Scott: There’s a myth that when I got the text, I thought I was being invited to play a show, rather than to join the band, so we should clear that up. But even if that was the case, that you guys had personally invited me to play a gig, I would have still been very excited about that. You could have told me we’d be making a record of us whistling for 90 minutes and I’d have been in!
Mike: “There’s a reason I called you… and that reason is that you were the best musical fit for that configuration.”
Scott: Why did you think that was?
Mike: “Because you inspired them, especially riffing wise. If you’re talking straight-up metal, there is nobody better than you! We were, and we are, very lucky to have you and Dave in our band, because otherwise we’re just a bunch of jokers from northern California – nobody fucking cares!”
Scott: That is so not true! How was it listening back to the original demo?
Mike: “It was cool! The only thing that sucked was trying to relearn stuff that you can’t hear. The original demo was recorded so poorly, on a four-track, and literally sounded like it was coming through a vacuum cleaner. I understood what we were trying to do back then, but in those days we couldn’t really do what we wanted to do. What’s cool about [the new album] is that we’ve been able to record it in a way people can actually hear, which is a fucking godsend. I never thought that it would happen.”
Scott: Nobody’s truly heard these songs, even if you had the original demos. I’ve been involved in recordings like that, too. I don’t know if you remember [Stormtroopers Of Death demo], Crab Society [North] in 1984? It was making noises and banging on shit, recorded into a Walkman. It was, like, 59 songs and totalled about eight minutes long. Sonically, it’s unlistenable, but it’s fucking ridiculous – in a good way! If The Wrath… had come out in ’86, properly produced like this, then Mr. Bungle would be known as one of the greatest thrash bands of all time.
Mike: “Now you’ve gone too far! Nobody would shake a finger at us in 1986.”
Scott: As a professor of thrash, that’s my opinion.
Mike: “If you tell me that, I guess I have to accept it.”
Scott: I didn’t really think of balancing being a fan and a musician. I had a job to do that I took extremely seriously because the material was not easy. Arrangement wise, it was difficult; riffs wise, it was difficult; stamina wise, it was difficult. It’s still a mind-fuck that I’m talking about playing on an album and have played shows with Mr. Bungle.
Mike: “For us too, believe me!”