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The History of Buckethead & Bill Moseley – The Cornbugs

Good evening everybody, today we’ll take an in-depth look at the history between guitar hero Buckethead and film actor Bill Moseley, famous for his portrayal as ‘Choptop’ in Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. Together they would form the experimental band ‘The Cornbugs’.

Bill Moseley and Buckethead first met in August 1992, when Moseley was starring in a 2 man play called ‘Timothy and Charlie”. Moseley was playing the part of famous psychedelic professor Timothy Leary, and an actor by the name of Gill Gayle played the part of a certain Charles Manson.

(Bill Moseley Interview)
One night we had finished another performance and Gill Gayle turned to me and said “I want you to meet my friend, Buckethead”. Buckethead’s friend Gill had told him I was in this play. So he showed up because his was a big Texas Chainsaw Massacre fan.
I remember he had a very, not feeble, but a delicate handshake. But he had long fingers. I compared them to string beans once.

So we chatted a little bit and he said “why don’t you come to Santa Monica. I have a friend with a recording studio. And I’d love you to be ‘Choptop’ on some music I’ve written”.
So, that’s what I did. I just made stuff up.
And I guess it was a while after we first got together and done that session. He called me and invited me to New York to be on his album. And I was like “wow, this is awesome”.

So, just over a year after jamming with Buckethead, Bill Moseley was invited to be on Buckethead’s second studio album ‘Giant Robot’. But, there was one small problem.

(Bill Moseley Interview)
And there was a little problem because I didn’t own the rights to use the name ‘Choptop’. So I called a friend of mine who was a professor of copyrights and I said “Is it okay for me to use the name Choptop?”. And he said “Well, you don’t really own the name or character. So I would recommend coming up with a different character”. And I said “um..okay…thanks”. And hung up the phone and thought ‘a different character? I’m fucking choptop. I can’t just come up with a different character’.

So, Bill Moseley turned up at the studio ready to record, and ready to break the bad news to Buckethead.

(Bill Moseley Interview)
So Buckethead showed up and he was exhausted. He had been working for 15 hours. And he said “hey man, how’s it going?” I said “Great, great” He said “are you ready to record tomorrow?” And I said “Well, I talked to this guy and he said I shouldn’t record as Choptop” And when I said that, I’ve never seen anything like it. His face darkened. I mean, he was already tired but whatever light was there had completed dimmed. And I said “but…but..I have a new name!” He said “what is it?” I said “Shoe bird the Scarecrow” And It doesn’t look like he likes it. And there was a long pause and he said “I’ve got a name for you”. I said “What is it?” He goes “No. No. You won’t like it”. I said “come on, what is it?” And he looks at me and says “Onions”. And I said “like.. Onions the scarecrow?” he said “Yeah”. I said “Onions the scarecrow? That’s awesome! That’s cool”.

(Shawn Lane-Aug 1993)
His lead singer is the actor that played the guy with the metal plate in his head in Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. His name is Onions.

Under his new name ‘Onions’ Bill Moseley recorded two songs for Buckethead’s 1994 album ‘Giant Robot’. ‘Onions Unleashed’ and ‘I Come in Peace’ which was a reworking of the Deli Creeps song ‘Random Killing’.
(Onions Unleashed / I Come in Peace)

Buckethead and Bill Moseley would later go on to form the band ‘The Cornbugs’ along with Deli Creeps drummer, Pinchface. Bill Moseley had the idea to form the band so that he could sell the CD’s as merchandise at film and horror conventions. As for the origins of the name ‘Cornbugs’.

(Bill Moseley Interview)
Cornbugs came from hanging out at his mom’s house outside of Los Angeles. And his mom had a backyard with a vegetable garden. And she had a bunch of corn that was like 10 feet tall. And his buddy was doing a videotape of us and I’m goofing around and said “Hey corn” and I pretended to use it as an ear and started talking to it like it was a microphone. And then I peeled a little bit and it was infested with these bugs. And I said “oh my god, Cornbugs! Cornbugs!”. And that was the birth of the name. And he said “that’s the name of our group!”.

The Cornbugs released their first album ‘Spot the Psycho’ in 1999, the same year that Buckethead released his career altering album ‘Monsters & Robots’. Which also featured a guest appearance by Bill Moseley on the classic song ‘Jowls’ which he would later perform with Buckethead on stage.

Over a 6 year span ‘The Cornbugs’ released 4 more studio albums; ‘Cemetery Pinch’ ‘Brain Circus’ ‘Donkey Town’ and my favourite of the bunch ‘How Now Brown Cow’ which features a cover of ‘The Doors’ song ‘This is the End’ and a few reworking’s of some Deli Creeps classics.
(This is the End/ Sacremento/ Head Cheese)

The Cornbugs also released 3 compilation CD’s, 2 DVD’s and even filmed a movie. The infamously lost film ‘All American Massacre’.

A Texas chainsaw spin-off, the movie was directed by William Hooper, who was the engineer on several Cornbugs albums and the son of original Texas chainsaw director Tobe Hooper. The movie featured Bill Moseley as ‘Choptop’ and a cameo by Buckethead as “Leatherface in a fat suit”. Buckethead also scored the soundtrack to the movie using mixes of already released songs.
Whilst Bill Moseley confirmed that the movie does exist, it’s never been released despite a website and trailer being made.

The Cornbugs would eventually breakup in 2007. With Bill Moseley and Buckethead going their separate ways after Moseley received a slightly strange phone call.

(Bill Moseley Interview)
I think about 8 years ago, I got a call from Buckethead and he said “I won’t be talking to you anymore” or “for a while” and it’s been 8 years, so. But that’s just how it is. He is his own person and I figured we got a couple of years out of our collaboration, so it’s okay. Actually it was more like 10 years”.

So, whilst the Cornbugs albums might be an acquired taste for some. It’s worth noting that by Bill Moseley’s own admission, the majority of songs were “Made up on the spot. All completely improvised. There was never a second take and no rehearsal.” Which, with that in mind, definitely make’s the Cornbugs albums all the more impressive.
Buckethead would of course go on to release about 300 more albums, and Bill Moseley continues to make movies and has even done a collaboration with former Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo titled “Bill & Phil”.

Woo!

 

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