Meme Only Account

Thought I'd open a Buckethead thread! :D

Buckethead has been around since the late eighties/early nineties and was in early bands including Deli Creeps & the Bill Laswell assembled Praxis. He's had numerous other bands/side-projects, mostly revolving around Buckethead himself; some of them invented, it would seem, simply to circumvent contracts with various record labels. He was also in Guns N' Roses between 2000 - 2004.

Buckethead is Brian Patrick Carroll. There's not a great deal of genuine detail online about the guy behind the mask, although plenty of amusing speculation; the goofy, comedic, slightly creepy persona is really all part of the charm. His identity, where he's from, what age he is, etc; none of this seems to have been confirmed by Carroll. Very few people within the music industry, who actually know him personally (& this would seem to be very few in number), speak about Carroll publicly.

Carroll has seldom spoken publicly about his alter-ego/stage-persona Buckethead; and Buckethead doesn't speak. Destroy All Monsters (Guitar Player Magazine 1996) is probably the most detailed interview with Carroll (Buckethead had a column in Guitar Player Magazine in the early nineties) until the revelationary Coming Alive podcast interview of July 2017. There are very few genuine photographs of Carroll online (there are probably only two of him that are real; both are from when he was in his teens); and, as touched upon, Buckethead doesn't do interviews, do any real promotion (in a conventional sense), or really do anything publicly.

Buckethead has always released a lot of music, especially since the mid-2000s. More recently his vehicle for releasing albums has been via his Buckethead Pikes series, small half-hour albums that he self-releases via Bandcamp; he has released over 250 Pikes since mid-2011.

Buckethead returned to touring in April 2016 after a three year hiatus...


More information on Buckethead can be found here:
Buckethead (Wiki)
Buckethead Discography (Wiki)
Buckethead Pikes

Buckethead is probably best known for his early work on the album Colma (1998):

And for songs like Nottingham Lace (2005), Soothsayer (2006), and Jordan (2009):

Buckethead's Gear (2013):
UberProAudio article on Buckethead's guitars, pedals, amps, etc.
Buckethead Guitar Gear Rig and Equipment
Last edited:

Early Buckethead "Interview":
Mock interview; Buckethead doesn't actually say anything. Not sure when this dates from or source.
(Possibly footage from Secret Recipe).

Shawn Lane (1993):
Shawn Lane, on stage, is asked "what do you think about Buckethead?"

Guitar Player Magazine (1996):
Interview with Brian Carroll.
Krraaaccckkkkk! Shaaboooommmm! Thunder and lightning rip through the
foyer of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion, flashing a terrible light on the domed
ceiling and the corpse that dangles from it on the end of a noose. Everyone
present lets out a bloodcurdling scream - almost everyone that is. A six-foot-
plus, long-haired, guitar-wielding robot wearing a white mask and a fried-
chicken bucket on his head - Buckethead - alone stands unfazed. But then, he's
probably been on this ride at least 500 times, mostly at night, then he can slip
past the guards and enter the mansion undetected to sit in with the haunted
mansion house band. (Buckethead claims their invisible pianist taught him how
to play Chopin's "Funeral March.") From Haunted Mansion to Pirates of the
Caribbean, Buckethead likes weird places and strange people. Maybe that's
why his virtuosic post-metal psycho-shred has been tapped by ecentric
collaborators from Bootsy Collins to John Zorn to Bill Laswell to Jnas Hellborg
to Iggy Pop. Or maybe they're just really scared of Buckethead and will do
anything he tells them to.

On this particular day, it's Buckethead's alter-ego, mild-mannered Buckethead,
who roams the dark corridors of the haunted mansion. Like Peter Parker to
Spider Man or Bruce Banner to the Hulk, Carroll is the flipside of his freakish
creation. A likable, guileless, extremely self-effacing 27-year old, Carroll molded
his childhood fascination with hardcore horror movies, martial arts, Michael
Jackson, Disneyland, and heavy metal guitar into a playing style and onstage
persona that shatters the stereotype of the babe-snaggin' guitar-jock cool guy
with the same force that it explodes the harmonic and textural possibilities of the
guitar. Like Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne, he's on a super hero's mission not to
harm, but to help. He dreams of constructing his own version of Disneyland for
the children of the world - Bucketheadland.

