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Madlove’s Trevor Dunn is Ready for the Stress of Being a Leader

Trevor Dunn has always been a bass player to count on. He always does his job, and he changes the game when it fits. This goes for the actual bands he’s been, in like Mr. Bungle, and when he’s a hired bassist like on the recent Melvins‘ anniversary tour. But with Madlove, Dunn is doing something he’s never done — be the leader. “It’s way more stressful,” he told Noisecreep when discussing the difference between playing in a band and leading it. “You gotta make sure everyone’s cool. You gotta take care of everyone, as opposed to just showing up and doing your job.”

“It had something to do with me getting older and wanting to call my own shots,” Dunn revealed as the reason behind his decision to start Madlove. “This was a handpicked band in a way. These are all players that I love to play with, that I felt could play anything. But I felt their personal voice in music was important.” Dunn says. The only member he hadn’t played with prior to Madlove was vocalist Sunny Kim, whom he discovered after a friend gave him a CD featuring Kim on vocals.

If anything, Dunn is ready for this role. Every band he’s been in has been a class in session. “Sitting back and being in a zillion bands over the years [has been] a school in itself. I’ve learned from some great bandleaders just on how to treat your band members and make sure everyone’s happy and enjoying themselves. You don’t want to drive them everyday into the ground with rehearsals. As long as everyone’s having fun and getting paid, it’s gonna be worthwhile for them and putting themselves into the music more I think. It’s gonna benefit the music ultimately.

“I’ve learned mostly what not to do from a lot of bands I’ve been in.” Dunn regretfully says as he’s seen some leaders make some mistakes that harmed bands while he did his job. “I’ve learned to be more decisive on a personal level. Making these decisions, and then saying, ‘this is how it is.’”

Though Madlove is still a new band with only a few shows under its belt, Dunn is ready to lead the band into bigger places. “There are certain things with this band we haven’t even done, like doing a big tour that I already know how to deal with.” Trevor explains, “There’s a certain lifestyle in touring … a lot of it comes down to how you book the tour. You don’t want these eight-hour drives every other day, because then everyone’s super cranky. That’s something that I’ve learned.”

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