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In the interest of spontaneity, there is no schedule for performances; but if you see Buckethead setting up corpses like an audience, there's a good chance of live music.—Bucketheadland Vol. II, "Today's Schedule/The Corpse Plower"
But then you see some guy like Buckethead? Buckethead is probably twice as good a guitar player as me and Slash combined, and can stand having fried chicken rubbed up against his face all night for a couple of hours.
Brian Patrick Carroll, better known by his stage name (or rather stage persona) Buckethead, is a prolific American experimental/avant-garde/progressive/thrash/jazz/electronica/insanity songwriter and multi-instrumentalist noted for his eccentric persona, as well as for being really good with his instruments. Really, really good. Also, he only ever performs while wearing an expressionless plain white mask and a KFC bucket on his head. To date, he has released more than 30 solo albums and performed on over 50 more. Played lead guitar for Guns N' Roses from 2000-2004, and for Praxis from 1992-1999 and from 2004-present. His discography may be found here.
Buckethead provides examples of:
- Achievements in Ignorance: See below. As Shawn Lane once mentioned, Buckethead managed (or at least came very close) to play "Kaiser Nancarrow", because he didn't know Lane composed that song in a way that it was unplayable in real time.
- Affectionate Nickname: Most of his friends and even some fans call him "Big B". His mother used to call him "Boo" for liking scary things.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Some have noticed that some of his mannerisms are reminiscent of autism or Asperger's Syndrome, though nobody knows for sure because nobody knows how much of it is in character. Or if he's just extremely weird.
- Amusement Park of Doom: Bucketheadland I and II.
- Apocalypse How: Class 3. With Population Override, Bucket manages to recount the extinction of the human race without singing a single word.
- Badass Long Hair
- Beyond the Impossible: His guitar playing reaches this at times. Particularly because he managed to perform a song the original artist composed to be unplayable! (Shawn Lane's "Kaiser Nancarrow")
- And he was considered too weird by one of the weirdest people in the music industry.
- Bucket Helmet: Duh.
- Buffy-Speak: Whenever he happens to actually speak. Also uses Metaphorgotten, Non Sequitur and sometimes even Insane Troll Logic.
- Bunny Ears Lawyer: He's very weird. He's also very, very good at what he does.
- A lot of people assume Buckethead's persona is just a stage gimmick, and that he is a normal person offstage. They are very wrong. Buckethead's persona is basically just a way he's found to allow himself to cope with his crippling fear of people. Offstage, however, he is pretty much just as weird in his private life. One anecdote going around was that when he was playing with Guns 'n Roses, while they were recording music in the studio, someone jokingly suggested that they build a chicken coop in the studio for Buckethead to live in. Buckethead loved the idea, and proceeded to do just that.
- Cloudcuckoolander: He's...awkward, to put it lightly.
- Coat, Bucket, Mask: One of his stage outfits throughout the years consisted of this.
- Collector of the Strange: He owns many odd things, like rubber chickens, rubber body parts, scary masks, many plastic buckets, aside from the ones he wears, and toys.
- Dark Is Not Evil: His appearance and eccentric behavior usually mark him as creepy and odd to most people. His friends and those who work with him, however, often state that he's a really nice guy.
- Do Not Call Me Paul: He takes his stage persona pretty seriously so unless you're one of his parents/relatives/close friends, he probably won't allow you to call him Brian. No, not even if you're Ozzy Osbourne.
- Epic Rocking: Many of his songs are around 10 minutes long. Most well known examples are probably "Siege Engine" and "Soothsayer". Some are split in parts, such as "Lurker at the Threshold".
- More recently, there's the album Look Up There, which includes the songs "Golden Eyes" (10:59) and the twice as long song "Look Up There".
- Everything's Better with Chickens: Or their fried remains. One of the two.
- The Faceless: Although there is an old video and a picture that (not very clearly) show his face when he was young, there's no way to see him without a mask, unless you work with the guy.
- Genre Busting: What's a genre?
- Genre Roulette: The man does everything. He tends to like separate genres by album, but sometimes he'll switch it up during the course of one, or even MID-SONG.
- Iconic Item: The white mask and plastic bucket, naturally. His custom made white Gibson guitar with a red killswitch may also count, as he seems to be using it almost exclusively.
- Man Child: Could be seen as such. He never talks while being filmed or infront of fans without his puppet, Herbie. Also, he often plays with or trades toys during live performances and is a big fan of the Disney Theme Parks.
- Miniscule Rocking: Many songs, but probably the most prominent examples are "Electric Bell Blanket" and "Big Sur Moon".
- Mistaken Identity: For a time people would find pictures on the Internet of a tall guitarist with long hair, standing next to Shawn Lane. Immediately someone rushed to the conclusion that it's Buckethead unmasked, because he knew Shawn Lane personally. Turns out it was the French guitarist Fanalo, who just happens to be tall like Buckethead. Apparently Fanalo got so many e-mails of people asking him if he's Buckethead (despite the fact that Buckethead's American, a few years older, etc.) that he now explicitly states on his myspace and facebook that he isn't. Amusingly enough, Fanalo wrote on his official site that he admits to being guitarist Bumblefoot (which he isn't either). He also posted a picture of himself wearing a KFC bucket on his head and covering his face.
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Oh, yes.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Practically embodies this trope. He adores horror, has a video filmed in a cemetery, owns rubber body parts and scary masks, one of his hobbies is taxidermy, etc. And in both recorded non-serious interviews (20 years apart) he still talks about visiting slaughterhouses and covering himself in blood.
- No Social Skills: Buckethead acts like this when filmed and interviewed. Whether the man himself behaves in any way similar in his daily life, or the whole thing is just playing the character, is not known.
- Obfuscating Insanity: No one denies that he's very eccentric, but he's not as crazy as his stage persona.
- One of Us: He once mentioned in a written interview that he's an avid video gamer, grew up with a room full of comic books and is also interested in Star Wars (one of the knobs on his guitar is a storm trooper head). And, of course, one of his inspirations - Giant Robo.
- Promoted Fanboy: Bucket's a fan of Bootsy Collins and later got to meet him and work with him. Now they often collaborate on albums and the two of them are good friends.
- Raised By Chickens: So he claims.
- Shout-Out: Almost all of his music contains references to people he admires and things he likes.
- Significant Anagram: The name of his side project Death Cube K is an anagram of Buckethead.
- White Mask of Doom: Obviously. Doubles as a Cool Mask, depending on how you look at it.
- Word Salad Title: Oh, plenty. Some of the more notable are "Bloody Rainbow Spiraling Sherbert Scoop", "Carpal Tunnel Tomb Torker", "Gory Head Stump 2006 The Pageant of the Slunks", "The Hills Have Headcheese", "Heaven of Black Tar Pitch" and others.