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2017.10.DD - Coming Alive podcast - A conversation with Buckethead

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2017.10.DD - Coming Alive podcast - A conversation with Buckethead Empty 2017.10.DD - Coming Alive podcast - A conversation with Buckethead

Post by Blackstar on Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:46 pm



Coming Alive podcast wrote:If you're at all into the guitar (or were a Guns N' Roses fan), then chances are you know who Buckethead is. And if you've never heard of him, prepare to meet one of the most talented, generous, and soulful human beings around.
In this episode of Coming Alive, Barry talks to Buckethead, whose real name is Brian Carroll. In his first full-length interview ever (yes, it's really him!), Brian talks about:
- His Part X and how he uses the Tools to fight his fears
-  How he learned to focus on bringing his gifts to the world instead of worrying about what others think of him
- How some major life challenges—including the death of his parents, a back injury, and heart problems—have imbued his music with more feeling
- What it feels like to be in a flow state and how to enhance the creative process
- His biggest influences and sources of inspiration, including Barry, Bootsy Collins, Paul Gilbert, Shawn Lane, and Michael Jordan.

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TRANSCRIBED EXCERPTS VIA UG:
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During a recent appearance on the Coming Alive Podcast - which marked essentially his first public interview ever - Brian Patrick Carroll, aka Buckethead, talked about how his onstage persona and mask came to be, saying (transcribed by UG):

"It sort of happened... It wasn't something I really thought about. I was eating - it was actually a different chicken company, I don't really know what it was - I was eating it and I thought...

"I had that mask, kind of like Michael Myers [from 'Halloween'], it had a similar quality, but it wasn't exactly the same size.

"I just put it on my head and I looked in the mirror. And I was like 'That's Buckethead.' [Laughs] And then my friend went to school, he was going to college and he had video class and he filmed me.

"And I knew this guitar player, his name is Jim Gore. He really is the one I feel I owe a lot to. He encouraged me to do it, 'You should just go be Buckethead, go play!'

"Because I was always super scared to play, and I didn't really link that together, I just thought 'This is weird.' Like a horror movie guy. And when he saw it he was like 'You should just go for it!'

"I was like 'That would be cool.' Because I could do everything I liked doing as this character that I'm totally scared to death to do otherwise.

"And it applied to all the stuff I like, like Disneyland and martial arts and dancing, all that stuff I liked. I was like, 'I can't do it just like me.' It was a great way to get all the stuff out."

During the rest of the chat, Buckethead talked more about those fears he's had throughout life, saying:

"I have definitely fear stopping me. I definitely have been cowardly with a lot of things because I'm scared.

"And I think that that fear has just kept me kind of paralyzed for doing a lot of things like that I know that I should do. And I'm constantly trying to battle that.

"My goal really is to make an amusement park. I definitely think just trying to call people and develop relationships... I've had some tough times with business.

"It's like I know I'm gonna have to do... I'm gonna have to get it going. And even on a small scale it's harder to see me call anyone. So it's like how am I gonna make the part if I can't even call one person. But that's what I wanna do."

He further opened up during the chat, saying:

"I know I had such a good life and such a good childhood that I didn't experience a lot of stuff until more recently. It's definitely more intense for me now than it used to be. Especially if I just really immerse in it.

"My mom and my father passed away, so that's been really tough.

"I feel when I play like they're in the music, because they used to like when I played to them. I feel like a communication to them. I feel like it's gate to...

"It's hard to explain, but it's comforting. And it maybe reminds me of those times when I was with them and I played for them. That definitely changed things a lot. And then I hurt my back pretty bad, and that was another pretty scary thing at the time.

"I was in pain and I never got anything to get myself out of pain. But I knew that what caused it... On a deeper level I didn't really know it. I didn't sit and think about it, but I felt it like what caused this.

"You gotta unravel. And then I saw a shooting star and I was praying for guidance. 'What do I do? I can't move.' [Laughs] And then I kinda just dealt with it. And I found it.

"The greatest thing was, I found this book called 'Foundation.' I just went online and found the number of [the writer] Eric Goodman, and I called him and thanked him. [Laughs]

"Luckily he answered the phone. And immediately within the first 20 minutes of seeing him I felt stability again, through his exercises. And then his partner Peter Park also helped me so much.

"People go, 'Oh it's like yoga,' but it's really specific. I think he somehow figured out the way, for at least my situation, to straighten all the stuff there.

"I felt that gave me the confidence too, because I was always weak in that area, I just didn't know it. And that's been another thing, because I had a really horrible posture and I've been shy and tall. So it didn't go together really good. [Laughs]

"So that just forced me to stand up straight. It's incredible what I learned, and that's helped my playing a lot too. That has actually helped when I play classical, because the posture is so important. That actually helped my hands.

