Scenes of students jamming together in high schools are common. But what we easily dismiss is the possibility of a band becoming a superstar band. Although there aren’t many famous bands formed in schools, it is possible. A handful of high school friends who became a superstar band have had staying power in the history of music. Do the likes of Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers ring a bell? We take a look at some of the superstar bands formed in schools.
1. Green Day
Green Day was formed by friends Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt in 1987 when they were 15 years old. The original name of the band was Sweet Children and their first song written together was “Best Thing in Town”. Larry Livermore saw the band play at an early show in 1988 and signed them to his label. The band dropped the name Sweet Children and adopted the name Green Day, due to the members’ fondness for cannabis. In 2001, Armstrong admitted it was a terrible name for a band. The drummer, Tre Cool was wooed away from his band the Lookouts to form today’s iconic Green Day trio.
2. Good Charlotte
Good Charlotte was formed after the Madden brothers became inspired by watching a Beastie Boys show in 1995. The brothers chose to work full-time on the band instead of going to college. The band was made up of Joel on vocals and Benji on guitar. They spent time reading books and magazines that would get them signed to a label. They made promotional packages sent to record labels. The Madden brothers moved to Annapolis, Maryland where they played acoustic shows. After picking up their second guitarist Billy Martin, the band never looked back.
American rock band Paramore was formed in 2004 in Franklin, Tennessee. At age 13, vocalist Hayley Williams met brothers Josh Farro and Zac Farro at a weekly supplementary program for home-schooled students. The band released its debut album All We Know Is Falling in 2005 when Williams was only 16 years old in 2005. The album reached number four on the UK Rock Chart in 2009. Their second album Riot! was released in 2007 and was certified Platinum in the United States.
The most endearing rock band in the world U2 got their start as a group called Feedback. It began when 14-year-old Larry Mullen Jr. posted a flier on the bulletin board at his high school in Dublin advertising an open call for musicians. The group that gathered in Mullen’s house a few days later included Bono, The Edge, and Adam Clayton. They played for four years together before being signed by Island Records in 1980.
5. The Cure
Another iconic rock band is The Cure. The members of The Cure have been together since middle school playing under the name Obelisk. The founding members of the band were school friends at Notre Dame Middle School in Crawley, West Sussex. It consisted of Robert Smith on piano, Michael Dempsey on guitar, Laurence Tohurst on percussion, Marc Ceccagno on lead guitar, and Alan Hill on bass guitar. The band changed their name to Easy Cure and got signed to Hansa Records. The band eventually changed their name to The Cure. They achieved mainstream popularity with the double LP Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me in 1987. The album’s third single Just Like Heaven was the band’s most successful single to date in the US, being the first to enter the Billboard Top 40.
Inspired to start your own band with your school friends? Get your friends together and jam at Ritmo Music Studio in Singapore. We offer studio rentals, as well as lessons on different musical instruments to get you started on forming your first band.