The legendary guitarist revisits finding Mr. Bungle on a cassette tape in 1986 and playing those same songs as a member of the band more than three decades later.
Pioneering guitarist Scott Ian indulged a little bit of nostalgia during his recent appearance on the Knotfest series Mosh Talks.
Currently in the thick of promotion for his part in the upcoming re-recoding/re-release of Mr. Bungle’s famed 1985 demo demo The Raging Wrath of The Easter Bunny, Ian revisited how he first became aware of the band many years ago.
Recalling the practice of “tape-trading,” Ian talked about how people used to share cassette tapes to turn friends onto new music. Reiterating the importance of musical discovery, Ian joked that people probably won’t even know what he is talking about but went on to recall how trading tapes led him to find bands like Mercyful Fate and in this particular case, Mr. Bungle.
Listening to that tape back in 1986, Ian would disregard the quality of the recording and understand that what he was listening to in The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny was way ahead of it’s time.
Flash forward more than three decades later and Ian is re-recording those very same songs that blew his mind more than three decades ago.
As for Ian’s inclusion in the project, he explained that the original members of Trey Spruance, Mike Patton, and Trevor Dunn approached both he and Dave Lombardo with a very practical strategy. Ian and Lombardo were selected to be part of the latest incarnation of Mr. Bungle because back when the band first put out The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny, the guitarist and drummer were playing in the bands that Mr. Bungle looked to for inspiration in Anthrax and Slayer respectively.
Addressing the learning curve of jumping into a project that already had such established roots, Ian compared Mr. Bungle’s brand of thrash to that of Frank Zappa or Rush in terms of complexity. To put things into context, Ian talked about learning a particular song and have to make 93 different changes in one song. (You read that number correctly – 93.)
Ian would reiterate that complexity by confiding that it took him nearly 3 months to build the endurance and stamina to be able to play the Bungle tracks at a level he felt comfortable with. As a thrash veteran, Ian would go on to admit that Bungle is just a different standard of intensity.
As for Ian’s continued work with Anthrax and his other projects, the guitarist explained that even prior to the pandemic, there were plans to release new material on both the Anthrax and Motor Sister fronts. With the forced paused, Ian explains that the creative juices are certainly still flowing, but that patience is paramount. Reiterating his viewpoint that releasing a new record and not being able to tour in support of it just isn’t ideal, Ian assured fans there is new music in the works, it’s just an issue of finding the right time to make it public and share the complete experience of it.
From Bungle to Anthrax to Motor Sister, this installment of Mosh Talks covers all the bases. Watch the complete interview with legendary guitarist Scott Ian below.