While music may seem like a universal way to bring people together, you’ll be surprised to learn which bands had a hard time getting along with even each other…
Kings Of Leon
The Followill brothers, Caleb, Jared, Nathan, and cousin Matthew, were a quiet and religious family that was actually banned from listening to pop music until the younger boys reached their late teens. Naturally, they dove head first into rock culture the second they were exposed to it, forming a band that would eventually sell six million copies of an album released in 2008, Only By The Night. While recording that album’s follow up, the brothers started to get out of control with their drinking, especially Caleb, leading to him walking out of the band in a drunken stupor during the middle of a show. Jared responded to the incident by begging fans not to hate them all, only to hate his brother. Though Caleb denied ever going to rehab, he eventually cut down on the booze, and the brothers have gotten back to getting along.
Despite The Libertines’ first album immediately becoming a huge hit, Pete Doherty discovered something he loved even more than music in hardcore drugs, namely crack cocaine and heroin. Carl BarÃ¢t hated seeing his friend fall into drug use, and threatened to kick him out of the band if it continued. Doherty responded by burglarizing BarÃ¢t’s apartment, resulting in his arrest. Surprisingly, the duo reunited to record a second album, though the sessions were rife with constant fighting and even worse – drug use from Doherty.
The Smashing Pumpkins
Though singer Billy Corgan would gradually take almost complete control of songwriting duties, James Iha’s guitar work created an integral piece of their sound, as did the addition of original bassist, D’arcy Wretzky. However, Wretzky’s addition also began the downfall of the band, due to her dating Iha in a relationship that fell apart just as the Pumpkins released their first album. The tensions between the two spread to Corgan, who made matters worse by trying to control everything. Drug use became a big part of practically all the Pumpkins’ lives, leading to Billy firing the rest of the group in 2000 prior to breaking up the band altogether.
It was no secret amongst punk fans that Joey and Johnny Ramone absolutely despised each other, with reasons both personal and political, growing stronger each time they spoke. At first, the issue was Johnny’s staunch Republicanism constantly putting him at odds with Joey’s ideal liberalism. It was more than a mere ideological clash, as Johnny was extremely stringent about meeting deadlines, making money, and treating the band like a business, while Joey was far more care free, constantly showing up to meetings hours late.
The Beach Boys
Unfortunately for Brian Wilson, he’s been stuck with his cousin Mike Love since day one, and Mike himself has openly referred to himself as Brian’s “Antichrist.” The tiff between Wilson and Love likely dates all the way back to their childhood, which saw Mike butt his way into the Wilson brothers family band and attempt to take control. The power struggle was evident from the start, with the Boys even included a verbal sparring session on their album Shut Down Volume 2, cheekily titled “Cassius Love vs. Sonny Wilson.”
Fleetwood Mac was formed in the late ‘60s by Peter Green, but the version everybody knows started coming together after Green left the band to his bassist and drummer. John McVie and Mick Fleetwood invited John’s wife Christie and a songwriting couple named Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks into the fray, soon achieving unmitigated success with their landmark self-titled album. Behind the scenes, however, things were rapidly falling apart, with the McVie’s marriage turning into an endless sea of affairs, Buckingham and Nicks constantly at one another’s throats, and even Mick Fleetwood divorcing his wife, although she had nothing to do with the band.
Most fans are well aware of the longstanding feud between co-bandleaders John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Misogynist critics like to blame Yoko Ono for the once good friends falling apart, but the real problem between Lennon and McCartney was a matter of pride and ego, with the two strongly disagreeing about the direction The Beatles were headed musically. Paul wanted to be poppy and light, while John wanted to inject a more serious tone into his work, creating unique and innovative soundscapes while doing so.
Guns N’ Roses
The problem between singer Axl Rose and guitarist Slash was starting with the fact Axl apparently wanted to take all the credit for himself and serve as a totalitarian leader of the band. According to Slash, the more famous and successful the band became, the more impossible Axl was to deal with, causing him to walk away from the group in 1996. Not exactly a diplomat, Axl responded by referring to Slash as a cancer he was glad he could remove, claiming his negativity had been affecting Axl’s songwriting for years. The two didn’t talk for over 19 years after Slash’s departure, though a recent tour makes it seem as though they may have started patching things up.
The Everly Brothers
Don and Phil Everly were one of the first and most successful family bands in rock music. The Everly Brothers made guitar-based pop music acceptable for families and adults alike, and somehow they even managed to get along through it all, even spending time off to enlist in the Marine Corps Reserve together in 1961. Problems started brewing when they returned from service, thanks largely to a newfound reliance on amphetamines. With drug problems looming and success gradually fading, Don and Phil found themselves constantly fighting, a far cry from the wholesome family image they worked for years to represent.