With two new records on the shelves - jungle beat driven "The Day of the
Robot" on Sub-Meta and "Giant Robot" on NTT (2633 Lincoln Blvd., Suite
405, Santa Monica CA 90405), plus an album with jazz drummer Tony
Williams featuring Ornette Coleman and Pharoah Sanders, an upcoming project
with fellow guitar virtuoso Shawn Lane, and an all-Disney theme album for
Zorn's Avant label, Buckethead is poised at the guillotine edge of progressive
rock guitar. Inspired by forward thinking buddies like Laswell, Praxis drummer
Brain and the DJ outfit Invisible Scratch Pickles, he's genetically mutating metal
guitar into bizarre hybrids with hip hop, jungle and ambient music. Sprawling
metropoli and thatched villages beware: the time has come to destroy all

The suburban room where Carroll grew up near Los Angeles (about a half-hour
from Disneyland) say it all: Bruce Lee, Michael Jackson and Leatherface
posters adorn the walls. On the ample bookshelf, works on Paganini, Slonimsky
and Glenn Gould are slipped between magic books, martial arts material and
slasher flick compendiums. Robot toys with laser eyes stare from every corner
and there is a futuristic rack of CDs boasting titles from hip hoppers the Wu-
Tang clan, techno-trip-hop buddies the Chemical Brothers, Yngwie's Rising
Force and the soundtracks to Godzilla and War of the Gargantuans.

It's clear that visual stimulation is every bit as important to Buckethead's guitar
playing as the music he listen to and the theory he has absorbed.

Onstage with Praxis - with Brain and bassist Laswell or with his band Giant
Robot, Buckethead moves with robotic precision, but he imagines pictures in
his head as he plays. "It's just more fun that way", he explains, fiddling
nervously with a Giant Robot doll. "For the most part, I think in terms of
amusement park rides and monster and robot movies. I'll watch a movie
without the sound and play to the picture. I would watch the death scene in
Texas Chainsaw Massacre where Leatherface slams the steel door, and a low
and creepy drone comes in. I would use that drone to solo over, the sound of
that guy's death. I guess that's kind of bad, but I was into it. The whole scene is
so vicious and powerful, it gives me a certain feeling. When I put myself in that
position, I like to tape what I'm playing and feeling, because of what it brings
out in me."

As a kid, Brian's mom nicknamed him "Boo" because of his obsession with
monsters and robots, and he took karate lessons from the age of ten. By the
time he was 13, he'd picked up guitar under the spell of Angus Young and
Randy Rhoads, whose classic "Crazy Train" riff and 32nd note pull off runs are
echoed on Bucketheadland's "Park Theme" (The Japan-only release is available
through Avant/Disc Union, 2-13-1 Iidabashi Chiyoda-Ky, Tokyo 102, Japan, or
direct from Buckethead). "I was really into sports, but I liked guitar because it
was something you could do all by yourself," he recalls. Yngwie Malmsteen's
early recordings, some of them only available as Japanese imports - like many
of Bucket's albums - were a major revelation.

"When Yngwie came out he was totally in your face; you can tell he just
wanted to destroy," Caroll raves. "It's so dramatic, and that aspect of it was as
cool as the speed. Plenty of people play fast but they don't set it up like he
does. Like the way "Far Beyond the Sun" builds and builds until there's a
break, and then the guitar rips into it - the payoff is so great. Yngwie had that
fire and even now I'm trying to use that to motivate me. The fact that he hasn't
changed is pretty rad too. He doesn't care what people think and I admire that."

Sitting across from Buckethead as he fires off four-fingered diminished-scale
tapping licks at breakneck speed is humbling. But he makes it look incredibly
easy, as if technical wizardry were second nature. It's partly the result of keen
observation. "I can usually understand what someone's doing pretty quickly,"
he nods. "In martial arts, I can see why Bruce Lee was so much better than
everyone else, because of the way he moved his body. It was in the way he
held his arms and all those little details. When I saw Yngwie or Paul Gilbert
or Shawn Lane, I could see quickly HOW they did it, even though it took a lot of
time to actually play it. I looked at Shawn Lane's hands to see how he picks,
because technically I've never seen anyone more efficient. Of course, the real
ideas are in his head. When he plays, he's always looking out into space,
because he's going for the sound. But I still had to ask myself "What is he doing
to get that sound?"".

