BUCKETHEAD FAQ
+++ Version 1.0 +++
By Robert White

Questions:

01) Who is Buckethead?

02) What albums has Buckethead released?

03) What does Buckethead sound like?

04) What are Buckethead's influences?

05) What videos have been released?

06) Does Buckethead have any hobbies?

07) Where is Buckethead from?

08) How old is Buckethead?

09) When is Cobra Strike coming out?

10) Has Buckethead won any awards?

11) What are the lyrics for "Binge and Grab?"

12) Did Buckethead audition for the Red Hot Chili Peppers?

13) What articles/information is available?

14) Does Buckethead endorse any products?

15) Which monsters and robots has Buckethead battled?

16) What bands or artists has Buckethead recorded/performed with?

17) Who are the Deli Creeps?

18) Where is the sample in [insert song] from?

19) Are there any bootlegs available?

20) Does Buckethead use any nonstandard guitar tunings?

21) What soundtracks/scores has Bucket head played on?

22) What songs does Buckethead cover?

23) Is there any Buckethead guitar/bass tablature available?

24) I bought season passes to Bucketheadland, but before we even went through the entrance my kid started crying and we had to go home. Can I get my money back?

25) What musical equipment does Buckethead use?

26) Who is Death Cube K?This scarecrow looks just like Buckethead

27) How do I find out more about Buckethead's releases?

28) What happened to the rumored project with Rammellzee?

29) Why are some of the Buckethead/Death Cube K/Praxis tracks found on miscellaneous compilations?

30) Why is 1984 so different from other Praxis albums?

31) How do I get a Subharmonic/Strata release?

32) Does Buckethead have any formal musical training?

33) Was that the Bucketheadland ferris wheel I saw tipping over on TV?

34) Where is Buckethead playing next?

35) When is Buckethead Plays Disney going to be released?

36) What are "Binge Goods" and how can I get them?

37) Does Buckethead have any special powers to battle monsters and robots?

38) What is Bucketheadland?

01) Who is Buckethead?

Buckethead is the masked, inverted KFC bucket wearing, "mutant guitar virtuoso" that stunned audiences during Primus's set at OzzFest '99, toured the world with Praxis and GR2, and graced many a movie soundtrack/score. His major label debut as a member of the avant-funk outfit Praxis in 1992 opened ears and minds to his unique character and musical stylings. He has since released several solo albums (under his name and Death Cube K) and participated in many group settings (most notably the Deli Creeps, Praxis, Zillatron, Giant Robot, Giant Robot 2 and Cobra Strike) and performed/recorded numerous collaborations with other adventurous musicians and artists.

There has been much speculation as to the identity of Buckethead. We do know that he was raised in a chicken coop by chickens. And possibly due to the unusual circumstances surrounding his upbringing, he is a very private person. He doesn't grant many interviews, and shuns most conventional means of contact. The mask and bucket add an eerie air of mystery to his activities and serve as a harbinger for his otherworldly musical stylings and sensibilities. He would prefer that his fans accept his eccentricities, focus on his art and enjoy the wonderland of joy that is Bucketheadland.

He draws inspiration from science-fiction and horror movies, musicians, artists, writers, athletes and has bizarre fixation on Disneyland. His dream is to complete his own park--Bucketheadland, "Where all your dreams and nightmares can come true." This theme runs through many of his recordings and was first introduced to the public through his Psychobuddy columns in Guitar Player magazine back in 1991

02) What albums has Buckethead released?

Solo:

Bucketheadland (1992 Avant)
Giant Robot (1994 Sony Japan)
Day of the Robot (1996 Sub Meta)
Colma (1998 Cyber Octave)
Monsters and Robots (1999 Cyber Octave/Higher Octave Music/Virgin)

As Death Cube K:

Dreamatorium (1994 Strata)
Disembodied (1997 Ion)
Tunnel (tba)

With Praxis:

Transmutation (Mutatis Mutandis) (1992 Axiom)
Sacrifist (1994 Subharmonic)
Metatron (1995 Subharmonic)
Transmutation Live (1998 Douglas)
Collection (1998 Douglas)
Warzsawa (1999? InnerRhythmic)

With Giant Robot:

s/t (1996 NTT Records)

With Zillatron:

Lord of the Harvest (1994 Black Arc/Rykodisc)

With Cobra Strike:

13th Scroll (1999 Ion)

With Arcana (Tony Williams):

Arc of the Testimony (1997 Axiom)

With El Stew:

s/t (1999 OM)

 

03) What does Buckethead sound like?

