In age of seemingly relentless look-at-me social media outlets, it can be refreshing to come across bands and musicians who remain resolutely anonymous. The artists on this list are no shrinking violets, but there’s something to be said for those willing to subsume their own identities into their art. At the very least, it adds a fascinating theatrical angle to their make-up.
Here are five notable examples:
The longest-running group on this list, American art-experimentalists The Residents have been going since the 1970s, producing wonderfully eccentric and ceaseless inventive music. The band take on different guises, but their most famous is that of wearing giant ‘eyeball’ heads with top-hats-and-tails. Many will surely find their sound a little too impenetrable, but those who love The Residents truly appreciate their uniqueness.
Mysterious five-piece heavy rocker’s Supreme Unbeing have recently ‘evolved’ from animated characters to flesh-and-blood. Known by cryptic aliases, including Zac Red, D.Sciple and Unknown, the band come complete with their own philosophy, as curious and inventive as the fine heavy metal that the group serve up.
American heavy-metal band Slipknot hold fast to their mask-wearing ethos. Although the individual member’s names are known, their faces are not. Slipknot say that the masks serve multiple purposes, diverting attention away from the person and onto the music, acting as entertaining theatre, and helping the band to retain privacy in their non-musical lives.
Recently disbanded French electronic-pop duo, Daft Punk, hit the big time with an impressive string of mainstream hits. Although their identities are now known, throughout their career the pair hid their faces behind a series of masks, most notably biker-style ‘robot’ helmets, the latter as slick and polished as their sound.
Take a deep breath before diving into the weird, wacky and sometimes disturbing world of Ireland’s Rubberbandits, a creative and irreverent duo whose occasionally dark material is more often than not offset by a superb sense of humour. The pair, who have been wreaking havoc for a decade, perform in masks made out of old supermarket plastic bags. Marvel at such wonders as “Horse Outside” and the unsettling “Dad’s Best Friend.”