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click to enlarge You can take our guitars, but youll never take our - freedom.
  • You can take our guitars, but youll never take our freedom.

OK, so it's not exactly a civil rights debate, but the rock outfit Mushroomhead is convinced they're being pigeonholed because of their, er, outfits.

See, Mushroomhead is one of those "dress-up" bands. Have been since Day One.

But let's not judge them; if anything, Mushroomhead might deserve some credit. Unlike certain other rock bands with a penchant for wearing masks and makeup (like, say, Slipknot, the Biggie Smalls to Mushroomhead's Tupac), Mushroomhead actually have a legit reason for disguising themselves. Having started the group as a side project to the other Cleveland-based projects the band members were in, dressing up seemed an easy way to avoid questioning especially when Mushroomhead would open for their other acts.

"People seem to forget that there's a long history of this," says turntablist Stitch aka Rick Thomas referencing acts like Kiss, the Residents and GWAR.

He's sick of being compared to the other dress-up acts out there (specifically Slipknot), and explains that it's just a small part of what makes Mushroomhead unique.

"You see the images and you think [our music] is gonna be all heavy," he says. "But the look has always been secondary. It's always been about the music for us."

And when the music speaks for itself, Stitch says, there's nothing better. He says parents have approached him after shows to compliment the band on not just being another "satanic swearfest."

"People are always pleasantly surprised," he says. "We catch a lot of people off-guard." CAPSULE

Mushroomhead with Soil, Brand New Sin and Autumn Offering

The Black Sheep,

2106 E. Platte Ave.

Sunday, Oct. 22, 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: $15, all ages; visit ticketweb.com.

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