Side project

Side project

In popular music, a side project is a project undertaken by one or more persons already known for their involvement in another band. It can also be an artist or a band temporarily switching to a different style.

Usually these projects emphasize a different aspect of that person's or that band's musical interests that they feel they cannot explore within the boundaries established by their main project. Side projects can later become full-time endeavours, but shouldn't be confused with quitting a band for a solo career or another band.


The term "side project" is sometimes used pejoratively: it is common for members of popular groups — especially those who have little or no input into the creative process of their group — to take part in side projects with the expectation that the reputation of the "main" group will propel the side group forward regardless of the project's own merits.

There are several examples of side projects within music; many bands encourage their members to take part in them, thinking that new creative situations will cause new ideas to be brought back to the group. For instance rap group Wu-Tang Clan has released only a few albums as a complete group, however each of the nine members have pursued success with solo projects, resulting in dozens of side project albums. Other groups, however, insist that each member focus all of their energy on the main band. Metallica falls into this latter category, a decision which led to the departure of former bassist Jason Newsted.

One of the most famous examples of musical side projects is Kiss's decision in 1978 to have each member of the band, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, simultaneously release solo albums. In 1992, as a tribute to Kiss, The Melvins released solo EPs.

"Side project" is also referred to non-lucrative pursuits of famous individuals outside of their primary field. For instance, Wicked Wisdom is a "side project" of Hollywood star Jada Pinkett Smith. Her angsty metal band benefits from the celebrity she has attained as an actress, voice over artist, wife of Will Smith, fashion designer, and other artistic pursuits. Side projects often occur at a crossroads of a celebrity's career. For instance, when a celebrity has achieved a level of stardom he or she is hubristic to apply their creative genius to another field (see: Bruce Willis and David Hasselhoff's music careers); when a celebrity is ready to cross-market their personality into another marketable commercial product or field (see: Michael Jordan's baseball career); or to "humanize" or add "dimension" to a celebrity's career when their stars lose luster.

A side project can also be a band that takes on an "alter-ego" usually in order to play a different style of music that their fans are not used to. A good example of this type of side project would be the band Weezer who is also the Nirvana cover band Goat Punishment.

Famous or notable side projects

* (a+) machines, a side project of Matt Noveskey of Blue October.
* A Perfect Circle, side project consisting of Maynard James Keenan from Tool.
* ProjeKct X, the side project of King Crimson.
* Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band, originally a side project of Montreal post-rock band Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
* The Art Goblins punk band containing Eddie Argos and Jasper Future of Art Brut.
* Fort Minor, a hip hop side project whose only official member is Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda.
* Box Car Racer, consisting of Tom DeLonge and Travis Barker (then of blink-182), and David Kennedy of Hazen Street.
* Brad (band), featuring members of Pearl Jam and Satchel.
* The Breeders, featuring members of Pixies and Throwing Muses.
* Broken Social Scene, originally a side project of members of Toronto band Do Make Say Think.
* Mrs. Scabtree, a side project between Marilyn Manson, Jeordie White and Jessicka from Jack Off Jill.
* Cobra Starship, the side project of Midtown's singer Gabe Saporta.
* The Cross, the side project of Queen's drummer Roger Taylor.
* The Glove, a side project of The Cure's Robert Smith and Siouxsie & the Banshees's Steven Severin.
* Gorillaz, a virtual band composed of four fictional animated band members, created by Damon Albarn from Blur, and Jamie Hewlett, the co-creator of the comic book Tank Girl.
* Gov't Mule, a side project of Warren Haynes and Allen Woody of the Allman Brothers Band.
* Jonathan Davis and the SFA, a side project of Jonathan Davis of Korn.
* Mike + The Mechanics, a side project of Mike Rutherford of Genesis.
* The Network, supposedly a side project of all the members of Green Day.
* The Nightwatchman, the alter ego of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello.
* The Postal Service, a side project featuring Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie and Jimmy Tamborello of Dntel.
* Probot, a Dave Grohl side project featuring various 70s and 80s heavy metal vocalists.
* Puscifer, another side project consisting and organized by Maynard James Keenan of Tool.
* Some Devil, a side project of Dave Matthews from the Dave Matthews Band.
* Temple of the Dog, featuring members of Soundgarden with Pearl Jam and the start of that band.
* Three Fish, featuring Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam.
* Tom Tom Club, a side project of Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz of Talking Heads.
* FM Static, a side project by Thousand Foot Krutch frontman, Trevor McNevan and drummer Steve Augustine.
* Liquid Tension Experiment, a side project of Dream Theater featuring John Petrucci, Mike Portnoy, Jordan Rudess, and progressive rock icon bassist Tony Levin.
* The Raconteurs, consisting of Jack White (from the White Stripes), Brendan Benson, Patrick Keeler (from The Greenhornes), and Jack Lawrence (bassist) (from The Greenhornes and Blanche (band)).
* Some Girls, a supergroup/side project consisting of current members of The Locust and The Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower, and ex-members of Give Up the Ghost (formerly American Nightmare).
* The Operation M.D., a side project of Juliette and the Licks guitarist Todd Morse and Sum 41 bassist Cone McCaslin.
* MD.45, a side project of Dave Mustaine and Jimmy DeGrasso from Megadeth with Lee Ving from Fear
* The Almost, a side project of Aaron Gillespie, the drummer of underOATH
* City and Colour, a side project of Dallas Green. the vocalist of Alexisonfire
* Anchor & Braille, a side project of Stephen Christian, lead singer of Anberlin and Aaron Marsh, the lead singer of Copeland
* I Can Make a Mess Like Nobody's Business and Ace Enders and a Million Different People fronted by Ace Enders, formerly of The Early November
* Jack's Mannequin began as a side project of Andrew McMahon of Something Corporate
* The New Amsterdams began as a side project of Matthew Pryor of The Get Up Kids
* The Whitest Boy Alive, a side project of Erlend Øye of Kings of Convenience
* Dashboard Confessional began as a side project for Chris Carrabba formerly of Further Seems Forever
* The Sound of Animals Fighting, a side project consisting of Rich Balling, Matt Embree, and Christopher Tsagakis of RX Bandits, Anthony Green of Circa Survive, Derek Dougherty and Randy Strohmeyer of Finch, Marc McKnight of Atreyu, Rich Zahniser of Never Heard Of It, Matthew Kelly of The Autumns, Craig Owens of Chiodos, and Keith Goodwin of Days Away
* Prozzak, a side project with James McCollum and Jason Levine who are two members of The Philosopher Kings.
* Foxboro Hot Tubs, a recent Green Day side project.

ee also


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