(Credit: Michael Spencer Jones)

From Oasis to Haim: The 10 best bands built around siblings

The key to long term success in a band is to have an openness with one another, which allows you to fully express yourself creatively and feel comfortable at all-times. Bands often use the term ‘family’ to describe their relationship with one another, but who are the best groups that are genuinely family members.

“He was an irritant though, because we shared a bedroom. When you are 10, and your brother is five, it is a lifetime away, and so I never hung out with any of his friends, but, yeah, we got on,” Noel Gallagher once remembered on Desert Island Discs about being in a band with his brother. “You can gain some strength from being in a band with your brother when everyone else is a stranger, but as time goes on it becomes your Achilles heel because you know how to push each other’s buttons,” he adds.

Oasis is the most obvious example of why you shouldn’t mix business and family. The relationship between the Gallagher brothers has been in unfixable shatters for the last decade to their fans’ and mother’s anguish. Their lack of a relationship is a red-flag to anyone who wants to form a band with their family members. 

However, more often than not, bands who are siblings seem to have an unbreakable bond that has gifted their respective groups’ longevity that’s hard to find, making Oasis an anomaly for the rule. This feature celebrates ten of the finest groups glued together by the commonality of siblings. It was an ardent task narrowing it down to just ten, meaning some acclaimed names like Jedward and The Cheeky Girls are omitted from the list…

See the list below.

Best bands that include siblings:

The National

Frontman Matt Berninger is the odd one out in The National, as he is the only member of the five-piece without a sibling in the group, with him being cornered by not one but two sets of brothers in the Dessner’s and Davendorf’s.

This lack of a sibling in the band was the source of the band’s documentary, Mistaken for Strangers, which his brother directed to rekindle their relationship and share a closeness that his bandmates have with their siblings. The film shows just how tight-knit the group are and is an unfiltered warts n’ all look at what life in a successful band is actually like.

“It’s probably why we’re still doing this,” Aaron Dessner told Pitchfork about the band’s personal relationships in 2017. “Every experience we have has a deeper meaning because it’s family. The chemistry of the band comes from that.”

The Cribs

Twins Ryan and Gary Jarman, along with their younger drummer brother Ross, have carved out eight studio record albums since releasing their debut in 2004 that has seen them become one of the most beloved cult bands in Britain.

They only broke their none-Jarman rule once in 2007 when they welcomed former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr into their family for the album, Ignore The Ignorant. If you’re going to make an exception for one non-family related member, you can’t do much better than Johnny’ Fuckin’ Marr to give him his full title. This brotherhood has served the band well throughout the trials and tribulations they’ve faced, which would have written off most bands.

Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire embodies a true outsider spirit that has helped them rise to the musical landscape’s pinnacle throughout the 21st century. They’ve headlined every festival on the planet and have never stopped delivering beautifully weird records despite the commercial success they’ve lapped up.

Being on the road with Arcade Fire for frontman Win Butler is a real home from home; not only is his wife Régine Chassagne in the group but so is his brother, Will. Over the last 20 years since the band formed in 2001, they have accomplished everything there is to accomplish and, on the surface, seem to have one of the most wholesome band dynamics in music which has served them well thus far.

The Kinks

The Kinks are one of the most influential bands in history, but, remarkably, they never quite had the same scale of success as their contemporaries. Despite their significant contribution to the world of rock and roll, the group’s legacy remains somewhat in the shadows of bands such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

The band became legends off the back of the musical partnership of Dave Davies and his brother Ray, who has often been donned as ‘The Godfather of Britpop’. A moniker attributed to him following his efforts that later moulded a distinct sound that would dominate the airwaves throughout the 1990s.

The Jesus and Mary Chain

The Jesus and Mary Chain are among the most crucial groups in the history of alternative music, who have made the world a brighter place. The Scottish group prowess comes from the mercurial talent of brothers Jim and William Reid’s talents combining to create the most heavenly sounds.

However, their relationship is more like the Gallagher’s than anybody else on the list. They split up in 1998 following a brutal fight after a show in Los Angeles before reuniting in 2007 at Coachella.

