I have been busy rehearsing with my band for a couple of upcoming gigs over the next few weeks. I find it interesting how acting has given me the impetus to get back to music in between projects. It was this thought that got me to look up all the other actors who have, and continue to dabble in music in their spare time.
One of the most famous ones is of course Keanu Reeves who was the bass guitarist in his band Dogstar. They opened for Bon Jovi in 1995 and even played in India at the Zee Cine Awards in 1996 and Glastonbury in 1999. They released two albums, Our Little Visionary in 1996 and Happy Ending in 2000. Sadly, they folded in 2002 due to Keanu’s hectic schedule, but they still do the odd performance once in a while.
Mr Gladiator, Russel Crowe also had a band called 30-Odd Foot of Grunts which was later changed to The Ordinary Fear of God (TOFOG) and although the band folded in 2005 they still managed to release three albums- Gaslight (1998), Bastard Life or Clarity (2001), and Other Ways of Speaking (2003), neither of which made any impact whatsoever. Crowe has since gone solo.
One of the finest actors to hit Hollywood in recent times, Jared Leto (Fight Club, Panic Room, Chapter 27) on the other hand, seems to be going great guns with his band 30 Seconds to Mars. The band was formed in 1998 with Jared’s brother Shannon on drums and now features Tomo Milicevick on other assorted instrumentation.
Their 2002 self-titled debut album put them on the scene but it was their sophomore album, 2005’s A Beautiful Lie that got them global fame. 2007-08 saw them win numerous awards across the globe for their work. They are now hard at work on their third album This is War to be released later this year.
One of the most underrated actresses, Juliette Lewis, who we saw in the cult films Kalifornia and Natural Born Killers, had her own band called Juliette and the Licks from which she has split to form another one called The New Romantiques. She is currently working on a new album called Terra Incognita.
In pursuit of music
Over the years, we have also seen Johnny Depp, River Phoenix, Gwyneth Paltrow dabble in a bit of vocalizing and more recently Joaquin Phoenix famously has given up his acting career to pursue music.
And most recently, the hottest new entrant has been the Twilight star Robert Pattinson, who has sung two songs on a film soundtrack and has begun to look at putting vocal to vinyl and maybe even form a band.
So there, you have a bunch of actors who have tried their voices at singing and met with variable results. Next time I shall tell you about musicians who have tried acting with variable results. Till then, my rehearsal beckons…if I may say so.