10 Best Rock ’N’ Roll Feuds
As entertaining as members of the same band fighting amongst themselves can be, feuds between bands can be even better. Rather than seeming like a cheap dose of reality television, fights between bands can escalate into full-blown soap opera dramatics.
Here are 10 of the best feuds between rock bands.
10. The Killers vs. The Bravery
In the mid-2000s, both the Killers and the Bravery rose to relative stardom in the wave of synthy bands that took the alternative world by storm. It was that rise that led Brandon Flowers to call out the Bravery as an imitation of the Killers, and the New York-based band responded with some choice words of their own. Flowers allegedly apologized not too long after, but their fans remained divided for quite some time. It worked out for both bands, as the Killers’ more mainstream success led to the Bravery being viewed as a sort of “cool” opposition for kids whose parents liked “Mr. Brightside.”
9. Red Hot Chili Peppers vs. Faith No More
Apparently, RHCP has some pride about their aesthetic, and frontman Anthony Kiedis is willing to call out a significantly less successful band about it. Faith No More’s video for “Epic” (their one hit) seemed a little too much like an RHCP video for Kiedis’ taste, and he let Faith No More’s singer, Mike Patton, know all about it. Kiedis insisted that the band never play another show with RHCP, and Patton responded later on by having his other band, Mr. Bungle, dress up as RHCP for a show, which didn't make Kiedis happy.
8. Courtney Love, vs. Dave Grohl, Billy Corgan, etc.
It’s really difficult to pick the best ‘90s alternative feud, so we lumped them all together. Love and Grohl (as well as Nirvana’s bassist, Krist Novoselic) battled for the rights to Nirvana’s material for years after Kurt Cobain’s. Love also got into it for a while with former lover and head Smashing Pumpkin, Billy Corgan (and Marilyn Manson, in a plot twist). That doesn’t even count Nirvana briefly feuding with Pearl Jam or Corgan generally not getting along with pretty much any bands of the era (including his own).
7. The White Stripes vs. The Von Bondies
Jack White’s been in some awesome fights, but it’s pretty hard to argue that his fight with Von Bondies frontman Jason Stollsteimer isn’t the best one. To sum it up, White helped make the Von Bondies (briefly) popular, then beat the tar out of Stollsteimer in a club, denied the whole thing (despite photos of Stollsteimer’s face looking like it got beaten with a baseball bat), and then allegedly left an angry note on Stollsteimer’s door involving a knife..
6. Brand New vs. Taking Back Sunday
There’s only room for one emo band from Long Island if you ask these two groups. To recap, Jesse Lacey (the man behind Brand New) was once the bassist for TBS, but John Nolan (Taking Back Sunday’s guitarist) may or may not have made out with Lacey’s girlfriend. Then things got ugly. Brand New’s debut album featured a direct attack on Nolan (“Seventy Times 7”), TBS responded on their debut with “There’s No ‘I’ in Team,” and the bands each fired off a couple more tracks at each other. Nolan would eventually leave TBS (allegedly over another relationship issue) to form Straylight Run, but rejoined the band a while later. Although the two bands apparently don’t hate each other anymore, they still won’t play together or communicate with each other in public, because nothing says emo like holding on to a grudge for over a decade.
5. Nine Inch Nails vs. Marilyn Manson
Whenever a mentor and a pupil (of sorts) go at it, you know things are going to get ugly. NIN’s mastermind, Trent Reznor, isn’t one to pull any punches, and his calling out Manson for being an addict and “dangerous to be around” in the late ‘00s was about as intelligently barbed of a comment as you’ll ever hear. The feud started a decade earlier, but the two seemed to have an on-and-off friendship going for much of that time. Ultimately, Reznor has continually found new ways to creatively insult Manson for squandering his potential, while Manson has gone on record saying he doesn’t know what they’re fighting about.
4. Metallica vs. Megadeth
Metallica likes to get in giant feuds with people, Dave Mustaine likes to argue with everyone, this breakup was really a match made in metal heaven. For nearly 30 years after his unceremonious exit from Metallica, Mustaine clearly held a ton of resentment toward his old band, spitting fire about them at nearly every chance he got. Of course, he was never exactly made out to look like the nicest guy by his former band, being kicked out for substance abuse problems and always portrayed as out of control, but hey, the whole thing led to the formation of Megadeth, so metalheads really can’t complain about it.
3. Lynyrd Skynyrd vs. Neil Young
Considering that this is one of the most famous “feuds” in music history, it really wasn’t much of a feud at all. Sure, Neil Young might’ve been kind of a dick to lump Skynyrd and other Southern rockers of the era in with slavery and the South’s less-than-stellar racial past, and Skynyrd might’ve taken a jab at Young in one of their most famous songs, but everyone made up rather quickly. Young apologized, the guys in Skynyrd said it was cool, and it turned out to just be one big misunderstanding.
2. Oasis vs. Blur
Let’s be clear, no one is as good at fighting as the Gallagher brothers. They’ll fight each other. They’ll fight other bands. They’ll fight media. It doesn’t matter who wants to go, Oasis (or at least one of the brothers) is ready to take them on. Considering that Blur has one memorable song (that most people know very little of) and Oasis has become a historically significant rock band, the feud seems kind of ridiculous now, but at the time, Noel Gallagher said he hoped Blur’s singer and guitarist would both “catch AIDS and die.” He took it back years later, but that’s not exactly the type of comment people forget just because of an apology.
1. The Smiths vs. The Cure
What makes the battle between Morrissey and Robert Smith so great? Well, for one thing, it’s the Smiths vs. Smith. For another, it’s basically the fight to determine who’s the most important sad musician of all time. Maybe the highlight of the entire argument was Smith’s passive-aggressive masterpiece saying that he’s only in the feud because Morrissey started it, but he’s also never liked a single song Morrissey’s done. It’s one of those great wars of general dislike that will likely never be resolved, after all, they’ve been going at it for about 30 years now.
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