Comments: That I know of 3 members of Fantomas are Aquarians,
Patton, You, & Dave Lombardo...When is Buzzs' Burfday?
He doesn't know. He was adopted by meth chefs in the 60s.
He is a Jehovah's Witness and doesn't celebrate birthdays.
He is waaaay older than me. He has multiple personalities
and actually has several birthdays. He had a traumatic accident
on his 3rd birthday and goes into a cold sweat if you sing
the birthday song. He shares his birthday with Charles Manson,
Hitler and John Tesh. He was born in a leap year so he's
probably about 10 by now.
Name: Chris Schurr
Comments: Great site, Why are there only 2 CDs for sale.
What happened to the rest. Are you gonna get more copies
of the other ones?
Most of the stuff I have sold on the site is a limited number
of copies that I was given or bought from various labels,
none of which are wealthy enough to actually pay the artists.
And I don't exactly sell enough records to reap in the royalties.
When I sell out of my small supply that's it. Also, most
of the other stuff is readily available from various websites
and stores. I'm not really interested in trying to turn my
site into a store. Ultimately this is just an info base.
Comments: can i pee in your in your ear??flea was better
bass player and will trevor jazz band tour with the red hot
chili peppers once RHCP release their up coming "funk" album???
and will tevor be the "first day buyer" type person
for new red hot chili peppers album????
also what trevor opinion on the TONY MARTIN era' of Black
what is your favorite KISS album????
do you like old school candian thrash metal??
you will never get close enough to pee anywhere near me.
Stop mentioning that stupid white band that does horrible
cover versions of black musicians. I'm not sure what records
fall under the "Tony Martin Era". I never really
paid attention to producer names, dates, etc. But my favorite
Sabbath record is Master of Reality for sure. My favorite
Kiss album is probably Hotter Than Hell, or Dressed to Kill.
Comments: Hey trev, i like ur bass in nicotina, tell me was
it dunn(ha) on a 4 or 5 string bass, very tinny sounding.
im a guitarist myself but im still interested as i can play
it apart from the popped section, also track 10 on bowel
of chili(E,F#,C#,C,,C#,C,E,G) DON T KNOW IF THE SONG HAS
A NAME, but ur popping lines and bass playing is very inspirational!!
in fact thinking about im gonna go play and its 1 in the
morning!!!!!!! cheers matey..
Dude, you are asking me about a song I wrote about 18 years
ago. But I think the bass I had back then was some kind of
Ibanez. Definitely a four-string. Probably the same bass
I used on Bungle's first record. The other song you're talking
about alludes me. Wow, I can't even believe people still
like that demo. I think it sucks.
Name: Darryl Jones
Comments: Hey trevor, are you looking for any new drummers
to play with? I swear that I dont suck.
I'm always looking for new people to play with. So, let's
Name: Tom Mitchell
Comments: Nice site. Congratulations for keeping your world
intact. Question: Can you expound at all on your musical
realtionship with Danny Heifetz?
Danny played in a band called Eggly Bagelface back in college.
The rest of us, in Bungle, were big fans of that band. So
when they sort of dissolved we asked him to join. I also
played in the college big band with him. He's an amazing
drummer. Very unique and under-appreciated I think. He was
always very easy to play with. His feel is loose and swingy
and he is always thinking of the larger musical picture.
He can play in different styles, he can read and he can improvise.
What more could you ask for? Plus he's a great writer as
well. He wrote some stuff in Bungle but not enough as far
as I was concerned. The two of us were always attentive to
what the other was doing. Very much a "jazz rhythm section" mentality.
He's also probably the funniest person I know. I miss playing
I'm searching for a suitable double-bass, only I'm left-handed...so
my options as far as what I am able to sample are limited.
My knowledge concerning the anatomy and temperment of the
instrument is limited as well. What are a few things I should
examine/expect when purchasing a new double-bass?
Also considering an EUB (for audibility @ shitty clubs and
switching between electric & upright on-small stages)
but every time I touch one I can't get over the absence of
What have you gathered from your experience with EUB's?
I thought I would ask someone who's work I admire, as retailer
and manufacturer opinions are biased.
First of all, I believe you could adapt a right-handed bass.
I think I would just be a matter of getting the correct bridge.
As with any new instrument my first focus would be on the
feel. How does the bass physically feel in your hands? You're
going to be spending a lot of time with it so it should feel
good from the beginning. It's always good to examine for
cracks and previous repairs. Check around all the seams as
well as the face,back and neck. Most of that stuff can be
repaired pretty easily but pay attention to the neck and
it's alignment. Ultimately you want the bass to be a nice,
resonant, sturdy piece of wood. However, wood instruments
change over time. And your bass will change with you in a
way that depends on what kind of sound you are going for,
and how you take care of the instrument. You can always make
improvements, change the action, soundpost, etc. Try to take
a bass you are considering home for a few days and see how
it sits with you.
I don't know what an EUB is but if there is no acoustic tone
than I would steer clear. Most of my struggles with live
amplification have been in order to maintain as natural acoustic
tone as possible.
Also, just so you know, I can't stand bringing both my upright
and an electric to a gig. Total pain in the ass. Two different
instruments, two different sounds, amp settings, techniques......It's
really hard for me to focus on one or the other, so I only
bring one or the other.
thanks for the dead goon trans can you post more bungle tab?
what are some of your favorite jazz recordings my favorite
composer is mingus can you recomend more in that vain?
how do you feel about carole kayes index to pinky hole step
interval approach as opposed to one finger per fret i see
merit in kayes method for sight reading but it can be confusing
when trying to teah a begining student fingering theory
I doubt I will spend the time figuring out Bungle TABs unless
someone pays me for it. Sorry. TAB is a pain in the ass for
me anyway. I don't totally get it. I prefer traditional notation.
Yes, Mingus rules. Have you checked out the European bootlegs
of his band in '65 (I think it was) with Eric Dolphy? Check
out Dolphy, Andrew Hill, Cecil Taylor, Anthony Braxton, Tim
Berne, Ellery Eskelin....
There are many fingering techniques that don't necessarily
work together but I think it's important to give a new student
something solid and unwavering to grasp on to. I certainly
don't adhere strictly to the techniques that I teach but
that's because I've figured out different ways to deal with
different situations. I do, however, fall back on the one-finger-per-fret
approach that I thoroughly believe in. I don't think there
is any right or wrong technique. A lot of it has to do with
a persons body, the shape of their hands, the length of their
fingers, etc. With students, you sort of have to examine
what their natural tendencies are while keeping them from
developing bad habits or doing something that is going be
physically damaging over time.
Comments: Hey Trevor, I saw Fantomas in 2002 at Stubbs in
Austin and it was awesome, and then I saw you guys again
last year in Austin but at an indoor club called Emo´s that
is concrete floors and a very low cealing and it sounded
like complete shit, levels uneven, Mike too loud, Dave and
Buzz not heard, etc. Do you ever take into account how the
acoustics of a room are gonna effect a live show when you
guys set up? And what is up with the left to right drums
guitar bass vocals positioning you guys do live? It goes
against everything you are taught about live music performances
(percussion in back, strings middle, voice up front). Picky
as fuck I know.
It's too bad that it sounded so shitty. We actually travel
with our own sound engineer who tunes the PA at each venue
just before soundcheck. He spends a lot of time dealing with
whatever gear the club provides which is different every
night, obviously. The concrete floor and low ceiling thing
is a major factor though. There are a lot of venues out there
that are acoustic nightmares and no matter how adept the
engineer there is little hope. We try to make the most of
it. Our sound guy has good nights and bad nights just like
I think the whole purpose of Fantomas' stage set-up has to
do with Mike's extensive use of visual queing. However, I
agree with you and I've never been 100% into our set up.
I'm way too far from Dave. That said, the music that Mike
has written doesn't exactly fall into the traditional styles
of academia. The bass parts aren't exactly bass parts, the
guitar has a non-traditional roll, etc --especially in terms
of "rock" music. Ok, I should shut up now before
I get myself fired.
Comments: Hi, apparently when you came to aus with sc3, my
brother gave (well...sold) you a Hot Wheels shirt. Remember
that? if not, ah well..thought it was worth a stab.
Anyway, is your music a direct reflection of your life at
that time or are you able to 'fake it' and write something
around that? Is that even possible?
thanks for making yourself accessible to fans! :) very much
Nope. That shirt thing never happened. I would love to own
a Hot Wheels shirt. Well, maybe it did happen but the shirt
didn't fit. Also, I was really stoned on that tour so I suppose
anything is possible.
As far as your second question, I would say that the music
I write is definitely a reflection of where my head is at
whether I intend it as such or not. Life just has a way of
seeping in everywhere. I'm not sure what you mean by "fake
but I suppose that if I wanted to write something as a way
of telling a story that didn't necessarily reflect my personal,
boring, day-to-day life that I wouldn't consider that fake.
I also feel that every single little note I play or write
is full of the history of my life to this point. There is
no way for me to escape that. Besides, I want to write music
that has meaning. I'm not here to pump out a bunch of crap
that doesn't mean anything to me.
And thank YOU for listening!
Comments: How do you feel about your contributions to Mr.
Bungle alongside your band mates? By this I mean, do you
look back and see the period as an accomplishment of your
artistic vision of what a band (Or music in general) should
sound like as a whole? I know compromise is a big part of
being in a band, but do you feel more often than not that
more was gained or lost in attempts at compromise and compilation?
I'm afraid I seem to be digging towards some of the unspoken
reasons behind the death of the group, but the question is
really stemmed from my deep appreciation for the music. As
a group, no band really continues to impress me to this day
as MB does. And I'm curios: knowing you are; a person who
can appreciate the composition of the music at least as much
as I do (not to mention the actual artist behind part of
that composition); when hearing your favorite bungle songs,
does it invoke any consistent feelings with regard to the
inability to be part of, progress, and enjoy new forms of
that ensemble of sound? Or is the "good riddance" that
This is really only meant to be one question, just hard to
I think I know what you are getting at; When I look back
at those song writing days I see a bunch of smart-alec, irreverent
kids in a garage band. Our first record really reflects that
more than the others. Many of those songs were written together;
pieced together in our rehearsal space or bedrooms. And I
think of the 15 years that band was together as educational
and experimental. I look back and think, 'I would never attempt
that again' or 'what was I thinking?' or "now I know
how to achieve that". But I don't have any regrets.
I learned a lot. The art of compromising became less refined
with each record. In other words, as we got better at writing
and listening, as individuals, we started to veer towards
I've said this before, but we never had a plan. We never
really had a vision. Our motto was "aim to confuse" but
we never talked about "direction" or what we were
attempting to accomplish musically even though we shared
a lot of ideas about what made music good and fun. I definitely
feel that we could have accomplished a lot more and that
we wasted a lot of potential creativity. At the same time
there is some of that good riddance sentiment. It took me
a long time to learn how to accomplish my own visions; how
to lead others when that was called for; how do read and
deal with other people in the band and how to know and accept
when something worked or didn't work. I think all of this
is part of maturing in general. I know I --and I think we--
could do it better now. But
"now" doesn't come without history. And once you've
broken up with a girl it's just way too weird to go back,
even if you still find her attractive. So, when I think about
my contributions, I think "naive" and "youthful" to
a certain extent. My musical ideas for that band were not
my favorite in our repertoire, but I guess it's been about
eight years since I even thought about writing for that group.
You could say I've grown up and moved on, and what that has
to do with your question I have no idea.
Comments: alot of my mates and i have been dabbling in alot
of jazz, and jamming with jazz progressions and stuff like
that! there is alot to learn from the style and stuff! The
problem is my mates like all jazz, because its jazz. i like
some of it because with all music theres good shit and down
right corny shit! But alot of my mates like all of it because
its technical! how do you convince someone just because its
hard to play doesn't make it good? because if thats the case
we should all just listen to dream theater!
I feel your pain. And unfortunately I don't know how it's
possible or if it's worth trying to convince others. Obviously
there is a lot of shitty music out there. The sad part is:
the people playing it think it's good. Of course "good"
is relative and subjective. But I think you'd agree that
there is a lot of music that is played with horrible technique,
that's out of tune and "incorrect" and yet, it's
Good luck convincing your mates but I think that is only
something that can be realized on one's own. Though good
technique is something to be appreciated I think it's not
reason enough on it's own to make good music. My advice to
you is to find new mates.
Name: Daniel Warren
Comments: Do you have any recommendations for an electric
upright? I want to get a normal upright but I live on the
fifth floor of a walk-up and I have no car, so an electric
would seem better. Are there any you know of that sound/feel
close to the real thing?
I've never played one; never really had a reason or desire
so I am absolutely no help here. sorry.
Comments: Dear Mr.Dunn
I'm here to ask a question... I'm a senior in high school
- I, matthew would like to move west and pursue my musical
( yes, i play just about everything) dream - My parents and
girlfriend want me to head towards college .... please help
well, Matthew, you're not giving me a whole lot to work with.
I'd love to say 'pursue your dreams relentlessly' but I also
think college could be a good idea depending on what you're
after. What about going to a university or conservatory on
the west coast whilst playing in bands and freelancing? Do
it all, man. That's basically what I did. I didn't intend
to graduate from college but I didn't know what else to do
and in the meantime I learned a lot from playing in clubs
with different bands. There's no reason your musical dream
and school can't be linked. If one starts to take over in
a positive way then go in that direction. At your age I think
it's all about creating options and seeing all the possibilities
before you. Good luck.
Name: Rob Summers
Comments: Would you share the experience you had returning
to the gear site in San Francisco you talked about? Were
there other X-band members there to discuss the level of
deadness? Also - I see you are being joined by a vocalist
for your incredible Electric Masada group on NYE... is he
gonna actually practice for this show?
No, I was the only one there. Getting rid of crap that no
one else wanted but was left to collect dust in a rented
space. Stupid really. It wasn't a particularly pleasant experience
except that I did find a couple of gems and they're mine
all mine! I can tell you that it was a real fine feeling
to sweep that storage space clean and walk away from it.
There was no rehearsal for that gig. Couple of short hits
Comments: So, a question for you:
You write an excellent column for a bass magazine which I
can't buy as often as I would like. Would you ever consider
releasing a collection of your columns as a book?
Also, do you find it irritating that in this modern age,
there is a huge gap between musical excellence and innoavation
and commercial success? (Now would be a good time to say
you live like some sort of Greek God because of the vast
sums of cash you make through music. And you live on a diet
of cocaine and sawdust eaten of Geishas...)
thanks for reading my column. I have thought about putting
them all together in one place and maybe extrapolating on
them and turning it into a technique book of sorts. That,
however, is probably not going to happen in the near future.
It's all I can do to find the time to write that article
every couple of months!
I don't really think too often about that gap you speak of.
I mean, believe it or not, I really think that there is excellence
and innovation in many pop records. Take "In The Zone" for
instance. I couldn't make a record like that. I wouldn't
know where too start. Sure, it takes lots of money, high
tech gear and amazing studios. But along with other goals
I dream of being able to accomplish something like that.
I guess the aspect that irritates me the most is seeing amazing
individuals who deserve a lot more credit and a better quality
of life than they have. But I also see musicians who are
doing well for themselves. Face it, the money comes from
your audience. The bigger audience you reach, the more money
you make. And why an audience would like you is really unpredictable
I've never done coke.
Comments: Me and my wife met you the last 11/28 at the "Casa
da Feijoada" in Rio, the day after Fantomas played the "Claro
que Rock" festival. I just talked (in italian) to Mike
for a few minutes and took some photos. In view of the fact
that you are travelling all around the world for a lot of
years now, are you still excited about your trips, or it
has just become a boredom?
It's never boring. I refuse to get bored. However, it's all
I can do to keep from being jaded. Maybe that's the same
thing. Maybe not. I certainly still have a deep appreciation
for the fact that I play music for a living. I wouldn't give
that up for a second. Also, there are lots of places I've
never been to or haven't spent enough time in. Like Brazil
for instance. Sure, I can say I've been to Brazil now. But
in reality I spent a whopping three days there. Didn't see
or do shit. Anyone who has ever read a travel book about
Rio has seen more than I have.
Comments: hey trevor.
i know you have said this before on your page but i don't
want to read every message as it takes my time. what was
the pedal that you use to lower your bass without detuning?
all right keep up the good work. sorry about the cat........
So, because of your time constraints I have to repeat myself?
Is that what you're saying? Well, I don't have such a pedal.
I use a distortion setting that is also an octaver. Other
than that, it's all in the wrist.
Name: Denis/Brazilian who'll kill Alex Porres
Comments: 1) Hey, I saw you complaining about Alex Porres.
I bought one of your CD from him, any luck with your portuguese
mob connections? I might be able to track him down for you.
I paid good money for the CD. the equivalent to 15 dollars.
I might know of someone who might know about him... he moved
from Rio a while ago, but if he is in Brasil I can find him,
let me kill him for you and I'll mail one of his kidneys
2) I was in the Fantomas concert here in Rio, it was amazing.
How did you like Brasil? What did you get to know from the
brazilian music and culture (apart that you cannot trust
much of us)? For Example, (about another message you wrote
here in this site regarding Brasil), What's the deal of hanging
out with Chico Buarque and Tom Zé? I can undertsand you might
have heard of Tom Zé, he's known worldwide and is a bit psichodelic,
but Chico is an old man who's writting literature now, very
weird man!!! Do you like him?
3) Hope to see you in Brasil soon again. What are the chances
(and the cash) of bringing your Trio to Brasil?
Hey, I wasn't complaining. But if you need to kill him be
my guest. Just remember: it's against the law. Or is it?
Maybe not in Brazil. I've recently retired from the black
market kidney scene so no back alley organs for me, thanks.
so what's wrong with psychedelic old men who write literature?
yes, I like Tom Ze.
It's unlikely the Trio will ever be in Brazil.
