published on in Music buckethead


One of my Christmas gifts was a magazine subscription to Guitar Player. The biggest enjoyment I get out of a magazine like this, is I get to read about bands and musicians I normally wouldn’t hear about. I live in a musical vacuum, which is odd since I seem to like it so much. I don’t listen to the radio, watch MTV, and for some reason I don’t like computer software telling me what I might like (like iTunes, Pandora, Google, etc…). Over the past decade I’ve probably ‘discovered’ 3 or 4 groups or albums that I actually like. However, in the past two months I’ve found that many artists or groups I’m really digging because now I get to read about them more.

One artist I came across is Buckethead. The first image that comes to your mind when you read that name is exactly what you should think of. He is a man who wears a bucket on his head, and he, Brian Patrick Carrol, has been doing this for 20 years. That sort of fascinates me, because the only picture of buckethead with out the mask on was taken before he created the character. When he is interviewed, he will either talk through a hand puppet ( a gruesome head ), or he will write down what he wants to say.

But you know, considering how your typical rock start tends to look (especially 20 years ago):

[caption id=“attachment_764” align=“aligncenter” width=“359” caption=“Flashy!”][/caption]

Or, what other soloist guitar “Virtuoso’s” look and act like:

[caption id=“attachment_763” align=“alignleft” width=“300” caption=“I just did something in my pants!”][/caption]

[caption id=“attachment_762” align=“alignright” width=“190” caption=“I’m so good I can pout and play”][/caption]

I’m just sayin’, I don’t mind this as much as the above examples:

[caption id=“attachment_768” align=“aligncenter” width=“225” caption=“This is what happens when Mike Myers puts his energy into music… greatness!”][/caption]

Besides the look to make him stand out, he is WICKEDLY talented! I’ve seen a LOT of footage by now on youtube, and I’ve purchased a few of his solo albums, and this guys plays on another level. Some of it is pure shred, and its almost obnoxious, but it just doesn’t feel like he’s jerking his guitar off in your ear like Yngwie or Steve Vai. I offer the follow clips to explain what I mean, and why I’m really getting into this guys music. Yeah, I’ve found something else to fixate on :) His guitar is a serious piece of wood too, it’s a chambered over-sized Les Paul with 24 frets (awesome, most guitars have 21 or 22) and two kill switches which he uses a lot.

He can bust out a pretty traditional rock song, and it makes sense why he was Slash’s replacement for Guns and Roses (I think he’s much better than Slash, but I was never a big fan of GNR, and Axl is another rock star dick).

Then, he can have something thats really mellow and full of soul

Those arn’t technical breakthroughs, so here is a “Lesson” by Buckethead. It is not so much a lesson, because you can’t learn this. I would say he’s a robot, but I think even a robot would screw this up. Check out the 4 note tapping, then the really cool riff afterwards.

It’s not all rock n roll though, he also plays some amazing chicken pickin’…

…and break out the Nunchaku’s followed up by a Robot Dance… Because he just couldn’t come off any more scarier.

I read in an old interview that he wears the mask because he wants his performance to be about the music, and not him. That, and it lets him feel like to can do more and take more risks on stage (like dance). I can understand that, and appreciate the emphasis on it being about the music. He is also a horror movie fan, and that shows. Most of his music would make a killer soundtrack, he should do one of the Silent Hill games. I’m adding him to my short list of concerts I want to make an effort to see.