foundational alternative bands outfits preceding iconic artists
[Photos via PVRIS/Spotify, AFI/Spotify, Mayday Parade/Spotify, The Friday Night Boys/Spotify]

We know how to exhaust the discographies of our favorite bands, going back to their early foundations. But how often do we follow their journeys back to where they really started?

Prior to achieving career success, many now-iconic artists started somewhere else entirely. Often, we’re so removed from these preceding outfits that we don’t even recognize their names. Roots are important, though, so let’s explore them.

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Here are 10 bands that preceded the ones that we’ve come to know and love.

Operation Guillotine (PVRIS)

Listening to PVRIS now, you probably wouldn’t expect their foundation to be metalcore. As it turns out, though, founding members Lynn GunnKyle Anthony and Brad Griffin had previously played together in Operation Guillotine. The three went on to start PVRIS in 2012, though by the time White Noise dropped in 2014, the lineup encompassed Gunn, Alex Babinski and Brian MacDonald.

Reset (Simple Plan)

We’re well conditioned to associate Pierre Bouvier with Simple Plan. But did you know that he’d previously fronted and played bass for another punk band? The vocalist founded Reset as a young teenager, putting out two albums, No Worries and No Limits, before deciding to go in a different direction in 1999. Interestingly, the band went on to release three albums following his departure. They dropped a single, “Breaking Bad,” last year—their first release since 2012.

Kid Named Chicago (Mayday Parade)

What do you call a supergroup of musicians that were relatively unknown at their time of merging? In this case, we might as well just leave it at Mayday Parade. The iconic pop-punk band are actually the coalescence of two groups. Jason Lancaster, Jake Bundrick and Alex Garcia had formerly been operating under the outfit Kid Named Chicago (formerly the Last Try). The other half of the band, Derek Sanders, Jeremy Lenzo and Brooks Betts, came by way of Defining Moment. After partnering up for a vinyl release and acoustic show, the bands decided to nix the distinctions and carry on as a unified group.

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Arma Angelus (Fall Out Boy and Rise Against)

Remember that period in the 2000s when everybody seemed to mistake Pete Wentz as the singer of Fall Out Boy? Yeah, that was a weird time. What’s even weirder, though, was that the bassist had previously fronted the metalcore band Arma Angelus. “Who played bass, though?” you might ask. Well, that was none other than Rise Against‘s Tim McIlrath. Yeah, it was a pretty stacked lineup, even if no one knew it at the time.

Aberdien (The Friday Night Boys)

Andrew Goldstein was only 20 when he formed the Friday Night Boys, so it’s easy to mistake the band as his musical debut. Prior to taking on pop punk, though, Goldstein had previously dabbled in prog rock under the moniker Aberdien. He even released a full-length, Kaleidoscope, as part of the project.

The Movielife (Taking Back Sunday)

Taking Back Sunday are certainly god-tier, so we won’t fault you for assuming that they just materialized out of the heavens. The reality is even more interesting, though, if only because it gives us more damn good music to stream. The band’s founder, Eddie Reyes, had formerly played guitar for the Movielife. He featured on their first demo but departed prior to any studio releases. The band went on to release four albums, the most recent being 2017’s Cities In Search Of A Heart.

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Electric Love Hogs (Goldfinger)

Honestly, we can’t fathom how anyone could bring themselves to step away from a band as brilliantly named as Electric Love Hogs. For Goldfinger‘s John Feldmann, though, it turned out to be a worthwhile career move. The vocalist had founded his former funk/metal outfit in 1991 as a cover band. However, they put out a single original album prior to their split in 1993.

Spires (Neck Deep)

Before Neck Deep, founding members Lloyd Roberts and Matt West belonged to a hardcore outfit called Spires. Thankfully, they brought on Seb Barlow as a producer. Otherwise, the band we’ve come to know and love never would have existed. Unfortunately, Spires never came to see the same success and eventually disbanded.

Redemption 87 (AFI)

Any fan of AFI knows that they wouldn’t exist as we know it without the contributions of Jade Puget. Prior to joining the lineup, though, the legendary guitarist played in the punk band Redemption 87. Puget played on their second album, All Guns Poolside, prior to their breakup and Puget’s subsequent assimilation into AFI.

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Home Grown (New Years Day)

Unlike most of the foundational bands on this list, Home Grown were pretty well established before giving rise to another great. The band put out three albums and multiple EPs/singles over the course of their 11-year tenure. They ultimately broke up in 2005 when founding member Adam Lohrbach left to form New Years Day with Ash Costello.

Which iconic artists do you know of that were preceded by a different band altogether? Let us know in the comments!