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10 Alternative and Rock Supergroups You Might Not Have Heard Of

From blink-182 to Green Day to Fall Out Boy, many members branched off and formed new groups and side projects known as “supergroups.” Here’s 10 you might not have heard of.

Travis Barker, Toronto, Canada 2007 Credit: Taylor Christina/Flickr

Supergroups have been a pretty common throughout many genres, but within rock, indie, and alternative music they are even more common. And because of this popularity, many of these groups you might have not even realized were a supergroup or might have even flown under the radar for many fans. Here are 10 supergroups you might not have heard of. 

What is a Supergroup?

A musical “supergroup” is generally defined as a group made up of two or more people that were known for another project (musical, TV/film, or something else) first. Whether that be a solo project or a band, they had some form of success and notoriety before creating this new project. 

Modern supergroups many can likely think of are boygenius, Foo Fighters, New Order, and many more.

1. The Postal Service

Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello, Credit: Sub Pop Records

The Postal Service started as a collaboration between Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie) and Jimmy Tamborello (Dntel and Figurine). They famously sent their work through the mail while touring and working on other projects at the time.

The duo first started collaborating in 2001, where Gibbard was featured on the Dntel song, “(This is) The Dream of Evan and Chan.” After that song, Gibbard and Tamborello continued collaborating, first working on covers, then expanding into original songs. Then adding third member, Jenny Lewis (Rilo Kiley) for recorded vocals, as well as instrumentals and vocals for the live shows. 

Their debut album, Give Up came out in February of 2003 on Sub Pop Records, with the single “Such Great Heights” being well loved by fans.

Credit: “Such Great Heights” The Postal Service/Sub Pop Records via Youtube

Give Up is often referred to as the “sister” album to Death Cab for Cutie’s Transatlanticism which came out in October of the same year. Give Up was a monumental success, achieving gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of American (RIAA) in 2005. Additionally, Give Up is the most successful release the label has had since Nirvana’s Bleach.

The groups interesting fusion of indie and synth-pop made them incredibly unique and loved by fans. With an already existing and dedicated fan based from Death Cab for Cutie this added to the bands momentum and popularity. Currently they are on tour with Death Cab for Cutie for the 20th anniversary of both Give Up and Transatlanticism.

2. Simple Creatures

Mark Hoppus and Alex Gaskarth Credit: Matty Vogel

Simple Creatures is a side project from Alex Gaskarth (All Time Low) and Mark Hoppus (blink-182). Longtime friends, and both on a break from their respective bands. The two decided to continue working together, having previously worked together on a song for All Time Low’s 2015 record Future Hearts

The duo released two Extended Plays (EP) in 2019, Strange Love and Everything Opposite, with their debut single “Drug” generating lots of excitement from fans. 

Credit: “Drug” Simple Creatures/BMG via Youtube

While creating music under Simple Creatures, both Hoppus and Gaskarth were able to break out of their typical pop-punk roots from their respective band and get more experimental both lyrically and sonically.

After the 2019 releases, the duo had four tour dates set in the United States and the United Kingdom. As well as two music festivals in the summer of that year. It was teased that there would be a 2020 album release but ultimately nothing was released. However, when asked, both Gasgarth and Hoppus say they are continuing to make music together and are still great friends. Fans might be able to expect new music from the duo sometime in the future.

3. +44

Mark Hoppus, Travis Barker, Shane Gallagher, and Craig Fairbaugh Credit: William Hames

Initially formed by Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker in the early 2000’s during a blink-182 hiatus. The two then recruited Shane Gallagher (The Nervous Return) and Craig Fairbaugh (Mercy Killers) for guitar. The group got the name +44 from the United Kingdom international dialing code, where Hoppus and Barker first started developing the project. 

The groups sound greatly diverted from the pop-punk nature of blink-182 and became mostly electronic, based out of necessity for ease of collaborating internationally. This new way of collaborating really shifted the sound of the band and made them unique compared to the other bands the members were from. The collaboration methods used forced the sound to be a mix of pop-punk with electronic influences.

In November of 2006, the group released the record When Your Heart Stops Beating. The record generally did well charting wise both in North America and abroad. Peaking at number 2 for US Top Rock Albums on Billboard and at number 10 on the US Billboard 200. 

The titular track of the album “When Your Heart Stops Beating” tends to be a fan favorite.

Credit: “When Your Heart Stops Beating” +44/Interscope Records via Youtube

When asked about the track, Hoppus said, “that song is kind of like a Sid and Nancy thing… This is the last one we finished. And I think for all of us, this was the stand-out song on the album.” 

