For some reason I spent the better part of my 30s
answering questions from people I don't know. I tried
to answer the serious questions seriously because I
believe in pedagogy. I also know how hard it is to be
a self-employed musician. That said, I'm a horrible
teacher, I'm still trying to figure out this career
thing myself, and I rarely know what I'm talking
about. As time went on, the questions became more
inane and people starting asking about things I
already answered. Patience grew thin. Spending my
Monday mornings deleting text is not my idea of a good
constitutional, which is why I just can't do it
anymore. Here, for your enjoyment, are the archives
from that less than nostalgic era.
Name: Sancho Ramirez Presley Un Dia De Cuidado
Comments: I don't know whether you stopped answering
questions or not,
but me and a buddy were wondering if Fantomas plays
Philly, like the
Electric Factory or the Trocadero or somethin? The
other question is what
happened to Metallica? What happened to them? It's so
don't understand. Trevor Dunn! Trevor Dunn thank god
you're here, all of
us down here are worried sick about Metallica, it
doesn't look like
they're going to make it, does it?! Be straight with
me Dunn, they're just
not going to make it are they?
As of today, June 3, 2007, I have no idea what the
plans of Fantomas are. Since I have no new music to
learn I can safely say that it will be at least a
couple years before we are on the road again if ever.
By then I'll be in my 40s and too old to leave the
I remember when I thought Metallica was something new.
Hmmm, let's see...that was about 1982. Master of
Puppets was the last record I ever paid any attention
to. And that movie? The Monster Mash one? Goodness.
I always figured they were idiots but that film just
sealed the deal. I laughed harder than I did the
first time I saw Spinal Tap.
Comments: I was listening to some of the old Mr.
Bungle demos (i.e.
"Goddamnit I Love America!" and "OU818") and realized
that you got a
really decent slap-bass sound for a home recording.
Our band has a talented
slap-bassist(??), but I can never get that tone to
sound right on home
recordings. I was wondering how you got your bass to
sound so decent on
those old demos?
ok, it's 2007. Stop slapping. GILA was recorded in
an "8 track studio" complete with an engineer and
everything. OU818 in a 16-track joint. I had shit
gear back then. My bass was pretty good though--some
kind of Ibanez. It had nice fat frets. I'm pretty
much a believer that gear has very little to do with
one's tone. And if you want me to recall more details
from 15 years ago then you'll have to buy my a double
Comments: Hey trevor!!Any plans on releasing any books
dvds on the rise
and fall of mr bungle! does any early mr b speed
metal days exist on
video camera, i would love to see you young sprogs
tearing it up when
you were so young! must have been fun times!
No real plans. Vague concepts drifting in and out of
my brain which is partially cloudy with senility,
fears about losing my virility and a growing desire to
I have my doubts about early video footage. No one
really gave a shit.
Comments: Hi. How are you going to support yourself
once you are 70
years old? Sorry to frighten you.
yeah, thanks. I heard a rumor that I have no reason
to doubt which is Max Roach lives in poverty in an
assisted living home in the Bronx. Max Fucking Roach
dude. There is a reason that many musicians never
retire. They can't. They live hand to mouth until
they're eating their last meal. I don't know why I
should be any different. I guess I need to get rich.
Or have some kids who will get rich. Hey, a lot can
happen in 30 years.....
Comments: Hey Trevor I love your music and am really
into your trio &
mr. bungle right now. I was wondering if it's
possibly for you to
randomly name a song for me? it's for my group called
wait a ho chi minute.
thanks & I hope to see you in michigan someday.
Tombs of Limbless Grief
Comments: I have a question for you based upon your
Your comment: "If you don't love what you do, what's
the point?" struck
me as the perfect sentiment, but it has to bother you
when bands like
Korn steal from Bungle, turn it into commodity and
get famous. 99 out of
100 people in my area have never heard of Bungle, but
99 out of 100
people have at least heard of Korn. How do you
rationalize it? I ask this
as an artist myself. My work, like yours, is
considered too weird by
many of my friends. So, I'm prepared for the blow,
but with all the work
I've put into this monolith it's going to be tough to
when the masses say that my work is too weird.
I have no doubt that Bungle pioneered some ideas that
were only acknowledged by other musicians who
subsequently got rich and famous. One reason Bungle
never got rich and famous has to do with marketing and
promotion neither of which we had any help with or
were willing to dish out wads of our own cash for.
Maybe if we would have it would have been a good
investment. But I don't think Korn got popular
because of the ideas they stole from Bungle. I still
don't understand why bands like Korn or Slipknot are
popular because there is a level of weirdness with
that stuff. Trying to figure out the fickle nature of
the makings of success is a waste of time. But let's
face it, Bungle is too weird and too goofy for most
people. Bottom line. That's the real reason we never
got rich and famous, and I accepted that reality from
day one. If you want to be accepted by the masses
then you have to give them what they want. I
certainly see nothing wrong with that. Hard work does
not necessarily equal a fat paycheck, or even artistic
merit. In fact, artistic merit can only be defined by
yourself. Whatever you do some people are going to
love it, some will hate it, and the rest won't give a
shit. Accept that now and it'll make your life
Comments: Hey Trevor!
Which do you prefer? Secret Chiefs or Fantomas?!
Considering that I don't play with SC3 (I was only on
one full recording, and did one short tour in '98) I'd
have to say that I prefer playing with Fantomas, but
it's a moot point, and a stupid question too.
Comments: I have two serious questions...well, they're
"serious" but I'm not asking just to joke around and
be an asshole.
