BV interviews Dan Bunny of Bunnybrains
Some bands strive to live in the public eye, while others, like Bunnybrains, happily wallow in their own obscurity — and want to remain obscure, thank you. For 15 years now, Dan Bunny, and whoever happened to be in the room with him, wrote (and then destroyed) the book on noisy, willfully miscreant, psychedelic, free-form punk. [Flavorpill]
Welcome to my first interview (conducted via IM). The subject is none other than Dan Seward aka Dan Bunny from Bunnybrains. And by Bunnybrains I mean the REAL Bunnybrains, and there’s no relation there to Lady Bunny, and they are not an animal collective. They’re opening for Devendra Banhart on his upcoming tour, and Devendra and Dan DO go back a few years, and did I mention nudity? All this, Lightning Bolt, Pete Best and more if you keep reading…
dan bunny: hey
brooklynvegan: I’m sorry I accidentally linked to the other “Bunny Brains” in the post about your tour with Devendra. Why are/were there two “Bunny Brains?”
dan bunny: there r 2 bucuz ex members thought they would just absorb th head of steam i have built up over th years and try and blow up their scene with th juice
dan bunny: but they basically stole th fog machine and strobe lights but none of th hot spirit
brooklynvegan: I guess you’re not all still friends?
dan bunny: we r kinda..its more gentle sniping now than th all out war it was headed towards
dan bunny: i resented deeply sumone stealing th rubric of tons of time spent..especially th time spent w noone responding to it
brooklynvegan: I can understand that. At least you’re still kinda friends.
dan bunny: and i defended it like those bear mothers..not to be confused w panda moms who jump ship as soon as th kids out
brooklynvegan: Your website lists about 50 band members (past and present). How many are in your current lineup? Why so many changes?
dan bunny: Change is good sumone said once..i hope not a despot..we have a core of 4 currently and tons of auxiliary members
dan bunny: There are so few who can stick with it for too long..im an anomaly
brooklynvegan: Would you call it a collective?
dan bunny: It’s a collection of animals
brooklynvegan: more than bunnies?
dan bunny: th bass player is a wolf figure…he has animus issues
brooklynvegan: Is “Lady Bunny” the “Lady Bunny” of Wigstock fame?
dan bunny: is there one? we have a lady bunny?
brooklynvegan: I thought read it on your website
dan bunny: The bass player is makin an elaborate book and cd explaining why he is a wolfman on th october tour by th way
dan bunny: o?
dan bunny: lady bunny…ummm..no wigstock relationship
brooklynvegan: oops..its “Larry Bunny.” I thought it said “Lady”
dan bunny: o
dan bunny: hes our original videographer and financier
dan bunny: he won th lottery when he was 21
dan bunny: and helped fund our first releases
brooklynvegan: good deal
dan bunny: yeah we could not have done it w/out him
dan bunny: hes a 5th beatle
dan bunny: and his gal pal Meghan is also a 5th beatle..she still comes to all our NYC shows
brooklynvegan: I think the Pete Best Band is playing in NYC really soon (July 25th @ Kenny’s Castaways to be exact)
dan bunny: Pete Best?
dan bunny: he needs a hemmorhage?
dan bunny: i’d rather watch a klaus voorman dry
brooklynvegan: So speaking of releases, you’ve put out a lot of records dating back to 1991, and more recently a box set that compiles a lot of it. What does the box set consist of?
dan bunny: umm
dan bunny: it has cd from 1993 that we made..it has a 10″ from th now sound label..it has th matador lp..th blackjack lp and it has a self released cd from 1998 we handed out at a halloween show w bardo pond and high rise
brooklynvegan: So Bunny Brains was on Matador for one LP?
dan bunny: uhh..yeah tehy made one 7″ they gave away at th New Music Seminar and th pink lp
brooklynvegan: Are you with a label now, or is everything self released?
dan bunny: th box set is on Narnack and i’m tryin to get them to release a tour lp for october
brooklynvegan: the tour being the tour with Devendra Banhart?
dan bunny: yeah
dan bunny: they enjoy having fires lit under them at Narnack
brooklynvegan: I know that Devendra chooses musicians he both admires and likes to jam with for his tours. I read an interview with Devendra that confirms he does like your music, another interview on Pitchfork that said you helped Devendra find musicians for his new album, and I saw a show listing from 2003 that actually has Devendra (as Abra) opening for you. How long have you known him, and how did you meet?
dan bunny: i booked him and Entrance in Tivoli NY a few years back and we kinda stayed in touch since then
brooklynvegan: How did you help with Cripple Crow?
dan bunny: I playing the Professor and Dev playing th Lovable Goof
dan bunny: umm
dan bunny: cripley crowy
dan bunny: I kinda corralled people from Hudson that had no idea who he was and got them to perform
dan bunny: even Suzanne Thorpe hadn’t really heard any of his stuff
brooklynvegan: Did you perform?
dan bunny: no i wisely stayed away ..they are all in tune
dan bunny: i imparted psychic power
brooklynvegan: Will you play with him live on tour?
dan bunny: i hope we play together
brooklynvegan: I don’t think I’ve been to a Devendra show where he hasn’t pulled the other performers on the bill on stage with him.
dan bunny: really?
dan bunny: thats awesome
brooklynvegan: sometimes they seem prepared….sometimes they don’t
dan bunny: well we r definitely prepared to be unprepared
brooklynvegan: I was looking at pictures of a recent show you played in Boston, and they look pretty interesting to say the least…lots of blood and nudity even. What is a Bunny Brains show like?
dan bunny: not like that one..th lightning bolt crowd is kinda cliqueish so we needed to boil them a lil bit
brooklynvegan: Are you a fan of Lightning Bolt?
dan bunny: yeah they r good guys
brooklynvegan: They’re playing twice in NYC this week, and I’m hoping to check them out
dan bunny: yeah its always worth it
brooklynvegan: So for the Devendra tour, we can definitely expect a toned down show?
dan bunny: from us?
dan bunny: we r explicitly asked not to
brooklynvegan: excellent. I’m looking forward to it, and hopefully I can make it to one of your other NYC shows before then.
brooklynvegan: Any last words?
dan bunny: yeah
dan bunny: cake shop is supposed to be good
brooklynvegan: cool. thanks for chattin.
dan bunny: no probs
If you want to ask dan something (by the way, “dan bunny” is not his IM name), leave it in the comments. Maybe he’ll respond.