Buckethead Live in Colorado


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One of the Weirder Guitarists


Alright, we’re overdue for something about Buckethead here. Buckethead (sometimes referred to as Brian Carroll by his mother) is easily one of the most unique guitarists out there. It’s not so much that a KFC bucket is radiating inspiration or that the kabuki mask is surging with emotion, or the generic rain coats he adorns are booming with the latest and greatest in fashion, but for whatever reason this amalgam of oddities seems to work despite how many laws of physics say it shouldn’t.

I’m not trying to poke fun at the guy or anything. Far from it. Buckethead is in the group of my favorite kind of person. He’s fully embraced his wide variety of interests and made them a part of what he does for a living. Going to see a Buckethead show doesn’t always just mean you’re going to watch a guy play guitar. Some times you watch a guy doing the robot while flailing nunchuks around or he’ll walk around with a big chicken puppet or a severed head in between songs (if not during a song). It’s no wonder he and Les Claypool hit it off so well.

Stylistically he’s known for his technical proficiency as a shred machine, virtuoso tapper, and his use of effect pedals to get the most bizarre of sounds that help shape his style of playing guitar that can go anywhere from heavy high-speed metal to slower grungy stuff to more jammy psychadelic rock stuff.

Buckethead’s been a busy beaver throughout his career, perhaps gaining the biggest boost in public attention in the shortest span of time during his four year tenure with Guns n’ Roses, though his many collaborations with artists like several of Les Claypool’s projects including Primus and one of his oldest projects Brain. On top of all of that Buckethead’s solo artist catalog includes over forty albums and one whole entire EP.

Though Buckethead himself is often something of a recluse, if that’s even the proper word for it. He seldom goes out of the way to keep people constantly in the loop with his current events. Rather he just sorta does what he does and tells people later when they need to know. And when he does discuss things often it’s told in the lore of his own mythos he’s concocted to accompany his music. So there isn’t ever any real telling of what he has planned next.

Besides. Part of the fun with a guy like him is the surprise anticipation of what could be coming next. Buckethead is easily the kind of guitarist that not everyone will get, but the right people will.

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Kyle Smitchens

Kyle Smitchens is the Guitar-Muse Managing Editor, super hero extraordinaire, and all around great guy. He has been playing guitar since his late teens and writing personal biographies almost as long. An appreciator of all music, his biggest influences include Tchaikovsky, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Steve Vai, Therion, and Jon Levasseur of Cryptopsy.

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