Anyway, 1. This just dawned on me: when was the last
time you played slap
bass, whether in a live setting, on record, or in the
privacy of your
own apartment? If it was around the time of the
Bungle tour for the
first album, what happened? How did that transition
occur and why so
quickly? Not that I'm complaining, because thank God
you stopped. Although it
almost seems like you should slap the shit out of the
on Electric Masada. That's some dangerously cheesy
fusion going on
there, buddy. As an aside, how do you feel about
playing the same bassline
for 17 minutes straight? Ok, and 2. Why do so many
people assume you're
gay or joke about you being gay or simply make gay
talking about you?
Oh, and also, I don't understand what Zorn ever saw in
the first Bungle
album. Do you? Was he sort of coaxed into producing
it or did he
really show the desire to do so? How do you feel
about him sampling Everyone
I Went To High School With Is Dead and having two
guitarists shred all
over it and calling it his own composition? I always
thought it was
weird how around the time of the first album, you
guys and him seemed to
be chums and all and then during Disco Volante both
camps seemed to
have distanced themselves from each other somewhat,
considering that the
music on DV is a lot more up Zorn's alley than the
music of the first
Too be honest I slapped a bit on the Heliogabalus
CD--but that had nothing to do with "funk". I guess I
pretty much stopped slapping after the very first
Bungle tour of '92. Once we started venturing into
the material of DV I discovered that the technique was
dead to me. Students still want to learn it and it
takes me a minute because those chops are seriously
dried up. And hey "buddy", it's not called Trevor
Dunn's Electric Masada now is it?
Playing the same bass line for 17 minutes is not a
problem. If that's what I am required to do I can
only assume that the band leader knows what he is
doing. I usually get away with quite a lot of
variation, but believe it or not, it's challenging,
and I like challenges.
I suppose people like to call me gay because I am
effeminate and they are, in fact, gay and want to have
sex with me. But my sexual preference isn't really any
of your business now is it?
Zorn tried to talk us out of having him produce
because he thought we were going for something more
commercial which we assured him we weren't. We payed
him, and he helped us mix. And for the most part, he
was a good referee that put the reigns on us.
I think this "distancing" you speak of was merely a
coincidence. I, for one, have progressively worked
more and more with Zorn since we first met. And
Patton toured with Naked City in the late 90s. Also,
I don't think DV sounds remotely like anything of
Zorn's. As far as the High School sampling--it
doesn't bother me in the slightest. I consider him a
friend and a colleague. If you try to do that, I'll
sue your ass.
Name: dan foley
do you have a heavy admiration for the x files and/or
disneyland? i saw
buzz and david stone in disneyland last year. and
they said it best...
dont trust anyone who doesnt fill with wonderment on
every visit. even
as an adult.
I was into the Xfiles before the stupid movie. I
couldn't agree with Buzz and Stone more, although I
can't be coerced into purchasing an annual membership
like they do. There is a certain McOmnipresence and
consumerphilia that keeps me from giving Walt that
much money. That said, how can you argue with skulls,
ghosts, space travel and cartoons!?
Comments: Hey Trevor! When are you going to do another
Joanna Newsom? I really like the stuff you've done
with her so far, and I
also hope to see you play live with her one day.
Oh I see, you're provoking me. Well, here, let me
give you what you want: Joanna Newsom sucks. Her
voice grates on my nerves, her lyrics remind me of
shit I made up when I was ten and her harp playing is
pedestrian at best. That last record that Van Dyke
Parks arranged would have been great without the harp
or vocals. Oh, and fuck you.
Comments: Hello Good Sir,
Listening to Mr. Bungle has been a huge boost in my
abilities. But there's much to learn and plenty of
questions to ask. So I'll
ask 2. First and foremost: Frank Zappa or Captain
Beefheart? And for
the more bass orient question: I can't seem to write
in 4/4 time, it's
usually 7/8, 9/8, 3/4, you know how it is... does
that have something to
do with listening to way too much Claypool and Larry
Graham... or is it
just my tendency to play with numbers as i spaceout
when i play?
I always appreciated Zappa without really being a fan.
Beefheart, on the other hand, continues to baffle me,
which I love.
Uh, my guess is that Claypool and Graham usually play
in 4/4, especially the latter, but maybe I'm wrong.
First of all, you shouldn't space out when you play,
unless you're a lazy, pot smoking hippie jammy jammer
wearing pajamas. You should concentrate, and be
aware. Secondly, who cares? If you want to play in
4/4 then force yourself to, as in, look at it as a
Name: Duane Edwards
Comments: Mr Dunn,
I don't know if this is the right place for my
inquiry, but I'm gonna
do it anyway. I'm a bassist in the state of Maine
finishing up my
studies in Jazz and Contemporary Music. I'm working
on a term project on
working bass players and their websites. I have a
short list of questions
for you to answer. You can be as brief as you like, I
can assume you get
-How does the website assist you as a working
-What would you consider the most difficult aspect of
being a career
-What musical skills have you developed since working
in the area you
-Has your website provided great success for your
career? If so, how?
If not so, has the website become a tedious
1)my website is my publicity. 2)travel
3)awareness of myself, sharper focus, a more developed
ear. 4) I would not say great success. I think it is
a fine line, playing the kind of music I play, whether
its a career boost or a time sucker.
Comments: Would you ever consider being a full time
bassist for the
melvins if they asked?? (i bet they already have). i
reckon you could all
come up with some great shit!
They haven't asked and if they did I'd say no.
Seriously though, it's not really an option since they
are based in LA and I in NY. Although I will continue
to play with them on occasion until they give me the
final, dreaded and totally expected bassist boot.