Back at Disneyland, the Rolling Thunder roller coaster is suddenly pitched into
darkness as it flies through a miniature mountain range, and its occupants -
mostly teenage girls - let out a communal shriek that subsides for a moment
when the car re-emerges into daylight. Relief turns to horror, however, when
they notice that Buckethead, seated in the front car, has zipped his jacket up
over his head and is waving his arms in the air as if the tunnel has just
decapitated him. Reunited with terra firma moments later, Buckethead draws a
parallel between high speed roller coasters and his own careening 32nd note
phrases. It's an apt analogy. Buck's peaks and troughs come from his weirdo
scale forms and note choices, including minor 9th intervals, whole tones and
stacked minor seconds. Surely Leatherface didn't teach him that. "I got a lot of
mileage from Slonimsky's "Melodic Patterns", he says of the late musicologist's
classic text. "There's a lot of really disjointed stuff in there, like far-apart
intervals and octave displacement [the transposition of certain notes in a phrase
or chromatic line an octave above or below their normal scale position]. There's
also a section on quadratonal arpeggios - that sounded crazy." In addition to
Slonimsky, lessons with Mr. Bug's Paul Gilbert and classical guitar
studies sharpened Buckethead's technique, right-hand/left-hand independence
and theory chops. He's also picked up a thing or two from books by G.I.T.'s Steve
Trovato, and he's plundered Danny Gatton and Albert Lee videos to learn, uh,
chicken picking. These days, though, he says he's more inclined to leave the
books at home and trust his ears. "I just love the sound the hammering stuff
makes", he insists. "It isn't about using four fingers on both hands. That's just
the technique I use to get there. It's not even that tough to do technically , but
the way it sounds is so bizarre. When Shawn Lane plays fast, it's like a swarm
of notes; it really creates a texture." Suddenly, Buckethead face drops and goes
quiet. "Captain Eo", he gasps, as we approach Disneyland's 3-D theater, "Huge
influence." He's not kidding. Two thirds of the way through the film for which
the audience views stunning effects through 3D glasses, Michael Jackson's
singing and dancing - the biggest influence on Buckethead's stage moves - has
turned all but a handful of the bad space guys into orange-clad love-happy
dance fiends. Only the Medusa-meets-Siouxsie Sioux evil queen, played by
Anjelica Huston remains to be converted to the light. "This is the best part", he
whispers as the theme music goes into a robotic drum-machine and bass
breakdown that Jackson moonwalks to with killer finesse. The groove uses
exactly the kid of heavily syncopated breakbeat and funky bass line that
Buckehead exploited on his early Japanese releases, and the outer-space funk
vibe is straight-up Bootsy Collins (the legendary P-Funk bassist and
Buckethead's frequent collaborator and inter-galactic mentor.) After getting a
copy of one of Buckethead's homemade videos, Bootsy with fellow P-Funk vet
Bernie Worrell on keys, became part of the first Praxis ensemble, which
included Brain and DJ Afrika Baby Bam. The group debuted with the Laswell-
produced Axiom album, 1992's "Transmutation", Later, Bootsy produced
Buckethead's first solo album.

In '94 Buckethead recorded Dreamatorium [Subharmonic, 180 Varick St., New
York, NY 10014] under the name Death Cube K (an anagram for
"Buckethead" coined by Keyboard magazine editor Tom "Doc" Darter). The
album was a dark, quasi-ambient duet with Laswell that highlighted his
cinematic flair, clean-toned melancholy and improvisational sensitivity. "I
practice a lot, but when I'm improvising I don't think about any of that',
Buckethead explains. "In basketball you shoot 50 baskets in practice so that in
the game, it's instant. As long as you have the control, you can just do it -
BAM!". Before Dreamatorium, he appeared on 1993's "Octave of the Holy
Innocents" [Day Eight US, 532 LaGuardia Place #421, New York, NY 10003]
with jazz bassist Jonas Hellborg and drummer Michael Shrieve. There his clean
tone has a plucky quality that fits in nicely with the album's dry, crisp grooves.

He's also appeared on Henry Kaiser's "Hope you like our new direction"
[Reckless], Anton Fier's "Dreamspeed [Avant], Bootsy's "Zillatron", Will
Ackerman's "The Opening of Doors [Windham Hill], Derek Bailey and John
Zorn's "Company 91" [Incus], the Axiom Funkcronomicon collection, Jon
Hassell's "Dressing for Pleasure" [Warner Bros.] and the soundtrack to "The
Last Action Hero". "I listen more and hear things a lot better because of being
around all these incredible people," Buckethead nods. "That education is the
best. It's insane, really."

