Bucketheadland Heroes: Frankenseuss 'Bryan Theiss'
Good evening everybody, in our previous 'Bucketheadland Heroes' episode we covered one of the parks main mechanics Dan Monti. And today another faithful park member takes his rightful place in the Bucketheadland Heroes Hall of Fame. It's Frankenseuss. So, let's begin. Woo!!
A combination of Frankenstein and Dr Seuss, Frankenseuss is the moniker of one, Bryan Theiss. Who, at the making of this video has collaborated with Buckethead on numerous projects for over 25 years. Providing some of the most recognizable artwork & illustrations in Bucketheadland.
Way back in the early-1990's in the days when you could send fan mail to Buckethead and actually get a response from the man himself, Frankenseuss, (who had become a fan of the GOAT after hearing Praxis' 'Transmutation' album and learning of him through 'Guitar Player Magazine') sent Buckethead fan-mail full of sketches & doodles of Bucketheadland.
Bonding over their love of Disney, Monster Movies, El Topo, Bootsy Collins & more, Frankenseuss later began working on Buckethead's official website, Bucketheadland.com. Providing many of the sites first Buckethead artwork.
Their first album artwork collaboration was for 1996's 'Day of the Robot'. Showing a makeshift issue number 1 comic book, with Buckethead battling his arch enemy Slipdisc. With Issue number 2 following in 1999 for Buckethead's classic 'Monsters & Robots' album.
Around this time he also did album & DVD covers for the Buckethead-Bill Moseley project 'Cornbugs'.
From 2002 Frankenesuss further provided numerous illustrations for Buckethead albums including 'Cuckoo Clocks of Hell' 'Population Override' 'Funnel Weaver' 'Inbred Mountain' as well as the side projects 'El Stew' and 'The Deli Creeps'.
His most involved project around this time was 2003's 'Bucketheadland 2'. Providing the iconic front cover, written dialogue for the albums booklet, along with numerous collages and artwork.
In 2005 Buckethead would immortalize Frankenseuss with the opening track on his album 'Kaleidoscalp' titled 'Frankenseuss Laboratories'.
That same year Buckethead released his 14th studio album 'Enter the Chicken' which as Frankenseuss has since stated was originally called 'The Not-so-merry-go-round'. And went through a number of cover art changes.
This was followed by Frankeseuss' designing the front cover of Buckethead's must own DVD 'Secret Recipe'. As well as illustrating the menu's and numerous sections throughout.
In 2008 Frankenseuss stepped out of his laboratory and on to the stage for a handful of appearances during Buckethead shows, even providing Buckethead with a well needed oil change mid-show.
For the next several years the album artwork continued with 'Elephant Man's Alarm Clock' 'Slaughterhouse on the Prairie' which was actually a title suggested by Frankenseuss that Buckethead liked and used. 'A Real Diamond in the Rough' 'Forensic Follies' 'Needle in a Slunk Stack' 'Shadows Between the Sky' and 'Captain EO's Voyage'.
He also provided the Michael Jackson sketch used for the free downloadable song 'The Homing Beacon' following Michael's passing.
Then in 2011 Buckethead began his monumental Pike album series. Because many of the early Pike albums came with a booklet we know for sure that Frankenseuss illustrated Pike 3 '3 Foot Clearance' which Buckethead named after seeing the artwork. Pike 5 'Look up there' and Pike 6 'Balloon Cement'.
Frankenseuss has also given insight into how the covers and titles are decided stating:-
“a lot of times theres a vague suggestion and I add my own spin on it. Other times there's just a title (or not even a title) and I just come up with something.
Pike 55 'The Miskatonic Scale' is a recent example of one where I had an exact description of what it should be, which was (Buckethead sitting on a stool playing from sheet music with H.P. Lovecraft watching him). Sometimes I get suggestions of things to tweak but most of the time they're happy with what I give them”.
Although the following Pike albums have no booklet or credits attached to verify, judging by their distinct style it's highly likely most, if not all of the on screen Pikes shown were illustrated by Frankenseuss. As well as 2017's 'Live from Bucketheadland' and the long awaited 'Backstage DVD & booklet' .
(Pikes 3, 5, 6, 21, 30, 47, 55, 61, 121, 217, 222, 242, Ghost host vinyl)
Then on Halloween 2017, Buckethead released the '10 31' DVD. A 15 minute Live action and animated music video, animated and edited by Frankenseuss.
Incorporating years worth of illustrations, artwork and Buckethead's original paintings, '10 31' is by far Frankenseuss' biggest art project and his biggest contribution to Bucketheadland so far. Fantastic.
So what started as a letter from a fan over 25 years ago, has gone on to provide us with many memorable and iconic images. Painting a glorious picture of Bucketheadland that still continues to this day.
So Bryan 'Frankenseuss' Theiss, Thank You. A real Bucketheadland Hero.