Comments: Hey, why exactly are you no longer involved
with the Secret
Chiefs 3? Also, what in particular was your
inspiration for "Carry
Stress in the Jaw"?
In the beginning SC3 was never presented to me as a
band. It was a recording project of Trey's who
utilized the availability of Danny and I. Much of the
first record, at least the parts I was involved with,
were manipulated improvisations. A band eventually
started to take form and a tour ensued in Australia in
which I partook. The version of that band was
basically Mr Bungle with Eyvind Kang replacing Patton,
though I'm sure Trey didn't view it as such. That was
the extent of my involvement. The crux of Trey's work
has occurred well beyond that short period in which I
was involved. I have since relocated to the East
Coast and apparently Trey has continued to work in his
Stress was inspired by my teeth grinding, a desire to
play metal, and some music by Tim Berne.
Name: Who Cares
Comments: Trevor, why did you "sing" like such an
asshole on the really
early Secret Chiefs 3 stuff? Was this Trey's
direction or just a
personal choice of yours?
Comments: I'd like to ask you some questions, hope you
1.- ¿What do you think about Eberhard Weber?
2.- ¿What do you think about Percy Jones?
And yes, I mean musically.
1)Eberhard Weber? Never hard, ever. 2) I stared
checking out Brand X in college after a fellow student
told me I played like Percy Jones. I think he is
amazing though I haven't listened to that stuff in
years. Definitely an unsung hero, a master of
harmonics on the bass.
Name: Bob Slake
Comments: c'mon man! For the love of god! You played
session bass on
that moron from Korn's record!!! Can't you just be a
punk rock prostitute
and do what every selfish bastard out there wants you
p.s sorry for being selfish but MB and SC3 are what
you gonna be
remembered for boy! That sheeat is yo legacy!!
You know what I hate? I hate when people tell me, at
the age of 39, that my career is over. That I will
never do anything worthwhile again. So I should quit
now? Stop trying? And why for the love of god do
people associate me so much with SC3?? I'm on one
fucking record. I didn't even write for that band.
So, Bob, you blind dolt, how come my "legacy" isn't
paying my rent? Can you answer me that wise man? I'm
a musician. I get paid to be a musician. Ah yes, in
your perfect, ideal world, I only play art music, shit
that I truly believe in; I struggle, like a real
bleeding heart artist, in the streets, broke and
hungry. Guess what? I like my computer, my house
with heat, my bass and a dry place to keep it, and I
like to eat. I don't consider it prostitution, I
consider it making a living. Not every note I play
needs to be a tear from the muses of inspiration.
Some notes get me to the next ones. Have I shattered
your illusion of the artist mythos? I hope so. If
not, what have you done lately?
A question regarding Retrovertigo, if I may ?
Is that song written from a first person perspective ?
And is that
person you ?
If so, what is that persons viewpoint/state of mind
with regard to the
subject of the lyric ?
If it isnt written from a first person viewpoint,
please feel free to
tell me from what viewpoint it was written from and
as I said, their
state of mind with regard to the subject of the
yes, if I am remembering correctly, it is a first
person perspective, that person being me. Without
explaining too much, which I loathe in terms of
lyrics, the state of mind was disillusionment with a
world or society that values image and money over
human life. While certain "retro" fashions and
lifestyles are considered hip, the on-going tradition
of human suffering continues. As the world progresses
technologically, certain people value and emulate "the
good ol' days", while others are born into poverty
never having progressed past the dark ages. The title
"retrovertigo" is a term I came up with to describe my
nausea regarding this phenomena. At the time I was
living in SF where swing dancing was making a
come-back, silicon valley was exploding, vintage
clothes were expensive, and the notion that anything
could be bought or sold--a soul, a tragedy, the end
of the world---seemed viable.
I have a serious question: How do you inspire yourself
to work hard on
those days when you're not 100% into it (for whatever
know, those BAD days in life. It's a lot easier to
practice for 6 hours in
a day when you feel good, don't you think? Thanks!
It's pretty amazing how therapeutic long tones can be.
Concentration on minutia is escapism and hard work all
That's one answer; another is that it's ok to take a
day off; to step away from those self-inflicted
demands in order to clear one's mind. And my third
answer: I consider listening to music work in one
sense. Of course, I do it for pure pleasure too. But
sitting around all day listening to records is part of
my development. That's the beauty of doing what one
Have you ever played a duet with another bassist?
yes, absolutely. Lisle Ellis is probably the guy I've
played most with. Also, Thomas Morgan. Always a
What do you think about a 15 yr old (Wolfgang Van
Halen) playing bass
(after on learning the instrument 3 months prior) in
such a big band?
Dave is back too, what you think about it all?
Is brian's(Head) conversion real do you think?
yeah, I don't know if Wolf's gonna be able to handle
Running With The Devil. Just kidding. Honestly, I
don't think about it very much. I was, however, just
listening to Women & Children First. Best VH ever.
Hands down. Don't fight me on this.
Yes, I truly believe that Head's conversion is real
and whole-hearted. I say, whatever works.
Comments: Hey Trevor, did you manage to fuck with Will
Lee in any
capacity when you were on the letterman show?
Honestly, I shook his hand and told him it was an
honor. That guy can play you know. Then I rode in
the elevator with Paul and one of the horn players.
Paul seemed like a real weirdo.
Comments: did mr. bungle take any influence from any
of those 70's
eclectic groups like can or roxy music?
No. I'd say influence came from groups like Oingo
Boingo, Devo, among many other things. Can I offer
some unsolicited opinion? I can't stand CAN. Why do
people like that hippie jammy crap?
