Mike Patton: ‘Having Scott Ian and Dave Lombardo play in Mr. Bungle is an amazing honour’

(Image credit: Eric Larsen)

Mike Patton has spoken exclusively to Metal Hammer about his delight in poaching Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian and Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo for the new line-up of Mr. Bungle.

The Californian band are releasing their first new music in 21 years, the much-anticipated The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo album, on October 30 via Patton’s own Ipecac label, and speaking to Hammer’s Stephen Hill, the singer reveals that he reached out to Scott Ian after re-listening to Mr. Bungle’s original demo recordings and coming to the conclusion that the songs the band recorded as teenagers could be improved by the addition of a second guitarist to add weight to Trey Spruance’s riffs.

“I had no idea if he’d do it,” admits Patton, “we don’t know each other very well, but I knew he was a fan and he had come to a bunch of our shows over the years and had been really nice. So, I thought, ‘You know what, let’s ask Scott if he would do it.’ I reached out and... I think he was really freaked out. I think he thought I was going to send him the new Bungle thing, and I had to explain ‘No, I want you to be in the fucking band!’”

With Dave Lombardo having previously played with Patton in both Fantômas and Dead Cross, the former Slayer man was a shoo-in for the role of Mr. Bungle drummer, the singer adds.

“Obviously, we used to air drum to his band back in the van in the old days of Mr. Bungle,” Patton says. “We’re all Slayer fans and, frankly, if you’re not a Slayer fan then I don’t trust you! That’s it, that’s the beginning and the end of that with Dave Lombardo, what can you say about the guy? He’s amazing.”

“Scott’s been amazing as well, such a cool guy. All of us are in our 50s and it is just so much fun and so energising to be doing what we are doing right now. Basically, in terms of Dave and Scott, it was like ‘If we’re going to do this, let’s go to the source. Who inspired us back then? Who were we listening to?’ and Slayer and Anthrax were two of the biggest ones. The most amazing thing was that they were into the idea. We were really flattered, really amazed that they would do something as crazy as we are doing. We were so honoured to play with those guys, because if it weren’t for them then this music would never have been made in the first place.”

Patton also reveals that the impetus behind Mr. Bungle’s return came from Trevor Dunn, the band’s original bassist, who has also played alongside Faith No More’s frontman in Fantômas and Tomahawk.

“For the longest time it was just some silly little parlour joke that we would say to each other, like, ‘Wouldn’t it be weird if we got back together? No one would have expected that!’” he says. “We wanted it to be the most fucked up reunion thing ever, and I think that’s how it panned out. Because we’re not playing the hits, we’re not playing anything that people know, first it was a joke and all of a sudden it was happening.”

Mr. Bungle have released two tracks from The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo, Raping Your Mind and Eracist. The full album is due on October 30. And you can read more of Stephen Hill’s interview with Mike Patton in an upcoming issue of Metal Hammer.

Metal Hammer

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