Rock Bands of the 00s

Rock bands of the 2000s left an indelible mark on music with their emotional lyrics and epic guitar riffs, making an indelible impactful statement about life in general and inspiring generations of musicians to come. Today, their innovative sounds continue to influence musicians around the globe.

Three Days Grace earned a place as one of the best hard rock bands of the 2000s thanks to their distinctive sound and emotive lyrics, not forgetting their impressive vocalists and catchy hooks – two elements which truly set them apart from rival bands.

Linkin Park

Linkin Park was one of the biggest hits on rock radio for an entire decade. They didn’t boast revolutionary musical vision or exceptional creative genius – just songs that resonated with a specific target audience that made them such a powerhouse in an industry seemingly dying away. That success led them to become legends within an eroding genre.

Linkin Park was initially formed as Xero in Los Angeles in 1996. They quickly rose above the lackluster nu-metal scene at that time to earn six No. 1 albums on Billboard 200 charts — including their 2017 farewell song One More Light.

The band was most notable for demonstrating how rock and rap can co-exist successfully to produce an unparalleled style of music, most notably their 2000 album Hybrid Theory which many consider their masterpiece.

“In the End” from this album was dedicated to Chester Bennington after his suicide in 2017. This song reached millions of people and offered relief, no doubt due to many young adults going through similar experiences at that time. This track proved that rock music could speak directly to its listeners while remaining popular over time.


When Incubus first emerged on the scene in 1996, they represented an entirely new wave of rock that fused punk, grunge and alternative. Frontman Brandon Boyd brought poetry and powerful vocals that left audiences breathless at radio stations at that time; also being an artist himself led to creative influences being evident both musically and during performances.

Morning View propelled them to double-platinum status, and A Crow Left of the Murder released in 2004 showed them in an entirely new direction. Although original bassist Dirk Lance left during recording sessions, its songs showcased more progressive and funkier tracks with multi-rhythmic elements than its predecessors.

Make Yourself was Incubus’ breakthrough to mainstream success in 1999. A sensational album that rocked rock music to its core, Make Yourself propelled them from cult fandom into mainstream success and on MTV. At a time when boy bands and cookie cutter emo/punk groups reigned supreme, Incubus offered much needed relief for teenage boredom with its combination of anger, tenderness, and blind optimism; appealing to audiences at an inflection point between childhood and adulthood.


Wilco is one of the most influential rock bands of the 2000s, known for blending country and alternative rock songs into an innovative style that makes them stand out. Their songs have made them immensely popular with fans worldwide and their albums have received critical acclaim; 2003’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot being particularly well received.

Summerteeth, released along with Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, featured tracks recorded at the same sessions as Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and was met with critical acclaim by audiences everywhere. Since its release, Cousin, is another album by this successful band with more experimental and progressive elements.

Wilco’s debut album was produced with the assistance of Welsh musician Cate Le Bon, who brought an innovative sound to their album. Le Bon’s presence brought something fresh and different from their usual lineup, featuring drummer Mikael Jorgensen and multi-instrumentalist Glenn Kotche; it marked the first time an outside producer had taken part in recording sessions with them; critics and listeners alike were enthusiastic in response; reaching thirteen on Billboard 200 was achieved for Wilco in just over one year!

Puddle of Mudd

Puddle of Mudd is one of the finest rock bands of the 2000’s, known for their powerful lyrics and energetic live performances. Since their major label debut album Come Clean sold five million copies alone! Puddle of Mudd have had six studio albums released under their own label name since 2006 with six of those selling over five million copies worldwide.

The band’s lyrics explore topics like heartbreak, addiction, and loss; thus making their songs appealing to a wide range of listeners. Their sound was heavily influenced by grunge music which gave it its signature sound.

Puddle of Mudd is a widely respected band, yet their fame has not prevented some of the most humiliating moments a rock star can endure. One such incident saw members from Puddle of Mudd walk out on Wes Scantlin while performing for a full house performance.

One of the band’s more embarrassing moments came in 2007 when lead singer Wes Scantlin engaged in strange behavior at Graceland, including cannonballing into King Edward VIII’s swimming pool and jumping out. This caused widespread outrage, preventing their return to Graceland for several years after. He has also had troubled relations with law and was arrested for domestic violence in 2013.

The Mars Volta

The Mars Volta was formed around vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala and guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez from At the Drive In, both now defunct hardcore punk bands, to explore music with an unprecedented complexity. The group often combined elements from post-hardcore, progressive rock, psychedelic rock and jazz fusion. Though initially difficult to listen to at first, those willing to spend the time exploring it eventually found great satisfaction from listening.

De-Loused in the Comatorium was both critically acclaimed and ambitiously ambitious; hiring A-List producer Rick Rubin proved crucial to creating their epic record, who had previously helped Danzig, Johnny Cash and Black Sabbath record some of their greatest work.

This collaboration produced an album that stands as one of the finest examples of 2000s rock. “Cygnus… Vismund Cygnus”, its opening track, begins quietly with Bixler-Zavala singing softly while Rodriguez-Lopez strumming an acoustic guitar before quickly intensifying into an intense rock anthem.

Start listening now: It is an arresting opening track to an album whose concept revolved around the suicide of fellow musician Jeremy Michael Ward; ultimately his death led Rodriguez-Lopez and Bixler-Zavala to stop using drugs altogether.

The Strokes

The Strokes were a five-piece band from New York City who first released an album called Is This It in 2001. Comprised of singer Julian Casablancas, bassist Nikolai Fraiture, guitarists Nick Valensi and Albert Hammond Jr. as well as drummer Fabrizio Moretti; The Strokes created their unique brand of 1960’s garage rock with influences ranging from Ramones, Lou Reed and Nirvana but with their own modern take.

The band became instantly iconic due to their insular ethos and simultaneously rough and sharp aesthetic. NME even declared them to be “saviors of rock and roll”, dominating the scene for an extended period.

But while they were certainly influential on future rock bands, it would be inaccurate to describe The Strokes as having saved rock music. Their music was good and Is This It was an outstanding album; however, these weren’t universal successes; Hoobastank and Veruca Salt sold more records but only saw limited coverage in magazines like NME or Melody Maker. Also similar were The Strokes who came along at just the right moment, shaking up their scene but eventually fizzling out with Room on Fire and Angles albums.


Muse is one of the most versatile and influential rock bands of the 00s, featuring an eclectic combination of genres and textures in its radio-friendly arena rock anthems that often incorporate classical song structures, electronic dance beats, and hard rock riffs. Their lyrics also explore themes related to war, politics, and global instability.

Matthew Bellamy brings an operatic voice to the band’s music, adding drama and emotion. His ability to move seamlessly from delicate melodies to powerful belting has earned him recognition as one of rock’s premier vocalists.

Chris Wolstenholme and Dominic Howard provide the solid rhythmic foundation that Bellamy relies upon for his expressive vocals, inspiring other contemporary artists as a result. Their genre-defying sound has left an indelible mark.

Muse’s most recent album, The 2nd Law, continues to push the limits of rock. With its blend of operatic rock operatic music and tongue-in-cheek excess that set Muse apart from more conventional peers. While their latest effort may not match up to previous efforts as strongly, its lyrics still provide a unique and refreshing take on modern rock; topics addressed include surveillance state growth as well as how people have become desensitized to war.