The hatchet was far from buried, but they didn’t have Gallagher-Esque finances or the will-power to turn down the lucrative show. Slowly but surely, over the next few years of touring, their friendship repaired, and in 2017, they shared their first album in 19-years, the triumphant, Damage and Joy.

AC/DC

Traditional rock and roll had become largely stagnant by the mid-70s, with the embers of glam-rock fading and the push towards purist musicianship in full prog-rock flow—for that. Punk was a three-chord shot in the arm. AC/DC were far too handy around their instruments to be heralded as punk saviours, knowing at least four or five different chords.

AC/DC present all the power and fury that had seen the rise of the genre across the globe.

The band’s brilliance derived from the brotherly bond of Angus Young and his late brother Michael. Yes, both Bon Scott and Brian Johnson have been forces of nature as frontmen for the group over the years. Still, AC/DC is a joint that wouldn’t exist without the Young brothers, whose earworm riffs made them the formidable stadium-rockers that are still going strong today.

Haim

Over the last decade, Haim have been one of the brightest bands on the planet, and their rise to success has been a long time coming. Este, Danielle and Alana, the three sisters, grew up in a musical household with their parents Donna and former football player Mordechai, who also played in the Israeli leagues, both being musically inclined.

As they grew older, the sisters eventually made their home-band something more official, and in 2007, Haim was born. It took years for the band to break-out as they dispersed off to college before Danielle was spotted by Jenny Lee Lewis, who brought her into her backing band and led her to meet Julian Casablancas. The Strokes man helped mentor Haim in the early 2010s as they became one of the most likeable bands around.

Since then, they’ve triumphed and become a tour-de-force that have defied the odds to become one of the premier bands on the planet.

The Beach Boys

There aren’t many bands who encapsulate American pop music’s golden age more succinctly than The Beach Boys’ sprawling talent.

Comprised as a family band, centred around the Wilson brothers Carl, Dennis and Brian with additional help from their cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine, The Beach Boys became America’s answer to The Beatles very soon after the British invasion had posed the question. For a while, there was no band who better told America’s post-war story than the Californians.

The Beach Boys made good on their name through their songs and sung about the sunshine, sand, and West Coast living salutations. It meant that surfing and chasing girls in hot rods were at the top of the agenda, and The Beach Boys found their spot at the top of the pop pile thanks to their unique sound and Brian Wilson’s unstoppable talent for songwriting. Of course, it wasn’t the full story, and The Beach Boys had far more to offer than simple surf songs and a harmony that struggled to be beaten. 

Oasis

The news shocked the music world in 2009 when a backstage fight in Paris ended Oasis’ career. The Gallagher brothers had been through the most turbulent times together. Even though from the outside, they were famously vitriolic to one another, there was always that sense they would never split because of their shared surname, but all good things come to an end.

“All that being said, we had two gigs left, and I reckon if I’d had got to the end of that tour and I’d had six months off, I would have just forgotten about it, got on with it,” Noel recounted to Esquire in 2015. “But the straw that broke the camel’s back was the night in Paris, and that was a fight. There’s no hidden darkness.”

What Oasis achieved together is era-defining, and if one band epitomise the feelgood image of the 1990s in Britain, it’s them. Things slowly dwindled from a personal perspective over the years, which impacted their sound, and they became a band trying to sound like Oasis rather than the same group who stuck two fingers up at the world the decade before. Their brutal split story shouldn’t over-shadow what they achieved, and their first two albums deserve hanging in the Louvre.

Radiohead

Thom Yorke met kindred spirits in Ed O’Brien, Philip Selway, and brothers Colin and Jonny Greenwood back in their school days at Abingdon School. As teenagers, they formed ‘On a Friday’, a group named for the only day they were allowed to rehearse and have since become the benchmark for creativity.

Every project they’ve taken on has seen Radiohead never rest on their laurels and deliver a truly evolutionary work of art.

Though the band have been on the alternative music scene since the early 1990s, they have only released nine albums across their near 30-year spell. They are a firm believer in the quality over quantity approach, with the band delivering nine records that are all capable of being most-bands on the planet’s magnum opus.