Fans can see the evolution of +44’s style and its impact on more recent blink-182 records, like Neighborhoods and California, as well as Hoppus’ other side project Simple Creatures.

4. The Damned Things

Scott Ian, Joe Trohman, Keith Buckley, Dan Andriano, and Andy Hurley Credit: Travis Shinn

Formed by Joe Trohman (Fall Out Boy) and Scott Ian (Anthrax) in 2008, while Fall Out Boy was slowly fragmenting and heading towards a hiatus and Ian was on a break from Anthrax. The two later recruited Keith Buckley (Every Time I Die), Josh Newton (Every Time I Die), Rob Caggiano (Anthrax), and Andy Hurley (Fall Out Boy). 

The group started touring in June of 2010, playing shows in New York and London, as well as playing the second stage at Download Festival. The band then released their first single, “We’ve Got a Situation Here” in October of that year. 

Credit: “We’ve Got A Situation Here” The Damned Things/The Island Def Jam Music Group via Youtube

The group effortlessly blended the southern-hardcore roots from Every Time I Die, with heavier aspects from Anthrax, and the pop-punk sound and memorable choruses from Fall Out Boy. 

By 2012, the group were on a break, with all of the members returning to their initial projects. Then in 2018, the group came back together for more shows and another album. With the departure of Rob Caggiano and Josh Newton and the addition of Dan Andriano (Alkaline Trio), the group released their latest record High Crimes in 2019, further solidifying themselves as a powerful supergroup.

5. Black Cards

Pete Wentz and Bebe Rehxa Credit: Black Cards/The Island Def Jam Music Group

During the 2009 Fall Out Boy hiatus, Pete Wentz continued working on music, wanting to blend reggae and dance-pop. Through producer Sam Hollander, Wentz met Bebe Rehxa where she would later become the lead vocalist of Black Cards. Rounding out the line up with Nate Patterson (The Receiving End of Sirens) and Spencer Peterson (Saves the Day) on guitar and drums.

The initial formation of the group was very secretive, Wentz decided to keep the identity of the other band members quiet. This led many fans to speculate who he was working with. Rumors quickly spread online that Craig Owens (Chiodos, D.R.U.G.S.) or Brendon Urie (Panic! At the Disco) might be involved were quickly stopped by Wentz by announcing the actual members. 

By 2010, the group began touring with a few leaked songs played live like the song “Club Called Heaven.” Embarking on a short European tour with a few North American dates, ultimately playing 2011 Lollapalooza.

Credit: “Club Called Heaven” Black Cards/The Island Def Jam Music Group via Youtube

While the group had only released one EP, Use Your Disillusions, before they started fragmenting, with Bebe Rehxa departing at the start of 2012 from the group to seek other opportunities. Ultimately, the group ended after their release of Use Your Disillusions in July of that year, with the reformation of Fall Out Boy. 

The groups mix of electronic-pop and reggae made them incredibly unique. The impact of Black Cards cannot be underestimated, it launched Bebe Rehxa’s career and put her on the map as one of the strongest female vocalists in pop. And the sounds of the group also influenced later Fall Out Boy records like MANIA

6. I Don’t Know How But They Found Me

Dallon Weekes and Ryan Seaman Credit: Lauren Perry

Getting their name from a line Dr. Brown says in Back to the Future, I Don’t Know How But They Found Me (also referred to as iDKHOW) was started by Dallon Weekes (The Brobecks, Panic! At the Disco) where Weekes then brought on long time friend, Ryan Seaman (Falling in Reverse) for collaboration and percussion. 

Initially meeting in 2008 where Seaman joined The Brobecks on drums and then also worked with Weekes for his Christmas themed solo projects following the breakup of The Brobecks. After years of secrecy about the formation and how long the group had been created, they finally surfaced in 2018 with the release of their EP “1981 Extended Play.” 

The first single off of the EP, “Choke” reached certified Gold by the RIAA in November of 2021, establishing that track as a fan favorite.

Credit: “Choke” I Don’t Know How But They Found Me/Fearless Records

The duo picked up with old or unfinished versions of The Brobecks tracks and demos from Weekes and other things he was brainstorming while on the road and working with Panic! At the Disco from 2009 to 2017. 

The group blends indie pop and synth with new wave and rock, making their sound distinguished and unique compared to past work from Weekes. As well as completely different from the hardcore bands Seaman came from before. 

In 2023, Seaman departed from iDKHOW and was not featured on the latest record GLOOM DIVISION.