Buckethead's musical stylings range from raw-power riffing and hyper-speed metal licks to idyllic, yet edgy chordal passages and heartrending melodic lines. His music is very difficult to categorize because each release tends to have its own flavor and context. Heavy Metal and Funk styles figure formidably in the mix, but he's not limited to the cliches of either genre. He's equally at home chicken pickin' country or re-creating the sound of a roller coaster with his guitar.

Compositionally speaking, many of his tunes are initially conceived to be soundtracks for rides at his imaginary theme-park--Bucketheadland. Brutal, grinding rhythms suddenly give way to serene floating passages, like you're inside a video game or experiencing an out of this world thrill ride.

 

04) What are Buckethead's influences?

Buckethead has cited Michael Jackson, Paul Gilbert, Shawn Lane, Yngwie Malmsteen, Bootsy Collins and Angus Young (AC/DC) as major inspirations as well as the experience of playing with Bill Laswell, Bernie Worrell, John Zorn, the Invisibl Skratch Picklz and other artists he has played and collaborated with. He also finds inspiration in books, sci-fi/horror movies and athletes, most notably Michael Jordan.

 

05) What videos have been released?

The video for "The Ballad of Buckethead," directed by Dave McKean, will be released in conjunction with the forthcoming Monsters and Robots album due out in September '99 on Cyber Octave.

The "Animal Behavior" video from Praxis Transmutation (Mutatis Mutandis) was aired on MTV Amp #113. It is also included on Binge Clips Vol. 2.

The "If 6 was 9" video from Axiom Funk (featuring Bootsy Collins) is rumored to have been played domestically on BET and has a Buckethead appearance.

The Binge Clips series available from Buckethead's Toystore features Buckethead and his pals in his different projects in performance and at play.


06) Does Buckethead have any hobbies?

Taxidermy, Sports, Martial Arts (Nunchukas), break dancing (robot-style), and visiting Disneyland. He has been there over 500 times. "I like Disneyland. I want to be buried there--parts of me in It's a Small World, Haunted Mansion, and Pirates of the Caribbean, plus parts in Tokyo Disneyland, Euro Disneyland, and Florida Disney World. There are enough bones to go around."


07) Where is Buckethead from?

Some say outer space, others say southern California. He currently resides in the San Francisco Bay area.

 

08) How old is Buckethead?

By most accounts he is in his late 20s.

 

09) When is Cobra Strike coming out?

This often delayed release is now available from Buckethead's Toystore and Norman's Sound and Vision.

 

10) Has Buckethead won any awards?

He regularly placed in the top three in the "Best Experimental Guitarist" category when Guitar Player magazine held its annual readers poll and was named one of the "Top 30 Trailblazers" by the same magazine in the January 1997 issue.

 

11) What are the lyrics for "Binge and Grab?"

This question is brought about by the instrumental version on the Buckethead Giant Robot (Sony/Japan) CD. Most people in the know aren't aware of a recorded vocal version existing. It is purported to be an old Deli Creeps song, so the lyrics may actually turn up further on down the line.

 

12) Did Buckethead audition for the Red Hot Chili Peppers?

Yes. One journalists account reported that the lead singer picked Buckethead up at the airport and found out that Buckethead had not heard any of their tunes. The audition proceeded anyway, and Buckethead played in his inimitable fashion (i.e., robot dance, hyper-metal licks etc...) and when he finished the band applauded raucously. Flea confirmed that they auditioned BH saying that he was "sweet and normal" but they wanted someone "...who could also kick a groove."

 

13) What articles/information is available?

The most authoritative article appeared in the November 1996 issue of Guitar Player magazine. It is a ten page feature written by James Rotondi, which also includes an in depth lesson which unmasks elements of Buckethead's guitar style, written by Rotondi and Jesse Gress.

 

14) Does Buckethead endorse any products?

Buckethead hasn't endorsed any products thus far, probably due to wanting to keep control over his image and likeness. This FAQ contains a listing the musical equipment he uses.

15) Which monsters and robots has Buckethead battled?

Buckethead is believed to have fought and defeated Bansheebot, Aquabot, Double Man and Tekadon D. He has also sparred with Slipdisc henchthings such as Centipede Woman, Broiler and Chickenhawk as well as the Haddonfield killer Michael "The Shape" Meyers.

 

16) What bands or artists has Buckethead recorded/performed with?

