We may be a good decade out from the height of the scene heyday, but that doesn’t mean our favorite artists are anywhere past their prime. In fact, a good number of them have been extending their talents by forming new bands and side projects.
Unless they’re getting broad recognition like Simple Creatures, however, these endeavors can be hard to keep track of. So, we’ve decided to make it easy on you.
Here are 10 bands founded by scene icons that you may not have heard of but should definitely be listening to!
When post-hardcore outfit Drop Dead, Gorgeous concluded their seven-year run in 2011, no one expected an electropop outfit to rise from the ashes. However, in a striking turn of events, vocalist Danny Stillman, drummer Danny Cooper and keyboardist Aaron Rothe went on to form 888 in 2015. Rothe later departed from the project, leaving Stillman and Cooper as a two-piece. The band have dropped an EP, a full-length and a handful of singles since their debut, the most recent being “Pins & Needles” in 2019.
Have you ever wondered what Ash Costello would sound like as a pop vocalist? Well, here’s your chance to find out. The New Years Day frontwoman partnered with Matt Montgomery (Rob Zombie, Wednesday 13) under the Haxans for a goth-leaning take on the genre. They’ve been working together since 2016, releasing music as recently as 2019 with “Godzilla.” Last year, the duo announced their first-ever tour under the project. However, the milestone was never recognized due to the coronavirus pandemic. We can only hope they intend to schedule some more stops once it’s safe to do so.
With touring at a standstill, 2020 proved to be the year of musical developments. One that we’re particularly grateful for is the emergence of Social Order. The supergroup are composed of the Mowgli’s Matthew Di Panni, New Politics‘ Louis Vecchio and Metro Station‘s Mason Musso and Anthony Improgo. With three singles released so far, the group deliver an uplifting dose of dreamy pop.
This one’s sure to raise a few eyebrows. After alt-rock legends There For Tomorrow parted ways in 2014, two of its members carried forward into the realm of electronic pop. Vocalist Maika Maile and drummer Chris Kamrada made their debut under AFTRHR with the single “So Divine” in 2016. They’ve since released two more songs followed by a five-track EP, Closing In, in 2019.
The Weapon are the hardcore side project of Killswitch Engage vocalist Jesse Leach. The band released their debut album, A Repugnant Turn Of Events, last May and received widespread critical acclaim. Most proceeds generated during the first month went to struggling music venues in New York City. All we can say is we hope they keep the heavy-hitters coming.
2019 brought us the highly anticipated reunion of We Are The In Crowd. But did you know that a portion of the band still collaborated during their hiatus? Vocalist Tay Jardine went on to produce pop music with guitarist Cameron Hurley and bassist Mike Ferri under her solo project, SAINTE. She dropped her debut album, smile, and wave, in 2017 and has since followed up with two singles and an EP, bad summer.
Clear Eyes Fanzine
All right, this one’s a little offbeat… Metaphorically, not sonically. A collaborative effort between the Wonder Years‘ Dan Campbell and the Early November‘s Ace Enders, Clear Eyes Fanzine are a musical tribute inspired by the TV series Friday Night Lights. Set up as a “season” rather than an album, their six-track EP explores the “untold stories and emotional complexities” of the show’s first season.
Plain White T’s are notably going strong over two decades into their tenure. However, that doesn’t mean that vocalist Tom Higgenson and guitarist Dave Tirio haven’t been shaking things up a bit. The duo formed the punk-rock group TLB with some friends from high school in 2013. They released a self-titled debut album five years later and haven’t slowed down since. Their sophomore record, Blood And Sand, just dropped last year.
Blaqk Audio already proved that AFI‘s Davey Havok breeds eclecticism. He took it a step further in 2016, however, when he partnered with No Doubt‘s Tom Dumont, Adrian Young and Tony Kanal. The resulting ’80s-style synth-pop group DREAMCAR debuted in 2017 with a self-titled album. No future iterations have been discussed so far, but with Havok’s recent trends of announcing new releases narrowly ahead of their drops, nothing feels off the table.
The Night Game
It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Boys Like Girls, but that doesn’t mean Martin Johnson has been sitting idle. The vocalist debuted his ’80s-vibing pop outfit the Night Game in 2017. If you’re into catchy, danceable new wave, be sure to check out his brand-new six-track EP, Beautiful Stranger.
What are some of your favorite bands that were pioneered by scene icons? Let us know in the comments below!