Comments: Hey Trevor... Have you heard Oasis' new single "Let
there be love"?And if so, are you gonna be taking legal
I think I did hear that. Perhaps I should look into suing
those little snots. I could use the bread, and they obviously
could use the action.
Name: Louis, the Brazilian
Comments: hey trevor!! saw fantomas saturday... awesome!
made me stop feeling sad that bungle is dead... you guys
were playing like you were possessed! I'd like to know if
there is going to be more fantomas in the future, and what
would you think the next album would be like... anyway, don't
stop with fantomas because you fucking rule! and comeback
to brazil, there will be more caipirinhas and hot chicks
yes, I'm sure there will be another Fantomas record. Probably
in '07 or '08. And I honestly have NO idea what it will sound
like. Really, I don't know.
Name: Chris theCrazy Canuk
Comments: Eh Trevor, still listening to your amazing music
non-stop, eh. Just wondering if you have ever seen David
Lynch's "Eraserhead"? If so, has Fantomas ever
pondered to weigh in mind with thoroughness and care about
covering the creepy "radiator song" performed by
Peter Ivers? I realize Fantomas is Patton's band but I think
its perfect for you guys. If you haven't seen this movie
I recommend it with great velocity :). Also a couple questions
1.) Which vegatable would you rather sit beside on a city
2.) Have you ever mistaken your toothbrush for a jalapeno?
3.) Do you ever encounter arguments with your green beans?
yes, I think it was the first time I ever spent the night
with a girl. We stayed at my friends house but he wasn't
home. We rented Eraserhead. Oh, yeah now there is a flic
to get you in the mood. Needless to say, I was a virgin for
a long time. The first "date" I ever went on I
took a girl to see The Wall. Brilliant. Didn't have sex with
Hmmmm, do you really think people need to hear Fantomas making
more noise? Ok, here are the answers to your stupid fucking
questions: 1)cucumber 2)no 3)no
Name: L. Boltzmann
Comments: 1. 1. T. Dunn have you ever read Big Sur and the
Oranges of Hieronymous Bosch? I believe the trio convulsant's
recording of "single petal of a rose" is like those
oranges. If you haven't read the book, please lie and pretend
that you have read it anyway. thanks.
2. was the music in "consuming capitalism" written
with the ideas presented in the film in mind, like art vs.
capitalism, mcdonaldization, etc? if not, then what the hell
where you thinking?
1) yes, I read it and the next sentence is a lie. this sentence
is the truth. 2) no, I don't really try to "literalize" film
music so much. To me, it's more about complimenting or enhancing
the underlying feeling of the image, which isn't easy when
there is no dialogue.
Comments: You and Mike have been playing in bands together
since you were teenagers. When you're on stage with him now,
do you ever get flashbacks to when you guys were young? Like...does
it feel strange that you have basically grown up on stage
I don't think it's any stranger than having thanksgiving
dinner with your family every night for two months. No, it's
not that strange. But it is familial and comfortable. ....The
more I ponder your question the stranger it all seems so
I think I'll stop pondering it....
Name: Bruce Cook
Comments: hey, im from Canada its cold here. I have a question
that you may never get around to answering, but im gunna
ok, how do you write something thats 54 mins long!? like,
do you just write small parts and then make transitions for
them? or think of how each part will influance the next...
i cant even wrap my mind around it. ive tried to write things
of this lenght and it never turns out properly.. or as i
imagined it.. help?
PS, do you like Ska? i LOVE Ska... Ska and Fantomas...
I've never attempted to write something that long but if
I did I would map it out first. I would draw it up with little
symbols and words on one page with a time chart. I would
have re-occuring themes and a specific form in mind. I would
write in smaller sections and piece them together but not
necessarily in the order in which they were written. Overall
I would continually take a step back and look at the larger
picture so that I didn't loose touch with my original map.
That's how I would do it.
I used to like ska. Don't really listen to it anymore. Too
Comments: Re-signing to drop a question, Im an Aussie and
Im curious, why the platypus? (picture) I work with them
and theyre short tempered little bastards! They bite and
smell really bad, cute though. Weird q. but am interested
Typical. You fucking WORK with, HANDLE , SMELL and TOUCH
the greatest living creature in the history of time and you
don't appreciate it!! Blows my mind. Wanna trade jobs??
Comments: What happened to theo
Name: brian o'blivion
Comments: hey trevor dunn, what are your top 3 cronenberg
Well, I've missed his latest two, so without those to think
about I would say, Scanners, Naked Lunch and Dead Ringers.
Comments: 1) Do you live in the U.S?
2) You look like an intellectual guy and i wanted to know
if , first, u know Noam Chomski (writter), and if your opinion
on American policies is similar to his.
1) yes 2) I don't know him personally but I have read some
of his books. I would say that I agree with some of his policies.
Comments: I have this question : Is it true that you can
chords by doing i-dont-know-what with the gold number ?(if
you know what it is and what im talking about)
dude, you are high. I have no idea what a "perfect chord" is.
But you might be talking about the golden mean which is a
mathematical formula that some composers, and architects
have used to design forms. I think Bartok may have utilized
Name: Alex B.
Comments: Bungle is dead. Please realize that...I'm happy...
So sad that you are happy,most of us Mr Bungle fans are not.Before
I say what I want to say,let me tell you that I deeply respect
you (as well as the rest of the people that made the greatest
band ever) as a musician..I can not understand why anyone
of you guys from MrB. are unable to realize that MrBungle
was a band loved by more people that you can even imagine,and
that you will receive questions about MrBungle years from
now and the questions will never stop..Why you haven`t put
not a single recording with MrBungle to your selected discography,while
you put the complete Fantomas discography (which for my opinion
is not even closely as great as the Bungle stuff)?
I am really sorry I will not see the show in Zagreb this
Friday,but I wish you all the best.
MR BUNGLE 4EVER
Thanks for your love and support. I do intend on putting
the Bungle CDs here on my discography. When I first started
my own website people only knew who I was from my involvement
with that one band so I wanted to create my own separate
entity. I think I have done that now over the past ten years
so I'm comfortable with adding Bungle to my list. Believe
me, I am not ashamed of MR B. It was a major part of my life.
I truly appreciate the sentiments and the disappointment
from people who loved that band, but they will never truly
understand the inner workings and why I feel the way I do
now. They don't see the whole history and weight that exists
behind the music. Not that what was behind was always negative.
But there are definitely reasons for me to be happy with
where I'm at and where I'm going.
Comments: Have you ever considered setting up some kind of
a forum so us bass geeks can chat to each other? It'd be
like a little "Dunn community"
I've never considered it. I just assumed that it would end
up being a forum for racism and hate.....hey, maybe I should
set one up!
Name: I'm So Clever
Comments: Do you often wonder how long the career death sentence
created by an album made in 1991 will last? Do you cringe
when slovenly kids in Bungle T-Shirts walk up to you to chit
chat after the gigs you and Shell play? Probably. I wonder
why you can't grasp that people still hope for a Bungle reunion.
Weren't you ever a fan of a band?
Of course I was/am a fan of tons of bands! Christ. I remember
writing Blondie a letter once because I was disappointed
with their AutoAmerican LP. I must have been about 12 at
the time. I never sent the letter. I think I realized that
a band has a right to makes its own decisions.
I don't usually cringe when people want to talk about Bungle.
I'm happy to talk about it. You have to realize that I was
17 when that band started. I'm over twice that age now and
a lot of other things have entered my life in the meantime.
A lot of other things have become important to me. I wonder
why you can't grasp that people who where in Bungle have
better things to do now.
Name: I want to learn
Comments: Hi Trevor, Perhaps you can help me. I've always
wanted to learn how to compose music rather than simply play
it. I would like to learn more about counterpoint and somebody
said that 'The Study of Counterpoint'(a translation of JJ
Fux's Gradus Ad Parnassum) is a good book to start from .
. . Could you please suggest some other books or even methods
with which to learn?
My theory about learning composition is to go straight to
the source. Check out scores of your favorite pieces and
analyze them. Reduce everything to a piano score (bass and
treble clef only) to see it all in it's simplest form. There
are a million counterpoint books out there. Schoernberg has
a few. I never really studied traditional counterpoint so
my knowledge of the literature is limited.
Comments: hey man, Im a huge fan of your work, thanks for
being and inspiration. first, I recently discovered circuit
bent toys and keyboards, and theremins on ebay. Are circuit
bent toys what we are hearing on Suspended Animation, as
I noticed Mike had some dolls on his side when you guys came
through town. What are your opinions on theremins and circuit
bent creations, are they very applicable in musical context.
When I saw Fantomas for the Delerium tour Dave had these
crazy chime things that he would hit with a mallet and then
rub a bow across the top to create a weird effect. What are
those things? Was the bowing an intended technique for them,
or a product of improvising and finding that it sounded cool
? What do you think of The Mars Volta ? Finally, How long
does it take to record a Fantomas album and how much of what
we hear happens in post production? Great site, rock on !
Thanks for the kind words. Firstly, yes, those are circuit
bent toys on S.A. Secondly I love the theremin and there
is a ton of great music written for them, including some
great film scores like Rosza's Spellbound. I don't really
think those two instruments have much in common. Circuit
bent toys are more about the twisted technology. They are
noise makers. The beauty is in the design. The Theremin is
a unique 20th century instrument that is very difficult to
master. Check out Clara Rockmore. I think both are useful
in music. In fact, I think ANYTHING is useful in music. Whether
it's good or not depends on a lot of things.
Those cymbals Dave was using are called rotobells, I believe...or
roto-cymbals...something like that. Percussionists have been
bowing on cymbals for quite awhile but I think the rotobells
are particularly responsive because they are suspended and
I've never listened to the Mars Volta. Believe it or not.
Basic tracks (bass and drums recorded live) on a Fantomas
record takes about 5-7 days. After that I'm outta there!
The rest is overdubs. Sometimes I'll spend a day just adding
bass overdubs---coloring the parts that are already there.
So I would say most of it is post-production. I'm willing
to say that 100% of it is post-produciton.
Name: james joyce
Comments: do you like the pogues? i find your music somewhat
adolescent. this may explain why you have so many jackass
fans asking asinine questions.
Nothing wrong with adolescence. What's so special about your
question? Oh wait, I see. You know who James Joyce is. You
must be totally grown up. Forgive me. Pogues suck.
there's something thats been troubling me - how do you transport
that HUGE harp around? Does it dismantle or does it fit in
a van whole?
It fits nicely in a small SUV. You can even get an upright
bass in there with it! The harp doesn't dismantle. Stick
around after a show and we'll show you.
Comments: Hey Trevor. On Amazon it says that Debutantes and
Centipedes is by "Trevor Cdagro Buz76003 Dunn".
Whats up with that? Seeya.
I think that's the catalogue number they threw in there.
Or perhaps it's my middle name.
Comments: how much do you practice everyday, and what's your
On a good day, with no distractions I try to put in a good
6 to 8 hours. But usually I'm too busy for that. I just want
to be so financially secure that all I have to do is practice
and write music. Don't see that happening anytime soon. AAAANYway......
my most recent routine includes a 30 minute long-tone warm
up. 60 minutes of intonation/shifting exercises. An hour
in Zimmerman's Contemporary Concepts of Bowing Technique.
An hour on arpeggios, and hour on speed/hand co-ordination,
and then 1 to 2 hours on actual music--either orchestral
excerpts, a Bach cello suite or something of that nature.
Name: I'm So Clever
Comments: Do you think most of the idiocy you encounter in
life would not have existed in the first place if you hadn't
released that first Bungle album? I do.
Yes, I am personally responsible for idiots.
Comments: Hi Dunn, ive got a bit of a problem ive been in
a band for a wile, we started out playing long jammie prog
rock/noise and it was starting to make me feel sick, so i
started working on some home demos so far ive writen about
6 tunes, the problem is that my band seem to be finding it
very hard to learn them, and when they find somthing hard
thay cant be botherd to work on it and just want to move
on to somthing else which i find very frustrating! have you
ever had this problem? what do u think i should do? also
i was wondering what EQ settings would you recomend for low/mid/high
for funky bass like early bungle
There is nothing worse than a lazy musician. Someone who
doesn't have to work at McDonalds yet can't be bothered to
sweat a little and put some EFFORT into their vocation. They're
called pot-heads. I think you should bludgeon them with a
large prybar, then find someone who shares your work ethic.
Maybe they just don't like your music but are to lame to
tell you. But I can almost guarantee that SOMEONE out there
will share your sentiments.
I've always been a fan of fairly flat EQ for bass. I tend
to put everything at 12 o'clock then roll back the highs
and boost the low end a bit.
Name: Leif Nicklas
Comments: Trevor, I was wondering if you've ever played an
electric upright you've liked, and how do you deal with flying
with an upright?
Never used an electric upright. Flying with my upright is
almost always a pain in the ass. Most airlines charge random,
excessive overage. JetBlue has been quite nice to me, however.
I have a large David Gage fiberglass trunk and I check my
bass in cargo, which never feels good. I wink at the check-in
staff and make them think I'm a novice, broke, on the verge
of tears, or totally insane. (I am, in fact, all of these).
Sometimes they charge me a little, sometimes way too much.
Apparently there is a musician's union letter regarding the
FAA and how musicians should NOT be charged overage.
Name: john downes
Comments: hello sir dunn,sorry to sound like an infidel but
i learned squeeze me macca with fingers but i suspect its
pop and slap is this the case? and whats your next project
thank you snookums
I seem to remember that the verse is all thumb (no poping).
I think the only popping section is that go-go bell part
of the song. My next project is gonna be huge! Start the
Name: aaron j. marko
Comments: dear mr. dunn, this morning, whilst perusing your
website after work, i couldn't help but notice the many queries
relating to mr. bungle, specifically those pertaining to
the almost mythic mr. bungle reunion, which, at this time,
is almost a virtual impossibility to happen. while i, being
a rational human being, understand that mr. bungle will most
definitely be not getting back together, i have to wonder
what all of these other bungle fans are thinking. yes, it's
really sad that one of history's most notorious and, (arguably),
influential avant-garde bands will not be producing any more
records, you'd think that by now, after, quite literally,
YEARS of other projects, and the former members themselves
denying the possibility, that they would learn, but alas,
no, and here they are, filling your guestbook up with entry
after entry of pathos, taking valuable bandwidth that could
be better utilised for "slippery" photos.
at any rate, here are my questions:
1) what is your official stance on the veitnam war? according
to allen ginsberg, they were wrong. do you concur?
2) have you ever made effects pedals? i'm fairly poor, and
i was just wondering if this may be a more economical way
3) if you were going to make dinner for anyone at all, what
would it be and who would you serve it to?
4) what has been your worst/weirdest celebrity encounter?
5) what are your five most influential/favourite records
of all time?
6) bandannas: fashion faux pas?
7) do you have any sort of spiritual beliefs? are you religious
to any degree?
8) what was the last great book you read?
1)I concure with anything a gay, drug addict-poet says 2)I've
never done it but I think it's quite possible and you should
give it a try. 3)I would make collard greens with rice and
cajun shrimp topped with dill for Sandra Bullock. 4)I saw
Fabio once. 5)Messiaen's Turangalilia Symphony conducted
by Ozawa, Erik Sanko's Past Imperfect..., Highway To Hell,
Jaco's 1st solo record, Mingus' Ah Um. 6)I only wear them
when I'm sheetrocking. 7)yes, and not really 8)Immortality
Name: Juvenal Magallanes
Comments: trevor who do you think is the best bass player
of all time, I would have to you are my favorite bass player
You are too kind. But, yes, I'm a fusion geek at heart and
I would still say Jaco.
Comments: Hey Trevor, I was wondering what type of upright
bass do you play? Also what strings you use on them? What
kind of pick up do you use? What amp do you use
with it? What are your favorite pages in Simandl (book 1)?
I really appreciate your bass playing and strive to be as
competent musician as yourself. By the way, I asked Carol
Kaye if she was your mom and she told me she aborted a baby
boy that she was had named Trevor in the middle of her 3rd
trimester. Be well.
My upright is Czeck. That's all I know about it. I use Tomastik
SuperFlexible. I have an Underwood pickup. I use an Acoustic
Image Focus 1 amp with a SWR 4x10. I like all of those intervalic
exercises: 3rds, 4ths, 5ths, etc.... Carol Kaye played on
Pet Sounds. I was conceived at that session. I'm an acid
Comments: I just accepted a job for writing a score for a
short film. I have composed before, but never for film. I
know you wrote music for a film, and I also know that you
have worked with Zorn and his filmworks. I was wondering
if there are any tips you could share with me. Any advice
would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much and keep
up the good work.
Don't let the film maker make musical decisions. Concentrate
on making a great record. Read the book Undertones and Overtones
by Royal S. Brown. Listen to Bernard Herrmann and Jerry Goldsmith.
Comments: Howdy Trevor, I was wondering what you think of
the band Mastodon.
Not my cup of tea.
Comments: Trevor, I've heard rumors of a new Idiot flesh
album i thought that you you would have something to say.
Do you know if William Winant will be involved? What band
do prefer Sleepytime or Idiot flesh?
I believe they have a record on Mimicry. I don't know if
there is a new once since that or who's on it. I think I
Comments: Hi Mr. Dunn, or Trevor I'm not sure what to call
you but I am in a bit of a dilemma. My guitarist friend and
I are the co-founders of our band and we’ve been together
for 5 years but now I have a feeling that his heart isn’t
in the music anymore. He used to be incredibly enthusiastic
about his art, the most out of all of us, but now all he
seems to do is smoke weed all day, he hardly practices anymore,
he’s lazy during practice and his playing has gotten much
worse. He’s having problems with his mother and father as
well. I wanna be there for him as a friend but as a musician
I just can’t take this anymore. I feel that our band has
a lot of potential, were all dedicated to our music except
for our guitarist who doesn’t seem to give a damn anymore!
What should I do?
