Trevor Dunn

Trevor Roy Dunn (born January 30, 1968) is an American composer, bass guitarist, and double bassist.

Dunn came to prominence in the 1990s with the experimental band Mr. Bungle. He has since worked in an array of musical styles, notably with singer and Mr. Bungle co-founder Mike Patton; with saxophonist/composer John Zorn; brief collaboration with Secret Chiefs 3 and with his own avant-garde jazz/rock ensemble Trevor Dunn’s Trio-Convulsant and later with rock driven group MadLove. He is also a member of the band Tomahawk, replacing founding member Kevin Rutmanis.

Biography

Early life and career

After four years of studying the clarinet, Dunn began playing electric bass at the age of 13. His earliest musical influences included the Beach Boys, Blondie, Cheap Trick, and Kiss.

Dunn studied double bass and music in college.

Mr. Bungle

In 1986, Dunn formed Mr. Bungle with vocalist Mike Patton and guitarist Trey Spruance. Mr. Bungle’s early compositions mixed thrash metal, hard rock, death metal, ska and funk with an air of adolescent humor and vulgarity. With a background in metal, Dunn branched out his musical abilities playing jazz around San Francisco while immersing himself in different music.

Mr. Bungle released four demo tapes in the mid to late 1980s before being signed to Warner Bros. Records and releasing three full-length studio albums between 1991 and 1999. The band split in 2000.

Like the other members of Mr. Bungle, Trevor Dunn is reluctant to talk about what exactly caused their break-up (Dunn is especially hesitant about the subject). For that matter, Dunn is reluctant to talk about Mr. Bungle in general, though he claims to have enough material for a book about the band (and enough unreleased songs for a companion album). He initially stated that he was going to release a book, but the “book concept is FAR from being a reality. It’s just a hazy thought in my mind at this point. Part of that haze includes demos, rehearsals, prank phone calls, unused photos, etc. The amount of unseen/unheard material I have collected over the years is somewhat baffling. Believe me, it’s not going to happen anytime soon.”reference needed

Secret Chiefs 3

Trey Spruance formed Secret Chiefs 3 with fellow Mr. Bungle members Dunn and Danny Heifetz in the mid-nineties.

Fantômas

In 1999, Mike Patton formed the supergroup Fantômas with Dunn on bass, Buzz Osborne of the Melvins on guitar, and Dave Lombardo of Slayer on the drums. Fantômas has released several albums of eclectic avante-garde, ambient, and heavy metal compositions.

Trevor Dunn’s Trio-Convulsant

In 1998, Dunn formed his Trio-Convulsant. Their first release, Debutantes & Centipedes, features Dunn on bass, Adam Levy on guitar, and Kenny Wollesen on drums. The album Sister Phantom Owl Fish on Ipecac (2004) includes Ches Smith on percussion and Mary Halvorson on guitar.

MadLove

Citing his long hiatus from writing rock music, Dunn formed the band MadLove with Sunny Kim on lead vocals, Ches Smith on drums, Hilmar Jensson on guitar, and Erik Deutch on keyboard. They recorded their debut album, White with Foam, during 2008, and it was released on Ipecac Records in September 2009.

Tomahawk

Trevor has recently joined the band Tomahawk, replacing Kevin Rutmanis.

Melvins (Lite)

Trevor joined the Melvins as and on-and-off touring bassist starting in 2005, initially to play their 1993 album Houdini in its entirety for All Tomorrow’s Parties’ “Don’t Look Back” series. In 2011, he joined the band full-time playing standup bass for a side lineup known as “Melvins Lite”. They at first toured in 2011 which led to the 2012 album Freak Puke and 2012 tour in which they performed in all 50 states (plus Washington, D.C.) in 51 days. Dunn later appeared on three songs included on the bands all-covers album Everybody Loves Sausages in 2013. A new song with Dunn, entitled “Planet Destructo”, was released on the 2016 album Basses Loaded.

Other works

Trevor Dunn, Saalfelden Jazz Festival, 2009

Dunn has participated in dozens of other recordings, both as a main collaborator and a guest musician. He is part of Mike Pride’s MPThree, David Krakauer’s Klezmer Madness, and the Nels Cline Singers. He has contributed to or played with: Afro-Mystic, Ben Goldberg, Brian “Head” Welch, Graham Connah’s Sour Note Seven, Jess Jones Quartet, Junk Genius, Laplante/Dunn/Smith, John Zorn’s Electric Masada, Matisyahu, Rova Saxophone Quartet, Sean Lennon, Suit of Lights, Rob Price Quartet, Tin Hat Trio, and Tipsy.[4]

Gear

Bass guitars[

  • 1975 Fender P-Bass (his primary electric bass, tuned to B-E-A-D for Fantômas)
  • 1950’s Czech Contrabass (used with Trevor Dunn’s Trio-Convulsant and occasionally with Mr. Bungle)
  • 1991 Alembic 5-string Europa
  • Ken Lawrence 5-string fretless
  • Guild Ashbory
  • 1966 Guild Starfire

Selected discography

As Leader / co-leader

With Phillip Greenlief

  • 1996 − Phillip Greenlief / Trevor Dunn (Evander)

With Trio-Convulsant

  • 1998 − Debutantes & Centipedes (Buzz)
  • 2004 − Sister Phantom Owl Fish (Ipecac)

With Shelley Burgon

  • 2005 − untitled (self-released) (“…but in fact it is metaphysically titled “How Far Is Far?”)
  • 2005 − At Blim (Audiobot) live recording with Brett Larner as guest
  • 2006 − Baltimore (Skirl)

Solo album (with guest musicians)

  • 2008 − Four Films (Tzadik)

With MadLove

  • 2008 − White with Foam (Ipecac)

As band member

With Mr. Bungle

− Demo tapes
  • 1986 − The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny (Ladd-Frith Productions)
  • 1987 − Bowel of Chiley (Playhouse, Rastacor)
  • 1988 − Goddammit I Love America (The Works)
  • 1989 − OU818 (“B” Productions)
− Studio albums
  • 1991 − Mr. Bungle (Warner Bros.)
  • 1995 − Disco Volante (Warner Bros.)
  • 1999 − California (Warner Bros.)