Name: Paul Barte
Comments: This has been driving me crazy for 10 years.
cinematic-ish montage at the end of "Dead Goon"
consist of samples? And if so,
do you remember who wrote and performed the piano
? Its reeeeealll nice like.
That is an edited down version of a spontaneous
turntable creation by David Shea. All vinyl. We
wanted to use the whole thing but there were licensing
Still waiting for this new "singing" project. Any news
band forming, personnel solidifying, songs
How did you get a job working with Head?! That's
weird. I can't belive
that you got canned from Bass Guitar. Yours was the
only collum worth
reading. I used it a lot. I was wondering what school
you went to and if
you have any tips on the music buisseness. By the way
your answers to
these posts are hilarious. I know first hand how many
idiots are out
When I was in a recording studio in LA one of the
engineers was a roommate of another engineer who was
working on Head's record. Through a series of calls I
was offered the gig.
The Bass mag thing was expected. I ended up writing
more columns than I was originally asked to do. Those
mags like to rotate input all the time.
I went to a small university but consider myself
mostly self-taught. My tip on the music business is
stay out of it. Just keep playing.
Comments: You said in an earlier answer that your
consists of "a 30 minute long-tone warm up. 60
intonation/shifting exercises. An hour in Zimmerman's
Contemporary Concepts of Bowing
Technique. An hour on arpeggios, and hour on
and then 1 to 2 hours on actual music--either
orchestral excerpts, a Bach
cello suite or something of that nature." REALLY?!?
I find after about an hour and a half to 2 hours i
just need to take a
break mentally and come back later. And what do you
do about days where
you feel like playing but just don't. Sort of like,
"NO, today i am a
potato chip." Do you feel refreshed the next day, or
squandering a potentially creative opportunity?
Do you like people? I don't. I live in Boro Park, we
together sometime and see if anything interesting
comes out of it. In a bit of
a stale-mate with my current project. If you're
interested, how can i
get a hold of you? Is bothering you after a gig the
yes, it's true on good days, that's my practice
routine. But I certainly do take breaks every couple
hours. If I feel like playing I play, unless I have
some non-musical BS to deal with. That's just life I
No, I don't like people, and since you don't either I
think it's a bad idea for us to get together. yes,
bothering me after a gig is the best way to meet me.
Comments: trevor, what do you think of danny elfman?
have you heard his
new symphony? i think its neat. also, you once said
something to the
affect of, that frank zappa had not really been an
influence on you, or
bungle in general, and that having checked him out
commonly drew comparisons between bungle and zappa,
and from what you had
heard you had liked, but had not seen the basis for
the comparison. I
noticed you quoted him on your page, and was
wondering if you had developed
a greater interest in zappas music since then, and if
so, what you
thought of his music.
I think Danny Elfman lost his edge and most of what he
does is boring and hackneyed. He's what you call a
"hummer". He doesn't actually read or write music so
he hums parts to an assistant or arranger who then
makes real music out of it.
I still appreciate Zappa a great deal. Even though I'm
not drawn aesthetically to his music I think he was a
brilliant man. I quoted him as I would quote anyone
who said something I thought was relevant.
Name: Internet Tough Guy
Comments: 1) How long has it been since you listened
to the first
Bungle record? Sure it's lyrically juvenile but you
must be able to hear the
music and say, "Damn, we had our shit together." It's
still amazing to
2) You're a cool dude, I came up to you and shook your
hand once after
a Trio Convulsant show. You were sheepish and
thankful, just the way I
like artists. Keep it up.
Uh, yeah, I don't listen to my own records. It's not
like listening to other records. It's like staring at
your own face way too long in the mirror. And by the
way, fuck you. I really don't think that record is
"lyrically juvenile". I also wouldn't say we had our
shit together. We were punks. How's that for cool and
Name: Konstantin Molchanov
Comments: Hey Trevor! It seems I'm the first russian
visitor of your
web-site! Ha! So, I've got something to ask: I do
think that Mr Bungle is
the best thing you've participated in! I like other
your works, but
Bungle has, I guess, another level. The question is
do you agree in any
way with my point of view? Thanks!
That's a weird question that I don't know how to
Comments: Alright, I've played electric bass for 2
years now, took
up tenor saxophone 4 months ago and been thinking of
taking up upright
bass in few years.. any sense in all this? I know
in relatevily young age eats me but you know, I find
handling different playing techniques on completely
Ok thanks for your time and sorry for long message..
You can certainly focus on one instrument--maybe the
one that is the most difficult for you to play. My
only advice is to not give any of them up though.
You'll thank yourself later for being able to play all
There are few experimental musicians who successfully
cross over into
'mainstream' success - Mr Bungle have been recognised
as influential by
the media, along with John Cage, Captain Beefheart
and Steve Reich
Given that Mr Bungle composed challenging,
non-commercial music, how do
you think they differed from thousands of other
I ask because I know a lot of musicians who
play/compose the most
incredible innovative music, but conventional
audiences don't understand it
- these musicians struggle and some even give up,
which is a great
Do you have advice for musicians in this situation?
To answer your first question, I think the difference
between Bungle and zillions of other unheard creative,
innovative bands/musicians is that Bungle got lucky.
I can't deny that having our record on a major label
had something to do with FNM. That said, FNM would
have never hired General P had they not heard Bungle.
Think about this: in college I was assigned a lot of
listening to contemporary classical music. Of course,
I was led towards the typical masters and their highly
influential pieces. But as I sifted through the
university record library I found records that, along
with these great pieces, included other, completely
unknown composers. For me, these ended up being the
best pieces on the record and I spent hours of my life
pursuing other works by people like Lejaren Hiller,
Besty Jolas, Andre Boucourechliev, Marek Kopelent,
Arne Mellnas and Paul Chihara.
