastorius through your previous Q&A and that through a twisting path led me to revisit Elvin Jones. A reciprocal recommendation: have you checked out the NPR Tiny Desk concerts?

The Questions: Do you generally write for specific projects, or do you give yourself room to write whatever comes and find a home for it later?
You've done a few groups and collaborations. Do you have offers that you turn down, or are you pretty open to what comes along?
Last but not least, do you have a home-recording setup or an on-the-road way of recording your ideas; if so, what do you use?

MY ANSWER:

Love the Tiny Desk series. Here’s one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rHD1_kUC5E

In terms of your question about writing, I do both. Lots of scraps of ideas lying around waiting for a home.
I’m open to a lot but I do have to turn things down if I’m either not into the music or the money isn’t good enough. The 3 criteria for accepting a gig are 1) Do I like the music? 2) Do I want to work with the people? 3) Is the money good? Usually a yes to 2 out of 3 will mean I’ll take the gig.
I don’t record on the road but always carry a note book and sometimes jot down ideas. At home I use a very simple DAW with Logic, a couple of pre-amps and a couple good microphones.

Trevor Dunn

YOUR QUESTION:

08/12/2019 18:41:15 Brandon Judeh

Hey Trevor,
First off, any news on when and if Fantômas will be doing a new project?
Also, any recollection of Bungle playing in Cleveland in the Spring of 92? The show where Patton passed out liquor and smashed the house lights? Great show.

MY ANSWER:

No news from me on Fantômas as that’s not my band.
Ah Cleveland ‘92. Legendary Bungle show. We had a clause in our contract that said we had the right to cancel any shows advertised as “Mike Patton’s Other Band” or using the name “Faith No More”in the promotion. Fortunately for us most of the shows on that tour were sold out and we weren’t planning on screwing over the audience and cancelling. Instead we wrecked stuff. As Trey related in a recent interview, the venue didn’t like us —maybe it started because we threatened to bail, I don’t recall. They turned off the monitors during our show so Patton started handing them out to the audience. After the show, during arguments about what we should pay for, the venue locked us inside. I remember feeling threatened. Someone called the cops eventually came and broke up the situation. Before we left, Patton took a shit in a paper bag and put it in a microwave that he then set for an hour or so.

Trevor Dunn

YOUR QUESTION:

08/12/2019 16:11:43 Manos Michaelides

Hi Trevor and thank you for the chance to answer our questions.
What would be your advice to a self-taught bass player like me, with minimum theoretical background, who works basically with tabs, in order to progress?
How easy is it for a bass player to switch to double bass?
Thank you for your time!

MY ANSWER:

I’m not a fan of tabs. I believe traditional notation is much more efficient and universal. If I were you I would take some private lessons. I would also learn your favorite bass lines by ear, play a lot with records, a metronome and an actual drummer! Learn to read and check out some transcriptions— not just of bass but all kinds of stuff—whatever you’re into. Double bass is quite a different beast, but you don’t have to “switch” necessarily. You can add it to your palette. They both inform each other. Nothing is easy. That’s the best advice I can give.

Trevor Dunn