Have you ever wondered what some artists do between the fame? Some enjoy the lavish life brought to them by being a musician and others go and receive a higher education just in case. Here are 10 of your favorite band members who have graduated with higher education degrees.
1. Dexter Holland, The Offspring
Holland, the singer and primary songwriter for the offspring, has equal amounts of musical and academic success. After graduating from his high school as valedictorian, he attended the University of Southern California and obtained both a B.S. degree in Biology and an M.S. degree in molecular biology. He then began the journey to obtain his Ph.D. in molecular biology but put his studies on hold once The Offspring gained popularity. In May of 2017, Holland completed his doctoral program and was awarded his Ph.D. from USC.
2. Tom Morelle, Rage Against the Machine
Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello discovered a passion for politics in high school. After which he attended Harvard University and graduated with a B.A. degree in social studies. After working for US Senator Alan Cranston, Morello discovered the corrupt climate of the political world and decided that he had no interest in having a career in politics. A few years later, Morello would go to form Rage Against the Machine. Though attaining a career in the music field, Morello never abandoned his passion for political science, using both his music and his voice to speak out for causes such as censorship, the Occupy movements, and speaking out for those, and minimum wage increases.
3. Gerard Way, My Chemical Romance
Prior to starting My Chemical Romance in 2001, Gerard Way pursued his passion for the arts and earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Gerard’s artistic style is heavily influenced by his interest in comic books growing up, which can be seen in much of My Chemical Romance’s artwork that produced (most notably the cover of Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge). Though MCR was a primary focus for Gerard due to their success Way never left behind his love for comic books, going on to write comics such as The Umbrella Academy and The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, a sequel to the events in the album Danger Days. Post-MCR, Way went on to work at DC comics and developed his own comic series, Doom Patrol.
4. Rivers Cuomo, Weezer
Starting in 1995, Cuomo attended Harvard University off and on for the next decade before finally acquiring his B.A. degree in English, graduating Cum Laude in 2006. Cuomo went on the pursuit of higher education in a slightly different fashion than others, having started his education after releasing Weezer’s self-titled album.
5. Greg Graffin, Bad Religion
Taking on a similar education path as Dexter Holland, Bad Religion frontman Greg Graffin has earned his bachelors, masters, and doctorate degree. After double-majoring in geology and anthropology at the University of California Los Angeles, Graffin went on to gain his masters in Geology and then a Ph.D. in zoology. While maintaining a successful musical career, he has also authored and co-authored books on subjects including evolution and atheism.
6. Thom Yorke, Radiohead
In 1988, Thom Yorke began attending the University of Exeter to study art and literature. While attending school, he put his band On a Friday on hiatus in order to focus on his education. In 1991, Yorke earned his Bachelors degree in art and literature, On A Friday became active in the music scene again. The band eventually went through a name change and became the band we now know as Radiohead.
7. Brian May, Queen
Before joining Queen, guitarist Brian May earned a B.S. degree in physics from the Imperial College London in 1968. After joining Queen, May started on his path to obtain a Ph.D. in astrophysics in 1971. Due to Queen’s immense success, May put his studies on hold for nearly three decades. He eventually finished his doctorate program and earned his Ph.D. in 2007 from the Imperial College London.
8. Chris Martin, Coldplay
Chris Martin’s college years were very crucial to the success of Coldplay due to the fact that the band was formed during his time seeking out higher education. Martin attended the University College London where he studied Greek and Latin, graduating with honors. During his schooling, Martin met his bandmates, forming a band Pecoralz which would later be named Coldplay.
9. Jim Morrison, The Doors
Known for his poetic and dramatic lyrics, it comes as no surprise that The Doors frontman Jim Morrison honed his literary skills during his theatrical studies. Morrison originally attended St. Petersburg College, where he transferred to Florida State University and eventually the University of California Las Angeles where he eventually completed his studies. He obtained a B.S. degree in Cinematography from UCLA’s College of Fine Arts. It is during his time here that Morrison became increasingly interested in poetry, which no doubt had an influence on his musical style.
10. Jeff Schroeder, The Smashing Pumpkins
Prior to joining The Smashing Pumpkins in 2006, guitarist Jeff Schroeder had already earned both his bachelors and masters degree. He is currently working towards his Ph.D. in comparative literature from UCLA. His original ambition was to pursue teaching post-PhD but had stated that these plans are on hold due to The Smashing Pumpkins schedule.