When it comes to piloting a rocket ship or roller coaster, Buckethead is
untouchable, but admittedly he's no expert on gear and his take on guitar stores
is succinct: "It's like a slaughterhouse in there, with all those guitar carcasses
hanging around. You could do a jig in there." If pressed, he'll 'fess up to prizing
an '80s Ibanez X-series Flying V style ax with a Schaller-floating tremelo and
custom egg-yolk colored double coils (one white, one yellow) designed by Steve
Blucher at DiMarzio. He often plays a blue ESP M2 strat-shaped custom with a
Floyd Rose but he complains that the guitar is too small for his tall frame (at a
recent show in San Francisco with Mike Keneally, he accidentally snapped the
headstock off the ESP after dropping it in frustration). On several Laswell
projects, he experimented with a '59 Les Paul Custom. He generally uses .009
D'Addario nickel-wrap strings.

While his phrasing is unmistakable, a trule personal, distinctive tone has always
eluded Buckethead. Possibly his best recorded sound was on Praxis'
"Metatron", on which Axiom house guitarist Nicky Skopelitis hooked him up
with a Well's 17 1/2 watt head designed by gear wizard Matt Wells. The Wells
amp wired through a Harry Kolbe 4x12 cab produced a full, bright tone that
was particular effective on Buck's Eddie Hazel-ish auto-filtered clean chords
and psychedelic shred-blues passages. It also tracked his hyperspeed leads and
trill-punctuated chunk rhythms equally well. But Buckethead, a fan of solid-
state gear's even response and good tracking is just as likely to turn up at a gig
with a VHT Pitbull 50 watt head, and for a recent "Buckethead and Friends"
show at Manhattan's Wetlands he rented TWO Mesa dual rectifier full stacks
and ran them in stereo. "That sounded soooo gnarly", he gushes "I was freaking
out." Then again, the devastating tones on Sacrifist were recorded direct
through a Zoom multi-effector. Go figure.

For all those nightmarish, chandelier-smashing swirls, Buckethead plays his
characteristic tapping flourish through a Roland SE-50 multi-effector set to
harmonize the part in four ascending half-step voices above each pitch,
essentially forming a cluster above or below each note. Apart from that, his
effects are limited to a ProCo Rat, an Alesis Midiverb II for echo, occasional
wah and a recently acquired Lexicon Jam Man for looping. "I think a lot in
loops now", he says, "because of rap and dance music. Sometimes instead of
using a harmonizer, I'll take one of those tapped things and record it four times,
moving it up a half-step each time. You can get some really dense harmony that

It's getting late and Space Mountain, the last ride of the night beckons. Chowing
greasy fries in the shadow of the Matterhorn, a stone's throw from
Tomorrowland, Carroll squirms slightly at the thought that he's unmasking
Buckethead for this interview. Like Peter Parker and Bruce Wayne,
Buckethead has always tried to protect his anonymity, although he feels it's
finally time to learn to co-exist with this monster. Buckethead, the story goes,
was raised in a chicken coop. But Carroll, who first performed in character
regularly with his old band the Deli creeps remembers a parallel genesis.

"I had just seen Halloween IV", he recalls of a dark night in 1989, "and as soon
as it was over I went into a store across the street and said 'Do you have any
Michael Myers masks?' They had a white mask, which really wasn't like a
Michael Myers mask, but I liked it a lot. That night I was eating chicken out of
a bucket that my dad brought home. It wasn't a Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket
either. It said "Deli Chicken" on the outside. I was eating it, and I put the mask
on and then the bucket on my head. I went to the mirror. I just said
'Buckethead. That's Buckethead right there.' It was just one of those things.
After that, I wanted to be that thing all the time."

The combination of Buckethead the friendly ax murderer with Buckethead the
guitar wizard and robotic stage performer was practically instantaneous. "I
thought it made sense with the way I play", he explains. "I play all this weird
stuff, but if I just look like me, it isn't going to work. But, if I'm like this weird
freak..." If anything, Carroll feels that becoming Buckethead has allowed him to
express himself more freely than he would as unassuming Buckethead. "It
opened the door to endless possibilities", he concurs as fireworks erupt in the
Tomorrowland sky. "I can work anything into that character and make it totally
work: all the thing I love in my life, like Disney, Giant Robot, Texas Chainsaw.
Even though I'm wearing a mask and have a character, it's more real, more
about what I'm really like, because I'm too shy to let a lot of things out. Every
reason I became Buckethead and am Buckethead has to do with the way I live.
It's not because I thought it would be successful. I never use anything that isn't
part of what I really loved as a child or love right now."

