The Deli Creeps were an avant-garde band consisting of singer Maximum Bob, guitarist Buckethead, drummer Pinchface and various bass players, most recently Daniel Monti. Though Buckethead is the only member who makes a consistent effort to hide his identity, little is known about the other members of the band.

The Deli Creeps formed in the late 1980s/early 1990s in Claremont, Southern California, United States, but shortly after moved to San Francisco. In 1991 they released their first demo tape with bassist Tony Black, after which they gained a strong loyal following before splitting up for the first time. Maximum Bob contributed to the John Zorn produced debut album of Mr. Bungle.

The band reformed in 1996 for the first time and released a second demo tape. In the interim only Buckethead through his contacts to John Zorn, Bill Laswell and Bootsy Collins had gained some public attention. Shortly after their second demo they had all moved on once again before reforming for the second time in 2003 with Josh Bockles on bass. They played some concerts in California. Buckethead was also guitarist for Guns N’ Roses then.

Their first feature length album Dawn of the Deli Creeps was released in late 2005. Dan Monti (a technician for Metallica, Guns N’ Roses and Serj Tankian), longtime Buckethead collaborator, performed on bass, alongside several tracks performed by Tony Black. Featured on the album is the title track for the Terry M. West horror movie Flesh for the Beast.

Some early video recordings of the band were released in 2006/07 on several Buckethead DVDs, including some complete concerts from 1990/91.

Though the future of the band is uncertain (as of November 2008) the band members of the last incarnation still work together on different projects. Maximum Bob contributed guest vocals to Buckethead’s album Enter the Chicken (2005) and the Praxis release Profanation (Preparation for a Coming Darkness) (2008). Buckethead, Pinchface and Monti toured the USA in 2005 as a trio.

Mike Patton has been quoted as saying: “They’re so good they piss me off”.

The band derivates its name from delicatessen shop and creeps and usually enters the stage with aprons on (much like butchers). Buckethead uses variations of his famous face mask, but mostly wears hats instead of the bucket.

Distinctive marks of the formation in particular are Maximum Bob’s lyrics of sex and personal life plus his differentiating recitation between melodic singing and psychotic screams. As a further trademark he developed a special form of recitative with onomatopoeic stuttering. Buckethead as the main instrumental performer supports or counteracts this with the use of all his typical stylistic devices: chromatic runs and dissonant playing noises, but also riffs and chord progressions or short citations from blues and country.

The Deli Creeps are also featured on the following Buckethead DVDs:

Some of Buckethead’s songs originate from Deli Creeps material: