Mr. Bungle shared their cover of Van Halen’s “Loss of Control” from the upcoming record release of their Halloween 2020 livestream special, The Night They Came Home. It’s the second performance they’ve shared from the live album after “Bungle Grind.”
The cover is a pretty faithful tribute to Van Halen’s original, which is one of the rock band’s heaviest cuts, from their 1980 classic, Women and Children First. Mr. Bungle’s frontman Mike Patton clearly had fun with the “Mayday” spoken word part, as well as all of David Lee Roth’s yells and maniacal cackles. Founding members Trey Spruance and Trevor Dunn definitely stayed in control of the song’s lead guitar and bass parts. The band was joined by their legendary new additions, Anthrax’s rhythm guitarist Scott Ian and former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo.
It was the final song that Mr. Bungle performed during the livestream, selected in honor of Eddie Van Halen, who passed away on October 6, 2020 at age 65 following a long battle with cancer. Following his death, Patton and Ian both made statements paying their respects. “There was only one Eddie Van Halen,” Patton stated. “Some of those solos I would sing, they were so musical and so out there. Rest in peace EVH.”
Scott Ian had posted a picture of a signature EVH guitar that Van Halen had gifted him for his 50th birthday and stated in a separate post, “I remember the moment I heard Eruption – 9th grade lunchroom early 1978, our long hair crew sequestered at our usual table in the corner – all seven of us crowded around my friend David Karibian’s little cassette player that was cued up… David was smiling at us because he’d already heard it and he knew it was going to blow our fucking minds and then he hit play… 7 jaws hit the floor at the same time and life suddenly was so much more fun.”
Ian and Spruance both commented to GuitarWorld about their nervousness at performing Van Halen’s riffs. Spruance’s statement comes first, “Mr. Bungle tried to play this song in the ’90s and we scrapped it because we sucked at it. I think it worked this time for a lot of reasons. My own is that, thanks to the new Raging Wrath era, I’ve had to re-approach the guitar like I did when I was 13 and 14. It was all about Eddie Van Halen for me back then, so circling back at this moment felt really natural. Those riffs and lead parts at least are super-fun! I’m just glad Scott took the palm-mute breaks. Jesus!”
“I generally don’t get nervous about learning someone else’s riffs… When it’s an EVH riff it’s a whole different story,” Ian added. “I was terrified! With ‘Loss Of Control‘ I did my best to just hold on and go for the ride. What a riff! As a fan, I’d have to say it’s a perfect song for Mr. Bungle to cover. I hope you enjoy listening as much as I did getting to play it.”
The album version of The Night They Came Home will be released in full on June 11 via Ipecac Recordings. It’s currently up for pre-order now, including options for Blu-Ray & CD, DVD & CD and VHS & Cassette. All purchases will include digital downloads, and the live album will also be available on streaming services.
The tracklist mostly consists of performances of the songs from Mr. Bungle’s recently re-recorded demo album The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny, but there are some other covers as well. They opened the set with a metal version of Fred Rogers’ “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” combined Slayer’s “Hell Awaits” with Seals & Crofts’ “Summer Breeze,” and performed Circle Jerks’ “World Up My Ass” as well as a Spanish version of S.O.D.’s “Speak English or Die,” renamed “Hypocrites/Habla Español O Muere.”