Most of these composers probably made their living as
professors. My point? The recognition of innovation
has nothing to do with talent or creativity.
I have no doubt that there are musicians who were
doing much more interesting things than Bungle was
back in the 80s & 90s.
But giving up is probably the worst thing you can do.
In my opinion, people who give up were never really
dedicated. I myself am not in this business for the
recognition, fame, fortune or empathy. Of course,
most of those things, besides being out of my control,
would be welcome if they, by chance, knocked on my
door. Regardless, I have to keep doing what I do.
It's all I know how to do and it's all I want to do.
Once you start TRYING to get recognized, I would
imagine that you would loose focus and the music would
Comments: Hi Trevor. Really enjoy the "News &
Gnashing" reads. Reading
about "Moonchild" got me wondering. I know you said
you'll get a gear
page up, but just in case you don't when you answer
this, what amp &
pedals did you use on "Moonchild" & "Astronome". How
does Zorn give you
the material to learn? Is something like this music
notated, or is it graphical scores etc? Really
looking forward to "Six
I use my usual Line6 distortion and delay modules with
Moodchild. The music for the Moonchild record was
dictated verbally. In other words, Zorn sang Joey and
I rhythmic parts. A lot of the harmony was left up to
me, although, Zorn encouraged me to de-tune constantly
and use a capo in order to keep things random and so
that I would be forced into areas outside of my
preparations. Astronome was much more traditionally
notated and though there is always an element of
surprise and improvisation with much of Zorn's music,
he seemed to have painstakingly prepared the over-all
shape and order of events. Usually I have no idea
what is going to happen until I show up at the studio.
Name: Max A.
Comments: Hey Trevor. I'm a huge fan of everything
you've ever done,
but at the moment I'm quite interested in your work
with John Zorn.
What's it like working with him? That's a pretty
vague question, I know.
More specifically, how did the recording process for
his Filmworks stuff
like Invitation to a Suicide or Hiding and Seeking
work? Did Zorn just
put music in front of you at one session and you guys
recorded it, or
did you guys rehearse the music for a period of time?
I'm asking because
the playing on those recordings is INCREDIBLE.
Another question: Will
there ever be a Moonchild or an Electric Masada U.S.
tour? Also, is it
true that you played a show with Yoshida Tatsuya as
the Ruins' bassist?
I can't remember where I heard that, so I might just
be making it up
entirely. If it is true, what was that like? Sorry
for the barrage of
questions, but in conclusion, you're THE MAN, and a
major inspiration for
me as a bassist.
Thanks very much for your sentiments.
Most of the recordings I have done with Zorn,
including the filmworks music, are all executed in the
same way. The musicians show up at the studio and are
either handed a few hand-written charts or are given
verbal direction. We rehearse a section at a time.
Sometimes that means playing through the entire piece
a couple times or, if editing will be involved,
rehearsing parts of a piece. Once Zorn is happy with
the way it is sounding we roll tape usually succeeding
within 1-3 takes. Then we move on to the next
section/piece. Most records are finished in one or two
8 hour sessions.
Comments: Ever hear anything by John Oswald (his
not the jazz)? Would you be offended if I attempted a
Plunderphonic-style mashup of Unchained Melody and
Vanity Fair (for non-commercial use,
Love that stuff. Be my guest. Send me a copy.
Comments: hope this new year finds you well...i got
Christmas and i am very impressed with it. You may
have answered this
before, but can you play any other instruments? Are
there any you would
consider trying? And if you ever find yourself in
Rhode Island, drop me a
line and i'll buy you dinner or some beers.
I play a little guitar and piano and clarinet.
Nothing I would do in public however. Ok, I'll take
you up on the invite!
Name: Mylo Stone
Comments: Are you at all aware of how completely full
of shit you are?
Obviously not, asshole.
Name: Momtchil Borissov
Comments: Hello Trevor. Excuse my bad english, but I´m
a fan ot you
music. What do you mean about the current condition
of the music. Here in
Spain it is increasingly difficult to find a place
where you can play
original music. Here is the kingdom of "Star Academy"
and the trash TV.
you know, it's always sucked and it probably always
will. That's cool. I still manage to find amazing
music and to make a living playing music. If I wanted
life to be easy I would get rich flipping condos.
Name: Bryan White
Comments: If I gave you a copy of a Red Hot Chili
you sign it?
which is better...Xbox 360 or PS3 or Wii?
What's your favorite Mercyful Fate/King Diamond album
from the 90's
what's your opinion of the website
Is it true that Flea of the RHCP gave you bass lessons
during the mid
to late 90's in exchange for the bass notes for "Dead
Have you ever had the urge to tell Mike Patton the
following...."Dude...you can't rap...just stop
Which is better...Judas Priest or Iron Maiden?
In your life time how many people have ask you the
following...."Dude..Can I pee in your butt" ?
If you gave me a copy of a RHCP album I'd sign it and
then break it. Don't play video games. Melissa, but
I think that's 80s era--nuff said. I guess I'll go to
that website and get back to you right away. Flea
doesn't give bass lessons, he's too busy ripping off
material from the 70s. Is that rap? Maiden, wanna
fight? I think one.
Name: Johnny 5 Spot
Comments: 1) My Fender Jazz bass has a lil' knob
within a knob that
when pushed subdues the tone of the instrument, does
you're 70's one have
that, I bet not you jealous prick! Seriously, do you
think the ones
made these days (Jazz basses) are comparable to the
ones actually made in
the classiest decade ever, the 70's?