Well, I'm no social worker but maybe you just need to have
a heart to heart with the guy. He's obviously in pain and
denial regarding his family. Weed is always a good cure for
that. If you are there for him as a friend I think the music
thing will work itself out.
Comments: Is it true that you are norwegian Trevor? I've
heard stuff about it, plaese explain.
I am, apparently, according to geneologists in my family,
1/4 Norwegian. Long live black metal.
Comments: trev why can't i find an original (or atleast older)
version of i'm sick? where did you hear it?
Here's a little secret. The real name of the song is Salty
Sadie. It's from the sound track Two For the Sea Saw. For
a long time I thought it was called I'm Sick (which is the
next song) because of the way the titles are listed on the
sleeve. I decided I couldn't have the title Salty Sadie on
my record so I ignored my mistake. Don't tell anyone.
Name: john doe
Comments: Do you have any grindcore favorites? A fan of pain
killer? Happy Trails
It's all metal to me, baby. But that stuff hasn't been in
my CD player for a while.....
Name: Tuffy McFuckelbee
Comments: Trevor; I'm really enjoying my vinyl copy of Delirium
Cordia, It has a much warmer feel to it than the cd. My question
is did you guys (Fantomas) record the record digitally or
analog? And do you think if a record is recorded digitally
and then pressed to vinyl it will still retain that "warmth" of
sound as much as going from say a two inch Ampex reel to
I believe the whole record was recorded digitally but I can't
be certain. I'm not sure about the whole vinyl warmth thing
although I have experienced it myself with some recordings.
Classical music, especially 20th century chamber stuff is
so much clearer on CD. Tape is expensive and bulky so I doubt
I'll ever use it again. And vinyl is geared to a very particular
audience. I never buy anything new on vinyl. So to answer
your question...I don't know.
Name: Michael Turi
Comments: Howdy, I was interested in reading some more of
your columns from the bass playing magazine. I'm not sure
how many columns you've done total, but might there be a
way they could be collected all at once? Or else I guess
I'm just stuck buying a bunch of back issues? Thanks
for your time and notes.
I honestly don't know. You might be able to get them on line,
or request them from the magazine. I've done probably ten
or so by now.
Comments: heya, Trevor
just wondering what your thoughts are on bootlegging?. i
saw fantomas on your last tour, Could't help but tape it,
turned out okay, cept for ramblin drunk chicks throughout
Do you guys record all your sets? Maybe on your next fremantle
visit - > i could ahoy you for a line out..
I don't give a rat's ass about live bootlegs. I've done it
myself and I'd surely share those recordings with other people.
I have Ween at the Kennel Club, SF 1992. Wanna buy it?
And you want to ahoy the what with the what now??
Comments: Hi Trevor love the work. Just a couple of quick
1.Did you join Join Fantomas because Patton's an old friend
who writes quality music that is challenging but fun to play
or was it more of a
"Patton sells and I need to pay the rent" type
2.I saw Jools Holland and Tom Jones on the t.v. the other
night and I wondered what you would say if they called you
up looking for a bass player.
3.When are Fantomas going to play in Tasmania. Moneys not
everything you should do it for the fans.
Keep up the good work.
1) I joined because I thought the first demo he gave me was
brilliant and I wanted to be a part of it. 2)I'd take the
gig if it payed crap-loads, and was a short stint 3)I'd love
to go there. I have nothing to do with the booking decisions.
Why the fuck would you say "money's not everything" to
me? Why don't you quit your job and hang out in the park
in Berkeley? Money's not everything.
Comments: Hey Trevor, what's your favourite Van Halen album.
What do you think of their bass player?
Would you play on one of my future albums? (it's got a Beck/NIN
Hands down, no question: Women and Children First. I think
Michael Anthony is a great bass player. Send me your music
and we'll talk......
Comments: Hi Trevor; quick question. I'm always told when
recording bass that it's always better to record direct as
opposed to miking the bass cab. Do you subscribe to this
theory or does it depend on what type of music your recording?
Any specifics would be appreciated because the only bass
players I know personally depend on me and my "expertise" of
recording. Anyhow, keep a rokkin!
I recommend doing both always. Although I've been in situations
where I recorded only direct, others only mic-ed. It DOES
depend on the music and studio and engineer though. A direct
sound is much cleaner. In rock situations I always prefer
a mostly mic-ed cab sound with a little DI behind it for
support. It's always best to have multiple options when you
are mixing. You can always cut or ride one.
i was wondering if you were ever planning to do a tour of
australia? i know fantomas just came through, but i couldn't
go because it was at an 18+ bar. i cried.....i cried for
the first time since i saw the movie Edward Scissorhands....
I would love to but I probably can't afford it. Maybe someday.
Comments: Mister Trevor,
I videotaped your performance with Shelley Burgon at the
Ratward in Hampton last year. Did I already mail you a copy?
I know I meant to but I honestly do not remember if I did.
Also, what did your most recent meal consist of? When you
take your meals, do you take care to include representatives
from all the food groups? (Be advised that the Food Pyramid
was rewritten in the wake of the low-carb revolution so beef,
pork, and chicken have their own separate food groups now)
(venison falls into the beef group, and fish is a grain)
Yes, I have a copy on video tape. I just ate two quesadillas.
One with avocado and one without. I'm very conscious of getting
my fruits and vegetables. Always trying to eat greens. Don't
eat much red meat but lots of fish. Thanks for the Food Pyramid
info, I was wondering when they were gonna update that thing.
Comments: 1) Sorry to hear about your cat
2) I notice in one of your news updates you said you went
to Sardinia, is this a good alternative to actually going
to the main country of Italy or Sicily? Who turned you onto
3)Would you ever seriously consider joining the Melvins permanently?
4) Finally when a band like Fantomas or Bungle tours(ed)
Europe or elsewhere abroad how do you handle the shipping
of all your big amps/drum sets and shit? Can you just take
it all on the plane as checked cargo or does it go separately
and is it expensive?
1)thanks :'( 2)You stay away from Sardinia. That's my island.
3)Probably not. They're in LA and have their own set of plans.
Although I will be doing the Houdini set with them from time
to time 4)We rent amps and drum sets when we travel abroad,
which, of course, adds to our expenses. We bring the personal
necessities--pedals, percussion, etc.-- and hope that the
amps we get work.
Comments: Ok i have 2 questions... Kinda. 1) I am 19 years
old and have been playing bass for about 6 years. I am a
HUGE fan of your work (firt thing i Heard was your trio work
then i got into bungle... unlike most others it is opposite)
I was looking through your Q&A and i noticed a few Questions
about...d are i say... "Dead Bass Goon". I was
looking at the scans and i didnt really Understand them.
im a wee bit illiterate when it comes to music talk. I understand
all the finger placings but what is #5? am i to use my thumb
on it? im lost. Plus i am more
interested in the, what i like to describe it as, the carnical
sounding line. The first bass line that comes in. i would
like to see a Tab of those both if at all possible "i
have read how much you hate it but im just another desperate
fan) can you hook me up? im pretty sure you will say no.
2) i forgot...
The TAB example I put up isn't exactly correct. I didn't
really understand TAB until recently, and now I loathe it.
I don't recall there being anything that says #5 though.
The numbers I've written on the fretboard are the order of
notes in the line. Yeah, I know, it doesn't make a ton of
sense. I need to re-do that and put up an example of actual
I don't think I'll bother with notating the "carnical" line
but it's pretty simple. It's sort of two parts at once. The "bass" part
is G, C, F, Bb (I think those are the right notes, if not,
you can transpose it to the correct frets). The "upbeat" line
is four descending chromatic tritones F/B, E/Bb, Eb/A, D/Ab.
It's really just a III-VI-II-V progression and you can play
it in two positions (starting on the 15th and 13th frets
on the E string). Sorry for the lingo. Ok, maybe it sounds
harder than it is, but you just have to position the chords
with your left hand like a guitar player.
Comments: Hi Man,
1. What do you think of Rocco Prestia ? And of Sean Malone
2. Do you know Renaud Garcia Fons
3. What are your minds about Fender Jazz Bass price and Fender
basses totalitarism over basses world (OK, qui te difficult
to translate this sentence !) ?
3. Did you find the "moules" fine ?
Hey Aurelien! 1)I think Rocco is amazing. Who can argue with
that kind of finger style. Either you like Tower of Power
or you don't. Malone I don't know...who is he? 2)I have a
couple Fons CDs. His technique is mind blowing but the music
tends to be overwhelmingly cheesy. I can only listen to it
for short periods of time and just for technical humiliation.
3)I think it's kind of ridiculous but hey, that's inflation.
4) Moules are always fine.
Comments: Hey Trevor, I was wondering if you have any songwriting
tips for me. I've played guitar/bass for years and I come
up with ok parts, but can't combine anything into songs.
To say the least, it's frustrating. I realize not everyone
has songwriting talent, but at least I'd like to be able
to put together a crappy song - it's a start. Is there any
theory books or anything else I should study? Anything would
I think good song-writing is an underestimated difficulty.
In other words, I'm still trying to figure it out. It takes
something special to really compose something that really
works and takes you to a different place. I'll spend the
rest of my life trying to work that out. My only tip for
you is to try everything. And make an outline of what you
want a song to do. Just sketch out some abstract drawing
or text and think about the song as a whole before you get
bogged down in details and riffs. Keeping your building blocks
simple helps, too. You can always theme-and-variation your
cells into complicore if you need to. I'm sure there are
books on structuring songs but --I'll just say the same thing
I always say-- you should just study what you consider a
few good songs. How are they constructed? What are their
forms? What are their harmonic progression? Then take those
elements and apply them to your own material.
Name: Andy Green
Comments: I saw that you're writing "songs" these
days. I also read that with Fantomas maybe taking a break
next year, you have an idea for a new band - is the goal
to use the songs that you're working on right now with that
band? It's all incredible news, I really hope that you're
able to release the stuff you're working on - based on your
past work, it has to be amazing. Thanks!
yeah, I'm still in the embryonic stages of writing songs
for a band to play. Thanks for your compliment. We'll see
Comments: Maybe you've answered this before, but if you haven't,
or you just feel like answering again: I often get stuck
on an idea, or a melody, or a technique. It's not really
a rut, I feel, but sometimes I come back to the same expression
just to set it in a different frame. Or to see if it matches
a certain context better then a previous one. Does this ever
happen to you, or do you deliberatly side-step old ideas
in search of fresh new meat? Keep rockin', you've been a
major influence musically. I appreciate it.
Some say that you really only write one song in your entire
career and you just keep varying it. You could say that about
Ornette Coleman for example. Or even David Bowie. I guess
thats what style is. I think I have a few themes I come back
to, whether I'm improvising or writing, and yet I feel oblivious
to whether or not I have my own style. Part of me says "if
it aint broke don't fix it". And changing contexts like
you say makes sense to me, too. But I also try to grow and
not repeat myself too much. First and foremost I need to
keep things interesting for myself.
Name: Gaseous Vertebrate
Comments: I thought I would take this opportunity to ask
a serious question since you are gracious enough to answer
all questions. Mr Bungle has started to receive the recognition
it deserves for it's musical prowess. However, after reviewing
the Mr. Bungle performance in Gurneville, California in 1989,
I have concluded that the dancing abilities that the band
exhibited are quite remarkable. Do you feel that you have
received the credit you deserve for your innovative approach
to intepretive dance?
No, I don't. And I think I even embarrassed my band mates.
I wasn't much for the traditional rock stage presence back
in those days so making a bigger ass out of myself than I
already was led me to a fancy jig. Of course, now I'm to "cool" to
dance at all, plus I'm old and my knees hurt. My dancing
days are over.....
Comments: Hey Trevor, you might have already gotten this
question, but here goes anyhow. Was there any video of the
Fantomas tour with Bozzio, and are there any plans for a
DVD in the works?
Someone told me they saw some video, but nothing official.
No DVD plans.
Comments: Hi Trevor, couple of Q's:
1. When you're on tour, be it whoever with, do you try & catch
some of the support acts? Do you enjoy them? Or if it's a
DJ like at Fantomas in Sydney, do you listen or enjoy what
2. any advice on pick techniques? I now have to play with
a pic for 50% of the songs in the band I'm in, and have always
been a finger player. Any tips on how to hold it, exercises
etc..? (I'm obviously doing those UP/DOWN 1-4 permutations
with the right hand, but would like to hear what you do,
as you so seamlessly switch from Fantomas to Trio Convulsant...)
1)I do try to catch them, but in general, it's hard for me
to listen to a bunch of music right before I go on stage.
If the band is really amazing, like Zu or Melt Banana, for
example, I may end up checking them out night after night,
but even then I have to leave the side of the stage before
they finish and just space out in the dressing room for a
good 20 minutes.
2)Switching between upright and electric is not easy, and
kinda not fun for me. I don't do anything special in terms
of pick technique. I do hold the pick backwards. That is,
I use the broad end on the string.
Sting crossing exercises, like octaves, are good for pick
Comments: Hey Trevor... I have 2 questions.
1. How do you deal with cockroaches?
2. When was the last time you painted your toenails?
1) I get those glue traps, spray lysol everywhere and clean
up after meals. 2)It's been a while. Probably the summer
of 1996. Ruby red, baby.
Comments: What's happenin-
Trevor, what are your feelings about the Chapman stick? Would/have
you ever play(ed) one?
I tried one in a music store years ago and became annoyed
and confused. It's seems like something amazing could be
played on that, right? So why so much noodley crap? Clusters,
Comments: I'm a bass player too and i own a fender jazz and
a Cort TM Stevens Signature (pure Funk!!). I'd like to know
what's the brand or the model of that five string bass that
you used for almost every Mr. Bungle concert (I've seen it
in the videos of 24000 mila baci in 1995 and Mr. Bungle concert
where you were masked) ...It has an amazing sound! I'd like
to know even if Trevor Dunn Trio Convulsant or Electric Masada
will ever come to Italy. Thank you very much and greetings
It's an Alembic Europa. I was a big fan of Stanley Clarke
back in the day and always dreamed of owning an Alembic.
My trio was in Venice in November '05. E-Masada gets there
from time to time. I'll tell Mike you said hello.
Comments: I saw you with the Trio and Fantomas in Detroit...both
kicked ass. I was just wondering two things:
1.Does your P-bass play as nice as it looks?
2.I know you use the same bass with Electric Masada, is it
hard to put normal gauge strings on it with the adjustments
you made to it for Fantomas, or am I just thinking too hard
Good luck in the future.
Before I answer your question I have been asked to relay
greetings to you from Davide, the guy from the previous question.
1)it plays quite nicely. I like it. 2)No, it's quite easy.
It doesn't seem to slip around in the nut at all.
Comments: hello trevor. you're a fucking stud. I love you.
In some of the answers to these questions, it seems obvious
that the singer of fantomas sometimes pisses you off. what's
the deal. are you homeboys who occasionally have static?
or are a the hired bass player who hates his boss? do think
the two of you will ever be in a band where it's more of
a collaboration? I think that would be neat, because you're
both fucking radical.
I am a guitar player, but the bass player ofmy band completely
adores your playing and your music, and I was wondering how
one goes about getting a bass lesson out of you?
also, what do you think about Tools music/justin chancellor's
bass playing? any chance of you touring with them again?
or perhaps you, starting a band with danny carey, patton,
carla kilstedht (from sleepytime), omar rodriguez lopez,
and johnny greenwood?
yeah so. that would be really neat. you should really do
that. it would be huge.
Everyone pisses me off, but I certainly don't hate my boss.
Actually, I'm my own boss. But I think anyone who has played
in bands with the same guy for over 20 years is allowed some
static once in a while. I don't see us really collaborating
anytime soon, but I wouldn't rule it out. I think we are
both well on our ways to doing our own things.
As I've said before, the best way to get a lesson from me
is to approach me at a gig and exchange numbers.
Not a huge fan of Tool. A bit too prog for me I guess. Though
I think all those guys are really good musicians. My latest
column in Bass Guitar Player is about Justin.
Name: Mick Carew
Comments: Sain Bain uu (Hello),
Firstly, no I am not Mongolian, I just work here (geologist),
but hopefully it grabs your attention. Unfortunately, I'm
someone who loves music but has no actual musical
ability whatsoever (or at least doesn't have the patience
to pursue it) , so no technical questions from me. In any
case, since you have visited Oz numerous times in the last
years, have there been any bands from my home country that
have grabbed your attention? And what do you think of Nick
Cave, both as the Birthday Party and Bad Seeds?
Bayarla (thanks), Bayarta (and goodbye)
Love Birthday Party. Haven't given the Bad Seeds enough of
a chance. Love Acca Dacca. I've been to Bon Scott's grave.
Comments: hi. not to add to the pile of off-topic (i.e.,
not Dunn-oriented questions) but i've noticed a bit of contempt
on the subject of a certain member of a couple of bands you
that stated, i was wondering if you think it's inevitable
that these kinds of tailor-made bands eventually will deteriorate
pre-established friendships by sort of demeaning them into
business relationships? do tensions on the bandstand carry
over onto the tour bus, or vice versa?
i was in a control-freak band situation for a long time,
and kept with it because i really believed in the music,
despite what it was doing to a previously close friendship.
does it really have to be that way? is the trade-off worth
what of the opposite... i've also been in a too-many-cooks-in-the-kitchen
kinda scenario where there were always a slew of great ideas,
some feasible some not, but as a consequence nothing stayed
solid and, far too often, nothing would really get done.
did Bungle suffer from this?
hmmm...contempt is a pretty strong word and I'm not sure
what I said to warrant these kinds of questions, but let's
just say that tension on and off the bus is inevitable especially
when you're dealing with the same people on multiple tours
for years and years. It's like any family really. But the
older I get the better I learn how to deal with dysfuntion.
I don't know if I could be in a band with someone I felt
actual contempt for. And sometimes the best way to deal with
dysfunction is to remove yourself from the environment even
if that means sacrificing the income.