"Then my neck, all the compressed nerves opened up because I wasn't hunched over anymore. That also makes it easier to play and let that flow happen. Because I'm not constricted by 'This is bothering me, this hurts...'

"I really find that my back issue was one of the best lessons that I've ever had. And if I would have taken another path, or if I would just to go out of the pain, I wouldn't change my habits. So, lucky that I didn't get a quick fix or something."

During the same interview, Buckethead revealed he has a heart condition, as widely reported around the web. He concluded by saying:

"Those three things: my heart, my mom and dad, and the back - those are all in the last 10 years.

"What's weird, 2009 was year that I felt the strongest. I never missed a day working out. Even when I went off tour I kept my disciplines really strong.

"And then I hurt my back, and then it seems as if ever since then it's just my consistency hasn't been the same.

"And that year still is like a blueprint for me. Like, 'I gotta get back to that place.'"

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Guitar god Buckethead talked about seeing Paul Gilbert in action for the first time and ultimately taking lessons from him, saying on Coming Alive (transcribed by UG):

"I love Paul Gilbert. The first time I saw him play was at the NAMM show - this is the one memory that I always go to - he was at the NAMM show in a booth and he was playing.

"I actually went there to see Yngwie [Malmlsteen] - at that time his album just came out and he was the baddest. And then Paul was in some booth and he was - it was insane! He was just ripping, I'd just never seen... he had so much control, but he was also...

"The best way to plant a seed or inspire somebody is by flowing in front of them and I think that's what that was - he was just doing it and it was... to this day, it's still the most intense memory I have of anyone playing that makes me want to rip.

"I wish I had a video of that or anything. And the crazy thing was that I got to know him and he taught me. I still have every lesson he gave me, and he really gave me a belief in myself that I needed because I wasn't around a lot of that.

"It was incredible - I mean my parents were super supportive - but the way he was encouraging me, and honestly, more than anything it was just seeing him and how he... more than even him teaching me, it was how he dealt with his environment.

"Because he lived in this tiny little apartment and it was just - nothing touched him. He wasn't even aware, he just was so focused on playing and that was so huge! He just was a great teacher - he is a great teacher - and at that time I was lucky because he accepted me to take lessons from him.

"And luckily my mom and dad drove me to him - he was pretty far away. But just being around him and beginning to see that - that was pure momentum. He was just laser-focused and it was incredible to have been around him at that time.

"Seeing him at that NAMM show in that booth - he was just gone! [Chuckles] I don't know what he would say about it, but to me that was the baddest thing I've ever seen because it was just somebody at the peak of what they could do and they're just doing it.

"It was like seeing Michael Jordan or Bruce Lee or... to me, those moments just don't leave my mind.

"It did [make me want to be that good], seriously. [Chuckles] I mean, I tried to get my fingers to look like his fingers. I think my fingers grew after I found him because he has crazy fingers."

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TRANSCRIBED EXCERPTS BY ALTERNATIVE NATION:
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Buckethead revealed he is struggling with a life-threatening heart problem, saying on the Coming Alive Podcast (via Alternative Nation):

"Well, really recently - I have a heart problem where my heart beats out of rhythm.

"It's been doing it for a long time, but recently it just really kicked up and became really intense. I really didn't know what was going on.

"I just tried to deal with it and let it do what it did, and eventually it would stop. But it got really intense, so I went to the doctor and they said, 'You're on the verge of having a stroke.'

"I'm like, 'Wow...' Because I felt so good prior to having it, I was doing pretty well and everything.

"They suggested I had a thing called an ablation, they go in and freeze your heart. It's supposed to do something with the nerves, because they said my heart was fine, but it could be a genetic thing, they didn't really know.

"I had that procedure, and it didn't really stop it, and I'm still dealing with it. I take medication, which is tough, because I never took anything my whole life, although if I eat food or drink something that's probably worse anyway. [Laughs]

"So it's been really difficult, it's scary. Even walking across a room is difficult. Luckily the medication I'm thankful for, because it's kept it from going berserk. But it's pretty intense.

"It seems like now I'm letting this thing sort of exist now in me, I can't really escape it.

"I'm always aware of the intensity of my heartbeat, it's just not something that I'd ever experienced, so it definitely kind of scares me. But I also see that it is also doing a lot of good, because I need to do all of the things I want to do.

"I just feel an urgency now."

The guitarist also said during the interview:

"I mean, the day after I had that procedure, I recorded a record with my friend. I just lied in bed and recorded it, because I felt like, I'm here still.

"I could be gone tomorrow. Anybody could be gone, but that's a heavy experience. I want to play right now, and I want to play that experience."

Buckethead also mentioned that both of his parents passed away in the last few years, which has been rough on him, explaining how he's playing the guitar lighter now to relax.
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