Kevin Costner to Kevin Bacon: 15 Actors Who Have Their Own Bands

Many actors have tried to make it big in both Hollywood and music. Few have been successful. Other actors haven’t taken it too seriously; they have their own bands and are happy performing. Some actors enjoy jamming out on stage in between shooting their next blockbuster.

From Kevin Costner to Kevin Bacon, here are 15 actors who enjoy having a side gig of performing in their own bands. For this list, we omitted actors who have solo music careers like, for instance, Scarlett Johanssen, Jeff Bridges, and Michael J. Fox).

15. Kevin Costner- Modern West

The Yellowstone actor formed Kevin Costner & Modern West in 2008. According to Spin, the country-rock band quickly released four albums. They’ve toured and have performed at many speedway events. The band also recorded albums related to Costner’s acting projects. In 2012 the band supplied the soundtrack for Costner’s Hatfields & Mccoys. Recently, Costner recorded Tales from Yellowstone about his Yellowstone character, John Dutton.

14. Kevin Bacon-The Bacon Brothers and more

Kevin Bacon and his brother Michael formed The Bacon Brothers in 1995. According to their site, they’ve released 10 albums over 23 years. The duo enjoys performing a mix of country, soul, and folk.

13. Ryan Gosling – Dead Man’s Bones

Ryan Gosling and his friend Zach Shields formed the indie-rock band Dead Man’s Bones in 2007. According to ET, they met when Gosling was dating Rachel McAdams and Shields was dating her sister Kayleen. They dropped their self-titled album in 2009. Sometimes, the Crazy, Stupid, Love actor used the alias Baby Goose.

12. Russell Crowe – 30 Odd Foot of Grunts

Gosling’s The Nice Guys co-star, Russell Crowe, is also in a band. He performed with 30 Odd Foot of Grunts from 1992 to 2005. They like to perform country, blues, and rock. Crowe also writes most of their original work. In 2005 they disbanded, and Crowe went on to record and perform with The Ordinary Fear of God.

11. Jason Schwartzman – Phantom Planet

Jason Schwartzman was once the drummer of Phantom Planet. They’re famous for “California,” which became the theme song for the early 2000s show The O.C. Schwartzman joined the band during its founding in 1994 but left in 2004 to pursue acting.

10. Zoe Deschanel-She & Him

The New Girl actor has had a more successful career in music than other actors who’ve made the journey over. It was all thanks to Deschanel’s Elf. She and M. Ward formed She & Him in 2006 after M. Ward heard her sing in the Christmas movie. Since then, they’ve released six albums and a Christmas album.

9. Keanu Reeves-Dogstar

It’s easy to picture Keanu Reeves in a 1990s grunge band because he was in a 1990s grunge band, Dogstar. The band formed after Reeves met drummer Robert Mailhouse at a supermarket. Reeves played bass. He told GQ, “I guess it would have helped if our band was better.” They once played a Grateful Dead cover at Milwaukee Metal Fest, and the crowd hated them.

8. Zoë Kravitz-Lolawolf

Like father, like daughter. The Batman actor pursued a music career just like her father, Lenny Kravitz. Kravitz formed Lolawolf, named after her half-siblings, Lola and Nakoa-Wolf, children of her mother, Lisa Bonet, and step-father Jason Momoa, with Jimmy Giannopoulos in 2013. Their debut album, Calm Down, dropped in 2014. Tenderness came in 2020.

7. Jared Leto-30 Seconds to Mars

Jared Leto is another celebrity who has juggled music and acting and has found success in each. Leto and his brother Shannon formed 30 Seconds to Mars in 1998. They’ve released five studio albums and have sold over 15 million records worldwide.

6. Michael Shannon-Corporal

The Shape of Water actor formed his band Corporal in 2002. However, they didn’t drop their self-titled album until 2010. The album contains two versions of a song called “Obama,” which supported Barack Obama’s re-election.

5. Jack Black-Tenacious D

Jack Black wouldn’t be able to live without music. So it’s no surprise that he has a rock band, even a comedic one. He formed Tenacious D with Kyle Gass in 1994. They became popular in 1999 due to their eponymous television show.

4. Billy Bob Thornton-The Boxmasters

Academy Award-winning actor Billy Bob Thornton has played in many bands over the years, but The Boxmasters is one of his more successful. He formed the band with J.D. Andrew in 2007. They’ve released eleven albums and have one due out on April 15, 2022.

3. Jada Pinkett-Smith-Wicked Wisdom

Jada Pinkett-Smith formed the metal band (you read that right) Wicked Wisdom in 2002. She performs under the stage name “Jada Koren.” The band released two albums, My Story (2004) and Wicked Wisdom (2006). They opened up for Britney Spears in 2004. The band also performed at Ozzfest in 2005, which garnered death threats from fans who weren’t best pleased by their appearance.

2. Michael Cera-The Long Goodbye

Juno actor, Michael Cera, formed The Long Goodbye with his Clark and Michael co-star Clark Duke and drummer Christian Buenaventura. The band has released music on their MySpace page.

1. Johnny Depp-Hollywood Vampires

Johnny Depp’s first love wasn’t acting; it was music. As a teenager, he intended to become a rock star, but he dropped his guitar for a script when that proved to be tough. His first band was The Kids, and in the 1990s, he joined P, featuring Butthole Surfers singer Gibby Haynes, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, and Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones.

However, his current band is just as much a supergroup. Depp formed Hollywood Vampires with Alice Cooper and Aerosmith’s Joe Perry in 2015. They have two albums, both including songs co-written by Depp, and have embarked on two world tours.

Some actors want to be musicians, just like some musicians want to be actors. It doesn’t always work out, but these 15 actors sure have fun in their bands whether they sell millions of records or not.

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