Bands whose side projects grew bigger / better than the original act


Was thinking about the Bronx (thanks to the thread on here) and their offshoot Mariachi El Bronx (and the further offshoot of that, Pounded by the Surf). Struck me on seeing them last year how popular the Mariachi line up had got compared to the pummelling original. What other bands have a side project that outgrew the original… and was there ever any going back?

Maybe The Postal Service?


Beady Eye.


Wings. They’re only the band the Beatles could have been!


Cap’n Jazz. Joan of Arc are bigger, Owls are better (dunno if American Football and/or Owen also count as only one member of the original band is involved?)


don’t forget about The Promise Ring either


Elliott Smith/Heatmiser




Aerogramme => Chvrches

Len => Broken Social Scene (if that counts)


moderat (maybe)


Panda Bear


(Ireland-centric) Jape are much bigger (here) than The Redneck Manifesto, though i think that was the idea, seeing as the latter are a fairly niche and fiercely independent band that were always gonna have limited appeal.


Trans Siberian Orchestra (Savatage)
Porcupine Tree (No-Man)
The Dear Hunter (The Receiving End of Sirens)
Asia (Yes, ELP, King Crimson)


Kyuss --> Queens of the Stone Age


Menomena were a side project. The main project was Lackthereof who’d released a load of albums before Menomena came along. Thing was, Danny’s voice is weak as shit and only works when used sparingly.

Still can’t believe that Justin is bassist in Bloc Party now. What the fuck man, you’re better than that.


Chvrches formed after Aereogramme split though. They were never a side project.


Mr Bungle -> Faith No More

Didn’t Mike Patton consider Mr Bungle his main band and Faith No More a side project?


Sleater-Kinney was meant to be a one-off collab wasn’t it


Not sure about ‘bigger’ but Panda Bear’s Person Pitch is the best Animal Collective-related record imho tbh tbf


Rocket from the Crypt’s popularity effectively broke up Drive Like Jehu (although it is worth pointing out that Yank Crime was released through a major label under an extremely generous contract because of John Reis).