5+1 Musicians Who Can't Stop Collaborating With Others
When one band is just simply not enough for all the creativity.
While many musicians are pretty contempt with playing in just one band or being a solo artist, for some there’s just too much creativity for one project. Whether for the excitement of exploring new musical horizons or as a form of communication of creativity, these people are constantly finding new collaborators to work with always producing something interesting as the result. Let’s take a look at 5 (+1) artists who, it seems, just can’t stop creating new projects and collaborating with others.
The Queens Of The Stone Age's leader Josh Homme is notorious for playing pretty much with every notable musician in the world of rock. From Billy Gibbons to Dave Grohl, to Iggy Pop, to John Paul Jones, to Mike Kerr, and just anybody who was available for another of Homme’s projects. Homme began playing professionally at an early age, driving to the remote desert gigs with his friends, performing alongside other beginner bands, and making new musical connections along the way. This experience of music collaboration probably has to do with the fact that now, if you hear about a new supergroup in rock, there is a good chance that Homme is in there somewhere. Kyuss, Queens Of The Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures, Eagles Of Death Metal, his album with Iggy Pop, Desert Sessions - that’s just some of the main projects for Homme. He also pops here and there on the songs with various artists on a slew of different records. The man is truly polygamous in terms of music.
With music being just one of many things Jack White does, alongside running a record label, owning a vinyl-pressing plant, collecting retro pieces of recording equipment, or even acting in movies occasionally, it’s amazing how he manages to find time for his various projects. From his solo work to The Raconteurs, Dead Weather, White Stripes, and numerous one-off collaborations like playing a Led Zeppelin song at Lollapolooza with Robert Plant or recording a single for Tenacious D, White always remains true to himself producing raw and soulful music with as little computer tinkering as possible. Much like with Josh Homme, you can immediately sense Jack White’s guitar style or the recognizable voice making Dead Weather, where he plays the drums, his only project that doesn’t instantly give away his involvement.
Tony Levin is a living legend that brings any project he’s involved in to a whole new level, so it’s no surprise that the man is in such demand to this day despite being 73 years old. Starting out as a session musician, Levin had to learn how to adapt to various styles very quickly. Apparently, he did that perfectly since throughout his career he took part in more than 500 recordings of some of the top artists like Pink Floyd, Yes, Tom Waits, John Lennon, Cher, Alice Cooper, and many others. By the ‘80s, still doing session work, he befriended Robert Fripp after playing on his solo record. That friendship led him to become the new bass player for King Crimson, a position he still holds which makes him the second-most consistent member of the band after Fripp himself. He has also played on most of Peter Gabriel’s albums and toured with the British singer extensively parallel to his work in Crimson. Despite being in such demand, Levin manages to find time for his own projects with which he successfully records and tours.
So, technically Carlos Santana is only consistently playing in Santana and doing solo records, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve a spot on this list. While his first records date back to the early ‘70s, the success the Mexican-American band had back then was incomparable to the explosion of popularity that happened after 1999’s album “Supernatural” which saw Santana moving towards radio-friendly music, inviting many contemporary artists to do vocals on the tracks. That was a stroke of genius on the part of Arista Records and Carlos Santana himself. The Latino rhythms and melodies worked perfectly with popular singers of the era like Rob Thomas, Eagle-Eye Cherry or Everlast, giving Santana the much-needed boost in audience interest and recognition. After that album, the collaborations became an essential part of Santana records with the likes of Steven Tyler, Chad Kroeger, and Ziggy Marley lending their voices.
If there’s one person that has probably played with literally every person he wanted to, that is Dave Grohl. The man doesn’t know what the words “stop and relax” mean. If he isn’t recording a new Foo Fighters album, he is probably doing a Nirvana reunion show, and if he is not there, then he is maybe playing with Josh Homme, and if it’s not that, then he is probably recording drums for a new Tenacious D album. The point is - Dave Grohl has more big collaborations under his belt than any other rockstar in the business.
He recorded a metal album with all of his favorite singers from the ‘80s, he did a whole recording with various legends of the past (and present) while he was doing a documentary about Sound City Studious, he is in a band with Josh Homme and Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones, and as if it was not enough, he constantly can be seen playing with various musicians just for fun. Truly an amazing musician, despite some negativity from the internet.
+1 Honorable mention: David Bowie
When it comes to collaborating with other artists, David Bowie wins not by quantity but by magnitude and quality. The songs he wrote with Mick Jagger and Queen became worldwide hits, his collaboration with Iggy Pop brought the latter from the brink of drugging himself to death to some of the best work the punk icon has ever done, his joint tour with Nine Inch Nails showed the world the range and versatility of both Bowie and Reznor (along with bringing the latter from drugging himself to death, of course). Every new collaboration showed a new side of Bowie never sounding the same, be it industrial rock, jazz, or straight-up pop.
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