With emotional punk rock ballads about love and relationships, the band endeared themselves to an angry and active scene in a manner that makes them favorites to this day, despite the fact they broke up in 1987. The breakup was preceded by increasingly out of control drug problems and the suicide of their manager, which both Mould and Hart took very personally, worried their personal problems contributed to his stress and ultimate demise. Mould wanted the band to get their substance issues in control and work more professionally, while Hart was focused on a new relationship and uninterested in the band, causing deep resentment that caused the two not to speak with one another for decades.
Many Americans probably still don’t realize just how meteoric the rise of Oasis was in their native England, thanks largely to the two wildly irascible personalities found within singer and guitarist Liam and Noel Gallagher. Noel was the brains of the operation, writing nearly all of the songs and leading the band, although on technicality it always belonged to Liam, perhaps showing where their conflict began. Realistically, however, the warring Gallagher brothers probably had trouble getting along ever since the two were children, and their various band mates getting involved throughout the years only served to make things worse for them.
Ray and Dave Davies simply could never get along with one another, and the success of the band only intensified the issue. Both brothers didn’t help things by indulging in serious drug habits, made even worse by Ray’s preexisting mental issues related to bipolar disorder. After three decades of touring, Dave couldn’t take it any more, officially breaking up the band and repeatedly promising they would never reunite. The Davies brothers do talk to one another, with both parties alleging a brotherly love exists beneath the hatred, but Dave apparently can’t spend more than an hour in the room with Ray without a violent and heated argument breaking out between them.
Simon And Garfunkel
The main source of their quarrel is obvious enough, in that despite their band name making it clear two people were making the music, Paul Simon generally received all the credit from critics and fans, thanks to the fact he was the only one writing any songs. Garfunkel generally only added his vocal harmonies, which while beautiful and a huge part of their music, some fans felt didn’t compare to Simon’s total mastery of the medium. With five landmark albums, Simon and Garfunkel became one of the biggest bands on the planet, only to call it quits at the peak of their fame thanks to their personal feud.
The Rolling Stones
Not only were The Stones neck and neck with The Beatles throughout the ‘60s, but they also served as one of the few bands from that decade to survive, which they have all the way to the present day. On the laurel that it’s only rock and roll, but they like it, The Rolling Stones have succeeded largely because of Mick Jagger’s swagger defining posturing as a front man coupled with Keith Richards being a living embodiment of the guitar riff. Despite their unbridled success, the two have almost openly hated each other for decades, with Richards creating unflattering nicknames like “Her Majesty” and “that bitch Brenda” to openly mock Jagger to his friends and members of the press.
Mayhem was formed by Euronymous, Necrobutcher, and Manheim in 1984, shooting to fame in the early ‘90s after the suicide of the new singer, aptly named Dead. Euronymous hired Varg Vikernes to replace his fallen comrade, setting into motion the darkest incident in the appropriately pitch black world of Swedish death metal. For unclear reasons, Vikernes came to believe Euronymous was plotting to brutally murder him, and instead of sitting and waiting to meet his fate, he got proactive, brutally murdering Euronymous instead. While he claims the murder was an act of self-defense, the 23 stab wounds found on Euronymous’s body painted a story of pure hatred.
The bitter fall-out between Dinosaur Jr. head honcho J Mascis and the band’s original bassist Lou Barlow has virtually become rock folklore. Just as the Amherst, Massachusetts group were making some kind of commercial breakthrough and had finished touring their well-received third LP, Bug, long-haired guitar wizard Mascis essentially kicked Barlow out of Dinosaur Jr. by, rather incredibly, lying to the bass player that the band had split up. By that point, though, the pair were barely speaking to one another.
One of the American underground’s most celebrated bands, the Pixies have nonetheless had their fair share of creative tensions. The friction in the 1986-formed outfit has largely been between frontman Black Francis and bassist/vocalist Kim Deal. Apparently frustrated at not being allowed to include more of her own tunes on Pixies records, Deal went on to form breakaway group The Breeders, whose debut album was released in 1990. The Pixies released Bossanova â their first album minus any of Deal’s songwriting â the same year.
The relationship between the main creative influences in groundbreaking alt-country band Uncle Tupelo had turned sour by the time of the group’s swansong, 1993’s Anodyne. Guitarist Jay Farrar and bassist Jeff Tweedy â who went to high school together â were the source of the tension. In fact, the animosity got so bad that Farrar eventually couldn’t bring himself to sing tunes penned by Tweedy.
The crux of the feud was that Bryan Ferry was keen to guide Roxy Music into radio-friendly pop rock waters, while Brian Eno wanted to explore his avant-garde tendencies within the band. The difference in opinion eventually became too much for Eno, who left Roxy Music in 1973. “I don’t want to damage Roxy [by talking about differences with Ferry],” he told The Telegraph four decades later. “I mean, I really like the other members, and Iâ¦ really like Bryan in a funny way.” Despite this, though, the pair did join forces again for Roxy Music’s 2001 reunion tour.
