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Over the past few decades we have seen many of the best rock bands come and go, a lot of them come from different parts of the world whilst many of the most popular and mainstream rock bands originate in America. The best current rock bands vary a lot and their sound isn’t always the same which means that they are all popular for different reasons. Whilst some maybe popular due to their song lyrics or passion for music, others may be in the mainstream music industry because their songs are catchy and easy to singalong too.

We have created a list of the top 20 best rock bands of the 2000’s that originated in America (all of them founded after the 1980’s), the list in a bias order due to the research we have done in order to create it but any personal preference must be considered whenever you are looking into the best American rock bands. Keep on reading to find out all about the most popular rock bands as of late including their history, members, and ever-growing music!

The 20 Best Rock Bands that Gained Immense Popularity in the 2000s (Founded after 1980s)

Rock Band
1 Green Day Despite forming in the late 1980’s, Green Day only really gained mainstream and commercial success during the early 2000’s. The lead vocalist Billie Joe Armstrong a long with bassist Mike Dirnt started the band and have encouraged many other musicians to join them a long their journey during their career including guitarist Jason White who was an official and touring member of the band from 2012 till 2016. The band still actively make music and their sound is often described as punk or alternative rock, with one of their most famous albums being released in 2004 named American Idiot. After their commercial success with their album American Idiot, the band decided to carry on their success by releasing a few more, very successful albums including 21st Century Breakdown in 2009. They have won many awards and often been thought of as the face of 2000’s rock, as well as selling over 6 million records off just one album. In 2015, the band was introduced and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as well as being listed in the top 100 greatest artists of all time. Since their major success with their American Idiot album, there has since been a stage adaptation including all their songs which has gone on to win multiple awards such as Best Musical and Best Lighting.

For the official Green Day website and information about upcoming tours visit here:
2 My Chemical Romance After originally forming in New Jersey in 2001, My Chemical Romance (also known as MRC) have had a lot of success in the music industry. The band’s final line-up, and their most famous one consisted of 5 members; Gerard Way (lead vocalist), Frank Iero (guitarist), Ray Toro (guitarist), James Dewees (keyboardist), and Mikey Way (bassist). They have been signed to 3 labels including Warner Bros and Reprise during their 12 year music career which ended in 2013. Their most favourable album was The Black Parade released in 2006 which had a lot of great reviews from music critics and went on to certify as double platinum in the US and the UK. Their music has been said to be more on the alternative rock side with many saying the band classes as emo or pop punk. As well as being support acts during the first few years of their career for bands like Bon Jovi, they also went on to joint headline Projekt Revolution with Linkin Park in 2007 and go on a world tour (named The Black Parade World Tour ) which allowed the band to play over 133 performances all over the world.

See the official My Chemical Romance website and learn all about their music here:
3 Fall Out Boy One of the best American rock bands of all time is often thought to be Fall Out Boy, the four-man band consists of musicians Joe Trohman (lead guitarist), Patrick Stump (lead vocalist), Andy Hurley (drummer), and Pete Wentz (bassist). After being formed in the suburbs of Chicago in 2001, the band quickly rose to fame from the pop punk side of the scene. Known for their deep and meaningful lyrics as well as their guitar riffs and rocking solos, the band is often thought to be the face of American rock music and what it is today. Despite splitting up in 2009, the band reconciled again in 2013 to create more charting topping and fan loving music. Some of their most famous singles such as ‘Sugar We’re Goin Down’ and ‘Thnks fr th Mmrs’ have been awarded double platinum as well as won multiple awards, they were even nominated for a Grammy in 2006. As of early 2018, the band have 7 studio albums, all which feature very popular songs. Their various albums and members have won over 27 awards throughout their active years and this list continues to grow every year. The lead vocalist and founder of the group, Patrick Stump, said that the band was influenced by the likes of musicians such as David Bowie, Prince, and Michael Jackson.

