Individual musicians with a band name?
April 21, 2008 12:23 AM   Subscribe

What solo musicians have gone under a "band" name?

For the sake of this question they can't be solo artists that have used adjectives to describe a single person e.g. Badly Drawn Boy, Lightspeed Champion. M.I.A. is ruled out because, I believe, that is just an acronym for her full name.
posted by meech to Media & Arts (78 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Iron & Wine, aka Samuel Beam.
posted by Xere at 12:27 AM on April 21, 2008


Neutral Milk Hotel
posted by Optamystic at 12:30 AM on April 21, 2008


The Mountain Goats
posted by aspo at 12:37 AM on April 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Gotye
posted by cholly at 12:38 AM on April 21, 2008


Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, Final Fantasy, Girl Talk, The Mountain Goats
posted by wemayfreeze at 12:42 AM on April 21, 2008


Neutral Milk Hotel is a band? According to Wikipedia anyway...

The band Owen is really just Mike Kinsella formerly of American Football and many other Chicago bands.

The City On Film is the solo work of Bob Nanna formerly of Braid and Hey Mercedes.

Get Cape Wear Cape Fly was originally the solo act of Sam Duckworth, a British Singer and Song Writer before he took a band on tour with him.

Bright Eyes is the name of Conor Oberst's 'band' but I think some time it was just his project before being joined by others. I'm not really 100% on this one.

Dntel is the musical project of James Scott Tamborello. He is also one half of The Postal Service.

Her Space Holiday is the recording name for Marc Bianchi.

Foo Fighters was actually just a solo project by Dave Grohl when he recorded their self titled album before he recruited a band to take on tour.

Damn, I have to go to work now! There are so so many more just in the indie rock scene.
posted by stackhaus23 at 12:50 AM on April 21, 2008


Thanks everyone - nice answers. Is there anyone mainstream?
posted by meech at 1:01 AM on April 21, 2008


I'm pretty sure Beirut used to be a one-man band. It's a full-blown band now, with a stageful of members.
posted by Xere at 1:02 AM on April 21, 2008


Not mainstream but squarepusher , Aphex Twin and Four Tet all count.
posted by oh pollo! at 1:06 AM on April 21, 2008


Abandoned Pools was Tommy Walter's solo project (formerly of Eels).

I've also heard people refer to Self as being only Matt Mahaffey's project at first, although I know it grew into a band later.
posted by brookedel at 1:23 AM on April 21, 2008


Does Nine Inch Nails qualify?
posted by TheOtherGuy at 1:30 AM on April 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Nine Inch Nails is Trent Reznor, although he does takes a band along with him when playing live.
posted by xchmp at 1:32 AM on April 21, 2008


Aqualung
posted by jontyjago at 1:43 AM on April 21, 2008


One of my favourite artists, Jordan Reyne, recorded a couple of albums under the name Dr Kevorkian & the Suicide Machine. Apparently she chose it mainly to get a reaction and later decided her own name would be better. I quite liked Dr Kev though.
posted by shelleycat at 1:48 AM on April 21, 2008


Mice Parade
Smog (although he went back to his real name on the last album)
Songs: Ohia (band name?.. not a person name anyways)
Dinosaur L
about half of all electronica/techno/idm artists.
posted by p3t3 at 2:25 AM on April 21, 2008


Cat Power
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 2:29 AM on April 21, 2008


Aesop Rock counts, I think.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:41 AM on April 21, 2008


Hmm, beaten to the punch on Cat Power, so how about Bonnie Prince Billy?
posted by leakymem at 2:48 AM on April 21, 2008


Well, I can give you the names of a couple of non-mainstream (with a few exceptions) swedish solo acts:

Strawberry Fair, The Honeydrips, Hormones In Abundance, Hello Saferide, El Perro del Mar, Kindergarten Kisses, The Baseball Field, Mind Control Hands, School Sweet School, All of My Brother's Girlfriends, The Morning Paper, After-School Sports, Cocoanut Groove, Friday Bridge, Dead Letters Spell Out Dead Words, Band In Box, Holding A Peach, Paddington Distortion Combo, Chaos Through Programming, Kompjotr Eplektrika, Peace In Our Time, Stars In Coma, Cake On Cake, Happy Go Lucky, Meta Band, Three Is A Crowd, A Taste Of Ra, Blood Music, We Are Soldiers We Have Guns, Little Big Adventure, Airliner, The Set Designers and Goto80.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 3:00 AM on April 21, 2008


Get Cape Wear Cape Fly
Mull Historical Society
Buck 65
Ariel Pink
Bat For Lashes
posted by TheWaves at 3:03 AM on April 21, 2008


The Bevis Frond
posted by flabdablet at 3:21 AM on April 21, 2008


Mike Skinner, aka The Streets.
posted by kisch mokusch at 3:33 AM on April 21, 2008


