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Buckethead Biography

Home > Music > B > Buckethead > Biography

Birth Name: Brian Patrick Carroll
Born: 1969/05/13
Years Active: 1988 — Present
Genres: Avant-garde, Noise Rock, Jazz Fusion, Funk, Jazz, Thrash Metal, Bluegrass, Instrumental Rock, Hard Rock, Progressive Metal, Heavy Metal, Experimental Rock, Funk Metal, Ambient, Dark Ambient, Alternative Metal, Electronica, Country Rock, Folk Rock

Buckethead (born Brian Carroll, May 13, 1969) is a guitarist and multi instrumentalist who has worked within several genres of music. He has released over 75 studio albums and has performed on over 50 more albums by other artists. His music spans such diverse areas as progressive metal, funk, blues, jazz, bluegrass, ambient, and avant-garde music.

Buckethead is famous for wearing a KFC bucket on his head, emblazoned with an orange bumper sticker reading FUNERAL in capital black block letters, and an expressionless plain white mask which, according to Buckethead, was inspired by his seeing “Halloween 4.” At one point, he changed to a plain white bucket that no longer bore the KFC logo, but subsequently reverted to his trademark KFC bucket. He also incorporates nunchaku and robot dancing into his stage performances.

As an instrumentalist, Buckethead has received critical acclaim for his electric guitar playing, and is considered one of today's more innovative guitarists. Buckethead performs primarily as a solo artist, though he has collaborated extensively with a wide variety of high-profile artists such as Bill Laswell, Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell, Iggy Pop, Les Claypool, Serj Tankian, Bill Moseley, Mike Patton, Viggo Mortensen, That 1 Guy, Bassnectar, and was a member of Guns N' Roses from 2000 to 2004. Buckethead has also written and performed music for major motion pictures, including, “Saw II,” “Ghosts of Mars,” “Beverly Hills Ninja,” “Mortal Kombat,” “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation,” “Last Action Hero,” and contributed lead guitar to the track “Firebird” featured on the “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie” soundtrack.

Buckethead began playing guitar at the age of 12, taking lessons from Max McGuire, Johnny Fortune, Mark Hammond, Pebber Brown and Paul Gilbert. He got his start playing music in a band called Class-X while he sent out demo tapes.

His first two demo's earned him a record deal with the Avant record label, which put out his first album, “Bucketheadland” in 1992. That same year, Buckethead, with Bill Laswell, Bernie Worrell, Bootsy Collins, and Bryan “Brain” Mantia, formed the group Praxis. Their first album, “Transmutation” arrived that same year and was well received.

Aside from his work with Praxis, Buckethead continued to release solo music, of note was his fifth studio album, 1999’s “Monsters and Robots,” a collaboration with Les Claypool, which went on to be the best-selling album of his career.

Buckethead's popularity was catapulted to mainstream audiences when he was the lead guitarist for Guns N' Roses from 2000 to 2004. Buckethead continued to release his own work as well as collaborate with other artists, recently working on a project with the actor Viggo Mortensen. Buckethead took some time away from the music world in the late 2000s due to some personal issues relating to stress, and re-emerged in 2012 with the sixth installment of the “Buckethead Pikes” series, and “Balloon Cement,” his 36th studio album. In 2013 he released a total of 31 new albums.