I think money and business are often the nemesis of friendship
and music and the only thing I can say is that you have to
remember why you started playing music in the first place.
You have to choose your battles and choose your trade-offs
I suppose. I mean wouldn't it be nice if we could all make
crap-loads of money playing music we believe in with our
friends?! Why does that question make me laugh out loud?
It's sad that it makes me laugh. I think it's still a good
goal to have and I can't say that I don't actually do that.
But you know, I'm friends with musicians I don't play with
and I play with musicians who aren't really my friends....and
everything in between.
What you said about Mr Bungle was spot on. Yes. We suffered
from the too-many-cooks-who-is-the-band-leader?-corrupt-communism-vagueness
thing. Possibly a problem with sort of growing up in a band
Comments: Hey, what's Theo doing nowadays? Why did you guys
kick him out? Did he really play all the keyboards on the
self-titled? Theo put the funk in funk metal!
We unanimously decided to go on without him because he wasn't
growing with the rest of the band and we were running out
of things for him to do. He got pissed off and I haven't
heard from him since. He didn't play any keyboards on the
first record. I think he solely played alto saximaphone.
Comments: Questions from an Igloo:
Hi again Trevor! Thanks so much for taking the time to answer
my questions about your show @ Seattle's Showbox. I must
say it was a huge coincidence that you fellas played the
very song I was asking for as an encore. My questions are:
1) Whats yer favorite Pastorius composition?
2) Do you listen to much classical music and if so, what?
3) Do you jive Dream Theater, Claypool, and/or Nuclear Rabbit?
By the way, I was asking for you guys to play "Fire
walk with me" in between your songs. While you performed
with Fantomas and your Convulsant, I was an observant mute
in awe. Not once did I yell out another band, just so ya
know. I dig your thick sarcasm though, its like peanut butter
on the roof of my mouth, got milk? P.S. Thanks for the encore
anyways, your a true inspiration.
1)There are a lot of good ones but I'd have to say Portrait
of Tracy because it is STILL flawless. 2)All kinds. I have
a fairly extensive collection of 20th century stuff but lately
I've been digging Ravel, Sibelius' 2nd Symphony, Schnittke
String Quartets, and Segovia. 3)Jive?
1) Are you (or another member of Fantômas) friend with Charlie
Benante ? Cause I'm 99% sure he arrived on stage during Fantômas'
sound check and stayed behind you and Mike during the whole
show (Anthrax were playing the same night)
2) I also sadly discovered during this festival that Kevin
Rutmanis was no longer playing with The Melvins. Were you
asked by Buzz to play with them ? If he hasn't asked yet,
would you accept the offer ?
3) What do you think of Danny Lilker's work with Brutal Truth,
S.O.D. and especially Exit-13 since this one is more "jazz-oriented" ?
1)We got to hang out with Anthrax backstage in France. I
was surprised how cool Charlie and Ian were and how much
they knew about avant-garde music. They are very aware of
modern music which is refreshing. 2)My work with the Melvins
may or may not be limited to occasional performances of the
Houdini repetoire. 3)Haven't heard Exit-13 but I was the
first guy in my high school to scrawl an SOD logo on his
jacket. I think Lilker's playing is appropriate.
Name: Nick Green
Comments: Hey Trevor, I've read a few times that you will
occasionally listen to Britney Spears. Is there an album
of hers that you would recommend?
P.S. - All of your fans are hoping she will invite you to
play on her new album!
Well, the only one I actually have is In the Zone, which
I stand by. There is some great shit on there. The Tricky
song, for instance. And what would any household be with
out the My Prerogative DVD? I mean, I'm not into her for
Thanks for the good wishes. I still have hope.
Comments: Is this KISS room yours?
I was unable to find this page but whatever it was, it wasn't
mine. It could be my brother's but I don't think so. There
was a time in my youth, however, when he and I shared a room
and the ceiling was covered in Kiss posters.
Name: Chrs Hiscocks
Comments:I was wondering if you could tell me how you recorded
the bass for the first bungle album. Did you use the Europa,
and how was the q filter on the bass/pickup balance set?
What technique did you use to the desk?
The first Bungle album was recorded before I owned that bass.
I had some kind of an Ibanez at that time. I forget the exact
model. And I used a Peavey TKO combo amp! Can you believe
it?! Peavey! If I remember correctly I probably had one channel
for DI and one for the cabinet. On a couple songs Zorn had
me add a subharmonic octaver type thing when we mixed. I
think that bass sounded pretty good actually and I think
part of it's punchiness came from going through such a small
Name: Justin Pull Paul Underwood Undies
Comments: do u use your fingers or do you use a pick a think
fingering the bass usually sounds better. But i still get
dung notes or shit sounding background bass i have no idea
how to fuck with settings on my amp. Actually i Dont even
fucking know what im talking about but something doesn't
sound right i try turning down the volume and shit I think
it comes down to rythme and drums and shit
I use both my fingers and a pick. It just depends on the
situation and the tone I'm going for. In terms of your settings
I would start with everything in the middle. Add a little
bass, take out a little treble and season to taste. A lot
does come down to rhythm and drums. You are right about that.
But if you're talking specifically about tone every little
bit along the way helps. Don't worry, a little experimenting
with different stings, settings, basses, technique, speakers
and amps will eventually get you to your own personal sound.
Comments: Trevor, Love your recent articles in the Bass magazine
about rhythmic perspectives. Trouble is, this mag is very
hard to find in the UK, any chance you will publish them
on your webpage, or make them available somehow? I am having
a blast playing the exercises......
Cool. Glad to hear they are useful. It very difficult to
make a point and illustrate it in such a short column. Plus
they end up getting edited so they never turn out EXACTLY
how I would like, but close enough. I'm not sure what my
rights are in terms of being able to publish them myself
but I have no immediate plans to do so anyway. But I'll look
into putting them up on my site. Maybe someday I'll compile
them all and extrapolate the material into something larger.
Until then, I'm not sure what to tell you. Subscribe to the
magazine maybe? I think Barnes & Noble carry it in the
States, if that helps. Thanks and good luck.
Name: Sammy the onion head
I have met you a bunch of times at Fantomas and Mr. B shows
and you have always been cool to sign all my crap.
I have a question, will you ever release the Mr. B demos
since you have the tapes? You mentiond a book (I hope this
comes out) and maybe a cd of unreleased tunes. How many unreleased
tunes are there? Did you guys record a lot more than what
I know you recorded 3 more songs that were not on the first
Mr. B record.
Last question, was Bowel of Chiley ever sold by you guys?
I have never seen the official tape cover. Was that live
shot of you guys on stage that's on the bootleg cd the tape
That book concept is FAR from being a reality. It's just
a hazy thought in my mind at this point. Part of that haze
includes demos, rehearsals, prank phone calls, unused photos,
etc. The amount of unseen/unheard material I have collected
over the years is somewhat baffling. Believe me, it's not
going to happen anytime soon.
You should stop listening to the Bowel of Chiley demo. It's
crap. It really is. It was never intended for commercial
sale. That was our demo to send out to clubs in order to
get gigs and such, so there never was a cover. Some asshole
put a horrible live photo on it and started selling it. Maybe
it was the Pope of Punk--a classic character from the Humboldt
County HardCore days.
Comments: Hi Trevor.
I was wondering how you and the other guys in Fantômas remember
what to play during a gig. I've been listening to Fantômas
since the beginning, and I still can't remember which page/date
is which. Do you use the actual page/date titles on a setlist,
or do you have other titles for the song to remember them
Retention is the most difficult thing about that music. Somehow,
after rehearsing and touring the shit out of that music,
the brain has a way of making associations. During the last
few tours we've only been playing a few tunes from the first
record and my set list may include something like: 24-27.
Those numbers don't necessarily make sense with what is on
the record because the numbers represent the order in which
they were written and that order was changed to make the
sequence of the album more fluid. Anyway, when I see the
number 25 on my set list my mind goes directly to that song
as it would if it was called "Fiona Apple Reminds Me
of a Girl I Had a Crush on in the 8th Grade, Yes?" Some
of the tunes do have nicknames though. Like "Albatross" or "Date
with the Bartender".
I have found, with most difficult music, memory is the same
as it is with less difficult music. It's a matter of rote,
repetition, muscle memory and hearing what comes next. The
more you challenge yourself the easier it becomes. That said,
I still screw stuff up.
Comments: Hi Trevor, "The more you know, the less you
think you know."
I love the saying and the concept. Well, no, the concept
drives me fucking nuts, but I do quote it a lot and I was
wondering if you came up with the exact phrase, so that I
can give credit where credit is due.
I was lucky enough to have a mom who took me to the public
library which I have a fondness for to this day. One day,
in the late 70s, in Eureka, I found a book about paradoxes.
I think it was called Paradoxes, or something. There were
a lot of anecdotes and one-liners in that book that really
blew my head off and shaped my way of thinking. For instance,
what happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable
object? I should look for that book. The cover had a picture
of a hammer thats handle turned into a board that had a nail
in it. Whoaaaaaaa!
Comments: I have some stellar Mr. Bungle bootlegs. How do
I go about getting rights from the band and arranging royalties
to release them (legit) on vinyl, cd or dvd?
You don't. You'd have to contact us all individually or I'd
have to deal with it....hmmm, ok, here's what you do: you
send copies of all that shit to me at my PO Box and I'll
decide if I want any of it released. Then I'll find someone
to put it out and any royalties will be dealt with through
that label. You have to understand that at the most, you
would be credited with filming, but beyond that, financial
compensation would be inappropriate.
Name: Jim Figurski
Comments: Hey Trevor,
1.) In what country is Fantomas most popular? I figured America,
but I'm starting to wonder if it's Japan?
2.)I'm going to see you guys on Sept 8th 2005 in Osaka, Japan.
I'm really looking forward to it. Can I meet you guys after
1)I don't know. My guess is the States. 2)Wow, that was almost
a year ago and I'm just getting to your question now. Guess
I should get a secretary. I ate blowfish in Osaka.
Comments: I have a few questions about a few Bungle songs:
1)What types of basses and amps did you use on the first
2)Did you write the Carry Stress in the Jaw intro, and if
you did, how long did it take?
3)What do you think of Merry Go Bye Bye?
1)see my response a few questions prior. I also used a Peavey(!)fretless
bass on Dead Good and Carousel. 2)yes, I wrote the intro.
I don't remember how long it took to write that specific
part, but c'mon, it's only four bars. It's possibly based
on some of the melodic material of the rest of the song,
like the bass/vocal melody. Some of that was written by improvising
over the guitar/sax line until I found something I liked.
I probably spent a couple months, on and off, working out
that song. 3)Merry Go Bye Bye is one of my favorite songs
on DV. We recorded it in sections and then Trey took the
sections home and put them together, so the rest of us had
no idea what it was going to sound like.
Name: Enrique Terrones
Comments: hi, honestly disregard my last question i have
a real one this time.. so worth asking that i wouldnt mind
if it was my last one answered. i was checking out the paths
you/Mike Patton took and the path Trey S. took.. and anyone
obviously can see the different tastes on both sides.. you
and mike patton seem more alike and really push the minimalist
approach, though still really technical.. trey and his web
of mimicry really have a lot to take in, like an over abundant
explanation.. and that kind of seems like his nature,reading
some things on his
website.. i was wondering what your thoughts were on these
approaches.. because what you guys are all doing seems so
odd that you were ever able to make music in the first place!
do you find beauty/meaning in both?
I don't totally understand your question, mostly because
I think Fantomas is far from minimalist. But maybe you're
talking about liner-note type explanations and
"artist intent" and manifesto. In that case I think
Patton and I do have similarities that differ from Trey but
Patton and I also have our differences. Let me put it this
way: I don't think any of us ever had any idea, at least
on California, what the other's lyrics were about, and still
don't. That is part of the beauty, meaning and problem. We
had enough shared affinities and hunger through high school
and college that brought us together. We sparked each other's
interest, fed off each other and, hopefully, inspired each
other. As we got older and more focused those affinities
branched away from each other, though I think they are still
part of the same tree. I think you are one of the first people
I've heard express that side of it with your question and
I'm glad you noticed.
Name: Le Flake
Comments: 1) Does'nt your girlfriend get pissed at you touring
the country with babes like Mary and Shelly?
2) Is Mike Patton gay? He lives in the Castro so he must
be gay, so...he is gay isn't he? I mean I'm not gay or anything,
who said anything about me being gay, I'm not, I'm thinking
about tits right now I swear to god.
3) You know Geddy Lee rips, put aside the Dungeons and Dragons
lyrics and falsetto vocals. Your good dude, but he could
rip you a new (b)asshole, that was clever was'nt it-don't
steal my shit bro.
1)My girlfriend gets pissed when I leave my socks lying around,
or put records on top of other records, or change the channel
while she's watching Jeopardy, or spend all day on the computer
answering questions from people I don't know. 2) Who isn't
gay? 3)First of all, dude, Neal writes all the lyrics. Secondly
I don't recall a single Rush album (well, I only owned three)
that talked about dungeons nor dragons. Tom Sawyer is how
I learned to play in 7. By the way, when is the last time
you listened to Rush?
Comments: Heya Trevor. Could you please answer these 2 quick
1. What would you do if one day you had a freak accident
(or something like that) and couldn't play bass anymore?
2. Yes or No : Do you have an account on the Bunglefever
BBS ? Just wondering since it is listed in the 'referred
by' section of this guestbook form.
1)God Christ Almighty! I don't like to think about that shit.
I think I'd just write music. 2)No.
Comments: Hey Trevor,
My first bass teacher I ever had totally changed my perspective
of music introducing me to Mr.Bungle, Primus, Living Colour
etc. and since then I've progressed into more avant garde
music. I recently picked an Eric Dolphy album and have really
enjoyed it. What are your thoughts of Dolphy and what other
artists would you recommend from that era?
Dolphy is amazing; totally unique. And I have mentioned other
musicians from that era before, such as Charles Mingus, Herbie
Nichols, Andrew Hill, Ornette Coleman, Celil Taylor....etc,
Comments: Do you know the history of bass playing? ’Cause
I do. Don’t talk about things you don’t understand. Like
saying modern rock music
"sucks." I’ve done the research; I've studied it.
On another tangeant. I caught that Levi's jean commercial
the other day. Brilliant. A perfect use for "Easy."
Patton never sounded better.
Is there a product endorsement you'd allow one of your compositions
to be used for? It's all about the money, man.
Ok, yeah, I said "modern rock music sucks". I said
that. You crack me up. On another tangent you're a dumbshit
and I would gladly endorse the makers Wusthof knives and
then I'd take the money and buy a Stiletto Titanium hammer
to crack your skull.
Comments: Hello Trevor. I don´t want to take to much of your
time, however I do have 2 questions for you.
1.I have played bass for 2 years myself, and I use a Thunderbird
bass. The first time I heard the sound of it I thought: "I´ve
got to get me one of these!" I was just wondering, if
you ever played one, what you think of the Thunderbird ?
And 2: What was it like when you first were signed on to
a big record label with Mr.Bungle ?
1)sorry, I've never played one. 2)At first we were excited.
I ran went to Tower the day our CD came out and bought it
myself. It was also the first CD I was ever on. Then, after
a few years of a non-supportive, non-communicative and ever-changing
staff, the novelty wore off.
Name: chris schurr
Comments: Hey Trevor, I wanted to ask you how hard was it
adapting from elec bass to stand up bass. Was it a whole
new thing or was it the same just upright. I would really
dig playing upright and I found one for 1200 bucks thats
in good shape but I've never played one and Its a big deal
if I decide to get it. I play elec bass poorly by your standards.
But I like the upright bottom end better than elec. Can you
give me some feedback on making the switch and the pros and
cons of each instrument.
Sorry ifd I'm a pest....later
When I initially took on the upright I was not ready for
the major differences. I came to realize that they are two
totally different instruments. The upright has more in common
with a cello and the electric is, obviously from the guitar
family. I don't want to discourage you. On the contrary I
think it's great to play both but, as far as I'm concerned,
it's twice the work. But you can distribute your time on
each instrument differently. In other words concentrate on
one at a time.
The spacing on an upright is much larger in the lower register,
and much smaller in the higher register, and as a result,
proper left-had technique is more complicated. Intonation
becomes an additional focus. Bowing technique is an entire
world in and of itself. And that said, I say, go for it!
Comments: Yo Trevor,
when a band breaks up, are you forced to take sides? i only
ask because i didn't see you at trey's show at the stone,
even ches was there! so, if bungle were to have dinner together,
would you be the guy that would have to pass the salt since
nobody else would talk to each other? you always seemed like
the sane one.
Let me put it this way: I was the guy who passed the salt
while that band was together. As far as I was concerned there
were never any "sides" to take, which was part
of the frustration. The reason the band continued to not
play/call each other has nothing to do with sides. It's much
more complicated than that.
Comments: Trevor, I'm a huge fan, but I'm particularly a
fan of Retrovertigo. It's a brilliant song. Do you have more
like it and would you ever release an album of songs in that
style (not just the RV style, but also maybe stuff like carry
stress in the jaw)? Thanks for making amazing music!
thanks! I will probably never write a song like Stress again.
A lot of the stuff I wrote in Bungle was somewhat conceptual
which is a direction I find myself leaning towards less and
less. In terms of Retro, however, yes, I'm still very much
interested in "songs" and the song form; melody
and lyric. I am, in fact, writing "songs" now.
What I will do with them, I'm not sure.
Comments: My band is in the middle of booking an October
tour. Though we've played a few out-of-town gigs, it will
be our first month long excursion. We are attempting to do
everything ourselves, traveling from NYC as far South as
Memphis. This could be a total disaster. And our music isn't
exactly Mickey Mouse. Any advice you might have on the matter
will be greatly appreciated.
I enjoy "Sister Phantom Owlfish" very much.