With Secret Chiefs 3

  • 1996 − First Grand Constitution and Bylaws

With Fantômas

  • 1999 − Fantômas
  • 2001 − The Director’s Cut
  • 2002 − Millennium Monsterwork 2000 (by The Fantômas Melvins Big Band)
  • 2004 − Delìrium Còrdia
  • 2005 − Suspended Animation
  • 2008 − Live from London 2006 DVD (by The Fantômas Melvins Big Band)

With Melvins (Lite)

  • 2006 − A Live History of Gluttony and Lust (electric bass for this album, double bass for all subsequent releases)
  • 2012 − Freak Puke
  • 2013 – Everybody Loves Sausages (on three songs, also sings on “Timothy Leary Lives”)
  • 2016 – Basses Loaded (on “Planet Destructo”)

With The Nels Cline Singers

  • Macroscope (Mack Avenue, 2014)

With Tomahawk

  • 2013 − Oddfellows

As sideman

With Erik Friedlander

  • Grains of Paradise (Tzadik, 2001)
  • Broken Arm Trio (Skipstone, 2008)
  • 50 Miniatures for Improvising Quintet (Skipstone, 2010)
  • Bonebridge (Skipstone, 2011)
  • Nighthawks (Skipstone, 2014)
  • Oscalypso (Skipstone, 2015)

With Eyvind Kang

  • The Narrow Garden (Ipecac, 2012)

With Jamie Saft

  • 2009 – Black Shabbis

With John Zorn

  • 2000 − The Big Gundown – 15th Anniversary Special Edition
  • 2001 − The Gift
  • 2002 − Cobra: John Zorn’s Game Pieces Volume 2
  • 2002 − Filmworks XII: Three Documentaries
  • 2002 − Filmworks XIII: Invitation to a Suicide
  • 2003 − Filmworks XIV: Hiding and Seeking
  • 2004 − 50th Birthday Celebration Volume 4 with Electric Masada
  • 2005 − Electric Masada: At the Mountains of Madness with Electric Masada
  • 2005 − Filmworks Anthology – 20 Years of Soundtrack Music
  • 2006 − Moonchild: Songs Without Words with Moonchild
  • 2006 − Astronome with Moonchild
  • 2007 − Six Litanies for Heliogabalus with Moonchild
  • 2007 − Asmodeus: Book of Angels Volume 7 with Marc Ribot
  • 2008 − The Dreamers with The Dreamers
  • 2008 − The Crucible with Moonchild
  • 2009 − O’o with The Dreamers
  • 2010 − Ipos: Book of Angels Volume 14 with The Dreamers
  • 2010 − Ipsissimus with Moonchild
  • 2010 − Interzone
  • 2010 − Filmworks XXIV: The Nobel Prizewinner
  • 2010 − The Goddess – Music for the Ancient of Days
  • 2011 − Nova Express with the Nova Quartet
  • 2011 − At the Gates of Paradise
  • 2011 − A Dreamers Christmas with The Dreamers
  • 2012 − Templars: In Sacred Blood with Moonchild
  • 2012 − Enigmata
  • 2012 − Rimbaud
  • 2012 − A Vision in Blakelight
  • 2012 − The Concealed
  • 2013 − Dreamachines with the Nova Quartet
  • 2014 – On Leaves of Grass with the Nova Quartet
  • 2015 – Pellucidar: A Dreamers Fantabula with The Dreamers

With the Rob Price Quartet

  • 2004 − At Sunset with Ellery Eskelin and Joey Baron
  • 2007 − I Really Do Not See the Signal with Jim Black replacing Baron

Album collaborations

  • 1999 − PantyChrist by Bob Ostertag, Justin Bond and Otomo Yoshihide
  • 2004 − Eucademix by Yuka Honda

Guest appearances

  • 1994 − Dressing For Pleasure by Jon Hassell & Bluescreen (on the songs “Villa Narco” and “Mati”)
  • 1996 − In These Great Times by John Schott
  • 1999 − Memory Is an Elephant by Tin Hat Trio
  • 2000 − Helium by Tin Hat Trio
  • 2002 − The Rabbi’s Lover by Jenny Scheinman
  • 2003 − Dimly Lit: Collected Soundtracks 1996–2002 by Doug Wieselman
  • 2004 − Eucademix by Yuka Honda
  • 2004 − Shalagaster by Jenny Scheinman
  • 2005 − Nihm by Okkyung Lee
  • 2006 − Starling by Billy Martin
  • 2008 − Save Me from Myself by Head
  • 2008 − Terror Syndrome by Terror Syndrome
  • 2009 − Blackbird’s Echo by Niobe
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