Musical talent often transcends any individual instrument. A piano player may often feel inclined to try out their voice. A guitarist may dabble with the bass. Often, though, career musicians opt to dedicate themselves entirely to a specific role.
Of course, that isn’t a hard rule. There are a number of alternative multi-instrumentalists out there who lend numerous talents to their bands in the studio and onstage.
Here are 10 of our favorite artists who have more than one duty in their band.
Dallon Weekes (Panic! At The Disco, iDKHOW)
When Ryan Ross and Jon Walker left Panic! At The Disco in 2009, Dallon Weekes stepped in to help fill the massive hole. First as a touring musician and later as an official member, he assumed the roles on bass, keyboard and backing vocals. Weekes eventually left the band in 2017, focusing his diverse talents on his two-piece alternative project with Ryan Seaman, iDKHOW who just released their debut full-length RAZZMATAZZ in late 2020.
Brandon Flowers (The Killers)
Brandon Flowers may be best known as the powerful and poignant voice behind the Killers. But his talents don’t stop there. The frontman is also responsible for most of the keyboard parts throughout their diverse discography. In addition, he takes on the role of bassist from time to time, allowing Mark Stoermer to front the rhythm guitar on tracks such as “For Reasons Unknown.”
Jake Bundrick (Mayday Parade)
It’s not common to see a drummer providing vocals. The concept even made an appearance in The Office, where Kevin Malone takes on both roles for his band. Mayday Parade‘s Jake Bundrick meets the challenge head on, though, singing alongside Derek Sanders ever since Jason Lancaster‘s departure in 2007. It’s an impressive display of cardiovascular endurance, to say the least.
Ashton Irwin (5 Seconds Of Summer)
5 Seconds Of Summer‘s Ashton Irwin is another percussionist who lends his voice to the band. That’s not where his skills stop, though. The pop-rock prodigy, who we should note is only in his mid-20s, also plays the keyboard occasionally. Give it five years or so and we wouldn’t be surprised to see him add a few more instruments to his arsenal.
Aaron Gillespie (Underoath, the Almost)
We’ll just round this little trend we’ve started into a trio. Like Bundrick and Irwin, Aaron Gillespie also combines a propensity for drums and supporting vocals for Underoath. Believe it or not, though, this isn’t even the only band that he contributes multiple parts toward. He’s also the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist for his alternative-rock band the Almost, playing other parts when needed.
Josh Ramsay (Marianas Trench)
Marianas Trench are a powerhouse in eclecticism, so it tracks that their members would have some diverse talent. In addition to serving as the lead vocalist, Josh Ramsay also plays rhythm guitar, keys and occasionally the flugelhorn (yes, you read that right). We can’t imagine what his practice schedule must look like to keep those skills honed.
Billy Martin (Good Charlotte)
Overall, Good Charlotte boast a pretty typical cut-and-dry pop-punk lineup. Everybody’s got a clear cut role when they step up onstage. That is, with the exception of Billy Martin. Ever since his addition to the band, the seasoned member has split his efforts between rhythm guitar and keys.
Josh Dun (twenty one pilots)
Between Josh Dun and Tyler Joseph, we’re pretty sure twenty one pilots could cover for a full marching band. We’re going to shine the spotlight on Dun for now, though. Not only does the percussionist double down on background vocals, which we’ve already raised as an impressive feat, but he’s also trained on the trumpet as well. Now we just want to see him cycle between all three in rapid sequence…
Mark Hoppus (blink-182)
We all know Mark Hoppus as one half of the vocal force behind blink-182. But did you know that he’s also rocking out on the bass while delivering all of those hard-hitting lines? The multi-instrumental nature of the legendary pop-punk outfit is what’s kept it down to a trio since their inception in 1992.
El Hefe (NOFX)
Really, just leave it to NOFX to serve as a canvas for far-reaching talent. El Hefe (Aaron Abeyta) is best known for serving as their lead guitarist for nearly 30 years. On top of that, though, he’s also a brass powerhouse, jumping on the trombone and trumpet to add those ska accents to the band’s signature sound.
Who are some of your favorite multi-instrumentalists? Let us know in the comments below!