Going solo following a career in a popular band must be a daunting prospect for musicians. After years of filling arenas to the brim, they’re left with the monumental task of starting from square one, and can easily end up getting lost in the music industry. Michael Jackson and Beyoncé prove it can be done, boasting solo careers which arguably outweigh their ensembles. But branching out on your own is a risk. Take Victoria Beckham’s The Spice Girls side project as an example of when it all goes wrong. Yet despite the gamble, here are three rockers whose solo careers are flawless.
Patrick Stump’s solo antics are often forgotten about. Stump is best known as punk-rock giant Fall Out Boy’s lead vocalist, but back in 2011, whilst his band mates were busy with other projects, he tried his hand at solo work. Stump’s debut solo album Soul Punk was released in October 2011, in the midst of Fall Out Boy’s infamous hiatus.
Soul Punk was so named because Stump wanted it to be a mixture of both genres, and he pulled it off immaculately. His debut single “Spotlight” – which premièred in two versions: “Spotlight (No Regrets)” and “Spotlight (Oh Nostalgia)” – is incredibly uplifting, and heightened the bar for what was to come after the former was released upon his debut EP Truant Wave. Although the return of Fall Out Boy in February 2013 brought a sudden halt to Stump’s solo advances, it can’t be denied that they’ll be missed. Soul Punk was much more than a buffer to fill the Fall Out Boy-shaped void in their fan’s hearts. It marked the beginning of a unique genre.
William Beckett began his solo career immediately after The Academy Is… disbanded in 2011. His debut EP Walk The Talk was released in April 2012, with his first single “Compromising Me” being highly acclaimed by fans old and new. Beckett has since released his debut album, Genuine & Counterfeit, in August 2013 and has toured across the US and Europe.
Going solo has given Beckett the opportunity to demonstrate just how talented of a song writer he is. His music is remarkable; combining abstract concepts, as in “Benny & Joon,” with those like “Just You Wait,” which are painstakingly relatable. Ultimately, there is no question that Beckett will thrive on this new platform. His universal sound, lyrics, and captivating voice are sure to guarantee that he isn’t overlooked. If you haven’t before, do your ear drums a favour and go give him a listen.
Gerard Way has been getting a lot of press lately, having just released his debut solo album Hesitant Alien this past September. The sudden break up of My Chemical Romance left Way’s fans pining for new music, and Hesitant Alien couldn’t be further from the sound which defined early 2000s alternative rock.
Listening to the album, you’re hit with heavy influences from British glam rockers. It’s much more abstract than the days of “I’m Not Okay (I Promise),” with Way quite clearly channelling his inner David Bowie, but it’s a sound that suits him. Flaunting such high-profile influences is a risky move, but his fans clearly haven’t abandoned him, as Way is boasting multiple sold out dates on his upcoming UK tour. It’s been nothing but positives so far for the former front man, we’re excited to see what’s coming next.