Mr. Bungle is back in the recording studio for the first time since 1999's California album. There have been some personnel changes for this incarnation of the band in order to fit into what they're currently doing. Like the reunion tour, they're tackling the band's first-ever demo, 1986's The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny, with ex-Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo and Anthrax's Scott Ian on second guitar. Mike Patton, Trevor Dunn, and Trey Spruance are the only original members included on this upcoming recording.
The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny is a full on thrash metal assault, which is quite different for what Mr. Bungle is traditionally known for. The demo was never officially released, though it has been bootlegged numerous times over the years with excruciatingly terrible quality. However hardcore fans have loved it for over 30 years and new fans keep discovering it. As for the band, they're big fans of the material too. Bassist Trevor Dunn had this to say about revisiting it.
"The music from The Raging Wrath, which we wrote when we were 15 and 17 years old, continued to be relevant to us. But the original demo was never fully realized. It was a DIY four-track tape recording fully self-produced by our naive and wandering minds whilst still learning how to play our instruments and understand songwriting at its most basic level. Not to mention I'm pretty sure we were all virgins at the time - high-strung, bored teenagers with only a limited number of options [for] where to direct our energy in an impoverished, isolated town."
It was initially Trevor Dunn's idea to revisit The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny demos. He and Mike Patton have played with Dave Lombardo in Fantomas for over 20 years now, and Patton plays with him in Dead Cross too. Dunn had the idea of getting Lombardo on board to re-record and play the songs live for years, which he presented to the band. While the rest of the guys were excited about the idea, it was Lombardo who led the charge, revealing to Dunn and guitarist Trey Spruance that he wanted to record new drums for the demo and then surprise Patton with it for his birthday.
When the reunion shows were announced, Mr. Bungle fans were extremely excited, but nothing could prepare them for the craziness of the shows themselves. When it comes to thrash metal drumming, nobody quite compares to the mighty Dave Lombardo and when it came time to find a second guitarist, the band decided to go back to thrash's roots once more. While Metallica's James Hetfield is known as the king of thrash rhythm guitar, Scott Ian is right up there, and the shows were brutal. As for Ian, he could not be more excited to be a part of this project. He explains.
"Holy crap - the songs sound so great! Every day at the studio is like Christmas morning for me - each song we finish another present. I don't know if I'm more excited about this record as a fan of Mr. Bungle or as a member of Mr. Bungle. Either way, I can't wait for the world to hear it."
In addition to the original tracks from The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny, Mr. Bungle is also recording some songs that didn't make it on the demo that are in the same style, along with some choice covers of COC, Circle Jerks, SOD, and more. At this time, it's unclear what exactly will make it on the finished record, aside from the original material, but it's all being recorded. The album does not yet have an official release date, but it's coming soon and it will be released by Ipecac Recordings. The band interviews were originally conducted by Revovler. You can check out some of the recording images below.