To find out more information on their upcoming albums and tours, see the official Fall Out Boy website here:
4 Linkin Park Although they formed in the late 1990’s, Linkin Park are still one of the most famous rock bands of all time, with their debut album releasing in 2000 and many of their songs surging the rock charts, they have been named all across the world as being America’s number one alternative rock and metal band. One of their most famous albums was their debut, it allowed for the band to rise to international fame and gain popularity in the public eye. The debut album has now been certified as Diamond as well as being Platinum in many other countries. The band consists of 5 members, Brad Delson, Joe Hahn, Dave Farrell, Rob Bourdon, and Mike Shinoda. However, there have been past members including Chester Bennington who died in 2017. They have been labelled one of the best music rock bands in all of history, as well as some of the best-selling musicians of all time. they have sold over 70 million records throughout the world as well as winning two Grammy awards. They have headlined and co-headlined around 13 tours some of which were world tours, going as far as Thailand, Singapore and even Hong Kong. Despite controversary with the groups sound and how much they have influenced current rock bands to create music, Linkin Park are seen as some of the most influence and best American rock bands of all time.

For official information and all things related to Linkin Park, you can see their official website here:
5 Foo Fighters Formed in Seattle by Dave Grohl as a project after the death of grunge legend Kurt Cobain (the two were band members in the iconic band Nirvana), the Foo Fighters name came from the various different reported aerial and UFO conspirarcies during World War 2 which were commonly known as the ‘foo fighters’. Ever since their formation in 1994, the band has had a lot of success within the rock industry and are known as being one of the best rock bands of the 2000’s. Just in the US alone, as of 2015, the band had sold over 12 million copies of their various albums which included 9 studio albums and a lot of hit singles. The founding members of the band including Dave Grohl and Nate Mendel are still active with the band but then Pat Smear, Taylor Hawkins, Rami Jaffee, and Chris Shiflett all joined the group later on with Rami being the latest newcomer joining in 2017. The bands sound is very much influenced by the grunge, alternative, hard rock sound that Nirvana introduced with their music and it has been said that the Foo Fighters where brought together in order to allow grunge and rock music to live on even after Kurt Cobains death.

For more official information you can check out the Foo Fighters website here:
6 The Black Keys The duo is famously known all over the world especially in Europe and America for their garage and blues rock sound. The Black Keys consists of Patrick Carney on drums, and Dan Auerback singing as well as playing guitar. They formed in Ohio in 2001 and have been actively making music ever since, before signing to any major record label, the duo self-produced songs and albums which went on to prove as a hit with the mainstream media and music industry later in their career. They have had breakthrough songs like ‘Tighten Up’ (which won 3 Grammy Awards), as well as the hit single ‘Lonely Boy’ (which also won 3 Grammy awards with it’s same named album title). Throughout their time in the spotlight, the duo have released 8 studio albums and have had multiple smash hits which have been on the mainstream billboards as well as the rock ones. The band also has an extra 2 touring members that help the duo spice up their sound whilst they are on big stages, these touring members have changed over the last few years but are currently Richard Swift and John Clement Wood.

If more information about the Black Keys sounds interesting, then their official website has everything you may want to know here:
7 Red Hot Chilli Peppers Originating in Los Angeles, California during the early 80’s, this foursome group combined elements of punk rock with psychedelic aspects as well as funk and a little metal. They were some of the first on the scene of classic American rock, and their name is regularly recognized all over the world as an influential band. They mostly started the rock revolution, continued it on for decades and still do so now. They initially signed with Capitol Records before moving on to other record companies. They’re one of the best-selling bands of all time since they have sold over 80 million records worldwide with that number increasing almost every day. During their career, they have won 16 Grammy awards, and in 2012 they were introduced into the Hollywood Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Despite no longer consisting of the original line-up, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers are still a great band who regularly perform at shows and concerts around the world. Their 1991 album named ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik’ became one of their first commercial successes shooting them into success and fame. Following this, the band’s singles and albums have gone on to top the charts in over 20 different countries. One of their biggest achievements has been making it big time with their album named ‘Californican’ in 1999 which sold over 16 million copies worldwide. Some of their most famous songs include; ‘Can’t Stop,’ ‘Under the Bridge,’ and ‘Soul to Squeeze.’

