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Rusty Cooley talks about Buckethead

So, obviously we do a lot of Buckethaed stuff on our channel and you’ve listed him as an influence. When did you first hear of Buckethead?

Well, the first time I heard of Buckethead was in that ‘guitar for the practicing musician’ magazine. But I only saw the picture, I hadn’t heard him play. But I Imagine the first time I heard him play was in the early 1990’s. I remember being completely blown away. It was ‘Praxis’ the first thing I heard from him.

Everybody says that, about how good that band was.

Yeah, Transmutation, Metatron, Sacrifist (Praxis albums). And I had a friend from Japan send me Bucketheads first album, the double CD one.


Yeah, then I got the ‘Giant Robot’ album. He’s amazing. He’s a sick player. My favorite stuff by him is the crazy atonal stuff.

Oh yeah, the nubbing.

Yeah! It sounds like your computer is crashing.

What did you think of the mask and bucket?

I didn’t think too much about it. I thought it was cool, it is what it is. I didn’t have much thought either way.I just thought ‘oh cool, its Buckethead’

It’s bizarre when people say that the  mask is silly and that they don’t listen to him because it’s silly. It’s bizarre.

Oh that’s retarded. That’s retarded. That’s like saying I don’t want to listen to ‘KISS’ because they have makeup on.

Yes! That’s the kind of crap I deal with on Youtube every day.

Yeah, I don’t understand that. You don’t have to listen with your eyes.


Listen with your ears.

So will we ever see you on stage with some nunchucks?

(Laughs) I don’t think so, man. Probably not. I’ll play it safe and leave those to Buckethead.

And you met him at the NAMM show, right?

I did, man. And I kind of met him before that but not in person. I actually wrote him a letter and he wrote back. And I still have the letter where he signed it as Buckethead. It was all scribbly and stuff. And then I met him at ‘NAMM’ and took a picture with him. And I had him sign something. And when I met him I didn’t expect him to acknowledge me or recognize me because I don’t expect anyone to know who I am. But as I turned and walked off he kind of nudged me, looked at me and winked and that’s was enough acknowledgment I needed. It was cool. And Bootsy was there.

Did you meet Bootsy Collins?

Yeah I got a picture with Bootsy too.

How was he?

He was super cool, man. Both of them. And Buckethead was sitting there with this little baby.

Yeah! I was going to ask what you thought of the baby.

Its crazy man. It’s crazy that he can follow through with that character. I don’t know if I could do that. That takes commitment.

Yeah, and for so long.

Yeah like when he does the hand puppet thing and says “here’s the nubbing licks” and scrapes the wall. That’s awesome.

(Buckethead) 2 finger nubs…3 fingers nubs…4 fingers nubs

What would you say are some of his best songs? Because obviously you were influenced by him.

Anything Buckethead is going nuts on I like. One of my favourite albums of his is the one with Les Claypool on, where it starts off with the Michael Jordan quote at the beginning of the first song on the album

Oh, Monsters & Robots!

I gotta keep on trying every day to get better. Keep on pushing.

Jump Man!

Yeah, that’s Jump Man!

That’s probably one of my favorites. But I also like ‘Cobra Strike’ too. I think that’s what it’s called.

That’s it, yes! Him and Brain.

I like that album a lot, there’s some cool stuff on there. And I like that album ‘Nashville’ or ‘Tennessee’ or something?

Oh yeah, Tennessee. The Praxis album.

Dude, I love that album too. I just recently got that one, within the last year. He’s playing some Jimi Hendrix stuff on there. It almost feels like a tribute to Shawn Lane.

Yeah! I was going to ask you next about Shawn.

Yeah Shawn Lane is one of my biggest influences ever. Yeah.


Buckethead Unmasked - Who is Buckethead.
Rare buckethead
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