2) I notice that when Patton gives you shit on stage
you're reaction is
absolutely poker face. Is this just because you're
sick of his shit
(even though it's all done out of manly love) or do
you just find him to
be a poor comedian?
3) Get a haircut hippy.
1) I don't NEED a tone subduer big guy. Uh, honestly
I never play new basses so I couldn't tell you.
Maybe. I mean, I pretty much only play the basses that
Name: Ryan Fitzpatrick
Comments: Have you ever/do you know of/would you ever
project that consists entirley of bass? As in, layers
and layers, essentially
covering a guitar part, precussion, vocals and/or
I ask as i've tried it, rather amateurly, with little
sucsess, and was
wondering if you had any thoughts or knowledge of
such a thing?
yeah, I might consider that. The important thing
would be to constantly be aware of orchestration in
order to keep things from getting muddy. A variety of
timbers (colors) would be essential.
Name: Mr Bungler
Comments: Hi trev,
when i see all the songs you have played in, i see
than the only
melodical album was california of mr bungle. The
other are speed-weird-core..
like fantomas, tomahawk.. why don't make new songs
like sweet charity
or air conditionned nightmare ?? i can't understand
why you and patton
are always playing the same style... what a pity !!
You are a stupid piece of shit.
Name: nancy white
Comments: hey trev! what should i do? all the girls in
my grade have
gotten their periods and i'm almost 15 and still am
yet to become a
woman! i know this is a private issue, but i believe
posting it on your
board will bring awarness to other young ladies out
there! Sorry to put
this on your shoulders but your site i believe is the
only place thats
safe to post this! i had a web site that i had to
www.please_bleed.com! but it was swamped with emails
from petarfile and
metallica fans! PLEASE HELP ME TREV?
There is something seriously wrong with you. I
suggest getting into heroin or whiskey or both.
Comments: Hey trev you recon that males are better at
bass than females
coz usually guys have chubby fat fingers that makes
them ideal bass
P.s. I bet you and claypool are mates? True?
No, I wouldn't reckon that at all. And no I would not
consider Claypool a mate.
Comments: Does your family enjoy and get your music?
Do they think it's
too wierd? Maybe I just live in a small town but
avante gardey music
isn't all that well recieved by the older generation
in SC. Just
My dad has seen me play avant gardey stuff. He usually
says "sounds like you're tuning up to me". He listens
to Willie Nelson. My mom likes jazz. They have
always been supportive of my career.
Name: N. End.
Comments: Alô, Trevor, how's everything going?
I would like to know if you ever thought about writing
music for large
ensembles... I am a big fan of you as a bassist and,
specially, as a
composer, and I think (well, maybe I'm wrong) that
the 'shadow' of Mr.
Bungle troubles you more than it helps you... I can
see you as a great
composer (and young, for sure) with a soulful
approach and it would be
awesome to see you releasing some "fuck off bungle
widows" music. And
yes, I love Mr. Bungle, but I can't bear the fans'
"authority" over its
musicians. Sorry for the bad english... Eu sou
yes, I have thought about writing for large ensembles,
and eventually I will. The "shadow" you speak of does
not trouble me in anyway, but, yes, it is a shadow.
Comments: Hey i just read in the Q/A section that
you're a jaco fan.
just wondering, how much have you dabbled into the
fretless world, and do
you feel that they are a useful addition to a setup?
while i'm here, whats your view on Victor Wooten?
My first fretless was some Peavey piece of crap.
That's what I played on Dead Goon and Carousel on the
first Bungle CD. Later, I had a custom 5-string made
by a guy up in Humboldt County named Ken Lawrence. I
still have that bass but don't really play it anymore.
I just don't hear fretless these days. It's really
just a tone thing, and an aesthetic. It's as useful
as you want to make it. I'm not particularly into
Comments: "if else then wa wee" - you signed my DV cd
with that in
'95ish. You're a wacky guy.
Question: on "Moonchild - songs without words" Were
you and patton
provided with sheet music or was it improvising lead
by zorn at the time of
the recording? I'm curious about zorn's composition
method on that
record if you are able to divulge that information.
That music was taught orally. There was no written
music. Very different approach to all the other Zorn
recordings I've done. Also, all of the improvising is
specifically orchestrated and structured.
Name: You deserve to make money
Comments: Hi Trevor,
I feel like I'm ripping you off... let me explain: I
respect and enjoy
your music more and more each day and yet I realized
that I bought 2
Mr. Bungle albums from a used CD store and now my
friend said he'd burn
me "California" so I said "sure, great". This, of
course, means that I
will have all 3 Bungle albums without you making a
dime off of any of
it. I'm interested in hearing your acoustic bass
playing -what CD should
I buy as an introduction to your upright skills that
YOU will receive
money for. You deserve it!
P.S. Just want to say thanks for having this website
and for making me
want to be the best musician I can be... I love
you... will you touch
my penis? ...touch it... what do you mean you have a
It's cool dude. If you're broke, you're broke. I
used to tape LPs all the time to save money. For more
on my opinion on this read the blog on myspace.
In the meantime, check out the ORDER CDs portion of
this site. The money comes directly to me. And I will
not touch you anywhere. Thanks.
Comments: Dear Trevor, Please ignore maple syrup
question. Anyhoo: my
question is, would you recommend putting new pickups
and bridge into a
Jazz Bass, to give it more punch and a "harder,"
I play a P-bass so that is partially where that sound
is coming from. I don't think a bridge is really
gonna change the tone that much. Personally I would
put vintage jazz-bass pick-ups in it, cuz that is a
great sound. If you want more of a rock sound I would
go for more of a rock bass.