Buckethead MTV Interview (2002):
Guns N' Roses era MTV interview; Herbie does the talking in the video version.
Beneath The Bucket, Behind The Mask: Kurt Loder Meets GN’R’s Buckethead
Guitarist has chicken fetish, will speak only through his rubber hand puppet.
by MTV News Staff 11/21/2002

The Buckethead backstory begins with a kid named Brian Carroll growing up in
a Southern California suburb not far from Disneyland. He’s a shy kid and
spends a lot of time in his room, which is filled with comic books, video
games, martial-arts movie memorabilia, slasher-flick stuff, all the usual
youth-culture detritus. He also spends a whole lot of time at Disneyland.

As a teenager, Brian takes up the guitar, plonking away under the sway of
such metal masters as Angus Young of AC/DC; the late Randy Rhoads, of the
Ozzy Osbourne band; and Swedish overdrive virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen. Like the
latter two, Carroll incorporates a considerable amount of classical-music
consciousness into his burgeoning style. He reads a lot of music theory. He
starts getting really, really good.

Unlike his idols, however, Carroll is anything but flamboyant. Mane-tossing
guitar-god moves are not something he’ll ever be comfortable attempting.
In fact, in an ideal world, there’d be somebody else he could one day take up
onstage with him and hide behind. Some sort of alter ego.

Nobody much liked the 1988 fright flick “Halloween 4: The Return of
Michael Myers.” After 10 years, this slasher franchise was pretty much played
out. (Even though it’s still with us today!) But Brian Carroll was inspired
by the film. He went right out after seeing it and bought a Michael
Myers-like white mask. Then, that night, as he was eating from a bucketful of
take-out fried chicken, another inspiration struck. He described it in a 1996
interview with Guitar Player magazine: “I was eating it, and I put the mask
on and then the bucket on my head. I went to the mirror. I just said,
’Buckethead. That’s Buckethead right there.’ It was just one of those
things. After that, I wanted to be that thing all the time.”

Unlike the editors of Guitar Player (for which Bucket once wrote a column
called “Psychobuddy”), you needn’t be conversant with minor 9th intervals or
quadratonal arpeggios to be knocked sideways by Buckethead’s
war-of-the-worlds guitar eruptions. His star-burst chord clusters and
eye-frazzling eight-finger solos aren’t like much else you’ll be hearing on
this planet anytime soon.

Of course there are all kinds of aspiring guitar wizards out there (although
probably none within pick-flicking distance of this guy). But what sets
Carroll decisively apart from the pack is the outré “Buckethead” persona he’s
so painstakingly created. This character, with its vaguely sinister mask,
soberly upended KFC bucket, and absurdly detailed chicken fetish, is pure
American surrealism. Buckethead is a star of a strange new kind: not the
projection of a preening personality, as is usually the case, but a mirror, a
screen, a somehow lovable cipher. As a musical presence, he seems almost (one
of Carroll’s favorite words) disembodied.

Although most people are probably experiencing Buckethead for the first time
in his current stint with the new Guns N’ Roses, the man has been putting out
solo albums for the last 10 years. Some, like the 1999 Monsters and Robots,
are pure “post-metal psycho-shred,” as one writer put it. Others, like the
just-released Electric Tears, are serenely ambient. Buckethead also records
under the name Death Cube K (an anagram); the 1994 Dreamatorium is a good

In addition to this solo output, Buckethead has also recorded and performed
with a wild array of other musicians, from P-Funk all-stars Bootsy Collins
and Bernie Worrell to Iggy Pop, Primus, avant-fusion bassist Bill Laswell and
the late Miles Davis Quintet drummer Tony Williams. He’s played on three
albums by “The Lord of the Rings” star Viggo Mortensen, one by the painter Julian
Schnabel, and some movie soundtracks and scores, too (“The Last Action Hero,”
“Mortal Kombat,” “Beverly Hills Ninja”). He longs to do an all-Disney album.
(“When You Wish Upon a Star” is one of his favorite tunes.)