Noah Lennox in Panda Bear.
posted by LSK at 3:36 AM on April 21, 2008


Biosphere
posted by Substrata at 3:42 AM on April 21, 2008


Pedro the Lion, kind of.
posted by joshrholloway at 4:01 AM on April 21, 2008


5 for Fighting is just one guy - i think (did that song, Superman it's not easy to be me)
posted by Mr_Chips at 4:18 AM on April 21, 2008


Pretty much all rappers, but usually they have invisible producers behind them making the beats.
posted by Mach5 at 4:43 AM on April 21, 2008


Five for Fighting is John Ondrasik.
posted by Floydd at 4:55 AM on April 21, 2008


Coconut Records?
posted by weezetr at 5:00 AM on April 21, 2008


Barr is Brendan Fowler and he's pretty great.
posted by troika at 5:24 AM on April 21, 2008


LCD Soundsystem?
posted by gregjones at 5:29 AM on April 21, 2008


I was also going to suggest Smog, Cat Power, and Songs: Ohia.

These also might qualify: Badly Drawn Boy, Mammal, Why? (though he has a full band now), and Jaymay.
posted by dobbs at 5:37 AM on April 21, 2008


The The
Hybrid Kids

(I'm showing my age here...)
posted by Grangousier at 5:38 AM on April 21, 2008


VAST is Jon Crosby.
posted by Tomorrowful at 5:43 AM on April 21, 2008


City & Colour is just Dallas (city) Green (colour). I was also going to mention Final Fantasy, but got beat on that one.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 5:45 AM on April 21, 2008


VAST
posted by Salvatorparadise at 5:57 AM on April 21, 2008


oh damn
posted by Salvatorparadise at 5:57 AM on April 21, 2008


Mick Hucknall, if the Simply Red website is anything to judge by.
posted by arha at 5:59 AM on April 21, 2008


Of Montreal -- Kevin Barnes has said in an interview that some of his albums were purely created by him, and the other people who play with him are just a touring band. (This seems to have been mostly true of the the last three albums.) So it seems like Of Montreal is the same kind of thing as Nine Inch Nails: the name refers to recordings by a solo artist (literally, one person running the show, more so than many solo artists who go by their own name), but it means a whole group of people when they're playing live.
posted by Jaltcoh at 6:17 AM on April 21, 2008


"Crooked Fingers" was Eric Bachman now I think its more of a band since Eric Bachman's last solo album.

"the Blow" is now one lady since the guy from YACHT left
posted by ps6000 at 6:59 AM on April 21, 2008


These are bands started by a single dude, with frequently changing back-up members:
The New Amsterdams
Reggie & The Full Effect
The Twilight Singers
posted by puritycontrol at 7:07 AM on April 21, 2008


A Fine Frenzy is Alison Sudol.
posted by pised at 7:09 AM on April 21, 2008


Polmo Polpo is Sandro Perri.

And NMH were a band; at least, when I saw them play live a decade ago.
posted by scruss at 7:25 AM on April 21, 2008


After Curt Smith left, Tears For Fears was pretty much a Roland Orzabal solo project for "Elemental" and "Raoul and The Kings of Spain".

Curt Smith's solo project was called "Mayfield" as in Curt Is Mayfield (Curtis Mayfield) Ha!

BTW, I'm glad they are back together. "Everyone Loves A Happy Ending" was a great reunion album.
posted by willmize at 7:31 AM on April 21, 2008


Atom and His Package was just Adam Goren (and his package).
posted by Seamus at 7:37 AM on April 21, 2008


Hamell on Trial
posted by browse at 7:41 AM on April 21, 2008


Yeah, Bright Eyes now has three permanent members: Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis, and Nate Walcott.

Antony and the Johnsons is Antony Hegarty.
Cars & Trains is Tom Filepp.
Dntel is James Scott Tamborello.
Final Fantasy is Owen Pallett.
The Flashbulb is Benn Jordan.
M83 is Anthony Gonzalez.
Miracle Fortress is Graham Van Pelt.
New Buffalo is Sally Seltmann.
Nuuro is Alejandro Ghersi.
Phosphorescent is Matthew Houck.
Radical Face is Ben Cooper.
The Rocket Summer is Bryce Avary.
The Show is the Rainbow is Darren Keen.
St. Vincent is Annie Clark.
Styrofoam is Arne Van Petegem.
posted by Sfving at 8:12 AM on April 21, 2008


Bon Iver is really Justin Vernon. "The name, Bon Iver, is a bastardisation of the French, bon hiver (good winter)."
posted by vytae at 8:27 AM on April 21, 2008


Everlast
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:33 AM on April 21, 2008


Kyle Field is Little Wings, a brilliant songwriter / artist on K Records. His artwork is just as cool as his music - well worth a checkout!
posted by Aquaman at 8:36 AM on April 21, 2008


No one mentioned Destroyer yet?
posted by GilloD at 8:59 AM on April 21, 2008


NMH doesn't count.

