Side project

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In popular music, a side project is a project undertaken by one or more people already known for their involvement in another band. It can also be an artist or a band temporarily switching to a different style.

Usually these projects emphasize a different aspect of that person's or that band's musical interests that they feel they cannot explore within the boundaries established by their main project. Side projects can later become full-time endeavours, but should not be confused with quitting a band for a solo career or another band. Peter Hartlaub of San Francisco Chronicle called the solo side project "the biggest longshot bet in mainstream music".[1]

The New York Times described the side project as "a break from the other band members, a chance to toy with different genres and recording methods, a fling with no long-term commitment".[2] There can be aesthetic reasons to pursue side projects,[3] and side projects can have the benefit of protecting indie credibility.[3]


One example of musical side projects is Kiss's decision in 1978 to have each member of the band, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, simultaneously release solo albums. In 1992, The Melvins released solo EPs in a similar fashion.

"Side project" may also refer to pursuits of famous individuals outside of their primary fields. For instance, Wicked Wisdom is a "side project" of actress Jada Pinkett Smith. Side projects often occur at a crossroads of a celebrity's career.

A side project can also be a band that takes on an "alter ego", usually in order to play a different style of music that their fans are not used to. An example of this type of side project would be the band Weezer, who is also the Nirvana cover band Goat Punishment.

Another example of a side project is when in 1990, Jesper Strömblad of Ceremonial Oath decided to start a side project known as In Flames because he wanted to start a new project that combined Iron Maiden and death metal all together which he said he had never heard of before, the side project then grew into a band in 1995 and is now one of the most influential metal bands of all time, and still together without Jesper.

A joint side project consisting of members of multiple known bands is known as a supergroup.

Famous or notable side projects[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hartlaub, Peter (6 April 2010). "When band guys go solo on side, it rarely works". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  2. ^ Pareles, Jon (22 February 2013). "Postal Service and Breeders on Spring Tours". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d Moon, Tom (21 January 1996). "Rockers' Menu: A Main Band, With A Project On The Side". Philadelphia Media Network. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  4. ^ Kennedy, Gerrick D. (27 January 2015). "Tom DeLonge responds to Blink-182 fallout with letter". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  5. ^ Kennedy, Gerrick D. (19 February 2014). "Jack Antonoff announces Bleachers solo project, debuts single". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  6. ^ Caramanica, Jon (13 April 2013). "Coachella: When the Band Is a Second Gig". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  7. ^ Greenberg, Rudi (25 September 2014). "John Kadlecik loves playing Dead; is recreating Jerry Garcia Band concerts at Gypsy Sally's". The Washington Post. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  8. ^ Houston, Rita (16 December 2010). "The 5 Best Side Projects Of 2010". NPR. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  9. ^ Kaplan, Ilana (8 January 2015). "An Artistic Video from the Hot Chip Spinoff New Build". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  10. ^ Wood, Mikael (21 November 2012). "Pearl Jam side project RNDM headed for Troubadour". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 3 February 2015.