We encountered Buckethead backstage at two recent Guns N’ Roses shows, in
Vancouver and Seattle. On both occasions he was standing in his dressing
room, in full Bucket regalia, wailing away, at subdued volume, on his
extra-large, custom-made Flying V guitar. (Since he stands about seven feet
tall — with bucket — he feels that regular, off-the-rack guitars look too
dinky in his hands.) His fingers, like those of such renowned forebears as
Robert Johnson and Jimi Hendrix, are extraordinarily long, and dizzying to
follow as they caper among the frets. (He says he has a “really huge” big
toe, too. Whatever.)

As he played, he appeared to be meditating on a large rack in front of him
filled with odd dolls and objects: Michael Myers, of course; Leatherface from
“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”; a little plastic replica of Colonel Sanders, the
late KFC impresario; and a rubber chicken straight out of vaudeville.

Brian Carroll is very soft-spoken and self-effacing. He seems to be the sort
of person who’s consumed by music, and one wonders, in talking to him, if
there’s any musical style or school with which he doesn’t have at least a
glancing acquaintance. Since the Buckethead character was famously raised by
chickens, and has made it his mission in life to alert the world to the
ongoing chicken holocaust in fast-food joints around the globe, we wondered
about the presence of the Colonel Sanders doll in his travel rack. Carroll
said, “It’s like your father; maybe he beats you, but he’s still your
father, and you love him, and … it’s complicated.”

Unlike Carroll, Buckethead doesn’t speak at all, at least not for public
consumption. When our cameras were about to start rolling, he fitted a
whole-head rubber monster mask over his right hand and said that this
improvised puppet — he calls it “Herbie” — would answer all questions. We
asked what the chicken deal was. Apparently, the evil man who owned the farm
where Buckethead was raised (with chickens, remember) came to the coop one
day and cruelly slipped some fried chicken pieces inside.

“And for the first time,” Herbie says, “he realized they were cooking
chickens. And they were his family, so he tried to put them back together,
and he just kind of went nuts. And he put the bucket on his head ’cause he
thought he could help all those dead chickens come back to life. So when he
plays, it’s like the sound of all those dead chickens coming through his

Okay. And this rubber chicken here?

“This is kind of sad,” Herbie says. “It makes him play more pretty. When he
sees this, he thinks of lullabies and that sort of stuff. But it’s not real,
and he knows it’s not real.”

When Brian Carroll first got a call from Axl Rose inviting him to join Guns
N’ Roses, he was nonplussed at first. He knew the band, of course, but it
wasn’t really … his kind of thing, right?

Axl persevered, though. At Christmas he invited Brian over to his house. It
hadn’t been a happy Buckethead holiday up to that point: he’d really, really
been hoping that someone would give him a certain hard-to-find Leatherface
doll he’d been coveting as a gift, but no one had. Then he arrived at Axl’s
place, and Axl had that very doll — and he gave it to him. Brian took this as
a sign (“He must understand me somehow”), and he joined the band.

So has Axl been any help to Buckethead in scoring chicks on this tour?

There’s a pause, then Herbie says, “He’s scared of, uh, girls. He just gets
a weird feeling. He doesn’t understand the feeling that he gets.”

Some sort of chick/chicken confusion, maybe?

“That’s a possibility,” Herbie says. “I’ve never thought of that. And I’m
sure he hasn’t, either.”

By this point, showtime is impending. Bucket has to head for the stage. We’ve
pretty much covered everything, though: the chickens, the bucket … But wait
— the mask. What about the mask?

“There is no mask,” Herbie says.

—Kurt Loder

Buckethead Guitar Lesson (2005):
Buckethead goes through a few "nub" techniques; Herbie does the talking.
(Possibly originated from Guitar One magazine.)

Viggo Mortensen Article (2006):
Article about Viggo Mortensen in Esquire in which Buckethead apparently gave a "rare phone interview".
The Appealingly Weird World of Viggo Mortensen
In a rare phone interview that he agrees to do only because "for Viggo, I'd pretty much do whatever," Buckethead describes their collaboration in the recording studio as an often wordless exchange. "You know when kids play? They're just playing and they don't really have to talk? It's like that, I guess. It feels right. It doesn't feel complicated or weird. There's no ego stuff," says Buckethead, who is so mortified by the prospect of celebrity that he wears a Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket on his head whenever he performs. But Viggo, he says, hasn't been altered by fame.

"He's never different," the guitarist says. There's a long silence. "He doesn't seem like he belongs in this time."

Buckethead & Bootsy "Interview" (2011):
Mock interview with Buckethead & Bootsy Collins. No idea of source.