Throw away your preconceptions about having your own space,
eating where you want to eat, getting eight hours of sleep,
sleeping in a nice bed, listening to music only when you
want to, lying down when you want to, feeling healthy, being
in a good mood all the time, having an empty bladder, sitting
on a clean toilet, or living, in any way, like a human as
opposed to an animal. Still want to tour? Good. Now just
remember to drive safe and have fun.
Comments: Hi Trevor. I have been playing bass for several
years now, and a lot of your stuff with Mr. Bungle was a
real inspiration. i was just wondering what kind of exercises
you do to keep your left hand up to speed?
I do the basic stuff: slow, chromatic permutations of
1-2-3-4 (there are 24 of them), the usual scales, arpeggios,
etc. The key to speed is starting slow.
Practice with a metronome and once you feel completely comfortable
at a slow tempo, move it up one notch at a time. But be wary
of pain. Muscle pain is ok, but tendon pain is bad.
Name: Desplanques Francis
Comments: Hi Trevor! I've seen the fantomas show at Le Bataclan
(Paris) with Mr Bozzio. I play bass guitar in the band "PAF & SCORPENE
We've given to you a DVD, in Paris, of our project, have
you seen it?
What do you think about it? see you at your next show in
France. Thank you for your talent and the good sound that
you give us. We love you. Bye and see you soon. Francis aka
I'll tell you, I receive many documents on tour, most of
which I try to check out. Some get lost or broken.
I can never remember who gave me what. I have a pile of "demos" that
I have yet to listen to. I don't think I have your DVD. But
I might. As it turns out, most of the stuff I receive is
terrible. I think that's kind of unfortunate. Also, it's
very difficult for me to get back to people about their stuff.
Unless it totally blows my mind, I just don't have the energy.
But I do give everything a chance, as long as it makes it
home with me.
Name: Matt Haycroft
Comments: on the 2003
Australian Geek Show Tour during the Sydney show's Melvins
set you drank a whole bottle of vodka during 'going blind'
and passed out on stage.
Were you ok the next day? the crowd loved it. i met you once
too. you signed a US $1 bill for me. Fantomas one side, Melvins
For some reason, when I'm in the Southern Hemisphere, and
especially after I have visited Bon Scott's grave, I am able
to drink insane amounts of booze without getting sick, drunk
or horny. I don't recommend you try this at home; it's poison.
Hard liquor is bad for you, kids. Stay away.
Name: mr. cramps
Comments: hey man. how are you? just wondering really if
you've checked out the british music scene lately? you probably
had a few play at that sucky live 8 thing, snow patrol?kaiser
chiefs? i dont know. how there composing and playing has
no emotion. just wanted to say it pisses me off man does
it you? cos i guess you've had it in america always. n i
get slagged off as a bass pl ayer from everyone my age(17)
cos i dont play like these guys. which dont really matter
but i just thought id get it out here cos its obvious u know
what music is to you and it seems to be the same for me n
ur an inspiration dude. are there any musicians you could
perhaps recommend cos there hard to find in a world surrounded
by guys who treat their instrument as an extension of their
fucking dicks not their soul. u dont even need to answer
dude, just the moan helped! thank you p.s u prob get this
alot but ever piss you guys(including mike) off that quite
a few ppl at your shows with fantomas are only there to see
mike and not to hear the music?
yeah, man, rant! rant away! let it all out. it's good for
you. I hear your frustrations and all I can say is that as
long as you believe in what you do, you'll be happy. There
will always be people who think you suck, or who you think
suck. So why worry about it.
Yes, the cult of personality is strong and annoying.
it does piss me off. What can I do? Just keep doing what
I do, I guess....
Name: John B
Comments: Hey Trev! I caught a Simpsons reference a while
back in the Q & A (See my slippers? They're albino, african
endangered rhino.), awesome.
Anyways, along the same lines, do you like listening to any
I personally really dig on bands like Ween, good songwriting
with a good sense of humor. Although I of course write and
listen to serious music as well, I always have a lot of fun
creating stuff that makes people laugh, while writing good
music too. Any thoughts about the subject? Thanks a lot for
the great music, and for listening!
Hell yes. Humor in music is all good. Kagel, now there's
a guy with a sense of humor. I don't think humor, when it's
done well, is all that easy to accomplish. It's an art as
much as making people cry to make them laugh. Zorn's Torture
Garden is hilarious. Stockhausen's Intensitat....Ween's the
Name: A Girl who thinks you're gorgeous
Comments: Is Shelly Burgon you're girlfriend and if not can
I send you shocking and revealing photographs of myself?
I felt it was high time some "slippery"
girls started participating in this website.
My relationship with Shelley remains personal and private,
known only to family and friends. In other words, none of
your business. I prefer to draw some lines between my personal
life and this career-oriented website. That said, bring on
the slippery photos!!
Name: Rui Tenreiro
Comments: Hello Trevor. I was curious. Do you have an all-time
favorite film, or even favorites? Is Disco Volante inspired
in any way by Fellini?
I have a few all time favorite films. Off the top of my head
they would be: Over the Edge, Altered States, Fear and Loathing
in Las Vegas, Lady in a Cage, Tommy, Glengarry Glen Ross,
Sweet Smell of Success, Touch of Evil, Love is the Devil.....christ,
I could go on for days.
I would say no to the Fellini influence. Although I suppose
he could have slipped in there subliminally.
We were all coming from different places with that record,
dou you know the french jazz man MARC DUCRET(he plays with
bobby previte, tim berne and others)? Ithink there is a lot
of similitude between your way to write music in trio convulsant
so if you have the time let mlisten to him it's a genius
of composition and guitar just like you bye
Yes, I do know him. He's amazing. And, I have been a huge
Tim Berne fan for many years. In fact, I was going to mention
in the previous question, that some of the stuff I wrote
for DV was inspired by him.
Comments: what do you think of frank zappas music
I like some of it, but not all of it. I appreciate his musicianship,
and I love his book (The Real Frank Zappa Book), but he was
never a huge influence on me.
Comments: Sometimes after spending a significant amount of
time on a piece of music, I find it hard to be objective.
In other words, by the time I finish a song I can’t tell
if it is any good anymore… have a tendency at that point
to think that it sucks and scrap it, I’m just sick of it
regardless of other people’s opinions. Does that ever happen
What’s your remedy? Also, when I have “improvised” compositions
(laid out a structure but not specific notes or chord changes.
Maybe just tonal centers, instrumentation and starting/stopping
points) and am lucky enough to yield an idea that I think
is worth developing, the refined version of it almost always
lacks some intangible quality that the original improv possessed.
Be it a loose feeling or some background noise that just
cannot be reproduced. What have you or people you work with
done in these situations?
Go with the polished version?
And last, what is your opinion of triggering samples LIVE?
I have been a pretty die-hard Fantomas fan and seen you guys
about 6-7 times live, including the very first show at Slims
back in June of ’98. I have noticed that MP has taken to
using more and more samples each time I’ve seen Fantomas.
Really kind of spend about half of the show waiting for you
guys to play, I think he has even taken to triggering some
stuff now that in the past was at least attempted live. Same
with TS on the California tour, playing around all those
samples must not leave a lot of room for error or spontaneity,
what’s the point of trying to reproduce a song live that
just can’t be? Don’t you think it would be better to fall
on your face while going for something new and in the moment
rather than triggering that sample of something that was
new and in the moment back in the studio 10 months ago?
Looking forward to your opinions.
1)That absolutely happens to me. One remedy is stepping away
from it. Once you think you've finished it, or even before,
put it away and work on something else. Clear your head for
a few days, a month, whatever. Then come back as a listener.
Working on several things at once can have it's benefits
Ultimately I just try to finish stuff, i.e. get it out of
my system, and then move on to the next thing.
Hopefully knowing what you like and dislike in your own music
will make itself more immediate with experience.
2) I don't usually refine improv or semi-improvised pieces.
I may record several takes and choose the best one, but I
would do that with any music. There certainly are examples
of music that seems so right I just had to accept a few extraneous
noises, or imperfections.
3)I have to agree with you 100%. It's not really my thing.
And that was one of my least favorite aspects of Mr B. Call
me old fashioned but I'd rather arrange things to be played
live as opposed to compressing some lofty orchestration.
Or, just get the god damn orchestra out there! And having
to play the same song the same way every night of a five
week tour can start to feel like typing.
Name: Adam M.
1. What music do you listen? can you give me group's name,
what you still listen and you like?
2. Do you ever come to Poland witch Trevor Dunn's Trio, or
Secreet Chiefs 3?
3. Do you have wife...?
4. How many years you had, when you start playning on bass?
5. Do you took music lesson, to play on bass?
6. Do you like Poland, and Polish Fans?
7. Do you have good money, from playning on bass with not
like fantomas, your trevor dunn's trio? or maybe you play
only for small money, and satisfaction, becaus you like play
8. What drugs do you like? or maybe you don't take drugs....
or maybe you still take? i think drugs are cool ok, that's
My english is very bad... , so, try guess sometime what i
mean and remember, you are the best
Ok, you've got EIGHT questions here, my friend.
Expect some shit.
1)The more you know the less you think you know.
2)SC3: no. Trio-C: maybe
3)none of your damn business
4)I was 13 when I started
5)yes, I took many.
6)I like Polish vodka
7)I make a living playing the music I like to play for the
8)yeah, I take them all!! Uppers, downers, reds, greens,
boobies, napalm, dink, sponge, XTC-STP, vomit, assjuice,
piroshkis...all at the same time. helps me think.
Comments: Greetings, Trevor!
First of all, the show in Moscow was great!!! Thanks and
come back again!
And the question - what bass players influenced you the most?
Guess every bassist has favourite players while learning
Or maybe which bass players did you like the most. Your manner
of playing is unusual and beautiful (I mean not only Fantomas
hehehe but Mr. Bungle too).
I listened to the usual guys when I was first learning: Stanley
Clarke, Jaco, Larry Graham, Ray Brown, Scott LaFaro. LaFaro
had a particular influence on me which I think is still kinda
evident in my playing. Thanks for your kind words.
Comments: Questions from an Igloo: I saw you perform with
Fantomas @ Seattle's Showbox, simply amazing! Do you remember
a crazy canadian screaming for Twin Peak's "Fire Walk
With Me" at this specific show, cause it was me. You
blew my F%#&ing MIND! I could not belive the very first
time I saw Fantomas, you nut bars took my request. Thanks
for changing my life forever as a musician. Who's idea was
it to play "Fire Wal With Me"? Your a legend that
is leaving a historical crater in musical history, keep rocking!
Thanks for your compliments. I don't remember that particular
crazy canadian, but believe me, there are lots of 'em. Just
so you know, we weren't taking requests. By chance, you yelled
out the song we were about to play. My favorite thing in
the world is people yelling out songs while I'm playing another
song. Or even better: yelling out other bands. It never fails.
Whatever band I'm on stage with someone is yelling out some
OTHER band I'm in. Is that a compliment, or just yelling?
Fantomas is Patton's band. He decides.
Comments: Do only boys visit this website? All the Q&A's
are from boys!
I'm not advanced enough on the bass to ask you anything relivant
just hoping that one day my girly fingers will allow me to
play something/anything of yours.
I'm not sure of the sex of anyone who visits this site. I
do know that mostly boys attend a lot of the shows I play
and I'm not sure why. I think that sucks, not only because
I like girls, but because I think they add something to society
that is unique to my perspective. Why don't more girls come
to Fantomas shows? I don't know. Sure, it's boy-ish, testosterone-laden
music but...so! I listen to girly music. Well, not that wimpy
singer hippy lesbian shit, but you know...M.I.A. rules. So
does Betsy Jolas, Carol Kaye, Mary Lou Williams, Annie Godfield.....they're
chicks aren't they??
I hope neither you, nor I, are using the word "girly"
in a derogatory fashion because just because you are a girl
doesn't mean you can't shred on my or anyone else's ass.
Thanks for visiting my site!
Comments: Hey Big D.
Does your cat have mitten fingers or it's claws uni-colored?
Tell Mikey P he needs to do a duet with King Diamond! That
would be essential! P.S. In the video to "Everything's
Ruined" Mike Patton makes several gestures imitative
of other singers. Please provide the names of all these singers!
You will win a prize.!
Who is Mikey? Ok, I don't know what "Everything's Ruined" is
but here's my list: Flea, Les Claypool, Eartha Kitt, Kent
Brockman, Luigi Nono, Norman Mailer.
Name: pete w
Comments: Hi - will any of the live Masada Book Two from
Tonic be gettting released? The Electric Masada set was easily
the most incredible music I've ever witnessed and your duo
stuff was superb too - bug Zorn to put it out, please!
I'm sure he will put it out in one form or another. I know
that the Masada quartet has been touring with those tunes,
and I believe that Electric Masada is going to record some
stuff by year's end. By the way, for you're information I
don't really have much influence on anyone in terms of bugging
them to do stuff. Cheers.
Comments: hello, ive read on the internet MR.BUNGLE will
finally have a new album, yessss!! heyy, people, theres a
new bungle album coming out thats so fuckin great! trever
was just fucking with us, the fucker! wow!!! i also read
somewhere you are gay? is true? how did that happen? but
you have to know i really dont mind, cuz its not so evident
on your records, so..
aaanyway, thanks for everything, man! yes!!!
John, you are a fool.
Comments: hi! there! thanks. i am sorry for my english language
is not so good as you, but i have a question i need to ask
to you? yes? would you answer my question?
yes. yes I will answer your question.
Comments: Hello Mr. Dunn,
I died the other day, and when I did I realised that I didn't
really exist after all. What will you do when you realise
you can't stop, and then again, when you can't stop your
ghosts... do you hope to be dead before they overtake you...
is that a way of gaining entry into the book of 'Worthwile
P.S. Checkout TheMightyPsychonaut at mp3.com.au DO IT!
I'm living, bitch.
Name: john donson
Comments: dear mr dunn,
i am a massive fan of your work and have a really technical
bass guitar question for you...noooo...arrrrggghh...cant
hold..it....any...longer...MRBUNGLE....there, i said it,
cover's blown, yes, i'm another mr bungle fan who cant let
go, like a stupid dumped boyfriend punching a wall, refusing
to believe it's over, or a family with a missing child, unable
to grieve until the body is found.
I am a grown man, im 32 this year, i have a steady job, a
fiancee, great friends, house, interests, sudoku. why do
i scour the internet once a month looking for a single line
in a crappy interview which might even just hint at mr bungle
recording again? this is gay. i need to stop doing this.
wheres the body? i need to move on.
you could do it in court, the whole band, official like,
documents signed in triplicate. i love all three bungle albums,
i feel they have played a big part in where i am at today
(on my own in front of a PC on a friday night), i really
do think you are/were (?) a great example of a band being
far greater than the sum of all its parts, no showboaters,
just everyone playing (excellently) whats required to make
an amazing song.
california is a classic.
retrovertigo is one of the best songs ever written (always
brings a tear to my eye), as is merry go bye bye, followed
closely by live and let die, wings eh? the band the beatles
could have been!
i realise by now i have already abused this guestbook thing
and your team of personal assistants probably deleted this
mail after running it through the bungle filter, however,
if not, i really like trio convulsant, i love fantomas, particularly
delerium cordia, which almost made me forget my bungle issues!
i saw you play with john zorn (music)at the barbican too,
which was a nice surprise.
shit man, im starting to feel a bit weird about this, like
im talking to myself?
before i go, do you like any british comedies, brass eye,
the day today, alan partridge? just wondered.
i'd always hoped mr bungle would write a musical, somewhere
beween the rocky horror show and jesus christ superstar...rocky
christ horrorstar? go on, i know you're tempted!
PS i know ive fucked up, please dont diss me on the internerd,
i feel stupid, theres my punishment!
John, my dear. Yes, you fucked up. Now go give yourself a
spanking. And then look into the mirror and say "Do
you see or hear or do I smash the mirror"....no wait,
don't say that... say, "Mr Bungle will never make another
record; all the members live in different cities worldwide
and are partaking in their own lines of interest. They don't
really agree on things enough to make it happen anyway, that's
why they are so busy in their individual endeavors. They
were always too big for their britches. Not enough money
or label support or member commitment to achieve their highest
dreams. So be it. Life goes on. An old man dies, a young
girl lives". Say it! Say it!
Comments: Cute cat. What's his name?
Her name is Kedi.
Comments: Trevor, years back I sent Danny a bunch of Zodiac
Killer stickers I made, he said you put one on your car.
I figured you probably have a different car by now so I wanted
to know if you needed another one. I know you said only one
question but one last quick one, ever heard Creedle?
I don't think I ever had that sticker, but I don't think
I want one anyway. I don't know what Zodiak Killer is. What
if it's a KKK support group?
Or some pro-life bullshit. You never know these days.
I also think it's stupid to have political bumper stickers.
What does it do? State your alliance? I mean, I see a car
with some political rant on it's bumper and you know, it
doesn't really make me want to change my ways or think on
some deeper level. Its a CAR! Its a STICKER!
Comments: Now that I think about it, i've got a Q.
How's your real life like? Do you like bunnies? I mean, to
You are stupid and nasty all at the same time.
Comments: its presentation in mexico was huge, are you going
un dia, vamos volver.
Comments: Hi Trevor, just wondering about 'The Holy Filament'
- probably my favourite track on California, but other people
I've talked to don't seem to like it as much. It's obviously
quite different, was there any doubt about it being a Mr.
Bungle track? Have you written anything else like it?
Are there any particular musical influences that you can
mention for that track?
Thanks! I originally wrote the melody and chord progression
during the writing of Disco Volante but never came up with
a solid idea. I discovered it in my notes years later when
I was trying to write some song forms. I liked the idea of
a "long" melody. The bridge I wrote much later.
For some reason I think the Ry Cooder soundtrack to Paris
Texas was an influence. I can't remember why. I had also
acquired a Fender Rhodes right before the California writing
sessions which influenced a lot of what I was coming up with.
I don't think I've ever written anything else in that style.
