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By now even your grandparents may know who Daft Punk is and that they dress like robots (or think they ARE robots depending on how often they skip their medication). But why would a band want to hide their identities in the first place? Well, some do it to make themselves more mysterious and, therefore, more interesting. Others keep their faces a secret so that people can focus on the music. And a few may wear masks because they’re wanted by Interpol. But whatever the reason, here are the bands who keep their identities a secret.

 

The Residents

group photo of The Residents

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For almost 45 years The Residents have kept their actual identities a complete secret, hiding behind huge eyeballs, top hats, and tuxedos, just like that nightmare you had that caused you to wake up screaming. Even the group’s management team operates under the purposely mysterious name “Cryptic Corporation,” (which sounds like either the villainous collective in a bad 80’s cartoon), leading one to wonder if its members are constantly changing, evading the Feds, or screaming inside because they actually can’t remove their giant eyeball helmets.

 

GWAR

Gwar in full costume

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A thrash metal band known for live shows featuring gallons of sprayed blood, simulated beheadings, and fake dead baby feasts (probably during ballads), GWAR has always been more about their satirical act than the music. With costumes that look like they come from the movie “Troll 2”, the members of GWAR don’t hide their names but only their faces. They do this so that after the show they won’t be followed by the type of fans who know all the lyrics to “Sexecutioner” and “Fishf***.”

 

KISS

photo of original KISS lineup

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While KISS’ real names were always known, their appearances were kept a secret for years behind elaborate costumes and makeup that looked like the work of a MAC saleslady after her seventh mimosa. Even the name “KISS” was a mystery, as people guessed it meant “Knights in Satan’s Service,” “Kids in Satan’s Service” or, far less often, “Krackle Is Super Sweet.” But as their sales started to plummet in the early 80’s with the rise of new wave and the advent of performers who didn’t look like anime cosplay, the band decided to appear without makeup for the first time on MTV, causing most viewers to bleed out upon getting their first glimpse of Gene Simmons.

 

Slipknot

group photo of Slipknot

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While most of the bands on this list maintain a constant appearance, the members of Slipknot change matching uniforms and alter their masks with each new album, like a seasonal fashion show with headbanging and balcony dives. Slipknot would later sue Burger King for stealing their masked likenesses to use in a viral marketing campaign about a heavy metal rooster band called “Coq Roq”. The real takeaway here isn’t the lawsuit, or the masks, or the music, but rather a national fast food chain that actually put out a series of online ads featuring a word pronounced as “cock.”

 

Insane Clown Posse

photo of Insane Clown Posse duo

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Despite the fact that they make a kind of rap music known as “horrorcore”, the true horror of facepainted duo Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope is how much they resemble a birthday party clown, right down to the obscenities and threats of sudden violence.

Strangely, Insane Clown Posse was formerly under contract with Disney Records, who suddenly dropped their album, their tour, and probably even their free passes to EPCOT right in the middle of an in-store signing. Disney said it was because the group didn’t fit the Disney image, but it was almost certainly because the company realized every single person on earth is scared to death of clowns.

 

Lordi

Finish rock hard back Lordi

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The members of the horror/heavy metal Finnish band Lordi never appear without their monster masks and never give out their names. That said, the band remains the only hard rock act — and Finnish competitor — to win the Eurovision Song Contest, a massive music competition held every year in Europe that can be entirely blamed for introducing the world to Celine Dion.

6 Bands That Hid Their Identities (Not Including Daft Punk)

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