Trevor Roy Dunn
A feeble attempt to review Mr. Dunn’s long and extremely prolific and eclectic music career. Apologies beforehand for any errors /omissions.
Born in 1968, Trevor Roy Dunn grew up in Eureka, Humboldt County, California and began learning the bass at an early age. In 1985, while still at Eureka High school, he formed Mr.Bungle with schoolmates Mike Patton,Trey Spruance & Jed Watts.
After completing his BA in music at Humboldt State University in 1990, Trevor Dunn moved to San Francisco where he lived for eight years. During this period Trevor became over-active in the Bay Area music scene and was featured on over 30 recordings working with such noted artists as Graham Connah, Philip Greenlief, Ben Goldberg, John Schott, Bob Ostertag, Miya Masaoka and others.
For the past 15+ years Trevor has been known primarily as co-founder/composer & bassist of Mr. Bungle who released their debut self titled album on Warner Bros in 1991, produced by avant-garde experimentalist John Zorn, and went on to release 2 more (1995’s Disco Volante & 1999’s California) before being dropped by the label, which clearly never had a clue how to properly market such amazing and unique combo:
In 1992 Mr Bungle was commissioned by the Kronos quartet, enabling them to have their music performed at the Theatre Artaud in SF. At Mills College in Oakland, Trevor performed with William Winant & James Tenney as well as with Terry Riley for the 30-year anniversary performance of “In C”. Trevor has also played with the ROVA sax quartet, Tom Waits, Wayne Horvitz, Gerry Hemmingway, Wadada Leo Smith, Henry Kaiser, John Tchicai, Mark Izu, Francis Wong, Eyvind Kang, Omar Sosa, Joe McFee and the late Don Cherry.
In 1996 he spent a month in Turkey with saxophonist Ilhan Ersahin and also recorded a remarkable improv collaboration, with saxophonist and composer Phillip Greenlief (an album currently out of print).
In 1998, he was recruited by long time friend and Mr. Bungle/Faith No More vocalist to become Fantômas bassist, along with guitarist Buzz Osborne of the Melvins & the god of death metal drumming Dave Lombardo, formerly of Slayer, partaking in the recording all four studio albums; self-titled, The Director’s Cut, Delirium Cordia and Suspended Animation, and tours & festival gigs.
He was also involved in the earliest incarnation of Trey Spruance’s project Secret Chiefs 3, in the first two albums The Legendary Paper Project (as The Secret Chiefs Trio) and First Grand Constitution and Bylaws.
With a background in punk/death metal, the performance and compositional studies of contemporary classical music, and the experience in g blues, standards and free-jazz playing, Trevor is now leading his own group trio-convulsant. The debut recording Debutantes & Centipedes, released in 1999 by Buzz records (Adam Levy guitar/Kenny Wollesen drums), examines a twisted side of the 20th century psyche. This CD has been reviewed favorably in Bass Player, Jazziz and Jazz Times Magazine among others. A second album, Sister Phantom Owl Fish, was released in 2004 by Ipecac, with Mary Halvorson on guitars and Ches Smith on drums.
In February 2001 Jon Deak performed Trevor’s piece “depaysement” for solo bass, commissioned by the Elaine Kaufman Cultural Center, at Merkin Hall Lincoln Center.
Besides these recordings Trevor has performed live with Susie Ibarra’s Quartet, a trio with Marc Ribot, and Sanda Weigl’s Roumanian gypsy band along-side Anthony Coleman, John Zorn’s Electric Masada/The Dreamers, Raz Mesinai, Curtis Hasselbring- New Mellow Edwards; integrates the remarkable quartet Endangered Blood with Oscar Noriega, Chris Speed and Jim Black and Erik Friedlander’s Broken Arm Trio; he also goes a long way and recorded with great alto saxophonist and composer Tim Berne.
He has also played several gigs (including South America ones) with The Nels Cline Singers in 2010 and 2011. He has also recorded and performed live with New York based harpist Shelley Burgon and composed music for independent films, releasing the very wonderful “Four films” CD in 2008 (Tzadik).
Another Dunn jazz project is Proofreaders, focused on the music of Ornette Coleman and featuring trumpeter Nate Wooley, drummer Ryan Sawyer, and alto saxophonist Darius Jones .
He is also part of John Zorn’s Moonchild project, along with Joey Baron and Mike Patton, Moonchild, having recorded two albums, Songs Without Words and Astronome (Tzadik, 2006). The latest release is “Templars- In Sacred Blood” (Tzadik, 2012) also featuring John Medeski in organ and keyboards.
Trevor formed his own “rock” band, Madlove, in 2009 and released “White with foam” (Ipecac, 2009), an exquisitely crafted and produced album, with Ches Smith on drums, Sunny Kim on vocals, Hilmar Jensson on guitar and Erik Deutsch on keyboards. http://www.ipecac.com/artists/madlove
Dunn was also the designated bass player (electric and double) for the South American leg of Mike Patton’s Mondo Cane in 2011.
In 2011, long time friends The Melvins came up with the idea of an original side project which involved Dunn playing double bass. Thus Melvins Lite came to life and produced the impressive “Freak Puke” album, which was followed by a record-breaking tour of the U.S. with the trio performing 51 consecutive shows covering all 50 States and Washington D.C. Such touring peculiarity is to be repeated in Europe starting April 22nd 2013.
In 2012 he was again summoned by Mike Patton to fill in for Tomahawk‘s original bassist Kevin Rutmanis, and recorded the band’s latest album (released 2013) “Oddfellows” (as of April 2013, undergoing short touring stints in Australia, the U.S. and South America).
Quoting from his website “Speaking of records, this year (2012) I will most likely pass the 100 mark in terms of CDs that I play on”
Support your favorite artists by actually BUYING their music.
Apart from all that, probably one of the best photobombers ever!:
comments, suggestions, news, collaborations are very welcome at
This blog was conceived mainly to promote Trevor’s current/latest musical activities, kindly note it is not a Mr. Bungle and derivates page, thanks!
Thanks for stopping by!