Josh Freese Interview (2013):
Josh Freese talks about Buckethead in an interview in 2013 by I'd Hit That for a PodOmatic podcast.
Episode 34 - John Freese
(> YouTube Edit)

Bryan "Brain" Mantia Interview (2015):
Brain talks about Buckethead (& other stuff) in an interview in 2015 for The Five Count radio show.
An Evening With Primus' Bryan "Brain" Mantia...
(> YouTube Edit)

Bryan "Brain" Mantia Interview (2015):
Brain talks about Buckethead in an interview in 2015 by I'd Hit That for a PodOmatic podcast.
Episode 78 - Brain
(> YouTube Edit)


A Conversation with Buckethead (2017)
Brian Carroll talks to psychotherapists Barry Michels in July 2017 for Coming Alive podcast.
Episode 4: A Conversation With Buckethead
(>YouTube Edit)
If you're at all into the guitar (or were a Guns N' Roses fan), then chances are you know who Buckethead is. And if you've never heard of him, prepare to meet one of the most talented, generous, and soulful human beings around.

In this episode of Coming Alive, Barry talks to Buckethead, whose real name is Brian Carroll. In his first full-length interview ever (yes, it's really him!), Brian talks about:
  • His Part X and how he uses the Tools to fight his fears
  • How he learned to focus on bringing his gifts to the world instead of worrying about what others think of him
  • How some major life challenges—including the death of his parents, a back injury, and heart problems—have imbued his music with more feeling
  • What it feels like to be in a flow state and how to enhance the creative process
  • His biggest influences and sources of inspiration, including Barry, Bootsy Collins, Paul Gilbert, Shawn Lane, and Michael Jordan.

Bryan "Brain" Mantia Interview (2018):
Brain talks to NatterNet about Buckethead, GNR, & his career.
NatterNet had the pleasure of talking to ex-Guns N Roses and frequent Buckethead collaborator Bryan 'Brain' Mantia. In his most extensive interview, we cover everything from Axl Rose to Buckethead, Riots to Pornstars, Metallica to Limp Bizkit and more. You can find excerpts focusing on just Buckethead and GNR below and on our channel. You can also find time stamps in our pinned comment.
Brain Interview -Buckethead, GNR, Axl Rose, Primus (Sept 2018) ["Full Interview"]
Brain talks about Buckethead (Sept 2018) ["Talks Buckethead Excerpt"]
Ex-GNR Drummer Brain talks Guns N Roses/ Axl Rose/ Buckethead (Sept 2018) ["Talks Axl/ GNR (w/Buckethead) Excerpt"]

Other Scraps:

Buckethead FAQs
Official Buckethead website; out-of-date & now abandoned.
Last updated about 2012; much of the information dates to several years before this.
FAQ Version 1.0 By Robert White (1999)
FAQ Version 2.0 By Robert White (2003)

Marcus Henderson Interview (2007):
Guitar Hero's Marcus Henderson talks about the making/writing of Buckethead song Jordan.
Guitar Hero's Marcus Henderson: The Guitar World Interview
GW While you and the other Guitar Hero musicians perform all the music in the game, Buckethead submitted his own song, “Jordan,” for Guitar Hero II. How did that come about?

HENDERSON Buckethead’s a friend of mine, so I just called him up. I knew he’d be perfect for the game—I mean, he’s a video game character in his own right. He’s not the most accessible person in the world and he doesn’t do interviews or talk in public, so I had to jump through a few hoops to get him to call me back. So he called me back and thanked me for giving him the opportunity to be part of the game, and we worked on “Jordan” together over the phone. I told him what we wanted: something between three and four minutes, nothing over 64th notes because the game can’t figure out the difference, and start off with a great intro and then go into “Buckhethead land” for two or three minutes and come back around—and whatever you send us will be perfect. And when he was done he left me a voicemail that said, “I think this is one of the best things I’ve ever recorded in my entire life.” And when I heard it I got chills up my spine—it was just incredible. He called it “Jordan” as an homage to Michael Jordan—he’s a huge basketball fan, which makes sense since he’s like 6’7.”
Jordan (Buckethead song)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Jordan" is a song by American musician Buckethead. Originally featured as a playable track on the 2006 music video game Guitar Hero II, "Jordan" was officially released as a downloadable single via iTunes on August 18, 2009.[1]

Prior to the inclusion of a studio version of "Jordan" on Guitar Hero II, the song was performed live by Buckethead at a number of shows. While performing the song, Buckethead would omit the guitar solos and interpolate another song (often "Post Office Buddy" from Giant Robot), a series of songs or an improvisation. One such early live version was released as "Vertebrae" on the Praxis live albumTennessee 2004 in 2007. Since the release of the studio version, Buckethead has often included the solo in his live performances of Jordan.

