I remember the first time that my ears experienced the sweet sound of his music. I was around sixteen years old when I first listened to his music. And ‘Soothsayer’ was the first piece of music by him that I ever heard. I remember myself sitting right there, in front of my computer screen, waiting for the video to buffer, so that I could listen to the one video that YouTube had ever so fondly been recommending to me. So, I obliged. And I am glad I did, for that one moment, that one song, that one recommendation- completely changed my life.
No, I am not exaggerating anything. It was at that very moment, when the very first notes of the song hit my ears that I knew that I was in love. The song kept on playing, and I kept on listening, my love for this hell of an artist growing by every passing second, by every passing note that he hit, by every little beat of the drums. This man, just sliding his fingers through the magical instrument that he had held in his hand, had, in just a few minutes, had made me feel something no man ever had. It was one of those moments where you don’t know anything but that you’re happy, where no logic and no rationality cloud your unadulterated thoughts- a moment of sheer empty bliss. I was in love.
Brian Patrick Carroll. Or Buckethead, as he is so fondly called, is, for those of who don’t know, is an American guitarist and multi-instrumentalist. Why is he called ‘Buckethead’, you ask? Because he wears a bucket on his head. He has long and curly hair, wears a white mask on his face and a bucket on his head. And no ordinary bucket. A KFC bucket with the word ‘funeral’ written on it.
If the ‘legends’ are to be believed, Buckethead was raised by chickens. He lived in the coop with them on a farm run by evil owners. One day, the chickens scratched his face off, but he wore a mask. The Bucket came into his life when the evil farmers threw a bucket of fried chicken into the coop. (I know what you’re thinking. “What a load of bullcrap!” But believe me, this is the official story xD)
“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.”
— Buckethead, 1996 Guitar Player Magazine
Buckethead started playing guitar at the age of twelve and ever since, the magic in his fingers has only been embellished. Despite the very well known fact that he is a crazy guitarist, the one thing that personally ticked me about this musician is his desire to explore each and every shade of music. He doesn’t confine himself to a genre.
Be it an upbeat song like JORDAN:-
Or a calming piece of music like CRUEL REALITY OF NATURE:-
Or just a beautiful slow melody like SAIL ON SOOTHSAYER:-
Or a full on dance-y metal monster mama-jam like NIGHT OF THE SLUNK:-
This man does it all. He adds life to the notes in a way that just no one else can. He makes music come alive. Quite literally. Listen to this, if you don’t believe me.
Buckethead, in one of his interviews, was asked why he wears the mask that he does and what he said was, “There is no mask!” The absolute simplicity with which he works just absolutely blows my mind.
And yet. He just hasn’t received great recognition that he so direly deserves when artistes like Justin Bieber and One Direction (I do not wish to defame any artistes, but seriously, you and I both know what I mean to say here *wink*) flourish insanely. It breaks my heart to heart to hear kids talking about music and not once mentioning this God of a man. Calling Buckethead ‘underrated’ would be an understatement. It is absolutely heart wrenching to see other artistes reaching out at such a humongous magnitude as compared to this legendary musician when the kind of music that he creates is absolutely beyond compare!
Try going through this list once!
The fact that he personally numbered and monogrammed and drew the album covers to a 1000 copies of his 13 album collection ‘In Search of The’ himself just tells you how personal and important music is to Buckethead and all his fans. Oh, and, no two copies are the same. You don’t simply listen to Buckethead. YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH HIM!
Here fall in love, and you can thank me later:
He is gifted. The kind of music that he makes reaches out to the soul. It makes you feel, even when you’re devoid of all emotions. He makes you feel pain through his music, yet makes you shed tears of joy. Buckethead creates music that can make a numb heart beat again. His music brings out in you what no one else can. His music makes you feel. It’s almost as if the notes that he hits so gracefully almost dance out of his guitar all the way to your heart and somehow get you to dance with them. And he makes music, pure music. There are no lyrics to his songs. It’s then when the sheer beauty of pure, lucid music hits your ears that you realize the power of music. And this man makes you realize just that. His music is unadulterated. It is pious. He is a musical genius, a magician, a God. This man, whoever he is, behind that mask, is a hero, a true vanguard of music.
So, dear Buckethead,
If you ever happen to stumble upon this post, I direly need you to know that there is a girl out there, in this big, bad world, trying to cope with the everyday cruelties of life and your music gives her the power to fight it, and the resilience to bounce back and when everything else fails, your music and your music alone, brings her back into the state where she can feel again and that you’ve generously contributed to what she is today. She breathes your music.