And I can't remember if that song was ever on the "chopping
block". I don't think it was.
Incidentally, I read once, on the Caca Volante site, some
misinformation about the lyrics of that song.
They were in fact directly influenced by a single paragraph
in Louis Aragon's Paris Peasant.
Also, I wrote the main melody which is a bit obscured by
the harmonies that Patton came up with.
Comments: Hey tevor. I am a former guitarist that bought
a second hand bass 6months ago and never look back! i have
resently bought a 300watt hartke quod box.....i don't know
much about brand names and quality of bass head units and
just thought you could point me in the right direction?!?!
And 2) Do you think its morally right the pimp your body
on the street to save up money for the gear?
Honestly I don't know much about brand names either, I just
listen for something that I think sounds good.
I'm sure your Hartke is fine. Do you like it? If not, check
out some other amps. Ampeg, SWR, GK, Acoustic Image---those
are some names I like.
As far as your second question I sort of have a hard time
with people selling their bodies while their mind subsequently
rots. Sex is an easy way out, especially for women who become
objectified and rewarded for the power they have over men.
Ultimately, are you really going to enjoy being fucked by
a bunch of fat, looser, scumbags? Probably not. As a result
you will probably turn to drugs to ease the mental anguish.
In the meantime, your chops will go to hell and you'll have
to hawk the gear for crack anyway. So forget it.
Stick to the bass!
Comments: Hi Trevor. What's it like playing with Terry Bozzio?
Name: the guy that ate the pie
Comments: Hey Trevor . . .
About "sister phantom owl fish"; I would really
like to know what kind of chords those "songs" (I
hate that word) are based on.
Or at least what chords you were thinking of when playing/improvizing.
Hope that makes sense. Thank you.
Well, I don't hate the word "song"...I mean..."tune"
maybe..."piece"...I don't know. I don't think any
of them are based on chord progressions. It's really more
about counterpoint: The melodic line and the bass line. I'm
sure you could figure out some crazy atonal chords which
happen as a result of the horizontal writing, but I don't
really think about it that way. I mean, I am thinking about
chords leading to other chords but not in the traditional
jazz sense of "chord progression"
Most of the improvising is totally free, i.e. whatever happens,
happens and it's different every time.
Comments: Hi Mr. Dunn,
okay....no Chance for Mr.Bungle....no Questions about Musicians
which are more famous......hmmmm....When does Fantomas do
such Thing as the "Viva
2 Rock Squad Special " again on German TV ????? It was
the best I have ever seen.....promise!
I didn't feel that you really wanted to ask that question.
But that's ok. Do you have a copy of it?
I've never seen it. Send one to my PO Box. I'll reward you
with a sticker I found.
Name: The Idiot
Location: san jose
Comments: hi trevor, just killed a roach with some w-40 and
thought of your music... maybe you have some insight regarding
the level of ignorance in the critical community as to the
work Zorn puts out. i just saw him in Berkeley with the Masada
trio and those new compositions are pretty tremendous. like
many bungle fans i was turned on to him, unlike many bungle
fans ive grown to realize hes an important living composer
whose sound is exciting, brutal, playful, erotic, haunting,
penetrating, honest, completely conscious and very generous
to his players. and he's still growing...why is he not respected
by academia or any of the more 'sophisticated' circles around.
do other musicians you know think hes doing something real
special or is he just considered as a character who re-hashes
language? Whats the Deal? by the way i saw your trio on the
last fantomas tour, and i thought your playing and the pieces
themselves were very impressive, suprisingly
subtle.. keep it up.. take care...
Ultimately I think it's a matter of his being self-taught.
A lot of "darlings"
of the classical world are respected because of where they
studied and what degrees they hold. In fact, many self-taught
musicians are barely regarded at all in a serious way. Zorn
is far more "post-modern" than most composers could
ever hope to be, partly because he respects and is involved
in punk, jazz and film music. Those are three styles often
scoffed at in the world of people who did all their counter
point exercises and played Beethoven's Sonata #17 at their
Now, I'm not gonna sit here and completely bash the academic
world. School was a good catalyst for my own self teachings.
But that world can also be incredible closed-minded.
I think most musicians in his "circle" respect
him and would agree with you. But then again, a lot of us
would probably be treated the same way.
Comments: Trevor - So heres the deal - I've been playing
bass for 7 years now, and I think I've really wasted my time.
In that period, I've put a lot of effort into playing the
showboat Vic Wooten crap, instead of trying to be a true
musician (a true Bassplayer, more specifically). Soon I'll
be going to college to major in music, and I where I can
play serious music on double bass, my electric
playing seems to be just wanking. I was wondering what you
think I should study to turn myself into a proficient electric
bass player/artist? I love playing bass, and I dig your style,
so your opinion is very much appreciated.
When I first went to college I was very ignorant. I thought
I was going to study electric bass a la Berklee School of
Music, but when I walked in the door they handed me and upright
and a bow and Simandl's two volume book. For the next four
years I studied classical technique diligently, barely touching
my electric. And I have since gone through several phases
where I focus on one over the other. I also realized that
practicing one, even though the technique is totally different,
helps the other.
Well, that doesn't really address your question so let me
do that now: I think you should study what you want to be
able to play. If that means getting back to basics and playing
along to Sly Stone records or playing in a groove band where
you do nothing but ostinatos all night, then so be it. What
is your definition of being a true bass player? If you come
up with a list in order to answer that question, then you
have to ask yourself what you need to do to achieve each
When it comes to technique and ability, I always prescribe
the standard, tried and true basics. The usual scales, the
usual exercises. What you do with those fundamentals, how
you bend them, and how you break the rules is only limited
by your own creativity and ideas. One step is having control
of your instrument. Another is translating what's in your
head into audible sound.
By the way, I'm still writing an article in Guitar World's
Bass Guitar Magazine which are essentially lessons that talk
about the technique of the music I play and the kinds of
things I've studied.
Comments: You've probably been asked this a number of times
but I am an
ignoramus. what do you think to Les Claypool's playing?
yeah, I'm kinda tired of answering that question. Why is
it even a question? Why doesn't anyone ask me what I think
of Bobby Vega or Rocco Prestia? Does Les still play? Is Primus
still a band? Who cares? I don't listen to that stuff anyway.
The last time I heard him play was probably 1992. Why doesn't
anyone ask me what I think of pineapple, or Liz Phair? Why
doesn't anyone ask me what I think of Homies or the price
of Fender Jazz basses made in the 60s, or Britney Spears
or MC5 or copper or how I deal with cockroaches or when was
the last time I painted my toenails? Huh? Why doesn't anyone
ask me that stuff?
Well, I guess I shouldn't be such a jerk because years ago
I asked Les for advice on amplification and he is, in fact,
the one who turned me onto SWR. Peace.
Comments: Hey trev just had a few bass questions. I recently
started using the mutron envelope filter and I'm noticing
a loss in volume when the effect is engaged. I know that
you used one in the past and just wondering how you combated
that problem. Also just wondering if you have met or what
you think of Lee Sklar, Melvin Gibbs, and Andrew Weiss? PEACE!!
I have the same problem using pedals, especially a volume
pedal. Honestly I haven't figured it out yet. I usually just
compensate by turning up the amp. Does the same thing happen
if you plug a guitar into it? It might need a trip to the
shop. Also, consider looking into some sort of pre-amp that
will boost the instrument before it gets to the pedal.
I've never met any of those guys but I love Gibbs playing.
That band with Frisell and Ronald Shannon Jackson is great.
Sklar has a beautiful concept of simplicity but I don't have
many records that he's on. I'm not too familiar with Weiss.
I'm not a big fan of the Ween band stuff. But who can argue
with the Butthole Surfers?
Name: Christopher James Bish
Comments: Hey man, what where your views on FNM? I know they
where kinda sucky in the late 80's but didn't it get better
as it went along? Also, is Patton a bit of a control freak?
Does he ever annoy you by telling you or other members of
Fantomas what to do all the time?
1)I was never a big fan. I thought the most interesting thing
about them was what Patton added, but it's also hard for
me to listen to that stuff objectively. I hear the guys voice
so much that its not something I want to put on at home.
I'm sure I never would have heard a note if it weren't for
him being in the band. Actually I kinda like that record
with Chuck singing.
Name: Fuzzy McSlash
Comments: Hey Trevor,
I was eating a McDonalds cheeseburger a few days ago and
thinking of the impending Fantomas tour, and I was just wondering
- Does fast food taste really different in other countries?
Ie - Does Americas McDonalds and KFC taste totally different
over here in Australia?
I stopped eating fast food while I was in high school. I
used to go to Burger King for lunch all the time. Then I
started to feel ill afterwards and I haven't touched the
shit since. I think it's horse crap and I think monoculture
sucks. However, I must admit that I love In N Out Burgers
in California. Technically it's fast food but it's actually
Comments: Have you heard the new Meshuggah? Also, Jason Brown
(ex Hank Willaims) says hi.
yes, I just got "I" as well as the new one. I like
it. It's weird.
Please pass on a "hello" to Jason for me. Cheers.
Name: mr coffee
Comments: Hello there, it cant be true our summer festival
will host Fantomas!Loads of fans are coming!Well,the correct
name of the location is
"Parco di St. Agostino" - noticed a mistake
in the gigs page. My question is: do you prefer to be honoured
with a bottle of italian wine or weed after the concert?
all the best!
Well, I guess you didn't show up cuz it took me so long to
answer this question. My answer would have been "both" but
as it stands, I'm eating Amaranth cereal and drinking passion
Comments: hey trevor. i saw trio convulsant at the hemlock
in SF last year, and i thought it fucking ruled. saw you
guys again at the fillmore this year, and i thought the large
room really killed the vibe of the music. couldn't feel the
performance at all. i came to the conclusion that a 3-piece
playing (mostly) acoustic instruments and dynamic arrangements
is probably best experienced in a small room. then i realized
this concept limits your ability to make $$ and i felt guilty.
what are your thoughts on the matter? is trio convulsant
music (consciously or unconsciously) composed for a small
room? p. nus
I completely agree. I think that band makes a lot more sense
in a small room. I almost didn't do those tours (w/Fantomas
and the Melvins) precisely for that reason. But I couldn't
really say no to that kind of exposure. If I had it my way
the trio would play small jazz clubs.
I definitely don't consider room size when I'm writing but,
yes, in general the trio, with acoustic bass would be ideal
in a room that didn't swallow it up.
In terms of the money, a larger crowd doesn't necessarily
affect the opening band--it gets a guarantee. So don't feel
Name: frank del gato
Comments: can i pee in your butt?
You are disgusting. Totally gross, dude. How about I bust
your head open and then dump medical waste into your gapping
Have you ever been involved in the Faxed Head Crew? Who is
who in the band?
I've never been involved. I'm probably not at liberty to
disclose any information that would subsequently cause certain
associates to feel betrayed or ostracized in anyway therefore
I will refrain from providing you with the necessary information
you have requested. My sincere apologies.
Comments: hey dude
u a fan of squarepusher??
Fan, no. Appreciate some of his work? Yes
Up to May 2005
Comments: I was wondering how you can play upright at such
loud volumes without losing clarity and gaining a lot of
feedback. Is it your pickup or very good positioning of the
That's a problem I have to deal with on a nightly basis.
It often has a lot to do with the room and the positioning.
Every room is different and what the stage is made of, what
the shape of the room is, how low the ceiling is--are all
variable factors. My stage volume isn't usually very loud
to be quite honest, but when I play with my trio, for instance
(probably the loudest I ever play my upright) I use a volume
pedal so I can ride the volume. And I never have bass in
my monitor. In fact, I usually try to have nothing in my
monitor. I don't have the fanciest pick-up (it's an Underwood;
costs about $130) but I've had it for years and I love it.
I always try to get the most natural (un-amplified) sound
possible. I've found that checking my tone while bowing,
and EQ-ing from there works best. Tone is also something
that comes with practice, calluses and finger strength.
Comments: I have a question. I've had a bass for about 7
years but have never lived close to anywhere I can get lessons,
so far I have taught myself everything I know (which is not
that much). I finally got over playing in lame-ass metal
bands and started to search for the weird and wonderful in
music, ... I feel a need to make music for myself that I
am proud of but I have absolutely no understanding of music
theory or anything similar. Can you suggest some approaches,
or texts, that would help me out? ...anything you can offer
can increase my knowledge so I can one day write an entire
piece of music and be musically happy. Thanks.
First off, you should know that you don't necessarily NEED
theory in order to write great music. Your ear is the most
valuable tool you have. I would suggest learning stuff off
recordings. Bass parts, guitar parts, keyboard, whatever.
Start with one song. Or one part of a song that you really
like. Why study something that you are not interested in?
I stopped studying Mozart scores after college (that's what
they MADE me study) and started checking out Shostakovich
and Stravinsky, for example, because that's what I like to
That said, knowing some theory will only make you stronger.
There are a million different books on the subject, some
of which I've mentioned in these pages, but it really depends
on which direction you want to go. Since you mentioned Tomahawk
I'm guessing that you enjoy the stylings of Duane Denison.
He definitely knows his theory. He knows a lot of traditional
country and jazz. Look, why don't you track him down? --he
lives in Nashville-- and ask him for a lesson. I'm not kidding.
It's not impossible.
In the meantime, study the stuff you like. You want to write
a great song? Study the shit out of a great song: it's form,
it's harmony, the shape of it's melody....And start with
a basic theory book. Good luck!
Comments: Trevor, I thought in old MB interviews at least
Mike may have noted he was never a fan of Zappa when asked
of Franks influence. Was Zappa an influence for you back
then? How does it come about that Terry Bozzio becomes the
fill in for Dave in Fantomas this year? (what is the connection,
and who brought him into the band?). Does the band have a
different feel with Terry filling in, or does he just play
A lot of people used to assume that Zappa was an influence
on Bungle. Though we did consider him for producing our first
record he was never really a musical influence. In fact,
I got into Zappa and Beefheart much later, after people told
me that Bungle sounded like they had listened to that stuff.
I still don't really understand why people think that. Maybe
it's the pottie humor. I appreciate him as a musician and
composer but I don't think his style is remotely related
to where Bungle was coming from.
Buzz met Bozzio through a mutual friend so that's the connection.
In my opinion, yes, the feel is completely different. More
on that later....
Comments: I was just wondering, do you ever read music when
you play live? If so, with what groups?
yes, all the time, with lots of different groups. In fact,
I read with most bands that I play with.
Name: Richard Rock
Comments: hi trev. im Rich a musician from a small river
side town called Gravesend in kent,uk. Im known as a very
skillfull guitarist of 15 years and also as a drummer and
electronic music producer. like yourself im into so many
musical styles and could never just make one kind of music
or play just one instrument but im 25 now and getting on
in my years and still have not made it in the music world.
i dont know if i should stick to my guns and hope my multi
skills are noticed one day or just sell out and play some
mindless shit and make some fast cash like every other sucker
in the london rock scene. help me out and advize me trev!
p.s your last fantomas gig at the london astoria was your
best!!! i smoked some sweet sweet green in the crowd and
felt like your rubbling bass was gonna kill me!! i almost
collapsed! nice one!
I would stick it out only if it's something you have to do.
I'm still sticking it out. I have, by no means, "made
it" in the music world. I do it because it's my destiny
and I know it. I mean, you've invested this much time into
it, why stop now? What are you gonna do, work at a bookstore?
By the way, the more sweet green you smoke, the more you'll
sit around wondering what you should do.
Comments: Hey Trevor. Loved the Denver Ipecac show. What
did you think of the
"pre-show" out front? Question. Do you ever think
about the chance of being physically harmed by some psychotic
Mr. Bungle fan. After that whole "Dimebag"
Darrell incident I actually thought of you and Patton quite
a bit, with the whole official Bungle breakup. I've met some
characters who view the first Bungle album as some sort of living,
breathing, vital part of their existence. Jesus, it was almost
15 years ago. Grow
up! Anyway, just wondered if it had ever crossed your mind.
Yeah, Denver. Friends Forever rule! Best show ever (that
I've seen anyway).
So, Dimebag. Yeah, I've met some scary weirdos, but I try
not to piss anyone off precisely for that reason. You never
know who you're crossing. I'm in enough trouble already playing
the music that I play. So, to answer your question, yes...yes
I do think about being physically harmed now and then.
Name: enrique terrones
Comments: howdy. first off im a big fan and would really
appreciate a response, though i understand if there isnt
one. ok with that out of the way.. i used to like incubus,
incubus! i was a little younger and more gulible (give me
a break im 18, revalations are new still). my questions are..
is brandon boyd really a pretentious cocksucker? i know you
played a few shows with them once. you dont have to say pretentious
cocksucker, only if you want.. also i have this home studio
that can put out damn decent quality demos, is 10 - 15 bucks
an hour decent to charge people?
I never met that Incubus guy. But here's a story. One day
he was walking around with some kind of ab-slider machine
or something. You know, working on his abs, keeping that
6-pack. But he was WALKING AROUND with it. Someone asked
him what it was and he told them it was his road managers.
Ha Ha. Right. He liked to take his shirt off a lot.
$10-15/hr is damn cheap. Damn cheap. It's really a matter
of what your time is worth.
Comments: hi trevor. i went to the fantomas's mexico city
show. my brother and i were sitting on the curb outside the
venue and said hi to you through the window and you waved
back...cool. anyway. is it true that you're coming back to
mexico? maybe even to monterrey? a couple questions. what
did you think of the whole mexico city experience? and have
you ever thought of singin/yelling along with playing bass
in a band? you do that a little bit with fantomas, bungle
and even guested with the melvins in that kiss cover song.
what about it?
Me gusta Ciudad de Mexico. Locos. We had a great 36 hours
there. Ate worms and ant eggs. Totally crazy crowd. I hope
we go back, but no plans that I know of.
Yes, I think soon I'll start singing in a band. Some new
concoction. My voice sucks but who cares.