My Chemical Romance
My Chemical Romance called time on their career in 2013. “It wasn’t an easy thing to come to,” said frontman Gerard Way. “It was sad, because it wasn’t a situation where anybody hated each other. It was nobody’s fault.” Gerard’s now doing pretty well for himself as a solo artist, releasing his debut one-man LP last year.
Legendary Britpoppers The Verve split up two times in the 1990s and decided to break their fans hearts for a third time following their 2007 reunion and a spectacular 2008 Glastonbury headline slot, with frontman Richard Ashcroft telling everyone the band was “over for good” in 2010.
At The Drive-In
Post-hardcore kids wept into their hoodies when El Paso’s At The Drive-In announced plans to break up in 2001. They reunited in 2012 for a run of festivals in the US and in the UK, but there are no plans for the band to ever play together again. Sad times.
Liam Gallagher announced the end of Beady Eye via Twitter in October 2014. “Liam had been pretty quiet for a while, and them he just let us know that his heart wasn’t really in it any more,” said guitarist Andy Bell following the break-up. Andy’s now gearing up for the reunion of his former band Ride.
After more than 30 years in the game, REM split in 2011. Despite saying he wouldn’t embark on a solo career, frontman Michael Stipe played a surprise set opening for Patti Smith at the end of 2014 in New York, covering Perfume Genius, as well as playing a number of REM rarities.
Drum’n’bass heavyweights Pendulum broke up in 2012, with Rob Swire of the group commenting: “Pendulum towards the end sort of felt like we were doing it because we had to and that’s never a fun way to do music.”
One of the finest girl groups of all time, Destiny’s Child parted ways in 2005. Beyonce went on to become a super-mega-star and the others, um, didn’t. Beyonce was joined by her former band members during her 2013 Super Bowl performance, but the group have never announced an official reunion.
After 27 years of experimental rocking, Sonic Youth ended things in 2011, after Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon â the married couple at the core of the band â announced their separation.
The White Stripes
The White Stripes aka Jack and Meg parted ways in 2011, citing a “myriad” of reasons, including Meg’s anxiety when it came to performing live. Meg’s now living the quiet life, while Jack’s redefining the record label with Third Man and cranking out a fantastic solo catalogue.
The Long Blondes
One of the most stylish and downright saucy groups of the 2000s, the Long Blondes sadly called it a day after songwriter and guitarist Dorian Cox suffered a stroke in 2008.
Omar RodrÃguez-LÃ³pez and Cedric Bixler of At The Drive-In went on to form the progtastic Mars Volta after the split of their previous band. Sadly, The Mars Volta went the same way, but the two will be playing shows this year with their latest project Antemasque.
Brutal electronica duo Crystal Castles announced their break-up in October 2014. “”I am leaving Crystal Castles. My art and my self-expression in any form has always been an attempt towards sincerity, honesty, and empathy for others. For a multitude of reasons both professional and personal I no longer feel that this is possible within CC,” wrote singer Alice Glass.
The Jenny Lewis fronted gang Rilo Kiley broke up in 2011, and it wasn’t pretty. Guitarist Blake Sennett said the reasons for the split were “deception, disloyalty, greed”. Blimey.
Le Tigre, Kathleen Hanna’s feminist electro-pop crew stopped making sweet music together back in 2007. In the brilliant documentary The Punk Singer, we find out the reason was because of Kathleen’s struggle with Lyme Disease.
Leeds lads The Music split in 2011 after 10 years together and three great albums: 2002’s self-titled debut, 2004’s ‘Welcome To The North’ and 2008’s ‘Strength In Numbers’.
Miles Kane’s first band The Rascals parted ways in 2009, leaving Alex Turner’s bezzie mate to set out on his solo career and work on the pair’s matching pleather trousered looks.
Be Your Own Pet
Teenage car crash punks Be Your Own Pet split in 2008. Since then frontwoman Jemina Pearl has released a solo album, while John Eatherly now heads up New York’s Public Access TV.
Thamesbeat tykes Larrikin Love quit the scene in 2007, and fellow Londoner Jamie T dedicated a song to them at one of his gigs when their split was announced. Guitar player Micko went on to play with Courtney Love.
Shouty new wave punks The Rakes ended things in 2009, cancelling a US and UK tour. “The Rakes always been very adamant and proud of the fact that we give 100 per cent to every gig we’ve ever played,” said a statement. “After much deliberation we have come to the shared conclusion that we can’t give it 100 per cent any more and regret to announce that The Rakes are calling it a day.”
The hugely underrated Giant Drag’s Annie Hardy and Micah Calabrese went their separate ways in 2006. However, Annie has carried on making music under the Giant Drag name, releasing her last album in 2013.