Name: Simon Dunne
Comments: Hi Trevor. I was just wondering if the
writings of Henry
Corbin and concept of Mundus Imaginalis etc has had
any bearing/impact on
you personally or as an artist? If not, what are your
views on this
subject area? P.s. I'm sure you know where this is
coming from and I don't
mean to irritate you with this question but nobody
seems to have asked
you about this yet!!
I had to google that shit cuz I had no idea what you
were talking about. still don't.
Comments: Which of your songs is your favorite and
How would you describe the musical styles of the guys
Please continue your great work! (preferably writing
your own material)
I can't really comment on what is my favorite of my
own. My brain just doesn't work that way. Each song
I write I try to make better than the last one. I
would describe the styles of all those guys as
Name: Miles Crevice
Comments: Hey Trevor! You rule.
One and an a half question for ya:
Meshuggah, good or just "good musicianship on their
Perhaps a bit of rhethorical question but do you have
Miles Davis records you'd recommend?
Meshuggah is rhythmically very interesting to me. But
that's about it. Miles: Nefertiti, Seven Steps To
Heaven, ESP, Miles Smiles.
Comments: Hey Trevor i'd like to know what you think
performance in this video:
Considering that I was 17, hated everyone in high
school and liked punk AND metal, I'd say GENIUS!
Comments: Was a big fan of Mr Bungle's 1st album but
Disco Volante was
the first avant-garde type album I ever owned. From
there got into
Zorn. Just bought the double live cd of electric
masada, what was it like
playing with 2 drummers? Any chance of you ever doing
a show in Auckland
with some band or other?
It's a challenge to say the least. Especially when
the one furthest away is keeping time and the other
one --between us--is playing arhythmically. I have to
be focused like a god damn telescope in that band.
Hope to come to Auckland some day....
Name: Tom H
Comments: Hey Trev, I just want to say what a great
Letterman last month with Sean Lennon. Such a
beautiful piece. Did you
record any of the new album with him? Touring with
him at all? And how was
it working with the son of a legend?
P.S. I hardly recognized you at first with the granola
look. I'm used
to the clean "spanky" lookin Dunn. You rock man.
No, I didn't play on the album. I just did that one
gig. Got asked to tour but didn't have the time,
although I would if I could. Sean is very
down-to-earth. Yes, I like granola.
Comments: Question on the song title, "The Holy
Filament": Is this
related to a radio program by Joe Frank? I have to
No, I got it from a B. Kliban cartoon and applied it
to a story by Louis Aragon, although I love Joe Frank.
Comments: trevor, your work with mr.bungle is kickass
and that first
album has some of my all time favorite bass lines but
what the fuck is up
with fantomas' first album? i trusted you and mike
patton and dave
lombardo (of whom i am a huge fan) but i bought that
album and felt
genuine rage towards you, i still idolize every note
you play but come on man
that is just so stupid i cant take it, its fuckin
noise man, and i
never use that term to describe music
Believe it or not, every single note on that Fantomas
album, and in fact, all Fantomas albums is
pre-determined and rehearsed. The wood-shedding for
that first one was some of the most rigorous and
intense rehearsing I have ever gone through in my
life. I'm glad that you felt rage because that a good
feeling to have. But I think you should have more of
an open mind towards music and, to be honest, towards
noise which is a beautiful thing in and of itself. I
can understand that you don't get it, or that it's out
of your scope of normal or comprehensible, but you
should watch your mouth when you call something stupid
when it actually took a lot of blood, sweat and tears
to produce. You're entitled to your opinion and I
don't expect you to like everything that I do but that
record is no less important or artistic than anything
else I have ever done.
Comments: I suck at bass, but love all your work.
I am a big fan of Bungle and Fantomas and just
wondered is you had any
"All you need to know to play bass in one sentence"
types of advice?
Even though if you knew that/if it existed, you'd
probably face several
problems... ... Uh...
just keep practicing.
Comments: Who is Mike Johnson and why does he feel the
need to bag you
out? If you don't mind me asking.
uh...there's a guy from SF who did some engineering on
Bungle records with that name, but frankly I don't
even know what "bag out" means.
Comments: What’s your take on some of these guys work
and role shifts
in a pop like band... Like Claypool and Death From
Above 1979... Dig it
or no merci..?
I was wondering if you have listened to Kaada on
Ipecac.. On some I
wish the ghost of trevor dunn would appear... thanks
for the time and the
years of kick ass music....and if your ever in miami
hit me up and
bring some music.. and or booze...
I don't follow either. yeah, I dig that Kaada stuff.
Comments: Hello Mr. Dunn. Is it true that you wrote a
concert to double bass and orchestra? Is it for sale?
In the double bass reportoire, what you played in your
Bottesini,Koussevitzky?Or you don´t like that kind of
No, it's not true. I did, however, write a solo piece
for prepared contrabass. I'll make you a photocopy if
you want to check it out. yes, I played all that
stuff in college. I still like to practice Bottesini
and Glier to keep my chops up.
Comments: Hey man, first off I wanna say that you're
an awesome bass
player, and one of my favorite musicians. Ok, I read
one of your
responses to a question about lazy musicians you said
"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 play guitar
regularly and I jam with
a good friend often, I'm also a "pot-head" so am I
now a lazy
Ok, so you're one of those assholes that can smoke a
lot of pot and still get shit done. More power to
you. My comment was directed at laziness, not drug
use. So I used the term "pot-head" in a derogatory
way. Who cares. Have I really offended your
drug-induced preciousness? I think not. Relax. Take
another bong hit. And thanks for listening!!