An alternate version of "Jordan" was re-created specifically for the video game Guitar Hero II. It is considered one of the most difficult songs to play in the series on Expert difficulty[2] due to the complexity of its guitar solos, particularly the "Guitar Solo B" and "Guitar Solo C" sections. On the Xbox 360 version, the "Kick the Bucket Award" is an achievement worth 30 gamerscore, and is awarded for completing the song on Expert difficulty.

The fastest tapping portions of the solo reach approximately 15.47 notes per second (32nd-notes @ 116 BPM in a 4/4 meter). In this part of the solo, Buckethead frets the notes using only his left hand, instead of resorting to two-handed tapping.

The picking portion of the solo reaches a speed of 11.6 notes per second (16th-note triplets @ 116 BPM in a 4/4 meter).

The Guitar Hero series' resident guitarist Marcus Henderson stated that Buckethead feels "Jordan" to be one of the best things he has ever recorded.[3] It was also stated in an interview with Marcus Henderson that "Jordan" is named after Michael Jordan, of whom Buckethead is a huge fan, even referencing the single cover to the Jumpman logo seen on many Jordan-related merchandise, like the Air Jordan shoe brand.

The main riff of "Jordan" is played using left hand hammer-ons and pull-offs, while Buckethead's right hand uses his trademark kill switch.[4] The main guitar riff also features extensive use of a Digitech Whammy pitch shifter. The off-beat 16th note rhythm scheme is reminiscent of Buckethead's earlier songs "Jump Man" (also dedicated to Michael Jordan) and "Night of the Slunk", both first released on Monsters and Robots (1999).

According to Travis Dickerson, operator of the studio where Jordan has been recorded, "the take ultimately used [for the studio version] was played in one unbroken, unedited pass".[5]
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Misc. Bucket Dump Post:

See post #132
Siren 19 (1997?) by Giant Robot (Buckethead, Brain & Pete Scaturro)
Poster on TDRS has described this as "a musical cues set comprised of music one can licence for use in films, commercials, etc". Not released as such (it's not an album), but various tracks are up on YouTube.

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If you were ever interested in buying a Buckethead Pike, then now might be the time! Other than the three latest Pikes (#217-219), all of them (#1-216) are available (until January 3rd, when the sale ends) as digital downloads for $1.85/each! :ok:

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Been listening to two pikes lately. "Arcade of the Deserted" and an older one "Backwards Chimney" Great music to just put on late at night. Very enjoyable and listenable but also not very intrusive (probably because of the mellow/atmospheric parts of some of the music and the lack of vocals) I can easily just listen to "Backwards Chimney" and not realize that I've suddenly heard the album 3 times in a row. Good stuff for when you need a break from the stuff you normally listen too :ok:
Backwards Chimney is a lovely, lovely album. You hit it on the head with your description: atmospheric. And Arcade of the Deserted; that's a bit new is it not, Sixes? I only downloaded that the other day; haven't even listened to it all the way through yet. Any particular reason you were listening to those two?

Either way, nice to see someone giving Bucket a listen! :ok:
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I forgot the album title of the one I liked so much. I want to recommend it to Sixes and see how he rates it compared to the ones he mentioned. Can you give me a help, Cried?
I forgot the album title of the one I liked so much. I want to recommend it to Sixes and see how he rates it compared to the ones he mentioned. Can you give me a help, Cried?
I think you really liked Monument Valley (Pike #49):

Good stuff for when you need a break from the stuff you normally listen too :ok:
Normally listen to? Sixes, you seem (from your Now Playing posts) to listen to anything & everything! :D
Arcade of the Deserted is from February this year. So yes, one of his newer ones.

Any particular reason you were listening to those two?

I pretty much picked both at random from their titles and cover artwork. They're both quite good though. Arcade of the Deserted also strikes a very good balance between atmosphere and really heavy parts.
@Forostar Sure! Just bear in mind that I picked those two pikes completely at random so don't know how good they are in the grand scheme of Buckethead release. I did enjoy both of them though :)