90s Rock Legends: Where Are They Now?

Amy Dupcak :: Monday, June 28th, 2010 3:30 pm

The early-to-mid ’90s were pretty golden in terms of rock music. Now, over a decade later, the grungers have grown up, lost some hair, and have either moved on to other projects or are attempting to pick up the pieces of their old bands. Something of a revival seems to be stirring in the air, but it’s not all as blissfully angsty as it used to be. Read on for what some ’90s rockers have been up to, good and bad….

Dave Grohl — ever since drumming for Nirvana, Dave Grohl has jumped from band to band: from fronting Foo Fighters to forming heavy metal supergroup Probot to drumming for Queens of the Stone Age, and now on to Them Crooked Vultures. Another supergroup of sorts, Grohl plays with Josh Homme (Kyuss & QOTSA) and John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin). The verdict? Yes, they rock. Dave Grohl’s career is definitely not over.

Moby — unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Moby’s new band. While Moby himself put out an exceptionally beautiful album last year, called Wait For Me, his new project Diamondsnake is…well..something else. This “heavy metal band” sounds like a joke, but maybe it’s supposed to be? Maybe Moby is sick of being serious? Hey, I guess that’s okay.

Trent Reznor — whatever Trent Reznor does, whether it’s collabing with Saul Williams, creating a score for Quake, or composing a Nine Inch Nails album, he always maintain an aesthetic distinctly Reznor. After ‘waving goodbye’ on the NIN tour last summer, he started How To Destroy Angels this year with brand new wife Mariqueen Maandig Reznor and Atticus Ross. Their EP is available as a free download, and only time will tell if they start the touring grind. Although initially put off by the new formation, I’m pretty into the music as well as the female vocals. I guess anything Reznor will do for now. But make no mistake, this ain’t no Downward Spiral.

Alice in Chains — one of the best grunge bands, they went on hiatus for awhile, and then Layne Staley died in 2002. But the band kept marching on, recruiting William DuVall to sing lead vocals; he once said, “I’m not trying to do a Layne. One of the things I loved about him was how individual he was. He was just being himself, so that’s what I do.” AIC released Black Gives Way To Blue in 2008 and, as of April of this year, they’re contemplating a fifth studio album, after a lot of touring. My vote: still strong without Layne, but in no way the same.

Soundgarden — another of the best ’90s bands, they broke up in 1997 and all members moved onto other projects. Chris Cornell put out a solo record that probably no one but me listened to, and then of course there was Audioslave, with Tom Morello. But on January 1, Cornell alluded to a Soundgarden reunion via his Twitter, writing: “The 12-year break is over and school is back in session. Sign up now. Knights of the Soundtable ride again!” They’re set to headline Lollapalooza, and the first Soundgarden recording in 13 years, called “Black Rain,” will debut in Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock. My opinion about all of this has yet to be made.

Bush — they put out some amazing songs and albums, like Razorblade Suitcase, but then Gavin Rossdale (who was, from the get go, a bit of a rip-off) went and married Gwen Stefani and turned into a red carpet yuppie. Now, Bush is back with a new single called “ Afterlife,” and an album yet to come. The song sounds like a new emo band who used to love Bush. I’m not down.

Screaming Trees/Afghan Whigs — deep-voiced Mark Lanegan from Screaming Trees and Greg Dulli from Afghan Whigs created The Gutter Twins a few years back and have, thus far, put out two albums with some refreshingly good tracks. It remains to be seen how long they can sustain the collaboration, but I dig it!

Faith No More — Mike Patton has been keeping himself busy since Faith No More’s official dissolution in ‘98. He sung for Mr. Bungle, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Peeping Tom, and more. In February of 2009, Faith No More announced that they were reforming for a tour and possibly new material. In April, original vocalist Chuck Mosley (pre-Patton) made a surprise appearance on stage, and on July 5, they’re playing their first East Coast U.S. concert in over a decade. The band will also headline the Australian Soundwave Festival. No objections here.

Oasis — I can’t stand the egos of those two Gallagher bros just as much as they can’t stand each other (though there will always be a spot in my heart for “Wonderwall”). After Noel left Oasis, Liam decided to retain everyone else in Oasis but perform under a different name. This reincarnation is called Beady Eye and they’re releasing a debut single in October, followed by an LP in 2011. Should you care? I don’t.

The Smashing Pumpkins — there’s another ego that needs no inflating. Remember when The Pumpkins put out beautiful, heart-ripping songs and music videos? But then there was all that drama within the foursome, which became a threesome, and back to a modified foursome. The world thought SP died in 2000, but then the Pumpkins returned, with Corgan and drummer Jimmy Chamberlain as the only original members. Two years later, Corgan announced that he’d fired Chamberlain and would continue to write and record under the Smashing Pumpkins name. Now “Smashing Pumpkins” is releasing Teargarden by Kaleidyscope for free online one track at a time, the next on July 6. But I’m over Billy Corgan. And I’ll just keep listening to Mellon Collie.

Stone Temple Pilots — Scott Weiland has had better days. Yes, STP was once consistently awesome from album to album, and then Velvet Revolver happened, amidst Scott Weiland’s trashing hotel rooms and getting busted for drugs and domestic abuse. Last year, STP reformed and started touring, playing at this year’s SxSW and debuting new material live, as well as appearing on Letterman for the first time in 10 years. A self-titled album (strange, I know) was released in May. The single is, well, it’s not so bad actually, albeit a little uninspired.

Perry Farrell — he was at the forefront of alternative rock in the ’90s, since Jane’s Addiction started in ‘85 and split up by the time ‘91 rolled around. Responsible for starting legendary alt. festival Lollapalooza, as well as “nah nah nah Jane says,” Perry Farrell (real name Peretz Bernstein, believe it or not) went on to form Porno for Pyros until that dissolved in ‘98. Then he put out a solo record and got really into scarification, environmentalism, relief efforts, and surfing! Next came Satellite Party, which veers between crap and irresistibly catchy. Last summer, Jane’s Addiction toured with NIN, but played only old tunes. In my book, Perry’s still got it, but many may argue otherwise.

Pearl Jam — long live Pearl Jam, right? Though there will never be another Ten, PJ has had a long career full of absolute gems of songs, even well into the 00’s. Unlike many of their comrades, the band never experienced a death…unless you count the nine fans crushed to death at one of their European gigs. They did, however, form from the ashes of Mother Love Bone, after singer Andrew Wood died, managing to become infinitely more famous than he did. Though the members have engaged in other projects, like Stone Gossard’s band Brad, which put my friend to sleep (his head actually resting on the stage during a show), PJ is still totally worthy of your respect. To put it simply, they’re still alive.

One Response to “90s Rock Legends: Where Are They Now?”
  1. I saw the Smashing Pumpkins year ago and also seen him with Zwan. I though he was a bit boring both times.
    A guy you only want hear on record and not see.

    Posted by: Playing Rock Guitar June 29th, 2010 at 6:31 am