Seattle Bands That Aren’t Really Seattle Bands

Posted: February 22, 2012 in Seattle-Related Lists

Screaming Trees

From Ellensburg, across the Cascades from Seattle.  The Trees developed their Mod/Psychedelic sound independent of the Seattle grungemeisters.

The Posies

Originally consisting of Bellinghamers Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow, the Posies moved to Seattle in 1988 and immediately made a name for themselves.

The Sonics

From Tacoma, arguably the original garage band and an influence to many in the Northwest and worldwide.


From Aberdeen.  You know the story.

(Half of) The Young Fresh Fellows

Scott McCaughey and Chuck Carroll moved up from the Bay Area with the Fellows concept already created.  The Fellows became a band in 1983, eventually adding Seattleites Jim Sangster and Tad Hutchison. (That’s Hutchison, not Hutchinson.)

Girl Trouble

From Tacoma, Girl Trouble built upon the tradition laid by the Sonics.

The Melvins

Never really a Seattle band, the Melvins hailed from Montesano, then moved to the Bay Area in 1987.

The Mono Men

From Bellingham, continuing in the Northwest garage tradition.

(Three Fourths of) Mudhoney

Steve Turner came from Mercer Island, Mark Arm from Kirkland, and Matt Lukin from Montesano.

Who Else?

  1. I pretty much accept anything from Montana/Idaho west and north of California (including British Columbia) as a local band. I know they aren’t exactly local, but there are only a few mid sized cities, no LA/NY/Chicago/Atlanta megalopolis around, so regional support is more important. Anybody who wants to claim a regional affiliation is instantly local in my book.

    I also accept any band that relocates to Seattle (or the greater NW region) as local immediately. If they are local/regional they likely will get more gigs around town and be easier to see repeatedly and at smaller & less expensive intimate shows, which is one of the nice aspects of local bands.

    We had a rush of Idaho bands recently (Finn Rigging was awesome…) and I love many Portland based bands, and the Bellinghamsters seem to pump out a surprisingly large number of great bands for such a small city, and all of the smaller city-based bands usually play in Seattle regularly since it’s one of the larger local markets. I wish Vancouver bands got to Seattle more often but I like seeing those that do make it.

    I’m completely OK with “Seattle” bands that aren’t really Seattle bands, I love it and hope even more make it regionally and get to show there stuff in sweaty dive bars in Seattle. New discoveries keep things fun, and there seem to be an ever expanding number of venues looking to book acts (I may not be correct on this point, perhaps I’m just noticing more) and it’s all good from where I’m thrashing around in the mosh pit!

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