Comments: Hey, i like what you've got going here (and of
course, I am a fan of your music). I think it's great that
you're available to answer questions, in one way or another...so
here are mine:
1) what do you think of two-hand tapping on the bass? I'd
never really encountered it until a freind got me into tech-metal
(specifically 'Only Ash Remains' by Necrophagist), and I'm
curious as to your thoughts on the technique (in general)
2) What do you think of computer music? (When I say computer
music, I mean composers such as Iannis Xenakis, Brad Garton,
Rodney Waschka, David Behrman, Larry Austin, Carla Scaletti,
and so on...)
Thanks for the music!!!
Two hand tapping is soooooo 1988. There are certain things
that can be done tastefully with that technique but not many.
And I really don't think it has anyplace in metal. Especially
on bass. Christ! Fuck that LimpBiskit white funk metal shit.
I don't spend anytime on it. I'm still into the old fashioned
yes, I dig some computer music, but I could almost say the
exact same thing about it. It has to be done carefully to
be good. Xenakis certainly has some great stuff. But again,
I tend to prefer electro-acoustic if I'm going to go that
route. Pierre Henry, Luc Ferrari, etc.....
Name: Jeremy Southern
Comments: Hi Trevor. I recently discovered a musician known
as Magicicada. I noticed that you had a show with him on
March 9th in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I missed it,unfortunatly.
How did that show go? What bands played that night, or was
it a collaboration? Hope to hear from you.......Jeremy.
He did a short set opening up for Shelley and I. Quite nice.
He's from Atlanta.
Comments: I am currently studying post romantic and early
20th music. I was wondering what scales/modes do you like
to use (such as octatonic, whole tone, lydian flat 7, 12
tone serialism or any other synthetic scales). I was also
wondering if you could list a few examples from ANY of your
recorded projects in which you use any of these scales? Thank
you for your time.
yes, I use all that shit whenever appropriate. I'm still
writing that article in Guitar World's Bass Player magazine
and I've talked about some of that stuff in previous issues.
The song Phlegmatics I wrote is based entirely on a 12-tone
row. In Electric Masada I use a couple of klezmer scales
based on the harmonic minor scale (one is like a dorian with
a #4). When it comes to composing I may use any number of
pre-determined scales. Or, like Cecil Taylor says, why not
make up your own scales? Have you checked out Messiaen's
modes of limited transposition?
Name: Olie NcLean
Comments: Hail, segnor Trevor, I love your work, particularly
the naturalism you sometimes achieve amidst the context of
cerebral devices. The question I would most like to ask of
you would be: When composing, do you write best for an ensemble,
or do you write music that you adapt to the capacities/strengths
of the ensemble? Furthermore, what sort of ensemble (Size?
Instrumentation?) do you write best with/for?
It's often easier to have an ensemble and even specific players
in mind. I don't mean easier, I just mean you know what you're
writing for--maybe it's easier to imagine. Anyway, my ideas
usually start with a specific ensemble in mind. However,
I also write down any idea that comes to mind and apply them
later. Sometimes one gets bogged down by orchestration before
the ideas are solidified. On the contrary, sometimes one
gets bogged down by notes before the concept is solidified.
As I educated myself and grow more confident the idea of
the expanding ensemble appeals to me. Right now I mostly
deal with small (2-6 piece) groups. Any instrumentation I
decide to use is comfortable as long as I know the limits.
Blatter's orchestration book is a must-have.
Comments: Hey Trevor,
have you ever tried using gov't grants to get your music
off the ground? i know people like zorn have used them to
get started, and playing the kind of music that you do, you're
completely aware of the damn near impossibility of paying
rent and touring at the same time. If you have any suggestions,
this starving artist would love to hear them!
Sadly, I have no experience in grants. It's something worth
diving into though. I know people to are grant careerists.
I like the idea of the ones that allow you to work in residence
abroad. Let me know what you find out!
Name: L. Ignacio Rojas
Comments: Hello Trevor:
My name is Ignacio and I’m from Mexico... I would like to
ask you a couple of things. First, somehow, some of you (you
and I think M. Patton) seem to be attached to the surrealism
aesthetics, I would like to know what is your personal approach
to it, do you feel that your music has a like with Lautreamont,
Breton or Daly and Buñuel et. al. or do you think that surrealism
is for you a truly theoretical premise for the development
of your own music? I ask this because your own statements
about Breton and maybe because Mr Bungle music sometimes
sounded to me like a soundtrack of Daly paintings and Fantomas
music like the soundtrack for a Baudelaire poem I guess.
Second, mmm, I read that you have a Mexican friend and that
you like Mexican food and that you are trying to learn Spanish.
M Patton talks quite good Spanish, even Mexican Spanish I
would say, and I saw on the Ipecac site a picture of Fantomas
on the studio with a Mexican flag, so I would like to ask
you, what is your relationship with
“Mexicanship”, so to speak, music or art maybe, don’t know,
for example, in California album there was a pretty obvious
Bossa Nova kind of music, so perhaps, is there something
that you like from Mexican culture? If not, forget about
it, maybe it is my own wonderings. Well, thank you very much
if you take the time to read and answer all this. Never change.
I'm not sure if there is a direct link between my affinity
of surrealist art and my creative output of music. I can
only say that I find most subversive art appealing. It's
hard to say how I might translate looking at an Ernst collage,
or reading an Aragon essay, for example, into a song structure.
It's really just a mentality. I like things that don't make
sense. I like symbolism and metaphor.
I have taken the time to research the actual movements of
Surrealism and Dadaism and though I don't agree with or love
everything about them, I think there are some historical
similarities. Turbulent times birthing frustration, angst
As a Mexican you should know that Bossa Nova originated in
Brazil, si? Anyway, I grew up in California. Lots of Mexicans.
I decided to try to learn some Spanish. I love lots of kinds
of foods, Mexican being one of them. I'm also a big fan of
Chavela Vargas. And, of course, pienso que latinas son muy
caliente! Ay! Que rica! Viva la raza!
Comments: Hello Mr. Dunn, If possible, could you please answer
the following questions? :
a) Do you know anything about the twelve tone technique,
dodecaphony? (I ask because I am interested in becoming a
b) Do you belive in forgiveness?
a)If you want to know about twelve-tone music I suggest checking
out the guy who came up with it: Arnold Schoenberg. And while
your at it, two of his students: Alban Berg and Anton Webern.
Schoenberg was pretty strict about this technique and both
of these students took his teachings to their own unique
levels. Webern's scores, in fact, are great for studying
b)yes. But I still have a hard time not holding grudges and
grinding my teeth all through the night.
Name: Mike Doherty
Comments: My question is; You've made a career of playing
alot of music that really stretches the art form. While I'm
certainly not familiar with your entire discography, and
in an effort not to pigeon-hole you as an "avant-garde"
musician by any means, I wonder, are you at all into anything
that could coarsely fall into the "singer-songwriter" catagory?
I know you've recorded with Tom Waits, and you also write
poetry. Is this type of music something that still, if ever,
yes it does. I find the "traditional song form" a
challenge in itself. It's simplicity, it's story-telling,
it's succinctness. One of these days I'll get paid shitloads
of money for writing great songs that generations will whistle
to and re-record. The publishing money will come raining
down. Until then I'll keep singing Willie Nelson songs to
my girlfriend in the privacy of our 400 sq.ft. apt.
Name: Thom Krone
Comments: Trevor, I picked up the Trevor Dunn / Shelley Burgen
duet CD and I am blown away - I know that you are based on
the East Coast and all of your shows with her have been that
way, but I was wondering if you are planning on hitting Denver
with her, because I am in love with the tunes. Also I got
a question about Electric Masada - are we going to get a
real studio album from those guys (I mean you were bragging
about the Masada II songbook not too long ago - lucky bastard,
I can only imagine) and hopefully some type of tour? Also
now that Mr. Bungle is dead - I bet you are happy to get
on with your life and quit being pestered about Bungle questions
(when is the new album coming out? are you touring? will
you guys cover "Afternoon Delight"? how about playing
my bar mitzvah?, so is it a relief or are you being hounded
by "why don't you get back together queries?" now?
Hope that this finds you well and that everything is going
fine in your own little world.
Shelley and I don't have any immediate plans to get to Denver.
We did a tour of the South East last year and are planning
on releasing one of the shows. Thanks for liking it!
I believe that Electric Masada may work on a studio record
at the end of this year. No promises.
Bungle is dead and I'm happy about it. Someday I'll publish
a book of our history with never before seen photos, all
the dirty facts, and maybe a disc of unreleased tracks. Until
then, you need to stop thinking about it.
Comments: hey trevor, I was really happy i got to see
the trio in detroit. I wanted to ask u something. first have
u ever played a night and the people there just stare at
u cuz they dont get it? cuz my band gets that alot cuz are
sets are one big song. if so what do u do? second if u ever
play detroit again i would love to just sit back and jam
with you. thanks for you music and your time -Jesus-
As someone who has been performing live since 1982 I'd have
to say I've played to MANY audiences that could do nothing
but stare. I've had coins thrown at me, I've been heckled
and snubbed, threatened and spat upon. What do I do? I ignore
it. I focus on the music. If you are distracted your music
will suffer. I'm there to play music--bottom line.
Comments: Hi Trevor ...
1. If I wrote to you via Ipecac Recordings would you send
me a letter back?
2. I have noticed that whilst answering some questions on
this site, you give some people pretty harsh answers ( ie
fuck you, you don't know anything.) Do you ever stop and
think afterwards that these people are big fans of yours
and it might seriously bum them out to get an answer like
that from you? In ALL seriousness I know that if I got an
answer like 'fuck you' from you I'd be pretty miserable.
Thankyou, hope to see you in Aus shortly :)
1)yes--you can also write directly to my p.o. box. You'd
get a quicker response that way
2)if you read carefully, you dumbfuck, you will notice that
my harsh answers are directed at harsh questions. some people
want to be verbally abused and it's all in good fun anyway.
People who ask me serious, thoughtful questions tend to get
answers that attempt an equal quality. So get off your fucking
high-horse... No, I'm kidding. I appreciate any and all inquiries,
responses, feedback and attention. Believe me, I really do.
Plus it's super easy to sit here behind my computer, staring
at a bunch of text and be completely impersonal. It also
helps to get out my aggressions and keep from grinding my
teeth all night. I honestly don't think you'd be miserable
if I said "fuck you". Maybe to your face; that
might actually hurt your feelings. Are you, like, 12?
Comments: Im trying to start an ethnic, klezmer, balkan,
eastern european project but im having a hard time finding
good recordings and sheet music do you know of any cds books
info etc that might help me ?
I don't get it. Where have you heard this music? Well, anyway,
there are TONS of recordings. Any decent record store would
have klezmer, and balkan sections. Sheet music is another
question because most of that stuff is considered "folk" music.
In other words it isn't high-brow composed music. Also a
lot of it is actually improvised over traditional forms that
have been passed down aurally over the years. There are klezmer
fake books so that you could learn certain chord progressions
and melodies as you would a jazz tune. Some smart-alecs,
like Bartok, actually transcribed stuff. He has volumes of
Hungarian melodies that you might be able to find in a public
library. Also, I know that here in Brooklyn, on Atlantic,
there is a Middle Eastern music store that has sheet music--so
I would suggest "specialty" stores like that. Sorry
I can't be more specific
Name: Roger Doger
Comments: Cronenberg or Verhoven? What do you think of Kubrick?
Oh, man I love Cronenberg. Damn Canadian. And who can argue
with Clockwork Orange or 2001? I mean, you just can't argue.
But then there was that Tom Cruise pile of crap. You know,
Tom Cruise is gay and the Scientologists have video footage
of him with a young boy. They've got him by the balls, so
to speak. i don't understand why he can't just be gay. I
mean, will his career really suffer that much? It's not like
he needs the money.
Comments: Hi Trevor, at the age of 28 i'm wondering if what
i'm doing now makes sense -like most probably do. i've had
bands till about 5 years ago, made lots of music and then
cut it down because of a) not finding musicians here in munich,
b) because of my jobs in conceptual design. ever since i'm
missing the singing and the bands. i think i'm a band kind
of person -can't discipline myself to do songs alone but
with a band i could practice 16 hours a day, still being
enthusiastic. now why i'm writing is because i'm not sure
of if all i'm saying is an excuse for not having the 'drive'
to get music done by myself or because i really need the
people. does one necessarily have to be able to do it all
by himself, too? And nr. 2 is if it's all about the people
you work with -are there local differences concerning music
scenes? If i want to go back to singing and do nothing else
than that, does it make sense to relocate, and if yes, where
to? (i would go anywhere) (and no, we don't have open stages,
much life music here in munich..) why i'm writing is i'm
trying to figure out if i'm blaming the city and missing
people for the missing drive (which i never felt missing
when in a band) in me or if the reasons could be true and
if yes what to do against. it feels as if i'd be missing
my life as long as i'm not singing most sincere thanks for
any comments and help,
It may be helpful for you to get out of Munich. Berlin is
happening, right? Or New York City, of course. Many cities
go through flux. San Francisco is classic for that. There
are waves of energy and then dry spells of transition. Plus,
Munich, like SF, is actually quite small so I think finding
a place where there are like-minded people and where there
is more competition would be a positive move on your part.
I mean, what's more important to you, the city of Munich,
or not "missing your life"?
Name: wayman tisdale
Comments: Y'know that new Fantomas song that goes "se-ha-me-ha...se-ha-me" or
whatever? You guys attempted it a 2 times before Patton jokingly
yelled "It's in four!!!" I didn't notice anything
wrong with the first 2 attempts. I am a musical-thoery-retardendo
but is it safe to say that what makes it such a mind-fuck
is the fact that the vocals overlap somehow? When I
listen to it in headphones I try to just do the picking hand(bass)
I find I have to ignore the vocals to even come close to
getting it right. How do you tacklethis chunk of Patton-genius?
Dumb question I know.
Ok, firstly, it's not really that "genius". I have
a problem with that term....Anyway, the riff I think you
are referring to is actually in 7/4 not 4/4. Patton doesn't
really know the difference even though he wrote it. When
we played this tune in Montreal I became distracted by the
ghost on stage (I'm not kidding) and started playing the
thing in 6/4. Stupid poltergeist. It would have been fine
to continue but one certain band leader had the need to ridicule
me on stage. Oh well. So, I just play along with the sample
which is also in 7, and I don't really bother listening to
the vocals. I can't recall whether they actually overlap
But since you mention it, there certainly are times when
I have to block out someone else's part in order to stay
solid, especially when polyrhythms are involved. Incidentally
there are few, if any, polyrhythms in Fantomas. Odd meters,
yes; Tempo changes, yes; but no polyrhthms.
Name: Happiness 3.14159...
Comments: In the true spirit of being REDUNDANT...
Have you seen Sin City? Would Fantomas make another Director's
Cut record just with themes from Sin City? Will Mr. Bungle
release a greatest hits album i.e. a Girls of Porn single?
I saw Sin City twice. Jessica Alba rules. She's my new Britney.
Fantomas will most likely never repeat a concept. Mr Bungle
will not release a greatest hits album, mostly because we
never had any.
Comments: Appreciate this little site you have going here.
Anytime a web page has a black-colored background, I can
only feel a sense of pride that my black t-shirt wardrobe
is enabled by such
a worthwhile symbiosis of music and color.
1. Where do you get the inspiration for your song titles?
2. Who gets the more desperate groupies; Fantomas or the
3. Would you ever sing on your own records, just to piss
1)Song titles come to me all the time. I hear them, read
them, or just think them up. I have a huge list of them waiting
for the appropriate music. 2)The only groupies I have EVER
seen are lanky, pimply teenage boys. Patton gets a lot which
is fine with me; while he's signing autographs I can sneak
behind onto the bus and put my pajamas on. The trio gets
total weirdo jazzbos who want to give us free pens. I have
never in my life witnessed a "desperate" groupie.
Lucky me. 3)I will sing on my own record someday but it will
be for artistic reasons. If I wanted to piss off Patton I
would put his phone number and address on this website. I
could do it, you know...
Name: Chad Mckinney
Comments: First off I'd like to say thank you for all the
music... I have a question about a fantomas show I saw about
a year ago in austin texas at stubbs. During the middle of
the show everyone went off stage, then you and buzz came
out and starting droning on a powerchord for what seemed
about 3 minutes , then mike and dave came out and started
playing something I
had never heard. I thought it was going to be on the new
fantomas album (which kicks ass by the way) but its not.
So I was wondering if you wrote it, or if it was cut or maybe
it was a cover? also, if you could pick one composer in all
of time to study with alive or dead, who would it be and
1)that's a Fantomas song that has never been put on a record.
We did record it but I guess Patton didn't want to put it
on either of the last two CDs. It has the working title "Trance".
2)hmmmm. great fucking question, man. Best question ever
in the history of my website. You win the prize. My first
thought is Messiaen because he was a great educator who produced
a lot of great composers and I love just about every piece
he's ever written. Or I'd possibly say Ravel. Incredible
orchestrator. Those French guys and their orchestration....
Comments: now i remember! do you know where to find the "FireCracker" movie
w/patton? forgive me for asking about someone else on your
site, i know its, rude.
Damn straight it's rude. You can kiss my ass. I don't know,
don't care, don't want to see it, don't care if you see it,
don't care what you think about it if you do see it.
Comments: 1.do you paint or do any other art form besides
music? if so, ide love to see whatever it might be. (maybe
post some up on this site?) thanks for your time -wade-
I was actually into drawing even before music. I still do
it once in a while and I flirt around with water colors and
what not. I won't be posting any of it. I don't have time
to refine it as a craft. It's just a personal past-time.
Comments: Maybe you can't answer this but I'll ask anyway:
it seems to me that Ipecac CDs smell different than any other
CD i buy. Do you know why that is? Is there some additive
they throw into the CDs before packaging? Thanks. Come back
to Canada soon.