This ever increasing list includes Deli Creeps, Henry Kaiser, Bill Laswell, Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell, Praxis, Jonas Hellborg, Michael Shrieve, MCM and the Monster, Tony Williams (w/ Arcana), Giant Robot, Giant Robot 2, Primus, Zillatron, Painkiller, John Zorn, Company Week '91, Anton Fier, Julian Schnabel, Insvisibl Skratch Piklz, Michael Kamen, George S. Clinton, Pieces (Buckethead and Brain), Cobra Strike, Viggo Mortensen, El Stew, Ben Wa, Mike Keneally, Iggy Pop, Banyan, phonosychographDISK, DJ QBERT, William Ackerman, Jon Hassell and Bluescreen... There are several discographies available at Bucketheadland.com.

 

17) Who are the Deli Creeps?

The Deli Creeps are Buckethead's first band that gained notoriety in the SF Bay area. Mike Patton (Faith No More/Mr. Bungle) was once quoted as saying, "They're so good they make me want to puke." Patton later went on to co-found Ipecac Records.

Maximum Bob-Vocals
Buckethead-Guitars
Pinchface-Drums
Tony-Bass

They reformed briefly in 1996 and then broke up and moved on.

 

18) Where is the sample in [insert song] from?Amazing novelty! Rush delivery!

Samples from movies include Voyage into Space (AKA Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot), The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Enter the Dragon, A Clockwork Orange, Tetsuo the Iron Man, Blue Velvet, Naked Lunch, The Hills Have Eyes, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Mad Max... He has also used various talking books and video games.

 

19) Are there any bootlegs available?

Yes, there are some shows available for trading among tape traders.

 

20) Does Buckethead use any nonstandard guitar tunings?

Buckethead primarily relies on the standard tuning, and variations thereof (i.e., down one half step). Some of the Deli Creeps stuff may be tuned down even lower to accommodate vocals. Some of what you may think of as a detuned guitar may actually be a distorted bass guitar.

 

21) What soundtracks/scores has Buckethead played on?

Last Action Hero (soundtrack and score)
Mortal Kombat (soundtrack and score)
Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie (soundtrack)
Beverly Hills Ninja (score)
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (score)

 

22) What songs does Buckethead cover?

Theme from Giant Robot. Theme from Godzilla. Various Disney themes including "A Pirate's Life for Me," "It's a Small World" and "When You Wish Upon A Star." "Pure Imagination" from Willy Wonka. "Michael Myers Theme" from Halloween. Themes from Star Wars. "Close to You" by the Carpenters.

 

23) Is there any Buckethead guitar/bass tablature available?

The following Psychobuddy columns from Guitar Player are available at the Deadly Snake and Crane Guitars of the Buckethead Clan Temple of Deadly Sonic Arts:

Scoop From The Coop-June 1991
Chicken Feed-July 1991
Killer Flamin' Buddy-September 1991
Peep Show Binge-October 1991
Taxidermy Loaf-February 1992
I-5 Binge-April 1992
Giant Robot-July 1992
Revenge Wedge-February 1993
Numb Nubs-July 1994

Some of the Psychobuddy columns were reprinted in the How to Play Guitar series from GPI/Miller Freeman publications. These issues came with the audio examples on CD (played by a studio guitarist, not Buckethead).

The Rip Your Face Off Lesson from the November 1996 Guitar Player unmasked many techniques for guitar playing Buckethead enthusiasts to get a grip on.

 

24) I bought season passes to Bucketheadland, but before we even went through the entrance my kid started crying and we had to go home. Can I get my money back?

"We're sorry, we don't offer cash refunds at Bucketheadland. But, as a token of our appreciation, here are coupons for your entire family that are redeemable at The Cantina for a free small soft drink and Giant Robot pendant upon your next visit!"

 

25) What musical equipment does Buckethead use?

Guitars: Jackson Flying V, Steinberger GS, ESP MII, Gibson Chet Atkins, Ibanez X-Series Flying V, Takamine Acoustic, '59 Les Paul Custom (used on some Laswell-related projects), Gibson SG. '69 Gibson Les Paul Custom (used on the Cobra Strike and Viggo Mortensen projects recorded at Travis Dickerson Recording Studio).

Amplifiers: Peavey Reknown, misc. Marshall & Mesa Boogie heads, a Matt Wells head, Harry Kolbe Cabinets.

Effects: Roland SE 50, Rocktron Intellifex, Rockman, a Zoom multi effects unit, Alesis Midiverb II, A wah wah, Lexicon JamMan, Electro Harmonix Micro Synthesizer, Pro Co Rat, Digitech Whammy Pedal, Misc Toys.

Other: Amp Farm amp simulator plug in for Pro Tools (on Cobra Strike)

 

26) Who is Death Cube K?

