One Year Of Mr. Bungle 2.0
Mr. Bungle returned to the live stage on February 5th 2020 and followed up with a busy twelve months.
One year ago Mike Patton, Trevor Dunn, Trey Spruance, Dave Lombardo and Scott Ian hit the stage at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles for the first of seven shows performing The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny.
We first published an article begging Mr. Bungle to return in 2017. What The World Needs Now... We added comments that it was extremely unlikely to happen even though Patton, Dunn and Spruance had been photographed together at a Dead Cross concert. Little did any of us know that this was the catalyst which tempted our insane friends into a reunion.
"I brought up the cockamamie idea of the re-recording a couple years ago while backstage at a Dead Cross and Secret Chiefs 3 show in Brooklyn. The thought had been stewing around in my head for some years and since I had Dave, Trey and Mike all in one place I figured that was a good time to breach the subject." - Dunn 2020
For us the story of Bungle's return started on August 13th 2019 when the band caught our attention by updating their social media profile pics to a satanic bunny with a snot green backdrop. Curiosity was answered only hours later with a 'Halleluiah' - Mr. Bungle plays "Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny" featuring Dave Lombardo and Scott Ian: three cities only! Mr. Bungle would play LA, San Francisco and New York City in February 2020 after a nineteen year break.
Two days later and the shows sold out, prompting another show for each date to be added, and when this still wasn't satisfying ticket buyers a third and final show in Los Angeles was booked. Soon a terrifying bunch of thrash metal support acts were onboard and Bungle were set.
The Easter bunny finally arrived on February 5th in LA and Revolver Mag told us that Mr. Bungle were out to 'astound and antagonize'.
All Techies, Codgers, Millennials and LGBTQs welcome to thrash! No Rambos. The band opened with the Mister Rogers' Neighborhood theme, Won't You Be My Neighbor and included covers by Corrosion of Conformity, Cro-Mags, Stormtroopers of Death, Slayer and (in true bizarre style) Summer Breeze by Seals & Crofts.
The tour received wild praise from fans and press alike.
On March 23rd we were plunged into darkness as Covid 19 took a firm grip on the world - Mr. Bungle also announced they would be releasing their first recorded material since 1999. Luckily the Bungle boys had hauled up at Studio 606 in LA, and recorded the modern day version of their 1986 demo The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny during February before the pandemic. Revolver Mag broke the news.
"For us, this is really Mr. Bungle. This is our beginnings. This is the heart and soul of the band. Even the arrangement philosophy hasn't changed that much. The style and presentation and elaborate orchestration — all of that changed. But if you listen to the logic of the songs, it's all there in that first demo. The way we arrange music is right there in the beginning." - Spruance 2020
The music press came down with Bungle Fever and to placate a longing for new music the band released a blistering cover of The Exploited’s politically-charged anthem, (Fuck The) USA on June 5th. Complete with a new wardrobe of merch.
On August 13th 2020 exactly one year to the day after Mr. Bungle announced their reunion (and coincidently twenty nine years since the release their debut album) we were treated to Raping Your Mind, the first single from the upcoming album. And full devilry was apparent when pre-order sales were opened - pentagrams, bunny skulls and shirts direct form hell.
"Recording THIS music with THESE guys was an enormous head-rush of virtuosity and surprises every day in the studio. Trey’s video game-esque solos, Scott’s bionic right hand and cyborg-like precision, Dave’s caveman-meets-Bobby Brady-like drum fills, Trevor’s solid foundation and laser-focus to detail. There is nothing sweeter than getting your ass kicked by true comrades…where everyone has a singular drive and mission.” - Patton 2020
The second taster was Eracist released on September 24th.
“There’s no script for something like that. A lot of bands reunite and do a certain thing after a certain number of years. Our band is based on old-school friendship. We decided we were going to do something, so the question was: what are we going to do? So we decided – and I think it was Trevor’s idea – that we should play the thrash stuff because that would fuck everybody up. I thought that was a very good idea. Recruiting you [Scott] and Dave made it more valid. When you were on board it was like: ‘Here we go!’” - Patton 2020
The updated version of Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny was released on Devil's Night October 30th and exceeded fans and critics expectations. Consequence of Sound said, 'The joy and enthusiasm of the reunion tour is captured here and the results are immensely entertaining.'
It was voted one of Kerrang!'s albums of the year, 'Like everything Mr. Bungle have done, this return to first principles regularly slamdances over the line between stupidity and genius. The timeless appeal of crossover thrash is absolutely nailed, but you’re never far from an entertaining blast of utter foolishness.'
Louder said, 'As brilliantly off-beam as ever but crushing like never before, Mr. Bungle have turned a noble but nostalgic exercise into one of 2020’s most exhilarating metal records. Heroes.'
On October 5th minds were blown with the news we would see Mr. Bungle in a virtual live concert experience! Halloween brought more treats when Patton, Dunn, Spruance, Ian and Lombardo presented us with The Night They Came Home - a pay per view skull crushing live performance. With comical cameos from Henry Rollins, Eric Andre and more - this show felt like something really special.
More interviews, Christmas merch, magazine covers, a third single - Sudden Death with video directed by Derek Cianfrance - and more variations of vinyl than you can count. This is not what we contemplated or hoped for from a Mr. Bungle reunion, it was more. They came home with vengeance proving they are still a band that implement the unexpected, that confound the senses, delight, deafen and melt the mind.
“We wanted it to be the most fucked-up reunion thing ever, and I think that’s how it panned out. Because we’re not playing the hits, we’re not playing anything that people know. First it was a joke, and all of a sudden… it was happening!” - Patton 2020