You are absolutely right. I cannot answer that question.
Name: Don Pettit
Comments: my question is...What are your thoughts of doing
a bass playing instructional video??...cause yer definately
a little far away and too busy to take on another student,
hahaha, if you DO end up doing one I'd definately pick one
up, cause really...if you can learn from yer main influence,
what more can you ask for!
I thought about doing one, but it would be more about fire
and butoh dance then about playing the bass. I would be holding
the bass all wrong and teaching really bad habits and there
would be sand, and paper lamps and candies. I'd have midgets
cutting me with knives and hot chicks snorting cocaine. Then
some monkeys would come out and do their thing. And I'd be
like, yeah man, check out this festered 9th chord. Then I'd
say, here's lick #43 and I'd play something totally vague
and horrible. And Spiderman would be in the corner with a
milkshake. Thanks for buying it in advance!
Comments: Hey Trevor, i play guitar, and recently got a bass
just to mess around, i have really gotten into bungle in
the past week and i'm seeing fantomas this saturday, haha
i have the dumbest question ever, well 2,
1) can we meet up after the show, maybe show me a thing or
two about bass seeing as i love it more than guitar, but
i'm decently good at guitar (i'm definately not expecting
an answer on these, or a yes, on account of it's 2 days from
now, and that's just a dumb question)
2)i like bass more, as i've said, and i was wondering how
long until i can become a pretty decent bassist, my friend
has been playing for 2 years, and he can play any primus
song, and he's a "slap god" he can hold a conversation
playing just about any primus song... Thanks
1)Well, I'd would have been happy to meet up and talk bass.
Unfortunately that time has long passed. These questions
go up, then they get sent to me, then they sit around for
a while, then it takes me about a week to answer each question.
But I'm pretty approachable out there in the real world.
2)I would think that just about any half-wit could hold a
conversation whilst pooping out a Primus "bass line".
I'm not into that poppy poopy stuff. My first piece of advice
would be to not waste anytime learning it. If you want to
hear some real slapping check out Larry Graham. How long
it takes just depends on how much time you put in and how
good you want to get. I think hitting your instrument at
least a little bit EVERY DAY will show quick results.
A lot of what makes a bass player good has to do with his/her
compatibility with the drummer (or other instruments). So
just sitting around playing DRUMS on the bass won't get you
a lot of gigs. Ok ok, Les can play some tricky stuff while
talking over it. Who cares? Heard it back in the 80s. Done
Name: zack crackerjack the mack
Comments: hey what made you want to write music over doing
something eles in life?
I'm not sure. At a young age I just knew I didn't want a
9-5 job and I wanted to be in a band like KISS (When I was
10 I wanted to be in a band that was bigger than KISS by
the time I was 12). The more I got into it, the more I knew
I made the right choice and had endless things to learn.
Comments: I've been playing bass for about 10 years, and
I have never taken a music lesson in my life, I've taugh
myself how to play mainly by ear, so do you think that after
10 years of playing I need to take lessons? or should I just
keep learning by ear? Thanx for your time, Un gran admirador
de su trabajo.
It depends. You may find that by taking a lesson a whole
new world will open up to you. Why NOT take a lesson? I still
take them, if for no other reason than the humility/inspiration.
Can you teach yourself more just by ear? Probably. Will it
hurt to take a lesson? Doubtful. What would you ask a teacher?
You may want to go into a lesson with a few specific requests.
Y Gracias por sus admiracion.
Comments: Hi Trevor. I'm a bass player and big fan of Bungle,
Fantomas, and what little i've heard of your solo work. What
do you think of Buckethead? Do you know him? Any possible
collaborations? Also, what's the difference between a duck?
I think Buckethead knows how to play the guitar. I just wish
he'd do something less cheesy. I do know him. I know who
he is. Does that make you want to touch me? The difference
between a duck is it's bone structure.
Name: Random Fan
Comments: Hey Trevor, I just wanted to say I drove down to
Phoenix from Vegas to see the show you played on the 31st
with Fantomas and Trio Convulsant and it was fantastic. In
my opinion Trio Convulsant stole the show, I was amazed with
some of the stuff you all did with your instruments. Anyway
I had a question, It sounded like you did a few songs that
were not on Sister Phantom Owl Fish, is there any way you
would remember what they were and how I could get a hold
of a recording of them? They were very good. Thanks for your
time, and for putting on an awesome show.
Thanks for your comments. The other songs we played were
from my first trio-convulsant record. They were "Ann-Margret" and "Equation
of the Found Object". Apparently that record is difficult
to find. I think you can still find it on line...
Comments: I saw trio convulsant open for Fantomas last night,
and have to say I enjoyed the trio more! There was something
very new and 'modern' about the style. It may just be that
I listen to too much King Crimson, but there were several
moments that it came to mind while listening to your show.
Would you guys say that Fripp is an influence at all?
He is but not in the way you might think. Well, I was really
into that Discipline record but other than that, Fripp has
some pretty intense theories on technique. He's really into
efficiency of movement and not wasting energy. I've used
some of his methods in my own left hand technique.
Comments: Sister Phamtom Owl Fish... Random words that sound
good together? Or is there a meaning? Do you have any special
feelings on... randomness? (now I know why I've never asked
a question here.) What are your thoughts on people who seem
to only be at shows to take pictures? I saw the show in Austin
last night- fantastic!- and, at times I felt that I was in
a sea of cameras. Does it break your concentration to have
all those flashes in your face?
The title is taken from a surreal novella. The camera thing
doesn't usually bother me. I rarely even notice the audience.
I just concentrate on the music. I'm not sure what people
do with those pictures. Do they look at them?
Name: Jason Boswell
Comments: have you found pitch harmonics on bass to be usefull
in any situation at all? Thanks for your time.
I'm not sure what you mean by the word "pitch".
All harmonics have pitch. I usually just refer to them as
either natural harmonics or artificial harmonics (which are
not actually artificial). But to answer your question, yes,
I use harmonics all the time especially on upright where
I find them rich and colorful and particularly "vocal" when
played with the bow. I probably use this technique most often
Comments: Hello there Trevor. 'Sister Owl Fish'... Any relation
to Topol's 'City Sister Silver'? What a great novel. Anyways,
I'm a sucker for tracking down literary references. One more
thing: Are you a Pynchon fan by any chance?
There's a "phantom" in there....No relation to
Topol but it IS a literary reference. Keep looking! Not a
Pynchon fan. I tried to read Vineland twice and failed.
Comments: Hey trev. There's this girl at my work that I'm
trying to get to like me, but she isn't responding (at least
not the way I'd like, nudge, nudge, wink, wink...). I thought
since you're a wack job like her you might have some useful
love advice. Ever done anything crazy to impress a girl,
other that being a brilliant musician?
Jesus, yeah, ME with the love advice. I would say, just be
yourself. Either you're attractive to her or your not. Actually,
stay away from girls, they're just a distraction from practicing.
When I was a kid I used to play Evel Knievel and build a
ramp to jump Big Wheels with my bicycle. Once this girl came
by and I tried to impress her with my finesse. Unfortunately
I got over-excited and in mid-air pulled on the handle bars
too much. I ended up flat on my back on the asphalt crying
like a baby.
Name: Matthew Muad'Dib
Comments: have you ever masturbated to phantoms at three
in the morning near a Colorado lakeside?
Phantoms don't really get me off. They kinda scare me actually.
But lakes! Now there's somethin'...
Comments: heres a good question...have you heard of the band
Gruvis Malt? if you have, what do you think of them?
No, that's a pretty awful question.
Comments: Hey, Trevor. I was curious as to how the writing
process for Fantomas's Delerium Cordia was done. It says
Mike Patton wrote all the material, but i have a hard time
believing that. Did you have any say as to how this album
was put together?
Well, you better believe it cuz it's true. And no, I had
nothing to do with the writing, arranging or sequencing.
I just play the bass, man.
Comments: I am really curious how is groups like secret chiefs,
mr bungle and such that you organize the music. Do you notate
all the parts? Some of your music seems to complicated to
just teach each other parts. I am very curious. Thanks
Sometimes notated music was passed around; usually if it
was a particularly difficult part to memorize. Other stuff
was just taught to each other, or worked out in the rehearsal
studio. Some stuff was completely arranged by one person.
And yet other things were realized on the fly in the recording
studio. No formula really.
Comments: Trevor, What effects do you use for live situations
and in the studio? Also, why does poop stink? Answers to
these question's would bring a certain amount of closure
in my life.
Live I just use distortion, some reverb on occasion, and
once in a while some wah. In the studio it's generally the
same but it depends. With Bungle I hardly used any effects.
With Fantomas I use tons of crap in the studio. Most other
stuff I do is effects-less. Poop stinks because it's got
bad stuff in it. If you get any of it in your system you
could get really sick and even die. Shit is bad. That's why
it's important to get it out of you and to avoid it. The
stink is a warning sign to stay away.
Name: mel adams
Comments: trevor, do you have the munty clown duck?
No. What is that? A Korn action figure?
Comments: bitch, what are your prog rock influences?
Rush: Moving Pictures and Permanent Waves. Too bad I stopped
listening to that stuff in the 8th grade.
Comments: After reading your Q & A, I have the following
1) Even at his advanced age, Ivan Koloff and anybody could
kick the ass of you and 20 Patton's, christ the MAN DEFEATED
BRUNO SAMMARTINO FOR GODSAKES!!
Also, Koloff will not job (lose) for you, Bob is trying to
set you up to get your ass kicked. Do not trust Bob. Hit
him with a chair the first time
he turns his back on you.
2) I have the PLOP you need. What's in it for me?
3) Do you mind if I put some of your Bungle master tapes
on ebay? Not all of them, just most. I'll kick you a %. Hell,
you're 3000 miles away, Bungle is
dead, YOU DON'T NEED THEM!!! Mom needs closet space for my
stuff. So you don't mind?
4) When will Bungle get back together? Think someday all
the members of Bungle, The Melvins, and Fantomas will get
together with Tom Waits for a collaboration and if so, will
they come to Portugal?
5)I am sure knowing me as you do that you know that the only
good Chili Peppers song I ever heard was Weird Al's Flintstone
parody (which that idiot Flea didn't like)--why all the CP
hate? Good story there?
6) I will rule you in Norwegian Flipperball. Best 2 0f 3,
loser's woman no longer gets to be called Shelly. Game?
7) I see your fave drummers, bands, bassists---NO FUCKING
KISS MENTIONED ANYWHERE---THE BAND THAT INSPIRED ME TO PLAY
GUITAR WHICH IN TURN INSPIRED YOU (That's right, it's all
about me) REMEMBER SPITTING UP FAKE BLOOD IN OUR ROOM FROM
THE JOKE HOUSE? (Still there by the way) YOU LITTLE SHIT
YOU HAVE LOST YOUR WAY WHERE ARE YOUR ROOTS? Damn, I'm glad
I don't know KISS personally cuz the guys you put over them...EMBARRASSING!!
KISS WAS THE FIRST CONCERT YOU EVER SAW (Thanks to me again)
KISS RULES DAMN YOU!!!! BEG FORGIVENESS!!!! I DON'T CARE
IF THEY ARE 50!!!! THEY STILL RULE ALL!!!!!
8) Do you think someday that Bungle might reunite and tour
9) When it comes to deep philosophical questions, please
come to me in the future. I can help. First came the UFOs.
Then the chickens, which were one of the many species left
by the UFOs. Then the egg. By the way, the chicken crossed
the road cause he couldn't circle it.
10) What is with all this talk about your ass? And does Mike
Patton know Felix? That could be a match.
11) I heard a rumor that Bungle was going to reunite with
Felix replacing Trey. Any truth to that?
Ladies and gentleman, my brother.
Yes, it's true it's true! Troy, you're the reason I started
playing bass. There. Happy? You and that damn 45 of Detroit
Rock City. By the way, who got you Andre the Giant's autograph,
Comments: Hi hi hi again, old friend. Or not. I was just
curious as to your thoughts on artists like Heinonymous Bosch,
Louis Wain, and variousother psychotic art would be.
Bosch rules. Way before ANYONE. Speaking of psychotic, what
about Adolf Wolfli? All artists are psychotic to some degree.
1) What exactly was Lombardo's mistake at the end of the
London Astoria gig the other night? I sure as hell didn't
notice it! (great gig by the way)
2) What Kurzweil did you use on California? (you guys are
completely insane for doing that album on analog!) Cheers
duder, tonight's discovery (of this website) will make me
happy for a long time, and trying to play the Dead Goon line
will keep me BUSY for a long time!
p.s. i'm starting to practice like hell so i can be you for
a one off bungle covers gig. we'll probably make the effort
to dress up with masks and
silly clothes and whatnot, so what should i wear??! it doesn't
have to be something you've worn, just something YOU say
i should wear! (i don't care how ridiculous, so long as i
can still move and see my hands!) thanks again you utter
1)I seem to remember that Lombardo forgot about the tag at
the end of the song.2)We used the K2500. Yes we were STUPID
to do that record analog. 3)You should dress up like Britney
Spears dressed up like a nun.
Comments: Hey Trevor, I'm assuming you still write quite
a bit of music, do you have a backlog of stuff that you're
waiting to release? I realize you've released a few already,
would you stick to jazz or do you have "other" stuff
that you'd like to work on and release? Perhaps it's too
difficult to find the proper musicians? Thanks TD, keep up
the great work!
I don't really have a backlog of stuff that's already recorded.
Most of the stuff I record ends up coming out within a year
or so. Although I did a record with Ben Goldberg and Ellery
Eskelin that never came out....In terms of stuff I write:
yes, there are backlogs of backlogs. And it's not about finding
musicians, it's about finding the time.
Name: J. Travis
Comments: A quick gear question; I was told recently that
the secret to your Fantomas tone was that you always run
through a Digitech Whammy shifted an octave down. While this
sounds rather dubious to me, given the clarity of your tone
with the band, I was just curious to hear straight from the
source. Also, Is "Duck" Dunn really your father?
If so, thats just too much seriously gifted bass palying
for one household! Thanks for the excelent site!
No, I don't use a wammy pedal. There is one song on the first
Fantomas cd where I used one but I haven't been using it
live at all. The secret to my tone on those records is simply
that I have a nice P-bass.
"Duck" Dunn is NOT my father, at least not in the
physical sense. But Carol Kaye is my mother.
Comments: Trevor, I met you in '99 in St. Pete FL. You were
sitting out side the state theater reading a book about Willie
Nelson. That was a cool moment for me. I just wanted to say
thanks for changing my musical views forever and educating
me on the value of energy. If you ever answer any more qusetions
please answer these two.....how long was the recording process
for SC3 "First Grand Constitution and By-laws"???
Have you heard the new stuff Trey has put out "Book
of horizons" and what do you think???
I have no idea how long Trey spent on "1st Grand...." My
role was basically getting together with him and Danny and
improvising. Little did I know a cd would come out of it.
Haven't heard BOH.
Comments: what reading materials, movies, refreshing beverages
would you use if people had been following you around agressively
hypothosising (lieing) about you for five years.
Hmmmm. I don't think they'd be any different than what I
would read, watch or drink if people weren't lying about
me. I don't think I would care. I don't think they would
Comments: G'day from Australia Trevor.....Earlier this afternoon,
I attended a workshop hosted by Clinton(Bär) McKinnon, and
forgot to ask him the question I've been so longing the answer
for. What are your eating habits before playing a gig and
why? Fruit? Pasta? Peanuts? Sushi? Other? I'm dying to know.
As long as I can get SOMETHING to eat, which is not always
the case, I'm fine. I wouldn't say I have any particular
habit in that department other than trying not to constantly
eat the shit that is back stage: i.e. potato chips, cheese,
processed meat by-products, beer...
Comments: Reeeeeeeeeeeespect...good show at the markethall
there......but why only 1 tiny little innocent extra song???...do
you hate germany soooo much???....
yeah, I'm not a big fan of Germany. But, regardless of what
I think, I don't decide what or how long to play on Fantomas
Name: jeff malone
Comments: Trevor do you still have the nh licence plate "bungle" I
sent to you 4 years ago? I want it back. Jeff Malone
It's somewhere. You can't have it. I think I'm going to give
it to Buzz so he can decorate his bathroom with it.
Name: Gaga Yaba
Comments: Just wondering if you were a fan of Mr. St Hamm
and or Victor Wooten?
absolutely not. I hate that showboating, over-thought, soulless
NOODLING. It's not the bass. It's not music. It's utter acrobatics.
I started playing music partially in order to get away from
those jock-strap apes. Fuckers.
Name: NATHAN WILLIAMS
Comments: um mr dunn ... didu ever try yoga and did u like
I tried it once. It hurt. I didn't like it. Now I'm fat.
Comments: Hi Mr. Dunn,
I'd like to buy my first upright but the thing is I'm a lefthanded;
so what's my options considering the fact that I'll probably
would not be able to sell it years later?
Why are you worried about selling it? Are you planning on
quitting before you've actually started? I don't know how
many lefty bassists there are out there, but I'm sure there
are a handful. You're not THAT much of a freak. Maybe you
should just buy a good bass and not sell it.
Comments: TREVOR do you know where I can find any Bungle
tabs/sheet music (other than CV)?
I sure don't. No books were ever published. No one cared.
Maybe you should transcribe it yourself and then publish
Comments: I noticed that at the geek show in december last
year, you and a few of the other guys were using line 6 effects.
I know they are extremely versatile pedals, but i've heard
they are prone to breaking down and their customer
"service" is pretty shitty. Before i blow $600
(australian) on these puppies, i wanted an opinion from you
as to how they go on the road.
you are right. I have been using Line6 pedals and they ARE
prone to breaking. One of the "stomp buttons" came
off mine and it's impossible to put it back on. I've also
heard from other people that they've had problems. Other
than that I haven't had much trouble. I like what they do
but I'm not really one to endorse ANY product.
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