Supergroups are some of the most aptly named entities in music culture.
A supergroup is a band made up of members who have already achieved some form of musical success, either individually or in a group.
It frequently provides artists with an outlet for a different creative direction.
‘A Perfect Circle’ was a supergroup from the late 1990s that consisted of members from alternative rock bands and ventures, including Maynard Keenan, lead singer of ‘Tool’, solo guitarist Billy Howerdel and Troy Van Leeuwen of ‘Queens of the Stone Age.’
Keenan has stated multiple times that ‘A Perfect Circle’s’ creative process is much more emotional.
“Tool is more a left-brain masculine result, and A Perfect Circle is more a right-brain feminine result,” Keenan said in an interview with The New York Times about ‘A Perfect Circle’s’ creative process.
‘A Perfect Circle’ was formed with the intent of Keenan to make music different from what ‘Tool’ was known for. Forming a supergroup allows artists to experiment with different sounds and genres without upsetting the artists original fanbase with something atypical.
Artists can also rely on other band members more readily due to their already established success. However, some fans feel as if supergroups can be a disservice to the integrity of music.
Oftentimes, a supergroup will form and release a single album or only go on one tour, and then disband. Some people see this as a quick cash-grab to take advantage of fans and make a quick buck.
‘Audioslave’, a group formed by Chris Cornell, former lead singer/guitarist of ‘Soundgarden’ and members of ‘Rage Against the Machine’, was originally criticized for creating a blend of the two bands sounds.
Although by the time their second album released, critics praised the group for managing to make their own sound distinct from the other bands.
Similarly, rap supergroup ‘Run the Jewels’ made music that worked more like a feature verse from each artist, rather than a group with a cohesive sound.
But the duo continued working together to find their own sound, and when they released their first studio album in 2013, they received widespread praise for their use of the Killer Mike and El-P’s unique styles to show different angles of the same themes.
Though it’s not guaranteed to be an artist’s best work, supergroups always offer a new approach for artists to their music and an exciting promise of something different for fans.