Mr. Bungle's Trevor Dunn: "We're going back to our '80s metal roots"

Mr Bungle
(Image credit: Buzz Osborne)

Mr. Bungle has evolved through a wild variety of contrasting musical styles. Sometimes described as ‘circus ska’ or ‘weirdo funk’, their three major label studio records – including California, Disco Volante and their self-titled 1990 debut – are entirely different to what the group played when they formed as a death metal band in 1985. Their debut 1986 demo The Raging Wrath of The Easter Bunny shows the band dabbling in thrash and punk before it later expanded its influences to include the likes of Oingo Boingo and Camper Van Beethoven, while still retaining traces of Slayer and Anthrax.

Featuring the woozy, squeaky saxophone playing of past member Clinton ‘Bär’ McKinnon and the tribal-yet-jazzy playing of former Bungle drummer Danny Heifetz, the disorienting artistic elements preserved on Mr. Bungle’s three Warner Brothers albums are far removed from metal and punk, but they’re what solidified the group’s reputation as a famous cult band with a punkish spirit. So too did the success of co-founding member and lead vocalist Mike Patton, whose work with Faith No More helped get Mr. Bungle signed.

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Editor-at-large - Australian Guitar

Corin Shearston is editor-at-large for Australian Guitar magazine. He has contributed to Happy Mag, Hot Metal and The Sydney Sentinel, while also working as a rock drummer for over sixteen years. Corin has additional experience as a radio presenter and small business owner.