Skip to main content

Watch Mr. Bungle pay tribute to Eddie Van Halen with thrashing Loss of Control cover

One of 2020’s most welcome musical surprises was the return of Mike Patton-led avant-garde metal troupe Mr. Bungle, who dropped The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo, a reimagining of their original 1986 demo tape and first ‘new’ music in 20 years.

The band – now augmented by Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian and former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo – celebrated with a Halloween live show, which showcased the new/old material alongside a typically diverse array of covers, spanning Fred Rogers, Slayer, Circle Jerks and, most intriguingly, Van Halen’s Loss of Control.

Now, for the first time, we’re pleased to present the official footage of that rendition.

Captured on new live release The Night They Came Home, the performance sees Patton channel his best David Lee Roth impersonation, while Trey Spruance and Scott Ian pay homage to hero Eddie Van Halen, delivering EVH’s frantic hammer-on/pull-off licks with formidable accuracy.

Major props for the gear picks, too, as Spruance runs an MXR Phase 90 through an EVH 5150 III head, and Ian dons an EVH Striped Series Shark, adding a hefty dose of flanger to the track’s closing chords.

“Mr. Bungle tried to play this song in the ’90s and we scrapped it because we sucked at it,” Spruance tells Guitar World.

“I think it worked this time for a lot of reasons. My own is that, thanks to the new Raging Wrath era, I've had to re-approach the guitar like I did when I was 13 and 14. It was all about Eddie Van Halen for me back then, so circling back at this moment felt really natural. Those riffs and lead parts at least are super-fun! I'm just glad Scott took the palm-mute breaks. Jesus!”

“I generally don’t get nervous about learning someone else’s riffs… When it’s an EVH riff it’s a whole different story,” says Ian.

“I was terrified! With Loss of Control I did my best to just hold on and go for the ride. What a riff! As a fan, I’d have to say it’s a perfect song for Mr. Bungle to cover. I hope you enjoy listening as much as I did getting to play it.”

The Night They Came Home is out on June 11 via Ipecac Recordings, and available to preorder now.

Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.