Two lead singers?


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Alex Vik
01-25-2010, 04:56 AM
Do you guys think having a band with two lead singers would work? I was discussing this with our guitarist today, and we both liked the idea of having him sing our heavier songs, and having our female vocalist sing for our softer songs. We've probably got something like a 60-40 ratio of light to heavy songs.

01-25-2010, 05:06 AM
No it's nice idea. But both singers should have work, since if they don't it might get a bit boring for them.

01-25-2010, 05:44 AM
Well, why not.. try it. Then you can tell us afterwards if it ended up a failure. that way, we'll know.

01-25-2010, 07:32 AM
It's definately possible. You can throw a shitload of vocal harmonies in there. But if yoru considering to not let yoru girl sing in the heavy songs.... Not to sure if thats gonna work.

01-25-2010, 07:37 AM
if you do harmonies it could be cool, or stuff kinda like SOAD.
It would be awsome for stuff like GnR, or if you got Simon + Garfunkle type singin goin
But i agree with the above about the girl not singing the heavy shit, that could be frustrating for her. Even if she just does some background ahhhhs or chorus stuff

01-25-2010, 09:43 AM
I've gone that route before. Be wary- it can change your sound. We sounded softer for christ sakes- so think about it. Also - if you are seriously conemplating adding a girl into your band - make sure nobody has a crush on her or any stupid bullshit like that

01-25-2010, 10:13 AM
Does your female vocalist play an instrument too? If not she's going to get bored only singing 40% of the songs. It would probably work better to have harmonies or have them alternating melodies or something. You could use it to your advantage to have two distinct voices, because then the lyrics can be like dialogue. Something like "Bring Me To Life" by Evanescence is a cool way to have male lead vocals and female lead vocals in the same song.

01-25-2010, 10:26 AM
My band has 2 lead singers and it works fine. Try to have a balance in the setlists, and also within songs. Some songs might sound good with one person singing the chorus and another the verses.

01-25-2010, 11:19 AM
The Blood Brothers, System of a Down and The Fall of Troy are good examples that make two vocalist work. More then anything The Blood Brothers is a good example.
The thing is, for heavy/soft songs, I think that you would be better mixing them up. Having soft songs all to themselves and heavy songs all to themselves doesn't seem very exciting for the vocalist. So the best thing you could do is try to involve both of them in every song. Like I said, look at The Blood Brothers because they were great when dealing with two vocalist.

01-25-2010, 11:22 AM
hey, the beatles did it. i mean everyone sang in that band. it works

01-25-2010, 11:57 AM
NOOOO! Not unless you're 311.

Black Star
01-25-2010, 01:11 PM
Don't have each person have their own songs. Add in vocal harmonies.

01-25-2010, 01:25 PM
Check out some songs by Straylight Run, they used 2 vocalists and pulled it off wonderfully, though they didn't have any heavy songs at all.

01-25-2010, 01:28 PM
my band currently is an acoustic thing with three guys and a girl. we have one guy thats a lead singer and the girl is also a lead singer. depending on the song, one will take more of the song and one takes less. they harmonize eachother but both always sing.
that being said, we dont limit ourselves to just them singing. all 4 of us sing almost the whole time. i sing backup and can harmonize with both the guy and the girl, and the final member of the band isnt as good at harmonizing but he can scream. so he has this raspy voice that comes through at times when we want that little extra kick.

so to answer your question, my band pretty well has 3 main singers, with a 4th singer thats singing about 30% of the time.

EDIT: we had the same set up with our metal band except we threw in screaming (me and one other member could scream so we harmonized those) as well as the female and male singing mentioned previously.

01-25-2010, 01:42 PM
I would probably give this a go, they will both be useful for different types songs, and I've always found male and female harmonies nice.

This is a good example of how it can work well, there's a nice balance between separate lead parts and harmonies:

Just play around with it, but in my opinion having a wide range of vocal styles on offer in your band can only be an advantage.

01-25-2010, 02:10 PM
well in our band, me and the other guitarist trade vocal duties. Sometimes hes the lead singer and i back him up, and the roles change for some songs. We also change lead guitar work. But i can see how it would be frustrating for the girl, if she only sings half of the songs and does absolutely nothing for the rest. But if she plays an instrument, it should be no problem. Altough if she plays a tamburine that will get really old really fast on her.

01-25-2010, 02:23 PM
by definition, wouldn't having 2 singers negate the term lead?

