Are anonymous bands too gimmicky?

by birtanpublished on July 2, 2020

The colourful mayor of our beautiful hometown
was recently caught on tape manning the decks

at a local fundraiser — and the video prompted
the Guardian to joke that maybe Rob Ford is

secretly Burial, the famously anonymous electronic
artist Which is stupid Rob Ford is Buckethead,

the famously anonymous guitar virtuoso

Anonymity can be a powerful tool

Concealing your identity can help you report
crime without fear of retribution or protest

the worldwide wrongdoings of a notoriously
litigious church or call someone something

awful on the internet

And so in an era of constant over-sharing,
it's become just as trendy to release music

mysteriously, hiding your face in press photos
and "leaking" singles and videos

Artists like Ms Mr, the Knife, and Crystal
Castles have all benefited from early speculation

over just who in the hell they actually were
Sometimes this seemed engineered to create

buzz, and sometimes it was because the truth
was corny

This is a tough fact to source properly, but
I'm going to go ahead and say that this all

started with Zolar X

Zolar X landed on earth in 1973 Insisting
they were aliens and speaking their own language,

the band never connected with a commercial
audience — even with cool-ass names like

Qazar Quantor

They found modern-day earthling champions
in Jello Biafra and Nardwaur, who respectively

re-issued and promoted their long-lost LP,
but they are still not as famous as Klaatu

Okay Klaatu are super fun They're from Toronto,
point, and in 1976, everyone thought they

were the Beatles

The origins of this rumour are murky, but
it all stems from Klaatu's decision to credit

their music and production under just their
band name, no real names And the same people

who thought Paul McCartney died after making
Revolver were convinced that this was the

remaining members' secret way of honouring
their dead friend It was not

Anonymity as a
creative device seemed to fall off through
the '80s and '90s But it came back in a big

way, especially in metal

Lordi won Eurovision and no one knew any of
their real names until their drummer died

in 2012 — and he was the replacement for
a guy who was kicked out for attempting to

reveal his identity

I'm genuinely curious if Prozzak ever broke
outside of Canada, but for a time, they seemed

like the most popular mysterious fake-British
band in the world Everyone wondered who they

could possibly be! And it ended up being two
dudes from the Philosopher Kings!

Doom might be the best at anonymity Everyone
knows his real name is Daniel Dumile, it's

pretty easy to figure out what he actually
looks like, and yet he still sends out ringers

in his trademark mask to perform for him sometimes
Literally you never know if you're going to

see the real Doom It's hilarious?

My notes for this episode were long as hell
so I'll just play one more video from my favourite

previously anonymous band, supposedly featuring
secret superstar DJs

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