If you’d like to find out more about the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and what they’re up to now, including song creation and tours, visit their website:
8 Paramore Formed in 2004, Paramore are a pop punk and emo pop rock band consisting of 3 members; Hayley Williams, Zac Farro, and Taylor York. Whilst studying in high school, both Williams and Farro became friends and decided to start a band with their fellow class mates. Suprisingly though, Hayley Williams has been the only constant member of the band and is the only member to appear on all of the bands studio albums. After their album ‘Riot!’ was released in 2007, it gained huge mainstream success and gave the band a very big following in the music industry. They have had a lot of success in the charts too during their time in the limelight including one of their singles ‘The Only Exception’ going platinum in the UK as well as gold in 4 other countries. Throughout their time creating music they have released 5 studio albums (with their 4 being self-titled after the departure of two of the band members). They have also embarked on many tours, as well as being opening acts for other rock bands during the start of their career, they have headlined and co-headlined another 6 tours from 2008 to early 2018. One of their very famous songs named ‘Decode’ has also been in the Twilight trailer and on a PlayStation game in 2008. Featuring in these two different media representations gained the group even more popularity.

Since Paramore are still actively making music they have regular tour dates and songs being released that you can find out more about here:
9 The Killers Comprised of 4 members, The Killers are a Las Vegas formed alternative and indie rock band who got together in 2001. The members consisted of; Dave Keuning (guitarist and backing vocalist), Brandon Flowers (lead vocalist and keyboardist), Ronnie Vannucci Jr. (drummer), and Mark Stoermer (bassist and guitarist). The band have an alternative sound that has allowed them to play in over 50 different countries all over the world as well as headlining at huge venues like Wembley Stadium and Madison Square Garden. They have often been said to be one of the biggest rock bands in history and especially in the 2000’s. Some of their most famous albums have won awards and have smashed the mainstream charts such as; Day & Age (2008), and Wonderful Wonderful (2017). Despite being a band and working well together, the members have often produced their own projects, in addition to this, since 2008 the band has operated and owned their own studios (named Battle Born Studios) and have gone on to release their own albums. Their musical influence and sound is often compared to those in the pop rock, new wave kind of sound. Some of The Killers most popular singles have included; Mr Brightside (which has been in the UK top 100 since it’s release in 2004), Somebody Told Me, and Human.

For all things related to The Killers, you can see their official website here:
10 Maroon 5 Originally known as Kara Flowers from their formation in 1994, Maroon 5 returned from their parted ways with another member and formed as a new band in 2001. Currently the band consists of 7 members and they associate themselves to have a pop and funk rock sound. They have sold over 50 million records during their time actively making music and this officially makes them one of the world’s best-selling music artists. As Maroon 5 they have released 6 studio albums with an additional 3 studio albums before their name change (when they were named Kara’s Flowers). Maroon 5 have also received multiple awards including Grammy Awards, Teen Choice Awards, and even World Music Awards. Some of their most famous songs include; ‘Moves Like Jagger’, ‘One More Night’ and ‘Payphone’, all of these songs have been in the top charts which makes the band one of the most popular rock bands in current times. As well as opening for over 7 acts when their career was starting, they have since headlined and co-headlined 9 other tours spanning over many different continents all over the world. They are also very well known as a band that support charities, and many of their shows include charity donations, they very much promote giving and donating to charities.

