High school days are generally the time some young adults
figure out exactly who THEY are; I was an idiot.
Band practice meant hanging out making noise and stopping
for a “moment” to play Wii Bowling, $124 seemed like a lot
of money and a jaywalking ticket offered the most stress
a young 17-year-old could take (it went on my driving record
but that story will come at a later post).
One of my frustrations came immediately AFTER high school when
I apparently hadn’t invested enough thought into what
it was I was supposed to do or be. I just wanted to hang out
and make weird music. After graduation, I lost touch with
pretty much everybody, especially when I picked up a couple
of jobs. Getting a hold of friends to practice was like
pulling teeth from a rooster. In other words, it never
In my desperation, I logged onto Myspace (i know, right?)
and surfed the pages of bigger musicians I admired and
respected. Tommy Emmanuel, Andrew York, Les Claypool…
I probably spent a few hours over 30+ names wondering
if they experienced the same frustrations. Eventually I
came across Trevor Dunn the bassist from Mr. Bungle, Tomahawk,
Melvins (for the album Houdini) etc etc. Hands down his bass
work is among my favorite.
Anyway I sent him a pretty hefty message, probably about
as long of a read as this current blog post THUS FAR. I hadn’t
reached out to any of the other names but I felt I should
send him an epistle to see if he’d help a stupid post-high
He wrote back!
Not only did he write back but he replied with a message
equally as long as my message! I didn’t even read it right
away. I mostly stared at the collection of words in disbelief.
Once I came to I composed myself properly to read the advice.
I’ll have to paraphrase because Myspace deletes old messages
if you don’t log on for a while. I should have printed it.
That is one of the big regrets of my life so far. But I’ll
do my best to recall his advice.
Essentially he told me that my problems with finding
musicians that agree with me musically is gonna take time.
Don’t stop. Don’t change. He told me that when he and Patton
started up Mr. Bungle it was because they went into it
intentionally wanting to do the opposite of what was
considered success. They just wanted to make weird music.
They just wanted to see what could be done, musically.
“Hang in there and keep making music and refining your
I read his message 30 times.
I never gave up. And, in fact, I went through a good number
of musicians to get to our current lineup.
I owe a huge amount of my musical development to Trevor Dunn.
Someday I hope I can tell him in person that he is the reason
I never quit and the fact that he took the time to write me
such a detailed message (that I could not recall to give it
the justice it deserves) taught me that he is, and I quote,
“just a person.”
He’s a person that struggles just like everyone else. Keeping that in mind through the years reminds me that literally, EVERY person I have ever
looked up to is just a person. He’s a highly skilled person that
rocks out for a living… but still.
Thank you, Trevor Dunn!
-Bronson, Guitarist/vocalist of Bes
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