I tried and tried to remember when I first heard Mr. Bungle and I can't remember.
What I do remember is that I discovered it with my friend Or, who I mentioned in the Iced Earth reminiscing post.
The earliest memory I have from Mr. Bugle is listening to their first s/t album in 1996 in my army service. Ironically, despite their apparently wacky music, it was exactly this music that was keeping me insane in those crazy and somber times. I remember distinctly one Friday morning that my platoon was getting ready to go back to our homes for the weekend. We were in a rookie training base and we had to clean up our quarters before being allowed to leave and we were on strict time. We had so much to do and I remember putting on the headphones and listening to the cassette (yes, a cassette) of Mr. Bungle's first album.
Those first notes managed to carry me away from the madness around me and the loaded, depressing and cumbersome environment of the military. Those songs on there would act as a sort of sedative to my aching mind and put a transparent shield between me and my surroundings. This is something I've done since childhood; putting a barrier between me and reality in the form of music.
People keep thinking I'm some sort of anti-social person, with me being with headphones on all the time. It's partly true, I guess. But I do have the need to be surrounded with music constantly. Not any music, but the music I like (otherwise, I prefer silence).
Nowadays, I just like to listen to all the new and old albums I have. And my lab work gives me perfect opportunity to listen to as much music as I want, uninterrupted. What I was doing back then in the army listening to Mr. Bungle (and other bands) was due in part to my need to dissociate from my surrounding and escape as well as to my addiction to and fascination with music. At that time I couldn't stop listening to that album; to its carnivalesque style, its humorous lyrics and tunes, its cheerful and catchy tunes and its eclectic nature. A classic.
I don't miss those days.
I do, however, miss the feelings I used to get back them when listening to it... Especially the first time...
Still (and will always be) a great album that I love to listen to.