The Chocolate Bunnies From Hell were heralded as leading the second Winnipeg Music Wave, and burst on the scene when former The Smarties frontman PJ Burton moved from Edmontonian in 1984 and hooked up with guitarist Clayton Alverson. Jamming together led to the addition of Bob Filep on keyboards, drummer Eric Goodmanson, and bassist Gary Achtemachuk. Infusing new wave elements into a punk package, they played the local clubs and gained a reputation for their energetic charged shows, complete with fan favourite renditions of “Ring of Fire,” “Under My Thumb,” and “I Fought The Law.”
In the spring of ’86 they went down the street to Century 21 Studios with producer Greg Axford, and released their first single, a cover of Iggy Pop’s “Pumpin’ For Jill,” as well as their first independent video, as well. The b-side to the single was the Burton/Filep penned “Simple Man.” The following spring, those same sessions with producer Greg Axford at Century 21 Studios also resulted in “Hidden Worlds” making it on to a local radio station’s ‘homegrown’ album. But to sanitize the image a bit, their name was shortened to simply ‘Chocolate Bunnies.’
The added exposure led to their second video, for “Run With Me,” which got decent rotation on MuchMusic. Again, the single also got good airplay around the region’s airwaves, and became their biggest single and one of the favourite live staples as it helped fuel several cross Canada dates. The group was regularly featured on TV and worked with producer Arnold Lanni before Lanni went on to success with Our Lady Peace.
Various incarnations of the band have been on the stage and off again, and over the years everyone eventually got out of the business all together. Burton became a teacher, where he reportedly often dressed like a headbanging rock star just to throw the kids off. Alverson became a session player and worked on a couple of projects with the Winnipeg Symphony.
In ’05, a revamped lineup centering around Burton and Alverson released a cover of The Guess Who‘s “No Time” for the tribute album, GUESS WHO’S HOME? and accompanying weekend festival. Their new single, “Can’t Stand That Fuckin’ Band” followed, and they performed at the Phantom of the Paradise convention Phantompalooza.
and continued reforming now and again over the years. Including the opening slot for Goddo at The Zoo in 2013.