7. Cobra Starship

Alex Suarez, Victoria Asher, Gabe Saporta, Nate Novarro, and Ryland Blackinton Credit: David Becker/UPI

Formed by Gabe Saporta after he took a trip to Arizona during a “vison quest” after Midtown disbanded in 2005. During this time in a fit of inspiration, Saporta began writing what would ultimately become the debut record for Cobra Starship, While the City Sleeps, We Rule the Streets

Initially starting with parody songs, like Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl” entitled “Hollaback Boy” and Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” entitled “I Kissed a Boy.” Both songs gained popularity on social media, leading to Saporta being signed to Pete Wentz’s label Decaydance Records (associated with Fueled By Ramen). 

By 2006, Saporta expanded the bands line up with the addition of Nate Novarro (drums), Ryland Blackinton (guitarist), Alex Suarez (bassist), and Victoria Asher (keyboard). 

The group initially gained popularity with their debut record While the City Sleeps, We Rule the Streets. Specifically with the track “Snakes on a Plane (Bring It)” which was featured in the film Snakes on a Plane.

But the group received more mainstream success with their 2009 single “Good Girls Go Bad” featuring Leighton Meester of the tv show Gossip Girl. The song was also featured in the show which added to its popularity.

Credit: “Good Girls Go Bad” Ft. Leighton Meester, Cobra Starship/Fueled By Ramen

The group created genre bending music for the time, mixing pop punk with dance and synth-pop with Saporta’s satirical as well as tongue-in-cheek lyrics.

While the group put out their final tracks in 2021 and the last album was from 2011, the band will occasionally make live appearances for fans. 

8. You+Me

Dallas Green and P!NK (Alecia Moore) Credit: Invision / Casey Curry

Made up of longtime friends Dallas Green (City and Color, Alexisonfire) and Alecia Moore (P!NK), after collaborating years prior to forming You+Me. The two had collaborated live a few times with Green’s project City and Color, but when both their schedules cleared up in 2014, they began working on original music together. 

The duo got together in March and had a record written within a week of working together. This is likely due to the relaxed and flexibleness of working together, as well as is being so different from what both Green and Moore typically work on.

They released their debut record Rose Ave. in October of that year, with singles “You and Me,” “Break the Cycle,” and “Capsized.” All of which entering into the Canadian Hot 100. Their only music video was for the song “Break the Cycle” which generated 2.8 million views on Youtube.

Credit: “Break the Cycle” You+Me/RCA Records

Blending Moore’s powerhouse pop vocals and Green’s rich lyrical writings together into a folk record made the duo different from their own solo work. 

While they have not released any music since 2014, in 2021, Green stated that he had recently almost a whole new record for the project.

9. She & Him

Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward Credit: Dan Winters

Initially meeting in 2006 through the film The Go-Getter where Zooey Deschanel was starring, and M. Ward paired the music for the film. Ward had seen Deschanel sing in Elf and was shocked that she had not pursued a music career.

Deschanel had been writing music throughout her blossoming acting career, but had not found a way to balance both, causing music to fall to the wayside. Following the wrapping of the film, Deschanel sent Ward her demos. Ward later called her to record the music properly.

Their work turned into Volume One, the duos first record, which was released in 2008. The single “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?” reached #64 on the Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Best Songs of 2008.

Credit: “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?” She & Him/Merge Records

Following the success of Volume One, they released Volume Two (2010), Volume 3 (2013), Classics (2015), and two Christmas themed records (2011, 2016). The duo continues working together and making music during their spare time. 

10. The Longshot

The Longshot playing live in 2018 Credit: Sachyn Mital

Following the end of Green Day’s Revolution Radio World Tour in 2018, Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day) formed The Longshot. Armstrong recruited Jeff Matika, the touring guitarist for Green Day to be on bass. With the group adding Kevin Preston and David S. Field (both of Prima Donna). 

The group released their debut self-titled EP in April 2018. Followed with the announcement of their first record Love is for Losers to be released the following week. The groups only formal music video was for the track “Love is for Losers” which generated about 1.7 million views on Youtube.

Credit: “Love Is For Losers” The Longshot via Youtube

The group did some touring following the release of the record. As well as performing live on occasion with Green Day in the years following the album’s release, but the dissolve of the group.

Their sound was still aligned with Green Day and Armstrongs’ political and punk style. But taking a more different approach and almost reminiscing on the American Idiot days of Green Day with more pop influences at times. Some fans and critics said the work was too different, while others focused on it almost being a back step. Either way, the groups release  appealed to many fans of Green Day, old and new. 

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Lexy is currently a student at Drexel University studying Marketing and Organizational Management with an emphasis in Entertainment and Arts Management. Specifically focusing on music, entertainment, art, and culture writing.

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