Fresh off the 20th anniversary of their swan song, 1999's California LP, Mr. Bungle have announced that they will re-form for three sure-to-be-insane performances. The shows — set for February 7th are Los Angeles' Fonda Theatre, February 8th at San Francisco's Warfield Theatre and February 10th at New York City's Brooklyn Steel — will see the group performing The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny, Mr. Bungle's 1986 self-produced and self-released demo, marking both the first time the band has performed in close to 20 years and the first time these songs have been played live in over 30 years.
In more momentous news, the lineup of the reconstituted Mr. Bungle will not only include original members Mike Patton, Trevor Dunn and Trey Spruance but also Scott Ian (Anthrax, S.O.D.) and Dave Lombardo (Dead Cross, Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies). Tickets are on-sale this Friday, August 16th, at 10 a.m. local time. There will be no additional cities added to this itinerary.
"To have Scott and Dave with us on this suicide mission is more than an honor," Patton says of Ian and Lombardo's involvement. "THEY are a big part of the reason we wrote this stuff in the first place, and to realize it 30-plus years later with these maestros is an absolute miracle … we can finally play this teenage nonsense correctly! A total catharsis for us."
"At our very first show, at the Bayside Grange Hall, November 30th, 1985, we played Slayer's 'Chemical Warfare' and a S.O.D. cover," Spruance adds. "I mean, are you kidding?? We WORSHIPPED those guys! And now they're gonna PLAY in our band?"
Ian and Lombardo are stoked, too. "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," the Anthrax guitarist commented. "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."
"I don't know what was in the water in Eureka, California, but it certainly wasn't clean," Lombardo jokes of Mr, Bungle's hometown. "This is going to be a ridiculously, insane band to play with and I am honored to have been asked to join the wrath."
Lombardo was instrumental in these shows happening at all. "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," Spruance explains. "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 re-visiting 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."
"When we recorded that demo, we were 16 and 17 years old and we were absolutely serious about the music," Dunn recalls. "At the time, we were living the deluge of Eighties 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."
Patton adds, "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!"