Thursday, 22 May 2014

5 Lucha Libres of Music





In today’s world of the Justin Biebers, Katie Perrys and BeyoncĂ©s where music success is all about personalities, egos, and glitz and glamour, there are, and have been, musicians who have kept their personal lives separate from the prying eyes of media and the public, and are only known for their music.

Their songs could be topping the hit charts but you won’t necessarily be able to recognize them if you passed them by on a street. They’ve created names and personas that are big, but not bigger than their music; akin to Mexican Lucha Libre wrestlers who put on masks to fight in wrestling rings and go back home without being known.

These “lucha libres” of music have plenty of reasons to use masks, make-up, pseudonyms, and avatars. They want to keep their private lives private and avoid public and media scrutiny.

Sometimes it is purely for the love of music and to break away from the limitations forged with egoAs one masked singer puts it “It takes away the whole premise of you becoming more of a star than the music.”  It is difficult to keep ones ego aside from the music but it is something that enables certain musicians to make music as it comes from the soul and not from their looks. 

And then there are some who use make-up and props to create a larger than life persona to overcome their real life inadequacies and insecurities. Here is a list of musicians who guised their faces to be seen in a certain mysterious way.




1)      Daft Punk

Daft punk is a band whom even your grandparents would have heard of by now but none of you would be able to recognize the legends behind the band if they were bare faced- French guys, namely, Guy Manel De Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter. You would recognize them for their robo-cop get up and robotic dance moves in their ornate helmets that cost a whopping $65000. Their uplifting and unique electro beats manage to top charts decade after decade. Their initial reason for being masked was due to shyness and later they added that it was in an effort to avoid compromising their personal lives and to keep the attention focused on the music.




2)      Deadmau5

Behind the gigantic mouse-head mask of Deadmau5 you will find a scrawny guy who could use a tan but tune into his music and you would be blown away by his killer almost otherworldly electronic beats- A Canadian super creative dude who goes by the name, Joel Zimmerman- he would challenge all your pre-conceived notions regarding tech nerds. After all, we are quick to judge artists based solely on their appearance. Zimmerman came up with the username Deadmau5 using the digit to shorten his handle for the chatroom's guidelines and the name stuck with him since. He does not like being called a DJ as he feels that it is a term that is archaic and does not describe his approach to music. 



3)      Gorillaz

When one thinks of alternative rock and electronica band Gorillaz one is instantly reminded of animated skinny guys with punk hairdos- 2D, Mursoc Niccals, Noodle and Russel Hobbs. This is an English band that invests equal efforts in producing musical and visual wonder-pieces and is the brain child of English Musicians Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett. You will find their cartoon animations run wild on large multimedia screens even in their concerts. The band members came up with the ideas for the animated cartoon when they were watching MTV and the lack of substance on this channel prompted them to create their own imaginative virtual-band.





4)      Kiss

1970's New York City based band Kiss was not just a band but a circus performance all packed into one with their flamboyant outfits, blood spitting, fire breathing and smoking guitars performances on stage. Once you wash down their 5 layers of black and white Make-up you would discover Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer. They used shock value to make their way into the audience's hearts but in 1983 to 1996 they unmasked themselves to present a change to audiences. Kiss was heavily inspired by theatrical bands New York Dolls and Alice Cooper. In addition, the makeup of each member is inspired by their individual personas. Starchild is a hopeless romantic, demon is a cynic with a dark sense of humor, the space ace is a reference to Frehley's love of science fiction and The Catman was inspired by the fact that Criss felt he had nine lives due to the rough Brooklyn neighbourhood he grew up in. 




5)      Marilyn Manson


Marilyn Manson- everybody's favorite musician from the 90's used the help of make-up to portray his inner personality. His heavy goth makeup- single white eyeball and high heeled shoes lent him an air of mystery and gothic-ism without which he would be an ordinary Joe with his blonde hair and the name "Brian". Marilyn Manson is multi-talented being an artist, actor, song writer and music journalist. Bare-faced, Brian Hugh is not someone you would consider hot, hence to create a memorable persona and to reflect his inner dark side, he wears lots of gothic makeup. Maybe when he decides to stop making music he will take off his makeup.