Surprising Photos of Musicians Without Their Costumes and Makeup

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We’ve pondered the visual gimmicks that American musicians bring to the table before. But earlier this week, a photo of Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter — the robotic duo known as Daft Punk — made the rounds, revealing the true faces behind the shiny masks. Yep, Daft Punk consists of two guys playing champagne beer pong when they aren’t grooving with Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers (see the photo after the jump). We decided to unmask other famously costumed musicians that prefer to hide behind makeup and elaborate get-ups for their performances. Who else belongs on the list?

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We recently wondered why we need our electronic musicians to look like cartoon characters, so we were happy to spot photos of French duo Daft Punk unmasked. Note the floppy-haired scruffiness of young Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter with no metal shrouding their faces.

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We prefer the Klaus Nomi that resembles a kabuki robot in angular suits versus corporate Nomi.

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The Gwar gang in their human skin suits. Dave Brockie, aka Oderus Urungus.

Photo credit: Maija Lahtinen

Swedish doom band Ghost likes to be coy about their true identity, but it’s widely believed that the frontman (dressed as a morbid cardinal) is Tobias Forge — vocalist for Subvision and Repugnant and former guitarist for Crashdïet.

Kiss singer Gene Simmons on why the band took the makeup off in 1983:

“Everybody hated it. People didn’t want the paint to come off, but you know what? Tough. It had to happen. You want your heroes to stay the same forever, but then the consequence of that is you get bored with them. We had to take it off. It had run its course.”

Deadmau5 is just a dude that wears a mask, because he hates being called a DJ: “They’re like f*cking lawyers. You need them, but they’re fucking c*nts.:

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“There is no mask.” — Buckethead

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The original Blue Man Group lineup: founding members Chris Wink, Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton.

The not so Insane Clown Posse.

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MF Doom (aka Daniel Dumile) reveals all in his “Beef Rap” lyrics: “He wears a mask just to cover the raw flesh. A rather ugly brother with flows that’s gorgeous.”

Photo credit (right): Josh Keppel

The true identity of avant-garde group The Residents has largely been a mystery since the band formed in the early 1970s. Homer Flynn has been rumored to be the founding member and lead singer (often credited as a songwriter) of the group, along with Hardy Fox.

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The always unpredictable Sun City Girls gave good esoterica in costume.