Welsh post-hardcore group The Blackout split in December 2014. “Unfortunately we have come to the conclusion we are unable to sustain this band anymore, and we feel the time is right to bring it to a close,” said a statement. “This is the hardest decision we have ever had to make as a band, and although we do it with heavy hearts, we also do with our heads held high.”
The Cooper Temple Clause
After missing two booked shows at 2007’s Camden Crawl, The Cooper Temple Clause explained that they were breaking up. ““Friendships are well and truly intact and the love very much remains within the camp,” said band member Daniel Fisher at the time.
One of Dev Hynes’ many former incarnations, Test Icicles were a rowdy, beautiful flash in the pan on the edges of new rave. They called time in 2006, but Dev went on to make music as Lightspeed Champion and then Blood Orange, collaborating with everyone from Solange to Sky Ferreira on the way.
James Murphy’s dance-titans heralded their split with a huge LCD Soundsystem show at New York’s Madison Square Garden in 2011. The show was recorded and released on DVD, so you can sob your eyes out over and over again in the privacy of your own home.
Now knows as a mellifluously voiced BBC 6 Music presenter, Cerys Matthews headed up Welsh rockers Catatonia until 2001, eventually splitting because of Cerys’ battles with anxiety.
The Black Crowes
Stoner rockers The Black Crowes hadn’t released an album since 2008 but only announced things were over this year. “The Black Crowes don’t write songs anymore. They don’t think of the present or the future,” said frontman Chris Robinson, suggesting a certain animosity behind the break-up. “I like making albums and playing concerts. I was sitting on two EPs’ worth of written songs.”
Brody Dalle’s Aussie punks split in an acrimonious fashion in 2007. “I felt like in The Distillers it just creatively came to an end, nobody was feeling it anymore,” she later said.
The Postal Service
If you’re a Death Cab for Cutie fan, then you have automatic loyalties to Ben Gibbard’s side project, The Postal Service. If you’re also sick of “Such Great Heights,” though, join the club. They debuted in 2003 and split a decade later.
Big Boi and Andree 3000 split in 2006 after producing a climactic soundtrack for “Idlewild.” The reunited for the 2014 Coachella festival, though they never produced any new music afterwards.
When Sting left The Police in 1986, everybody knew it was over. During the fallout, the other members claimed there would never be a reconciliaton, but surprisingly, the band came together in 2007 and performed several reunion shows.
The Spice Girls
If you’re a true 90’s baby, then The Spice Girls were your go-to girl group. They pushed all the boundaries and really emphasized the importance of female empowerment. Following Ginger Spice’s 1998 split from the group to go solo, the girls reunited in 2012 for a performance at the Olympics.
The Backstreet Boys 2012 reunion probably had the ability to solve world hunger, poverty, and end all suffering. If you were a Backstreet Boys fan, you knew that you only ate, breathed, and slept their music. Their downfall in 2005 was heartbreaking, but they gave the people what they wanted and found a way to continue to make music today.
Sleater-Kinney was a staple in the 90’s rock music scene. In 2005, they split for solo careers, personal projects like Carrie Brownstein’s sketch comedy show “Portlandia,” with Fred Armisen, and motherhood. They reconciled in 2015 and produced “No Cities To Love,” which led to a reunion tour and several shows.
Fall Out Boy
After a whirlwind few years of massive success, Fall Out Boy announced a hiatus in 2009. Their reunion came as a surprise, along with the hit album “Save Rock n Roll.”
Remember One Direction? These guys did that first. They gained a massive following in the 90’s, and then left fans heartbroken and confused when they announced a sudden hiatus. In 1995, the lead vocalist took a predictable step towards a solo career, leading to a rift between the bandmates. In 2010, the group reconciled without Robbie Williams. However, he did rejoin later.
The members of Blink-182 have had a tumultuous relationship to say the least, thanks to the erratic behavior of singer Tom DeLonge. After taking a break in 2005, regrouping in 2009, and splitting again in 2015, the band is in a state of limbo. While fans would love a reunion, it seems unlikely.
The Grateful Dead
When Jerry Garcia died in 1995, it seemed unlikely that the all-mighty Grateful Dead would ever play again, though founding member Bob Weir has continued to play Dead songs with varying lineups.
Velvet Underground split in 1973, and they credit themselves with coining the “alternative” genre. Founding member Lou Reed hasn’t played with the band since 1970. The surviving original lineup reunited in 1992, but that didn’t last long.
Since their formation in 1986, No Doubt has been a staple in the pop punk scene thanks to Gwen Stefani’s angsty girl image and female empowerment lyrics. The band survived two hiatuses – once when Stefani and Tony Kanal broke up, and again when Stefani released some solo music.
The band was never the same after drummer Keith Moon died in 1978. They stopped touring in 1982, and they didn’t release another album until 2006.