Pop Life

Five Rock Supergroups That Actually Worked

Not long ago, we finally saw the release of the long-awaited album from Radiohead/Red Hot Chili Peppers supergroup Atoms for Peace, and it got me thinking: Supergroups are a tough trick to pull off. We all fantasize about our favorite musicians playing together, but when it actually comes to fruition, we often have mixed feelings.

There's the excitement, yeah, but it's mixed in with a sense of dread. After all, how many supergroups have turned out to be absolutely awful? The vast majority of them end up being pretty bad, all things considered. Like I said, it's a tough trick. But every once in a while, it oddly enough manages to work out and satisfy fans.

5. Head Wound City If I told you that the guitarist from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, notably a not-very-heavy band, was in a band who described themselves as "noisegrind," would you believe me? Well, that's exactly what Nick Zinner did when he joined the supergroup Head Wound City in 2004.

The band also consisted of Jordan Blilie and Cody Votolato from the Blood Brothers, and Justin Pearson and Gabe Serbian from the Locust. In other words, it was a post-hardcore fan's wet dream. The band didn't let down on the only album release they recorded, one of the heaviest and craziest albums any of the members had ever participated in. Blilie put it best, describing it as "kind of like if Alien and Predator started a band instead of fighting each other."

4. Wild Flag In the '90s, a wave of women invaded punk and planted their flag, proving to the formerly male-dominated punk-rock world that women could rock just as hard. Two of the most important bands on the scene were Sleater-Kinney and Helium.

Unfortunately, those bands no longer exist, but in 2010, Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss of Sleater-Kinney united with Mary Timony from Helium and Elephant Six and Rebecca Cole of the Minders to form Wild Flag, a new band in the spirit of the original scene, to rock a new generation.

3. Fantômas/Tomahawk Two of the best of Mike Patton's post-Faith No More projects have been supergroups. The first, Fantômas, was an avant garde metal band fronted by Patton and featuring King Buzzo from the Melvins, Trevor Dunn from Patton's former band Mr. Bungle and Dave Lombardo from Slayer.

The second, Tomahawk, a more alternative metal group, was composed of Patton, Duane Denison from the Jesus Lizard, Kevin Rutmanis from the Melvins (recently replaced by Dunn) and John Stanier of Helmet.

Both bands have been among the most rewarding projects of Patton's career and have won all the members a great deal of critical acclaim outside of their respective bands.

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Corey Deiterman