They say that lightning only strikes once, but when it comes to these Rock and Rollers, we beg to differ! Here’s our list of the Top 5 Best Multi-Band Artists.
1. Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age)
Dave Grohl’s career took off in late ‘90s when he joined Nirvana, led by the late Kurt Cobain. At the time, most major labels wouldn’t consider bands with an alternative sound, but Nirvana was the exception. With Grohl on drums, Cobain on lead vocals and guitar, and Krist Novoselic playing bass, they released three hit albums, including 1991’s Nevermind. After Cobain’s tragic suicide in 1994, Nirvana called it quits, but Grohl continued to write and record music.
Grohl issued his first post-Nirvana album with Foo Fighters in 1995, most of which he wrote and recorded himself. The band found instant success, releasing six more albums that entered the U.S.’s Top Ten, including their most recent album, 2011’s Wasting Light, which topped the Billboard 200.
Still, in 2002, Grohl decided to take a break from the Foos, joining Queens of the Stone Age for their Songs for the Deaf album. The rocker continued to jump back and forth between bands, and in 2012, the Foo Fighters announced they were taking a hiatus and Grohl was going back to work with QOTSA on their latest album, …Like Clockwork, which reached #1 on the Billboard charts last month.
The Foo Fighters are now back in the studio working on their first new album in two years.
2. Jack White (The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather)
Jack White played in a number of bands growing up, but the road to success began in 1996, when he met his future wife and later bandmate Meg White while she was bartending. The story goes that Jack put Meg behind a drum kit while he was practicing guitar and he loved the childlike quality to her drumming, and The White Stripes soon found success with their self-titled debut album in 1999. Claiming to be siblings, the two were married until 2000, after which continued to record new records. Their most commercially successful album, 2003’s Elephant, featured their hit song “Seven Nation Army.”
White branched out by co-founding The Raconteurs, releasing their debut album Broken Boy Soldiers in 2006, which featured “Steady as She Goes.” Juggling both bands, The White Stripes released Icky Thump before jumping back to The Raconteurs for 2008’s Consolers of the Lonely.
After White caught bronchitis and was unable to sing for a time, The Kills’ Alison Mosshart stepped in. When White returned to the band, he and Mosshart decided to collaborate on a new project called The Dead Weather. Their debut album, Horehound, hit the Top Ten, followed by the equally-successful Sea of Cowards in 2010.
Jack White later went solo, and released his debut album Blunderbuss in 2012, which marked his biggest success to date.
3. Sammy Hagar (Montrose, Van Halen, Chickenfoot, HSAS)
Sammy “The Red Rocker” Hagar rose to fame in the ‘70s as the lead singer of Montrose. One of the first American hard rock groups to challenge the British scene at the time, Montrose recorded classics like “Space Station No. 5” and “Bad Motor Scooter.” In 1976, Hagar decided to go solo, and eventually replaced David Lee Roth as lead singer of Van Halen in 1985. His first album with the group, 5150, was a huge hit, reaching No. 1, abd their 1988 successor OU812 continued their successful run.
After Van Halen began recording new material with Roth for Balance in 1995 without informing him, Hagar left the band. But he couldn’t stay away from the scene for long, and in 2009, he began fronting a new supergroup called Chickenfoot with former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith and guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani.
The band released two albums, and this year, Hagar announced that he, Anthony and Smith will join his old friend, Journey’s Neal Schon, for a new album under the name HSAS. The rocker is also set to release the collaboration LP Sammy Hagar & Friends on September 24.
4. Slash (Guns N Roses, Slash's Snakepit, Velvet Revolver)
Saul Hudson was given the nickname “Slash” as a child because he was constantly in motion, which can be said as well about the multiple bands he has been a part of. In the 80s, Slash became known as the eccentric guitarist in Guns N’ Roses, along with with Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin along with Steven Adler and Duff McKagan. The band’s debut album Appetite for Destruction (1985) showcased Slash’s amazing guitar skills in songs like “Welcome to the Jungle,” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” Slash later broke from the band in the early 90s.
In 1994, Slash started to convene Slash’s Snakepit creating material from his studio home along with guitarist Gilby Clarke, drummer Matt Sorum, Alice in Chains bassist Mike Inez and former Jellyfish vocalist Eric Dover. Their debut album It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere, was released in 1995. Snakepit regrouped in 1999 with a completely different lineup and released Ain’t Life Grand in 2000.
In 2003 he formed Velvet Revolver, a super group where he teamed up once again with former GNR bandmates Matt Sorum and Duff McKagan and Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland. The group released two albums, Contraband (2005) which featured the Grammy winning single, “Slither,” and Libertad (2007).
Nowadays, Slash is rockin’ it solo, and released the album Apocalyptic Love in 2012.
5. Chris Cornell (Soundgarden, Audioslave)
As the lead singer of Soundgarden, Chris Cornell was one of the most popular voices of the grunge movement during the early 90s.
Formed in 1984 in Seattle, Soundgarden hit it big a decade later with Superunknown which debuted at No. 1. Their hit song, “Black Hole Sun,” earned two Grammys and the album eventually went platinum. In 1997 the group announced their breakup to pursue other interests.
In 2000, Cornell joined Rage Against the Machine upon Zack de la Rocha’s departure. The group renamed themselves Audioslave, and their 2002 self-titled debut album went multi-platinum, featuring the singles, “Cochise,” and “Like a Stone.” Two more albums followed, and despite their success, Cornell left the band in 2006 to return to his solo career.
He released the album Carry On (2007) which featured, “You Know My Name,” that won a Grammy for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture from the James Bond flick Casino Royale.
Over the past year, Cornell has reunited with his Soundgarden bandmates, and the group released their 6th studio album, King Animal in 2012 to positive reviews.