Musicians Who Hide Their Identity



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Gorillaz are a British virtual band made up of fictional animated characters. Gorillaz were created in 1998 by the musician Damon Albarn, who contributes all the music and Jamie Hewlett, who does all the art. The band members consist of 2D, the lead singer who got the nickname 2D for the 2 dents he has in his head from bad accidents. Murdoc Niccals, the bassist, who’s birthday is 6/6/66 and made a deal with the devil to become a famous musician. Russel Hobbs, the drummer, who has the ability to summon the souls of dead ghost rappers to sing with the band. And Noodle, the guitar player, a Japanese girl, who is a super soldier specializing in music, created in a Government secret project. Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett got the idea for the band after watching hours of MTV and realizing that the modern commercial music scene had nothing of substance, so they created the virtual band to comment on that. 




Buckethead is the stage name for the multi instrumentalist musician Brian Patrick Carroll. Carrol wears a mask and a KFC chicken bucket on his head when he performs. Buckethead is best known for his talent of playing the electric guitar. He has mastered pretty much every genre of music, from funk, blues, metal to rock, progressive, bluegrass, and avant-garde music. The origin of Buckethead is that he grew up on a farm ran by evil farmers and was raised by chickens in the chicken coop. One day the chickens scratched his face off. This meant he could wear a mask everyday like it was Halloween so he was happy about it. The farmers threw in a bucket of fried chicken into the coop, he tried to put the fried chicken back together and then started wearing the bucket as a hat. He would watch movies from a distant drive in movie theater he could see from the chicken coop. He couldn’t hear the soundtrack from the film so he started playing the guitar to make up for it. Now, he travels the world playing his guitar and raises awareness about what the fast food chains do to his chicken friends. That is quite a legend. When asked about his mask during a MTV interview, Buckethead responded “There is no mask.” 



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Kiss is an iconic Glam-rock band that’s been playing since 1973. It’s four member original line up were Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss and Ace Frehley. Kiss was famous for their makeup and insane live performances that included pyrotechnics, fire breathing, levitating drum sets, smoking guitars and shooting rockets. The band members wore extensive makeup and costumes to hide their identities. They wanted to make alter egos of themselves that would help them be better artists and liberate them. Their personas were “The Star Child”, a hopeless romantic, “the Catman”, who has nine lives, “The Demon” and the “Space Ace”, who loves science fiction. 



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Slipknot is a very popular American heavy rock/metal band. The band consists of 8 members. Each member has on a prison jumpsuit, wears their signature grotesque mask, and has a number in the band, #0-#8.  The masks stem from one of the members who brought a clown mask to rehearsal and became known around town for his clown mask. The band decided that they should all have creepy masks on stage. The real identities behind Slipknot are, Corey Taylor, the lead singer, Shawn Crahan, percussionist, Jay Weinberg, drummer, Craig Jones, samples and keyboardist, Mick Thompson, guitarist, Sid Wilson, turn tables, Jim Root, guitarist, Alessandro Venturella, bass, and the newest member no one knows the identity of; “Tortilla Man”, who also plays percussion. 



Daft Punk 

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Daft Punk is a French electronic music duo formed in 1993.  They two members have been using robot personas since 1999. They wear robot masks and gloves while they perform. Their real identities are Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter. Daft Punk are famous for being shy and not giving very many interviews to the press. They have said that they choose to conceal their identities in an effort to avoid compromising their personal lives and to keep the attention focused on the music. When asked about the robot masks Thomas Bangalter said; “We did not choose to become robots. There was an accident in our studio. We were working on our sampler, and at exactly 9:09 a.m. on September 9, 1999, it exploded. When we regained consciousness, we discovered that we had become robots.” 



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The only masked female musician on this list is Sia  She is an Australian singer and songwriter, gaining attention for her distinctive vocals,  hard hitting lyrics, and cool artsy music videos. Sia Furler is also known for covering her face while performing. She usually wears a large blonde wig as her mask, sometimes topped with a bow.  The bang-length varies depending on if she needs to speak or sing. Also while performing live, Sia has hid behind props. All her music videos feature other performers, most often the young dancer Maddie Ziegler. While Sia was on The Late Late Show, she talked about her decision to start wearing the wigs “10 or 11 years” into her career, saying, “I thought, ‘What doesn’t exist in pop music at the moment?’ And it was mystery! I was like, ‘There’s pictures on Instagram of everyone at the dentist.’”



Marshmello is an American DJ and producer who’s been a mainstream player since 2015. He wears a giant marshmallow helmet while he performs. When he came on the scene in 2015 his fans and the whole internet were looking for clues for who he was. It became a joke with even Will Ferrell claiming to be the masked musician. Marshmello was once asked if he would ever reveal his identity by a journalist to which he replied with two thumbs down. Two months later he tweeted “I don’t take my helmet off because I don’t want or need fame. I’m genuinely trying to create something positive for people to connect with.” In 2017, Marshmello was confirmed by Forbes magazine to be Chris Comstock. Comstock said he was inspired to wear a helmet because the famous DJ’s Deadmau5 and Daft Punk wear them.

Peter O'Melia