For up-to-date information on their songs, albums, and current tours, you can see their official website here:
11 Pearl Jam The band less commonly known as Mookie Blaylock is Pearl Jam who were formed in 1990 in Seattle, Washington.
Their main influences and associated acts include Mad Season, Mother Love Bone, and Green River, who all achieved great success during their rock ban careers. As of 2012, they had sold over 32 million records in the USA alone but many millions more throughout the world. They’re one of the only alternative bands to sell out tours and huge stadiums without an issue. This is one of the many reasons they have been named one of the most influential groups of all time and of their decade. Surprisingly, they were only introduced to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017, which is a lot later than their other band successors.
Pearl Jam’s most popular album to date is named Ten and was released in 1991, it defied all odds and went against the traditional rock band notion, but that’s what made it stand out and be a lot more creative than anything else. This contemporary style they created has been embraced a lot more in their more recent singles and albums too. They’re a highly influential band, and this is seen from their countless award wins and nominations throughout their music career.

Pearl Jam have an official website you can check out if you’re interested, this has everything you need to know on it, including tour dates and new music releases:
12 The White Stripes Although the famous garage rock duo formed in 1997, they only really gained popularity in the mainstream media during the early 2000’s. Both members Jack and Meg White met whilst doing open mics when they were in high school. After becoming friends, the duo soon began dating and eventually married, which then lead on to becoming one of the best-selling rock artists of all time. Unconventionally, Jack took Meg’s name and that’s where the name of the band came from. Their influences came from blues and a lot of old jazz style but they wanted to keep the music on the rock side. Despite stopping recording and producing music in 2011, their legacy in rock and garage music still lives on. They have won multiple Grammy awards for their later albums as well as producing 26 singles and releasing 6 studio albums during their time making music. One of their most influential albums to ever ben released was called Elephant (2003), this included the single ‘Seven Nation Army’ which is a song still very much loved by millions across the world. This album also marked the first time that the duo got signed to a major record label and managed to create a chart-topping album in the UK and the US.

The White Stripes official website has a lot of different information on it, detailing how to buy their albums as well as merchandise:
13 All Time Low Currently consisting of 4 members, the famous pop punk and emo pop rock band are known for their famous style and unique sound. The members include; Zack Merrick (bassist), Alex Gaskarth (lead vocalist), Rian Dawson (drummer), and Jack Barakat (guitarist). Before making it big time the band first met and joined together during high school, whilst in high school the band released their first EP in 200 which has then led them on to create another 7 studio albums since. They have also won multiple awards throughout their career including Alternative Press Music Awards. Since their formation in 2003, the band has really blossomed and became a popular sound which is enjoyed by many. They have been signed to multiple record labels in the past, but the most recent ones have gained them more success in the public eye. Their sound is very particular which means that their fans only like a certain type of music, it is more on the heavier side of rock and has often been compared to emo pop music. Some of their most popular songs include; ‘Weightless’, ‘Kids in the Dark’ and ‘A Love Like War’.

For all tour updates and anything album related you can visit the All Time Low website here:
14 Disturbed After releasing 6 studio albums, the band decided to have a break in 2011 to focus on their own side projects. However, in 2015 the band decided to reform and start making music again. The band currently consists of 4 musicians including; Mike Wengren (drummer), David Draiman (vocalist), Dan Donegan (guitarist and keyboardist), and John Moyer (bassist). Despite forming in 1994, the band only gained a popular following in the early 2000’s, allowing them to tour the world and play at big events and venues. They are often thought of as hard rock, but their sound can also be compared to heavy metal and more on the harder side of music rather than on the pop side like many other artists on this list. Some of their most popular albums include; ‘The Sickness’ (2000), ‘Ten Thousand Fists’ (2005), and ‘Immortalized’ (2015). However, a lot of their songs don’t appear in the charts due to the nature of their sound and how different it sounds to mainstream music. Disturbed pride themselves in being unique and having a sound that is particular to their genre. They are supported by thousands all across the world and are loved for being themselves.