The way my band sort of works it, is whoever has the easier part sings... so i guess i have 3 lead singers (if you want to call us 'lead')

01-25-2010, 05:58 PM

01-25-2010, 07:15 PM
They're probably lighter than the kind of thing you're into (although they were doing a lot of the same late-60's rock stuff that Hendrix was, so you might like them), but if you don't already listen to them, check out Jefferson Airplane.

They had 3 singers (Grace Slick, Marty Balin & Paul Kantner) who alternated between sole lead, 2 leads (with both singers dropping in and out), 3 leads (with all three singers dropping in and out), 1 lead with 2 backing vocalists, 2 leads with one backing vocalist, 1 lead with harmonies etc. etc. After the band dissolved Grace Slick & Paul Kantner made 2 really good albums (Sunfighter & Blows Against The Empire) with similar kinds of interweaving male/female leads, backings and harmonies.

There's really good examples of almost every possible use of multiple vocalists (both male & female) in rock-based music in their back catalogue, so I think they're more than worth checking out for someone looking to do that.

01-25-2010, 08:26 PM
2 lead vocalists at once? Alice In Chains.
2 lead vocalists at different times and sometimes both at once? Pink Floyd.

And +1 to Jefferson Airplane

01-25-2010, 08:35 PM
hey, the beatles did it. i mean everyone sang in that band. it works

I'm scared that it took that many posts for the beatles to come up!! Should have been the first thing to think of!! Thank you for saving my faith in people.. It went dark for a while..

01-25-2010, 09:13 PM
Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Cream, etc... just give it a shot.

01-26-2010, 12:46 PM
The Number Twelve Looks Like You, Despised Icon, and a few others function with having 2 lead singers. Winds of Plague has their chick singer jump off the keyboard for a few songs and do vocals with their lead singer.

01-26-2010, 04:47 PM
It'd work, but have them doing bits in all the songs. Listen to Nightwish and Epica to get a good idea of it. :)

King Turi
01-26-2010, 04:56 PM
Go for it, if it sounds like crap, don't do it anymore. ._.

It's that simple.

I never thought a chick voice would work with my band but I heard a chick the other day (in some other band) and I thought "damn she would sound good with us", I could just tell her voice work well with our sound.

It's all about whether it works together or not.

01-26-2010, 08:38 PM
It's not bad imo as long as one of them plays an instrument as well. which, it seems you guys fit that discription. and you shouldn't have either of them (particularly the chick that doesn't play an instrument) not sing at all in a song. They'll have nothing to do live

01-26-2010, 08:49 PM
This might've been said but I don't read, screw you. I don't think it's necessary. It's fine having two singers but if one's standing there while the other takes a whole song, it's kind of eh. If they both play something, it's alright, in my opinion. Otherwise unless they're harmonizing it seems unnecessary to me.

01-26-2010, 08:55 PM
I guess it really depends on what kind of music it is. I've heard it done where its worked before, but if your singing harmonies or just over the top of each other, you really gotta make sure your voices just mesh, other wise it can be bad lol

01-28-2010, 08:50 AM
Lead singers tend to be egotistical. Eventually, one of them will probably end up trying to slowly nudge the other guy out of the spotlight.

But it's worth a try.

01-28-2010, 05:31 PM
I just noticed that all the members of Mastodon share vocal duites, but they also all play an instrument. But the best example of what you are thinking off is, in my oppinon at least, is Eluveitie. They have a male lead singer that does the screams, and a female singer for softer stuff. Check out the Slanias Song, both of them sing in that one. But again, the girl plays an instument when she isnt singing, and the same goes for the guy.

01-28-2010, 09:41 PM
Sonic Syndicate.

that is all.

01-29-2010, 01:00 PM
It works. You have to make it work, and that can be tricky, but it works.

01-30-2010, 04:06 PM
I don't understand why this is even a question.
Can it work? Hell yes. Having a male singer and female singer gives you more options.

01-30-2010, 04:13 PM
I say go for it.
Having a female singer doesn't necessarily soften up your sound, and vocal harmonies (if pulled off well) will sound good.
If both singers at question are talented, I'm sure they could figure something out easily. If its the boredom (one member doing nothing) that your worrying about, you'll need to figure that out for yourself. It could be a test of dedication, I suppose.

Uber Man
01-30-2010, 08:33 PM
Sonic Syndicate.

that is all.

my thoughts exactly.

Black Star
01-30-2010, 08:33 PM
I say go for it.
Having a female singer doesn't necessarily soften up your sound, and vocal harmonies (if pulled off well) will sound good.
If both singers at question are talented, I'm sure they could figure something out easily. If its the boredom (one member doing nothing) that your worrying about, you'll need to figure that out for yourself. It could be a test of dedication, I suppose.

Arch Enemy agrees.