Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bands of Brothers: 15 of the Best Sibling Bands

I've performed in a band with my brother for about 20 years now and I'm always fond of other bands that are made up of siblings.  Over the last week I've been compiling a list of them - there are many!  The 15 listed below are some favorites (in no particular order).  Yes, I know you're going to say, 'Where is Stone Temple Pilots, Pantera, Heart, The Jonas Brothers!!!'  :)  These are my favorites, so please add your choices in the comments section below. I've created playlists for each band, so click on the players to listen to audio samples of the band's work. Be sure to keep up with my daily postings by clicking LIKE over at the Life On This Planet Facebook Page.

01.  The Psychedelic Furs
Siblings:  Richard Butler (vocals) and Tim Butler (bass)
Where they are today:  Still touring as The Psychedelic Furs.  The last album of new material - World Outside - was released back in 1991. Richard and Tim also played together in Love Spit Love.

02.  Oasis
Siblings:  Liam Gallagher (vocals) and Noel Gallagher (guitar, vocals)
Where they are today:  Since Oasis split, Liam has started a new band called Beady Eye, whose debut album is due out in March 2011.  Noel is preparing a solo album.

03.  Radiohead
Siblings:  Jonny Greenwood (guitar) and Colin Greenwood (bass)
Where they are today:  Conquering the world.

04.  Van Halen
Siblings:  Eddie Van Halen (guitar) and Alex Van Halen (drums)
Where they are today:  With David Lee Roth back in the mix, they are working on a new album to be released in 2011.  Eddie's son Wolfgang is on bass, so Van Halen also create a new category to be explored:  Father/Son Bands!  :)

05.  Bauhaus / Love and Rockets
Siblings:  David J. Haskins (bass) and Kevin Haskins (drums)
Where they are today:  After Bauhaus dissolved, the Haskins brothers formed Love and Rockets with their former bandmate, Daniel Ash.  Bauhaus reunited a couple of times, releasing an album of new material back in 2008 - Go Away White.  Love and Rockets performed at Coachella and Lollapalooza in 2008, and a tribute album was released in 2009, featuring The Flaming Lips, Frank Black, Blaqk Audio, etc.  David J continues to release solo material, make live DJ appearances and compose for soundtracks.  Kevin Haskins has been composing music for movies and TV for quite a few years now.

06.  AC/DC
Siblings:  Angus Young (lead guitar) and Malcolm Young (rhythm guitar)
Where they are today:  Still putting out albums, still rockin' the people.

07.  The Stooges / Iggy & The Stooges
Siblings:  Ron Asheton (guitar, bass) and Scott Asheton (drums)
Where they are today:  The Stooges disbanded in 1974 and reunited in 2003 with both Asheton brothers.  Ron died of a heart attack in January 2009 and Scott continues to perform with the band.

08.  The Beach Boys
Siblings:  Three brothers.  Brian Wilson (bass, vocals, etc.), Carl Wilson (guitar, vocals) and Dennis Wilson (drums)
Where they are today:  Carl Wilson died of cancer in 1998 and Dennis drowned in 1983.  Brian Wilson continues to release solo albums, including 2010's Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin - his 9th solo album.

09.  The Jesus And Mary Chain
Siblings:  Jim Reid (vocals) and William Reid (guitar, vocals)
Where they are today:  The brothers reunited in 2007, performing at Coachella.  Shortly after, a box set of B-sides and rarities was released.  Apparently a new album is in the making, but according to a recent interview with Jim Reid, it looks like that may not come to fruition any time soon.

10.  INXS
Siblings:  Three of them!  Andrew Farriss (keyboards), Tim Farriss (guitar), Jon Farriss (drums)
Where they are today:  Since the death of singer Michael Hutchence in 1997, the band has carried on with a couple of different singers, including J.D. Fortune whom they acquired via an American Idol-style TV show.  In October 2010, the band released a tribute album with reworkings of old INXS hits featuring a different guest vocalist on each track.

11.  Bee Gees
Siblings:  Three brothers.  Barry Gibb (vocals, guitar), Robin Gibb (vocals) and Maurice Gibb (vocals, bass)
Where they are today:  Maurice died of a heart attack in 2003.  Both Barry and Robin have continued their solo careers.  In 2009, they announced plans to reunite as the Bee Gees again.

12.  Creedence Clearwater Revival
Siblings:  John Fogerty (vocals, guitar) and Tom Fogerty (guitar)
Where they are today:  John Fogerty continues to record solo albums and peform live.  His older brother Tom died in 1990 of AIDS complications from receiving a tainted blood transfusion.

13.  The National
Siblings:  Two sets of brothers!  Aaron Dessner (guitar) and Bryce Dessner (guitar).  Bryan Devendorf (drums) and Scott Devendorf (bass)
Where they are today:  The National released their fifth album in 2010.  High Violet appeared on many Top Ten Lists of the Year, including Life On This Planet's List.

14.  The Replacements
Siblings:  Bob Stinson (guitar) and Tommy Stinson (bass)
Where they are today:  Bob passed away back in 1995 and Tommy currently plays in Guns N' Roses and Soul Asylum.

15.  The Black Crowes
Siblings:  Chris Robinson (vocals) and Rich Robinson (guitar)
Where they are today:  The band went on hiatus from 2002-2005, but they've been going strong ever since.

Honorable Mention

Siblings:  Bret Helm (vocals, bass) and Bart Helm (guitar, piano)
Where they are today:  Having released Everything Changes in 2009, Audra is entering the studio in early 2011 to record a new set of material.

A few others to acknowledge:  Meat Puppets, The Kinks, The Cranberries, Gene Loves Jezebel, Happy Mondays and The Everly Brothers.  There you go.  - Thanks for reading, Bret.

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  1. Fun list! I also like New Zealand's Split Enz, and the phenominal American group Sparks.

  2. Allman Brothers?

  3. Anonymous, thanks for stopping by. The Allman Brothers is a great example, though I wouldn't say they are one of my personal favorites. However, I respect that they are nonetheless a great band.


  4. For newer bands, a couple off the top of my head include My Chemical Romance (Gerard and Mikey Way) and 30 Seconds to Mars (Jared and Shannon Leto).

  5. Yeah, MCR has some decent tracks. I recognize that there are brothers in 30 Seconds To Mars, but I don't care for them at all. :)

  6. Heart

    wake up

  7. I'm going off to listen to Audra, as I never heard of them, but very much like all the others on the list, sibling bands or not (and I was blissfully unaware, at least in my conscious mind, most of them even were).

  8. Anonymous #1... I mentioned the Kinks at the end, and Heart at the beginning. Not sure who 'wake up' is, or if you're just trying be rude, but that's cool because I also said that these were MY favorites in the beginning. :)

    Anonymous #2. Thank you so much. Let me know what you think of Audra. :)

  9. Great list! Didnt even know most of these were siblings. Cool blog :)

  10. DEVO - Two sets of brothers: Mark and Bob Mothersbaugh and Gergald and Bob Casale.

  11. Jack, can't believe I overlooked that. Good call there! :)

  12. No Everly Brothers? Well, I guess you did say your favorites. I'd have to drop a few from your list to make room for them, Devo, Split Enz, and the Kinks. But a nice list. How about expanding it to 25 Brother Bands? Nah, someone would just think of good reasons to make it 50.