If you want to know any more information about Disturbed or their albums and songs, you can see their official website here:
15 Alter Bridge An all-American rock band that was formed in 2004 after their former band had became inactive in 2003, the group of 4 focus their music on alternative metal as well as hard rock. The members who play with the band now are all the original line-up that formed together in 2004 and includes; Mark Tremonti (guitarist), Myles Kennedy (vocalist), Scott Phillips (drummer), and Brian Marshall (bassist). Their album ‘AB III’ was released in 2010 and received a lot of commercial and critical success with those who are in the public media. Ever since their success they have been a lot more focused on creating music for their fans and staying to a sound that a lot of people will like. Many of their songs have reached the top ten of the Billboard 200 and one of their albums even reached the top 5 in the UK charts. They have released 5 studio albums as well as going on many tours throughout the world. Their success didn’t come instantly when they first formed, but over the past decade they have really increased their popularity and their fan base has grown a lot.

For everything related to Alter Bridge you can see their official website here:
16 One Republic After forming in 2002, the pop rock band set out to storm the world with their catchy tunes and guitar riffs. One Republic are known for achieving commercial success through their videos and music on Myspace. The current members of the band include; Eddie Fisher (drummer), Brent Kutzle (bassist), Drew Brown (guitarist), Zach Filkins (guitarist), and Ryan Tedder (vocalist). Their sound and style is often described as alternative or pop rock, with their record label selling their songs as rock. It is thought that the band has sold over 50 million records worldwide, with that number growing every day, some of their popular songs include; ‘Rich Love’, ‘No Vacancy’, and ‘Apologize’. Despite only having out 4 studio albums, the band has been on 4 headlining tours as well as 1 supporting tour. They are known all over the world for being one of the best pop rock bands in the charts at the moment and their fan base is always growing and expanding. As well as being popular in the charts, One Republic have won several awards and been nominated for various awards throughout the past decade of making music. Lead vocalist, Ryan Tedder, has also won 3 Grammy’s for his song-writing skills for other artists.

Find out more information about One Republic including any new music they’re releasing as well as upcoming tours:
17 The Strokes Another New York City formed band goes by the name The Strokes, and they were initially composed of 5 members including; Nick Valensi, Fabrizio Moretti, Julian Casablancas, Nikolai Fraiture and Albert Hammond Jr.
All of these members were considered key players in the making and success of The Strokes during their career. In 1998 they signed to RCA records but quickly changed to improve their sound and music quality. Their music is known all around the world despite being met with a lot of widespread criticism throughout their career. One of their most popular albums was their debut in 2001 named ‘Is This It’ which ranked number 8 in the Rolling Stones top 100 lists of records. Many of their singles and albums have also been included in other top 100 and top 50 lists making them very famous and accessible with a variety of people.
They have toured all over the world including Europe, Asia, and Australia but plan on visiting more in the future. Their members have played at various festivals all around the world which continues their success and gives them the opportunity to grow their vast fanbase. Some of their influential songs include; ‘Reptilia,’ ‘Last Nite,’ and ‘Heart in a Cage.’ All of these singles and many others have shown the individuality and uniqueness of The Strokes and their songs.

Find out more about the Strokes and their band on their official website here:
18 Imagine Dragons One of the most prominent and newest bands on the American rock scene goes by the name of Imagine Dragons. They’re comprised of 4 members who all play different instruments and bring something different to the band; Ben McKee (bassist and keyboardist), Daniel Platzman (drummer), Wayne Sermon (guitarist), and Dan Reynolds (vocalist). They have had many chart-topping singles that have stormed the world including songs such as ‘Demons’ and ‘Radioactive’. During their career they have won 3 awards (with one being a Grammy Award) and have gained a successful following with fans all across the world. Since their formation they have released 3 studio albums however, a lot of these songs have been chart-topping songs that have received a lot of good critique, they have also been on 3 headlining tours from 2010 to 2018, on these tours they have visited most European countries, Australia and have toured around America. Imagine Dragons have appeared on many television programmes as Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and Lake Night with Jimmy Fallon. As well as their tours they have headlined at festivals across the US and the world such as Made in America Music Festival and MLB Target All-Star Concert.

