Mr. Bungle

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Mr. Bungle

Mr. Bungle live (1999)
Mr. Bungle live (1999)
General information
Genre (s) Experimental music, jazzcore
founding 1985, 2019
resolution 2004
Last occupation
Mike Patton
Trey Spruance
Trevor Dunn
Danny Heifetz
Saxophone , keyboard
Clinton McKinnon

Mr. Bungle is an avant-garde band that formed in 1985 in Eureka / California around singer Mike Patton , guitarist Trey Spruance , bassist Trevor Dunn and drummer Jed Watts. The band got their name from a short film that appeared in the earlier episodes of the Pee Wee Herman Show . The film was about a unsanitary, quibble clown that the high school demonstrated -Schülern how to have to behave in any way. It wasn't until later that the band learned that the name “Mr. Bungle ”was also featured in the porn film Sharon's Sex Party .


In 1986 Mr. Bungle released their first demo tape The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny , the music of which was still metal- heavy, but already showed the first use of a saxophone, bongo and various other instruments.

The following year the band released their second demo tape Bowel of Chiley , which musically took a different direction through a mixture of ska , swing and funk . Shortly thereafter, the drummer Jed Watts was replaced by Hans Wagner, and the band was reinforced by the horn players Scott Fritz and Theo Lengyel.

In 1988 the band released their third demo tape Goddammit I Love America! that musically linked to its predecessor. Two of the seven tracks were taken over on their first major label release .

In 1989 their last demo tape, OU818, came out before their debut album, and Danny Heifez joined the band as new drummer and Bar McKinnon as tenor saxophonist. Stylistically, the music changed, as the Ska influence receded a little and more emphasis was placed on fast, musical changes. Half of the tracks should later be found on their first record, Mr. Bungle .

On August 13, 1991, the band released their first major album Mr. Bungle , produced by John Zorn , on Warner Bros Records. Musically, this album was linked to its predecessor, albeit much more elaborated. Quiet, keyboard-backed passages abruptly change here with weird, fast funk, dub and metal, which are accompanied by Mike Patton's wide vocal spectrum. In between there are some audio sequences, including a recording from a scene from Sharon's Sex Party . A tour of North America followed.

Four years passed after the first album, during which the band members devoted themselves to their side projects, until they returned in October 1995 with their new album Disco Volante . On this album they expanded their musical spectrum many times over by letting influences from jazz , death metal , techno , punk and tango - to name just a few - come together and diverge again in a progressive fusion. Compared to the other releases of the band, the album opens up an increased tempo and increased virtuosity. Both the influence of John Zorn and that of the film industry flow clearly into the musical design of the album. The pieces turn out to be extremely complex, and although there are no improvisations, the melange of noise and music is always a mixture of free jazz and various areas of metal.

The release was followed by an extensive tour with guest percussionist William Winant through North America, Europe , Australia and finally ended with two shows in San Francisco.

Another four years passed before the band released their album California in July 1999 . Theo Lengyel should no longer play a role on this record due to “creative differences”. The band lived up to their creative commitment on this record, even if they presented themselves in a much more moderate and controlled manner. Some songs can definitely be assigned to the category Easy Listening , whereas in other songs the style of Disco Volante shimmers through again, but without going on its extreme dive.

After the rumor that the band would break up for a long time, it was officially confirmed in December 2004. The individual band members are currently devoting themselves to their side projects. Mike Patton and Trevor Dunn formed the band Fantômas in 1999 with Buzz Osbourne of the Melvins and Dave Lombardo of Slayer . Trey Spruance focused on his side project Secret Chiefs 3 , founded in 1995 , which has now become his main band.


Studio albums

year title Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placements
(Year, title, rankings, weeks, awards, notes)
1991 Mr. Bungle UK57 (1 week)
First published: August 13, 1991
1995 Disco Volante - US113 (1 week)
First published: October 10, 1995
1999 California - US144 (1 week)
First published: July 13, 1999

More albums

  • 1986: The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny (Demo)
  • 1987: Bowel of Chiley (Demo)
  • 1988: Goddammit I Love America (Demo)
  • 1989: OU818 (demo)


  • 1991: Unquote / Travolta quota
  • 1992: Mi Stoke Il Cigaretto
  • 1995: Platypus
  • 2020: USA

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Chart sources: UK US