As the hit TV show The Masked Singer only goes to prove, there’s a real fascination in unveiling the mystery behind a performer whose face you can’t see. Then there is also a good number who never want their real identities to be revealed. Maybe it’s because they want to create an air of mystery around themselves. Perhaps they just don’t want to be recognised when they’re buying milk in the corner shop.
Whatever the reason, there are plenty of examples out there from the shocking like Slipknot to the comical like the bard of Timperley, Frank Sidebottom.
So here are three top performers who’d really rather you didn’t discover exactly what they look like.
It helps to make you memorable if your alter-ego also has a theme. Just ask any of the villains in the world of Batman if you want to have proof of this fact. Whether it’s the waddling Penguin, the deranged Joker or the ice-cool Mr Freeze, they all have a gimmick.
Buckethead is just the same, except his calling card is wearing a family bucket from everyone’s favourite fried chicken takeaway on his head. He even goes a little further, adding a funeral procession bumper sticker to the bucket and white make-up on his face for good measure.
Guitarist Brian Caroll has also created a back story explaining the need to hide his face. But, unlike Batman’s Two Face who was scarred by acid, Caroll claims to have been horribly mutilated by angry chickens.
He adds to his weird appearance with crazy movements that also sometimes break into a robotic dance.
It’s not just male musicians who like to keep their appearance a closely-guarded secret. Sia has made a habit of only ever appearing on stage with a wig that has either been put on backwards or which has one of the world’s longest fringes. It’s a look that the Australian singer-songwriter first adopted around a decade into her career, just because no one else was doing it.
It’s not just the look that’s brought her huge success, it’s her sheer songwriting talent. Whether she’s penning songs to perform herself or for other global talents like Rihanna, Beyonce or Celine Dion, she clearly knows, and sees, what she’s doing.
When Daft Punk announced their split after being a dominant force in the electronic music scene for nearly 30 years, it was finally time to take off their high-tech helmets. So now Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter are able to stroll through the streets of Paris without being mobbed by the millions of fans who still love their music.
Of course, there are countless other “faceless” bands and performers we could mention from Damon Albarn’s Gorillaz to the frankly blood-curdling Gwar or the fencing mask-wearing Magic Sword.
But these three stand out for having the musical skills not to need a gimmick – but they choose to have one all the same!