The story goes that Death Cube K is an anagram for Buckethead coined by Tom "Doc" Darter. Buckethead assumed this identity so he could release a solo record ("Dreamatorium" on Strata) while his contract with Sony was in dispute. It has since stuck and become an alias for Buckethead to release his edgy ambient albums.

Many believe, however, that Death Cube K is a separate entity that looks like a photographic negative version of Buckethead with a "black chrome mask, like Darth Vader." This apparition haunts Buckethead and appears in his nightmares.

Writer William Gibson also borrowed the name in his novel Idoru (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1996). He entitled the first chapter of the book Death Cube K, which, in the book, is a bar in Japan with a theme based on Franz Kafka's In the Penal Colony. Nice place to visit, but you shouldn't get drunk there.

 

27) How do I find out more about Buckethead's releases?

An exhaustive review archive is available at the Bucketheadland Visitor Information Center.

 

28) What happened to the rumored project with Rammellzee?

This project initially conceived by Bill Laswell turned into the Praxis Sacrifist album that was released on Subharmonic. Laswell saw the direction it was taking and at the suggestion of John Zorn called it a Praxis project. A Rammellzee inspired project called Altered Beats did come out on Axiom some time later, but Buckethead wasn't on it.

 

29) Why are some of the Buckethead/Death Cube K/Praxis tracks found on miscellaneous compilations?

The people that own the rights to the Subharmonic/Strata releases have regurgitated some previously released tracks on to new compilations. These should probably be avoided due to dubious quality and the musicians and artists involved no longer receive any compensation.

 

30) Why is 1984 so different from other Praxis albums?

The labeling of 1984 is misleading. It is actually a repackaging of the Material 12" Praxis, originally released in 1984 on Celluloid Records. Buckethead does not appear on this recording.

 

31) How do I get a Subharmonic/Strata release?

They are all out of print, and some of them that are still around may be of inferior quality if they are not from the initial pressings. Listen before you buy.

 

32) Does Buckethead have any formal musical training?

Buckethead has cited lessons with Paul Gilbert, classical guitar lessons, Nicolas Slonimsky's book Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns, instructional books and videos (by Steve Trovato, Danny Gatton and Albert Lee), and the writings and works of Glenn Gould as major points of his musical studies.

 

33) Was that the Bucketheadland ferris wheel I saw tipping over on TV?

No. The mainstream media is not yet aware of Bucketheadland or its accidents.

 

34) Where is Buckethead playing next?

All Buckethead shows are announced at the Coming Attractions addition at Bucketheadland.com. Another good source is the Tour Dates section at cyberoctave.com.

 

35) When is Buckethead Plays Disney going to be released?

This highly anticipated release has yet to be completed. Buckethead wants it to be a special project, and is taking his time to complete it.

 

36) What are "Binge Goods" and how can I get them?

Binge Goods are Buckethead-related paraphernalia that is available through the coop. Binge Goods include, but are not limited to, CDs, cassette rarities, t-shirts and videos. To find out more about what is available send an SASE to the following address or go to Buckethead's Toystore.

Bucketheadland
915-C West Foothill Blvd.
Suite 545
Claremont, California 91711
USA

37) Does Buckethead have any special powers to battle monsters and robots?

Buckethead harnesses the spirits of all the slain and martyred chickens through the chicken bucket on his head. Without it he is helpless.

Buckethead has many special weapons and tactics for battling the monsters and robots in Bucketheadland. His guitar fighting style is well documented in the Temple of Deadly Sonic Arts.

38) What is Bucketheadland?

Bucketheadland is Buckethead's own theme park, "Where all your dreams and nightmares can come true." For more information, please visit the park's official web site, The Bucketheadland Visitor Information Center.

 

Please send corrections, additions or chunks to Terror@bucketheadland.com

 


+++ Acknowledgments +++

This FAQ was compiled with help from the following people and entities:

This FAQ was compiled with help from the following people and entities: Buckethead, Bryan Frankenseuss Theiss (Web Design, Illustrations and editorial assistance), Hostbot Guide, David Sebba, Articles from Guitar Player (Joe Gore and James Rotondi), Musician (Matt Resnicoff), the Wire (James Rotondi), and Guitar Shop (Pete Prown), Travis Dickerson, Throatrake, Pinchface, Frank Booth, Metatron, Leatherface, Johnny Sokko and Giant Robot.

This chicken boy is GOOD, dad!

NOTE: This document is intended as a collection of all known facts about the chicken boy. Passages pertaining to Buckethead's life represent the current scientific and anthropological consensus among leading experts. All theories are subject to change upon discovery of new evidence.