By Dave Pehling
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Members of beloved Bay Area experimental rock band Mr. Bungle on Tuesday announced a partial reunion next year that will feature former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo and Anthrax/S.O.D. guitarist Scott Ian.
The news surfaced Tuesday morning with a press release announcing the three concerts by the group. Original members Mike Patton (vocals, keyboards), Trey Spruance (guitar) and Trevor Dunn (bass) will be joined by the two legendary thrash-metal musicians to perform Mr. Bungle’s self-produced first demo, The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny at three U.S. concerts in February of 2020.
The three performances scheduled for Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York will mark the first time Mr. Bungle has played in almost two decades. Two longtime members, saxophonist/keyboard player Clinton “Bar” McKinnon and drummer Danny Heifetz, are not involved with the reunion.
Started in 1985 in Eureka when the musicians were still in their teens, Mr. Bungle crafted a anarchic mix of metal, ska, experimental jazz, punk and soundtrack music that evolved dramatically from release to release. Their first self-produced and released demo, The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny in 1986 found the band just starting to develop a death-metal-meets-ska sound heavily influenced by the early efforts of Slayer and Anthrax side project Stormtroopers of Death.
Bungle would release two more demos, eventually relocating to San Francisco when Patton was hired as the lead singer to similarly genre-smashing SF rock band Faith No More. That group was launched to international fame with their first album with Patton, The Real Thing, in 1989. With sales fueled largely by the MTV hit “Epic” that matched the singer’s rapped vocals to a soaring chorus and headbanging metal riff, the success of the album led to a record deal for Mr. Bungle, who recorded their experimental funk-metal debut with NYC punk-jazz maverick John Zorn.
Mr. Bungle would produce two more albums over the course of the ’90s — the wildly avant-garde effort Disco Volante in 1995 and the more pop-minded but still strange California in 1999 — but went on an extended hiatus in 2000. While members Patton, Spruance and Dunn have collaborated on a variety of projects, including Patton’s bands Fantômas (which includes Patton and Dunn along with Lombardo and Melvins guitarist Buzz Osborne) and Tomahawk, recordings and performances with Spruance’s band Secret Chiefs 3 and Patton singing with Lombardo’s band Dead Cross, the three concerts are the first time they have revisited Mr. Bungle since the tour promoting California.
The three tour dates announced appear below:
February 7, 2020 Los Angeles at the Fonda Theatre
February 8, 2020 San Francisco at the Warfield
February 10, 2020 New York at Brooklyn Steel
Tickets for the concerts go on-sale this Friday, Aug. 16 at 10 a.m. local time. According to the band, there will be no additional cities added to the itinerary.