Is metal in the genes? It’s a question science had yet to answer, but a wave of new bands featuring the kids of famous rock stars suggests there might be something to it. Members of Metallica, Slipknot, Guns N’ Roses, Van Halen have all watched their offspring launch their own careers. Here are 10 bands featuring celeb sprogs hoping to match their famous parents’ success.
The famous offspring: Griffin Taylor (vocals), Simon Crahan (drums)
Vended frontman and Corey Taylor’s son Griffin Taylor doesn’t like comparisons to Slipknot. However, starting a nu metal band with the son of Simon Crahan – one of the children of Corey’s bandmate Shawn ‘Clown’ Crahan – isn’t the best way to avoid them. They’ve not been afraid to lean on their family connections either – they opened up the US leg of the 2021 Knotfest in LA on the back of their debut EP, What Is It/Kill
The famous offspring: Castor Hetfield (drums)
The son of Metallica icon James Hetfield may sit behind the kit for this Savannah power trio, but don’t expect old-school or even new-school thrash. Instead, Bastardane flaunt their Southern roots, laying down the sludgiest of guitar licks beneath drawling vocals. Their debut album, Is This Rage?, is as groovy as it is catchy.
The famous offspring: Layne Ulrich (vocals/bass), Myles Ulrich (drums)
The sons of Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich make up the duo Taipei Houston. To date, the pair have only shared one piece of music: a cover of the Beatles’ Eleanor Rigby. However, they’ve cited inspiration from Queens Of The Stone Age and fellow bassist-and-drummer-only duo Royal Blood, so expect fuzzy hard rock when they start making a racket.
The famous offspring: Tye Trujillo (bass)
Tye Trujillo – son of Metallica bassist Rob – is still a teenager yet already has quite the CV. He played for Korn during a 2017 South America tour, and has since been a part of Suspect208 with fellow prodigies London Hudson and Noah Weiland. Now he’s in groove metal three-piece Ottto, who fuse heavy chords with abrasive pop punk singing.
The famous offspring: London Hudson (drums)
Slash’s son London Hudson rose to prominence as a member of Suspect208 alongside Noah Weiland (offspring of Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland) and the aforementioned Tye Trujillo. After Suspect208 split, London Hudson went off to form his own band, the classic rock-influenced S8nt Elektric. Surprisingly - or perhaps wisely – young London decided not to follow his old man into the six-string business, instead opting to play drums
The famous offspring: Sam Matlock (vocals)
Being the offspring of a member of one of rock’s most infamous bands is a sure-fire way to get yourself noticed. but Wargasm’s Sam Matlock hasn’t made a big deal of the fact that his pa is original Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock. While Wargasm’s confrontation electro/punk/nu metal mash-up hasn’t had quite the same cultural impact as the Pistols, it has helped turn them into one of the most talked-about underground bands right now.
The famous offspring: Revel Ian (drums)
Honeybee drummer Revel Ian doesn’t just have a famous dad in Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian, he’s got a famous grandad too – none other than Meat Loaf (Revel’s mom is singer Pearl Aday). No pressure then. But his band don’t sound like either his dad’s outfit or his late grandad’s theatrical rock, instead specialising in prog-tinged classic rock,
The famous offspring: Chance LaBrie (drums)
Another rock star sprog, another drummer. The son of Dream Theater frontman James LaBrie sits behind the kit for electropop-tinged metalcore outfit Falset. They debuted in 2018 with the Here We Are EP, and in the four years since have released two full-length albums.
The famous offspring: Max Portnoy (drums)
The son of former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, Max Portnoy’s original band, Next To None, skewed close to the prog-metal of his dad’s old outfit. But Max soon left that behind, signing up with self-professed ‘nu core’ outfit Tallah, who helped spearhead the current nu metal revival with their 2020 debut album, Matriphagy.
The famous offspring: Wolfgang Van Halen (everything)
Rock star parents don’t come much more famous than Eddie Van Halen, but Wolfgang Van Halen has avoided taking the easy route to fame, carving out his own path with Mammoth WVH, whose emotive modern rock is a world away from the hard rock heroics of his dad’s band. And top marks for the sheer delight with which he shuts down online haters.