Rue Morgue, October 20, 2020
By KRISTOF G.
To celebrate the Halloween launch of the rerecorded THE RAGING WRATH OF THE EASTER BUNNY DEMO (read our review here), the new record from Mr. Bungle (the mighty Mike Patton’s first band), RUE MORGUE reached out to the influential group’s guitarist Trey Spruance, the album’s visual artist Eric Livingston and their “Eracist” video director Derrick Scocchera, for a trio of Sinister Seven interviews. Here is part one of those three…
Born in 1969, Spruance grew up in the little town of Eureka, CA (five hours north of San Francisco) and kept himself busy musically since he first picked up a six-string in his teens. The man has played in many bands (including Torcher, FCA, Scourge and Faxed Head), and 35 years ago, Spruance formed the little weird group called Mr. Bungle with fellow metal enthusiasts Trevor Dunn and Patton (who went on to join Faith No More, among many others). After releasing four cassette demos (including 1986’s original RAGING WRATH), Mr. Bungle had evolved from a death/thrash-metal band to a radically avant-garde outfit, blending all sorts of influences, from metal to funk and ska, to rap, polka, Middle Eastern music, jazz, noise, exotica and much more. It’s the kind of band you can’t put in a box.
In 1991, the band put out their self-titled first album, produced by experimental jazz composer/saxophonist John Zorn, through major label Warner Bros. Records (and started performing shows in masks, years before Slipknot). They released two more records–1995’s DISCO VOLANTE and 1999’s CALIFORNIA–before calling it quits in 2000. However, in the mid-’90s, in addition to handling guitar duties on FNM’s record KING FOR A DAY… FOOL FOR A LIFETIME and founding his own record label (Web of Mimicry), Spruance formed Secret Chiefs 3 with Mr. Bungle members Dunn, Danny Heifetz (drums, trumpet) and Clinton “Bar” McKinnon (sax, clarinet, keys). The band’s mainly instrumental sound also blends many influences, from surf to Arabic music, with a big cinematic vibe (their 2009 “Traditionalists” record LE MANI DESTRE RECISE DEGLI ULTIMI UOMINI is the soundtrack of an unmade giallo). SC3 toured with many bands, from Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin to Dead Cross (Patton’s newest project with Slayer’s Dave Lombardo)... [+]