For more information on their upcoming music, tours, and album releases stay up to date with the official Imagine Dragons website here:
19 Twenty-One Pilots The alternative indie rock duo formed in 2009 and have taken the world by storm (especially the charts!), after releasing two independent albums, the duo decided to be taken on by a record label. The duo consists of Tyler Joseph and Josh Dunn (although there were another two members who left just 2 years after the band formed). Having only been around for 9 years, the band has been able to keep up with modern times and feature their music everywhere including on one of the best-selling movies of all time, Suicide Squad. They have also won a Grammy award, as well as multiple other awards, they have also headlined 6 concert tours as well as opened for 1 tour. Over all, they receive very good music criticism throughout the world, being in the charts can be hard for alternative styled artists but Twenty One Pilots seem to keep creating music that everyone loves.

If you’re interested in more official information about Twenty One Pilots then you can see their website here:
20 Walk the Moon Whilst in college, 4 members of school ended up joining together to become an indie rock band that produced new wave and dance-rock tunes for all to hear. After independently releasing their own debut album, they signed to Steve Aoki records and started off their music career from there. The band consists of; Nicholas Petricca, Eli Maiman, Sean Waugaman, and Kevin Way. They are known all over the world for their songs and albums and have been touring ever since they first formed and became popular in 2006. Despite previously being called ‘Anna Sun’, the group decided to change their name to something that would fit in with their style a little more. They have cited that there are many artists which influence their music such as; The Killers, David Bowie, and Phil Collins. Over their short 12-year active music career, the band have released 4 studio albums and another live album as well as touring many depths of the world.

For all official information about Walk the Moon and their history, upcoming songs and even albums. See their website here:

History of the Best Rock Bands Founded After 1980

Before we were introduced to the best American rock bands of our society, there were many other rock bands throughout history who have changed up the music game and allowed rock music to live on, even when people didn’t particularly like it. There are some key and defining moments throughout that history that have made rock history what it is today. Although other countries have contributed to the best current rock bands and their music, we’re going to solely focus on those that have American roots. We’re going to take you through the history of rock and show you how it became what it has today.

Often referred to as rock and roll (written as rock ‘n’ roll) is a genre of music that is thought to have evolved during the 1940s and 1950s in African American music. It was thought to have came from the United States, but many other countries soon caught onto the trend and started producing some of the best rock bands. The US is known as the one of the most popular countries to produce history and when it comes to rock, there is no exception.

1940’s to 1960’s (Rock Origins)

During this period people weren’t used to rock and roll music so it did take a big transition and it wasn’t done quickly. Music didn’t suddenly develop from swinging blues to hardcore rock music, there was a lot of development between those periods. The origins of rock can be traced back to the late 1940’s when the popular styles of music included blues, country, and even a little jazz. With the introduction of electric guitars and some steady drum beats, a slow and beat down version of rock was born. As people started to embrace sexuality and youthfulness, more and more bands started coming to light, talking about topics that other music had never touched before. Instead of love ballads about wives, music suddenly became about sleeping around and meeting as many ladies (or men) as possible.

1970’s to 1980’s (The Rock Revolution and Separation)

As rock music started to become more popular within the mainstream music industry, bands started forming and rock history started to create a whole new revolution. Some of the best American rock bands originated during this time, and as they started to become more popular; so did being a hippie (which is where a lot of the stereotypes of the 70’s comes from). Some of the best rock bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and even the Sex Pistols joined and started creating music, and changing music history.

Then as the 1980’s approached, many of the top bands started to splinter off and rock started to become less of a mainstream music choice. Many people decided to go back to classic forms of music and not listen to other bands anymore (despite them still being together).

1990’s to 2000’s (The Rock Re-Emerge)

From out of nowhere came Nirvana, possibly one of the best rock bands in the whole of history. They allowed for alternative rock music to become more acceptable and as their following grew, so did the popularity of rock music. Even after the lead singers (Kurt Cobain) death in 1994, the rock world still continued to grow and become what it is today. Arguably now there are some of the best new rock bands right now compared to in history and there will be so many more to come and storm stages in years to come!