Buckethead achieved a higher public profile as lead guitarist for Guns N' Roses from 2000 to 2004. He recorded the often-delayed album Chinese Democracy with the band and appeared live on stage in 2001 and 2002, including Rock in Rio 3, MTV's Video Music Awards, and parts of the Chinese Democracy Tour.
Despite being a member of GN'R, Buckethead released his sixth studio album, called Somewhere Over the Slaughterhouse in 2001, and also his only EP, called KFC Skin Piles. He also released two albums with his band Cornbugs, Cemetery Pinch and How Now Brown Cow. He joined two new projects, the first being Thanatopsis, with Dickerson, releasing a self-titled debut album; the other one with Laswell and Japanese producer Shin Terai, released as Unison.