Wolf Colonel = Jason Anderson
posted by ludwig_van at 9:04 AM on April 21, 2008


John Fogerty was The Blue Ridge Rangers but that was just a one-off solo album.
posted by tommasz at 9:08 AM on April 21, 2008


Also:

Throw Me the Statue = Scott Reitherman
YACHT = Jona Bechtolt
Atlas Sound = Bradford Cox
The Micorphones/Mt. Eerie = Phil Elverum
Thanksgiving = Adrian Orange
posted by ludwig_van at 9:12 AM on April 21, 2008


The Gothic Archies is "is the Gothic rock-bubblegum pop band of celebrated songwriter Stephin Merritt, also of The Magnetic Fields, The 6ths, and Future Bible Heroes. Merritt is the only member although he hopes to acquire more soon." (Although the "band's" second album did involve input from Daniel Handler.)
posted by phoenixy at 9:18 AM on April 21, 2008


Girl Talk
posted by mkultra at 9:19 AM on April 21, 2008


"Pop Muzik" was recorded by one guy, Robin Scott, who went by the name "M," which could be a band or an individual, I suppose.
posted by Oriole Adams at 9:34 AM on April 21, 2008


The Divine Comedy has, at times, consisted solely of Neil Hannon.
posted by Bromius at 9:43 AM on April 21, 2008


Guns 'n' Roses!
posted by Exchequer at 10:07 AM on April 21, 2008


Dump (Yo La Tengo bassist), Peaches, Jandek, Bikeride. I feel like Meatloaf is in a special related category.
posted by one_bean at 10:21 AM on April 21, 2008


Currently, Annie Hardy of Giant Drag (her former bandmate left the band, but she kept with the name).
posted by numinous at 10:46 AM on April 21, 2008


Kinda answers: The Fall. Giant Sand. Guided By Voices.
posted by klangklangston at 11:04 AM on April 21, 2008


World Party is essentially Karl Wallinger's solo project.
posted by scody at 11:07 AM on April 21, 2008


Does Brad Sucks count?
posted by winston at 11:13 AM on April 21, 2008


Lilys is/are just Kurt Heasley.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:14 AM on April 21, 2008


I believe PLANET P was Tony Carey.
posted by wittgenstein at 12:27 PM on April 21, 2008


Esthero is Jenny-Bea Englishman
posted by JaredSeth at 1:35 PM on April 21, 2008


Cool thanks everyone. It looks like the most mainstream [as in most commercial success] artist going by band name would be Nine Inch Nails, The Streets, Five for Fighting and LCD Soundsystem [Simply Red would be the most mainstream - but they started off as a band and will have to be lumped in with Guns'N'Roses]

Have marked those as best answer even though that wasn't the question I asked. Otherwise consider all answers marked as best answer.
posted by meech at 2:28 PM on April 21, 2008


Smashing Pumpkins?
Billy Corgan seems to have been the man in charge from day one whereas Iha and D'arcy had very limited input or credits. Jimmy is the drummer seems to be the yes man and who has tolerated Billy's shenanigans through the like 20 years.
posted by stavx at 4:56 PM on April 21, 2008


i know you already kind of closed this out, but i'm just adding two marks:

eels is mark oliver everett (aka "e").
sparklehorse is mark linkous.
posted by myrrh at 5:33 PM on April 21, 2008


The Rocket Summer?
posted by sary at 6:18 PM on April 21, 2008


I meant to write this a long time ago but didn't so now no one will probably see this but I just want to mention that Cat Power (and for that matter Everlast) are stage names (one person different name - not a single person masquerading as a band)
posted by bitdamaged at 8:35 PM on April 21, 2008


St. Vincent is Annie Clark.

Yes, but St. Vincent is a solo artist, not a band.

Jimmy is the drummer seems to be the yes man and who has tolerated Billy's shenanigans through the like 20 years.

Jimmy is a great drummer who's had a huge influence on the band's sound. Just listen to the albums that he didn't play on -- notice the sudden drop in quality?
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:13 AM on April 22, 2008


Red House Painters and American Music Club, depending on how you feel about the "individual."

Danse Asshole is pretty much just Pete Larson, though he has a rotating cast behind him (generally—he also sometimes plays solo).
posted by klangklangston at 9:51 AM on April 22, 2008


I'm hesitant to say so, but there are hoardes and hoardes of contemporary electronic acts that are both solo and go under pseudonyms. You can pretty much go to any larger label (Planet-Mu, n5md, Morr, even Warp or CCO) and find whole lists of one-man bands.

Also, again with hesitation, but I myself have two pseudonyms: Galactus Infinitum and Phylum Sinter.
posted by phylum sinter at 4:20 AM on April 29, 2008


Loney, Dear
posted by thisjax at 2:59 AM on May 2, 2008




Caribou
posted by mkultra at 8:34 AM on May 8, 2008


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