Comments: Hi Trevor,
CAn i borrow your bass amp for a rehearsal on tuesday?
Mines Broken ):
sure, I'll just leave it outside on the stoop. Come
by and get it anytime.
Comments: Will this be the way a point a question for
"Your Q., My A."?
I hope so;
Trevor, i'm sorry but i never listened any of your
work other than Mr.
Bungle; I plan to do so as soon as i either get rich
or download them
from eMule. I must say (even you may be tired of
this) i admire it so much, all of what i listened of
it (Mr. Bungle,
Disco Voador, California). Maybe i should talk about
the music if i ever
meet you someday. Here's my question: Why is it so
rare for artists to
get accessible to the ones that admires them so much,
you being an
exception (are you)? I tried so hard to deliver a CD
notes/letters and some photographs and draughts i
made (i collected several things
that were important to me and could show to them the
face of a person
amongst the millions in the crowds) to Pearl Jam guys
when they came
here in Brasil (I went to two shows) but i could only
deliver a single
letter to the security guy, and i'll never know if
they readed it. How
must it be like relating to crowds from afar? Guess
everybody knows it's
painful to them. An' guess your relation to fans is
not lake that...
Could you figure out my question? If not, talk as you
like. I hope i can
make more questions further...
I'm not sure why people think that artists SHOULD be
accessible. They are humans after all and enjoy
company that they are familiar with as well as
privacy. Do YOU want strangers coming up to you every
day with questions, presents, demands, weapons or
opinions? Just because an artist addresses the
public, or reaches a wide audience doesn't mean that
his social boundaries can be waved. When a musician
is on tour he/she is doing their job. After a
performance sometimes it's important to wind down,
reflect, hang out with loved ones. Talking to excited
fans is not a priority because that too takes a lot of
energy. An artist is by definition a creative and
giving person. Fans who demand accessibility are, in
a sense, saying that they are not satisfied with just
the art. They need the artist to also give a part of
his/her social, personal self.
Each artist, that is, each individual has his/her own
boundaries. One reason I am more accessible than Pearl
Jam is because I don't have a fraction of that kind of
fame. But I have noticed that the more accessible I
am, the more people want from me. I'm happy to answer
questions and help people out if I can in any way, but
it IS time-consuming and it's not the first thing on
my list in terms of getting shit done. I can't
imagine being a celebrity and not being able to go to
the grocery store just because fans wouldn't allow you
to shop. They'd be too busy trying to get a piece of
you. So I can understand why famous people are
Unfortunately, sometimes when strangers want too much
or don't respect your boundaries, you have to be a
"jerk". I'm not here to make friends, I'm here to
Name: James Everett
Comments: Hey Trevor,
I was just thinking, do alternative artists write
music that is
alternative to what is "popular", or would those same
artists write the same
music were it selling millions of copies etc. What
would your reaction /
response be if tomorrow your music was going platinum
or some shit?
hmmm...I remember when REM was considered
"alternative" because it was college radio material
that was going against the grain of Madonna and INXS
or what have you. I suppose that the term
"alternative" is always in opposition to pop (aka,
popular) music. The truth is that most pop artist
aren't really artists at all. They are hot looking
cultural icons. Britney Spears, for example, who I am
seriously a fan of, probably doesn't have anything to
do with her albums. Then you have actual musicians
and artist, some who write music that is popular and
some that write music that is not popular. Some
probably try to fit into a certain genre, others just
write. I'm sure that every musician or artist would
hope that their craft be accepted by a wide audience.
If tomorrow my music suddenly became popular and I
made a crap load of money, I would stop worrying about
paying bills and spend more time writing music.
Comments: hi trevor- I am a bassist/composer surrently
bass at the university of miami. i dig the bungle
shit but i am really
interested in the new music stuff youve been doing
with Hilmar and the
whole skirl thing. What shoudl i be doing regarding
listening/practicing/writing to keep improvisational
music moving forward? Second, i find it
difficult at times switching basses, i lose a lot of
touch on my
electric if I have been playing upright for a few
hours prio. how do you
balance that? thanks for your time,
To keep the music you love moving forward you just
have to support it. That, in part, means listening
more, practicing more and writing more. As long as
there is a fire in you to continue it will be alive
Your bass switching question is one I have been
dealing with for years. It's one reason I rarely
bring both to a gig. I recently wrote an article in
the new Arcana book (published by Hip's Road) that
addresses this a bit. Basically, they are two
different instruments and the only way to regain that
touch is to warm up to it. These days, I tend to go
in phases of which one I am focusing one, but I still
have the same difficulty.
Name: Travis Wilson
You know dude, you got a huge ego problem. When you
were refering to Brian Welsh, you talked a lot about
you. How could Korn have stolen a lot of Brian's ideas
and stuff like that when HE WAS IN THE BAND WITH
THEM!! Your quote was contridicting all within itself.
Head could've and should've found a different bassist
for his album.
Dood, you have a huge comprehension problem. What I
said what that Korn stole ideas from Bungle. I played
in Bungle jackass, not Korn. I recorded on Brian's
solo record and HE is the one who told me that. I
talked about myself cuz it's my website. What Head
should have done was paid me in a timely manner. What
you should do is kiss my ass.
Comments: I really enjoyed hearing the Electric Masada
ensemble at the
92y (although the string trio truly blew my mind).
What a great night
of music and humble talent. If you were to recommend
restaurant, what would it be?
Al Di La
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