Trevor Dunn’s Secrect of Success: Never Stop Playing
“By the time I was in the sixth grade I wanted to be in a band that was huger than Kiss,” Trevor Dunn told Noisecreep of how a life in music began. But Dunn has never played in a band bigger than Kiss, and truthfully no one outside of Kiss has ever achieved such a thing. However, Dunn has made a living for the past twenty-five years playing in monumental, and wonderfully weird, bands like Mr. Bungle, Fantômas, the Melvins, and now his own band Madlove. It’s taken a lot of work over the years achieve the goal of not delivering or cooking food on the side; it’s all been about moving. Constantly.
To make a living with music Dunn has to keep touring and playing all he can at every chance that comes his way. This is the future he foresees, even into his fifties. “I don’t really see an end to it,” Dunn says. “It’s sort of become my lifestyle; it’s just the way that it is. As long as I can still make it down the stairs everyday and into a cab to the airport I’ll keep doing it.”
Trevor tributes his success by how varied he’s able to play and be hired to play. “One of the things that has been fortunate for me has being able to play different kinds of music. That has helped me stay versatile and make a living. If a rock bands not touring then I can go on a jazz tour or something.”
At the time of interview Dunn had just gotten back from some jazz festivals being the hired bass for John Zorn and he recalled all the grey haired jazz players who never think of laying the instrument down. “You see it all the time with these Jazz guys that basically play until they drop. They got nothing else to do, no pension or anything like that, and I’m happy to do that, ” Dunn exclaimed. “I don’t see any reason not to do that. I love playing music and I always feel like there’s something to learn and there are always new people to play with. I don’t have a problem with that at all.
“I’m very fortunate that I’m able to do this,” Dunn says, “It’s the only way I can survive. Occasionally when I’m home I’ll do small gigs around town. I just played a restaurant the other day and I gave a bass lesson last night, so I have to keep doing all of it really.”