Buckethead Biography

The identity and origins of US heavy metal guitarist Buckethead (who wears an empty fried chicken container over his head) remains shrouded in mystery. If the guitar shredder had his way, he would have you believe that he is half man/half chicken, raised in a chicken coop. Not much is known about the guitarist’s birthplace, but it has been confirmed that he was born sometime in 1969 in California, USA as Brian Carroll, and began playing the instrument at the age of 12, and eventually studied with Racer X / Mr. Big guitarist Paul Gilbert. By the early 90s, Buckethead had formed the Los Angeles-based outfit the Deli Creeps with members Maximum Bob (vocals), Pinchface (drums), and Tony (bass). The quartet built a following in the San Francisco bay area, but besides a five-track demo tape, the band never issued any proper recordings, and split up shortly thereafter. It was around this time that Buckethead was introduced to Bill Laswell and Bootsy Collins, via then-Limbomaniacs drummer, Brain. The quartet formed a progressive funk outfit, Praxis, and despite some line-up fluctuation, Buckethead lent his talents to several Praxis releases throughout the 90s, including 1992’s Transmutation (Mutatis Mutandis), and 1994’s Metatron and Sacrifist.

In addition to his work with Praxis, Buckethead also issued several solo releases during the decade which successfully established the masked wonder as one of hard rock’s more exciting and quirky guitarists. As a result, Buckethead was brought to the attention of Guns N’Roses frontman Axl Rose, who was looking for a replacement guitarist. Buckethead contributed guitar work to the oft-delayed Chinese Democracy album, and played a handful of live shows with the band (whose later line-up also includes former bandmate Brain on drums). Buckethead was struck by a mystery ailment in the summer of 2001 (which resulted in internal bleeding), on the eve of a major Guns N’Roses tour of European festivals. The guitarist eventually recovered and began work on his first album of the new millennium, Somewhere Over The Slaughterhouse. Buckethead has also guested on countless releases by other artists, including Banyan, Cornbugs, Icehouse, Viggo Mortensen, and Bernie Worrell, as well as contributing to side projects such as Death Cube K and Giant Robot.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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