Music Supergroups

Supergroups! Da-da-da-DA-da-DAAAA!

Watered-down sell-outs? Or phenomenal hair-raising talent?

For the most part, I’m going with the latter! Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. None spring to mind right now, but I’m sure they’re out there.

I didn’t realise this until I read an article yesterday, highlighting 14 awesome supergroups, but I’m actually a huge fan! In fact, a few supergroups will be featuring in my debut book ‘The Years That Rocked’ (title still a work in progress ;-)), including Cream, Them Crooked Vultures and, sadly not long for the musical world, Audioslave.

Seven years of masterful rock: Audioslave
Seven years of masterful rock: Audioslave

The list goes on, really.

I must admit, I used to be a naysayer and automatically shut down the concept of a supergroup. I was part of the “You don’t belong in [insert supergroup’s name], you are and always will be a member of [insert original band’s name here] til the day you die! I don’t want to hear you playing anything new or joining any other groups! Get your arse back to [original band name] right now, and produce more of the exact same music we all know and love!” crowd.

I cringe that I could have ever been so close minded about music. Seriously: why is new necessarily a bad thing? This whole “change is bad” mentality really pisses me off. Not saying that everyone has to like everything: the world would be boring if we all shared the same likes and dislikes. But what’s with immediately rubbishing something different? What’s with instantly taking on a negative, hateful attitude just because an artist wants to branch out and collaborate and CREATE, for us, the fans?!

Case in Point (Part 1)

At The Drive In: I dare you to feel nothing when you listen to them.
At The Drive In: I dare you to feel nothing when you listen to them.

Look at At The Drive In: gritty, confronting, gut-wrenching hardcore rock.

Then, we have The Mars Volta: experimental, trippy, mind blowing rock.

Lastly, a relatively new project, Antemasque: fun, punk-infused, upbeat rock.

What do they all have in common?

One man: Omar Rodriguez-Lopez. Or, that guy on the far left in the above photo.

He evolved, he teamed up with other musicians like Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers, and continued to create music he believed in, music he felt passionate about.

Of course, Antemasque is now the only active band out of the three, but that’s not to say the others didn’t have a hell of a ride and produce unforgettable music.

Case in Point (Part 2)

Evolution, done right: The Dead Weather
Evolution, done right: The Dead Weather

He must’ve heard this a thousand times, but I swear Jack White looks like the ultimate Tim Burton movie character!

Not being derogatory at all — Jack White is nothing short of a musical genius — but I just always think I’m looking at Edward Scissorhands or Sweeny Todd or something!

Sorry for my random outburst. Moving right along. 😉

So, there’s The White Stripes with former husband and wife team, Jack and Meg. At times frenetic, at times chilled and bassy, but always amazing bluesy rock.

Then, Jack White branched out on his own solo project. OH. SO. MANY. HOOKS! And allllll of the incredible lyrics!!! “I won’t let love disrupt, corrupt or interrupt me.” Goosebumps, really. Check out Sixteen Saltines as a perfect example of how he has flourished since going solo.

So then there’s this OTHER band, duo The Kills. British, ‘dirty’ indie rock. Oh, I also happen to love these guys. Always have. Here’s Getting Down, catchy stuff with their drum machine working overtime and so much chemistry between the two! It just works on so many levels, for me anyway!

I know what you’re probably thinking, if you haven’t already figured out where I’m going with this: what do The Kills have to do with Jack White?

I know there are soooooo many other supergroups I could talk about, but The Dead Weather is a perfect example of an underrated band — and, you know me: writing about underrated talent is kinda my deal — who took the best bits of their other bands and produced something worthy of praise.

Not that The Dead Weather doesn’t already have a HUGE following, because they do! And rightly so! But nearly everyone I talk to has never heard of them. And that’s just criminal! hehehe

Oh, I digressed! Sorry, I’m nearly done, I swear!

So: The Dead Weather (last video link for this blog: have a look at I Feel Love (Every Million Miles)). You’ve got Jack White, Allison Mosshart (female lead in The Kills) and Dean Fertita of Queens of the Stone Age.

Oh, the grit, the frenzy, the tempo changes, the energy! Even if you don’t end up being a fan, please check them out, just once. I think they’re pretty special, and maybe you will, too 🙂

Oh yeah, I could also talk about Dave Grohl being behind Foo Fighters as well as being part of Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age and Them Crooked Vultures, but you probably know this already 😉

Plus, I’ve taken up enough of your time. Note to self, though: homage to Dave Grohl could very well be my next post!

I hope you’ve learned something today, and I hope you get out there and get yourself a dose of supergroup goodness! Try something new! It literally WILL NOT hurt you, so just do it already!! 😀

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