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The Arts

Facing down the demons of his past

September 04, 2003

Jon Bunch, singer for emo pioneers Sense Field, has wrestled with demons for a long time. He denied it for a while -- to himself, family and friends -- but he came to terms with his past while recording the band's startlingly cathartic new album, "Living Outside."

"I've always equated being treated poorly as the equivalent of being loved," Bunch says. His parents were divorced when he was 3, and his father, a policeman, wasn't exactly supportive. "He married a woman he wished he didn't and had a family he wished he didn't have," Bunch says. "He made us pay for it."

Though he's since made peace with his father, Bunch is still fighting a longtime drug addiction and has brutal memories of sexual assault as a child at the hands of a neighbor.

Bunch concedes he repressed his past in lyrics for the band's previous albums, but no more. "It's the first time that I've really opened up about stuff," he says. "The songs are still hopeful songs, but it's finally just [about] standing up for yourself."

-- Jeff Miller

Sense Field at the Troubadour, 9081 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood. Friday, 7:30 p.m. $12.50. (310) 276-6168.

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