When it comes to playing music or forming a band, musicians are often faced with a choice about how big their group is going to be. Do you want to be a simplistic three-piece with guitars, bass, and drums, do you want to be a sprawling collective filled with all your musical mates, or do you want to throw it all in a just go solo instead?

Well, with The Cat Empire currently in the process of delivering a new song on the first of each month in the lead up to their new album, we’ve decided to take a look back at some of the best bands with six or more members. These are the bands who decided that ‘less is more’ isn’t the way to do business, and decided that they do their best work when surrounded by hordes of likeminded band members.

The Cat Empire

Originally starting a three-piece back in the day, The Cat Empire originally cut their teeth on Melbourne’s jumping jazz scene, become one of the must-see bands of the era. After two years of performing as a trio, the group doubled their membership and welcomed three more members, solidifying the lineup that we’ve known ever since.

However, the group are known to be joined by many other musicians onstage at their gigs, changing tracks like ‘The Wine Song’ from an intimate-sounding affair into a sprawling jam that usually results in one of the best singalongs of the group’s gigs.

With The Cat Empire having recently released their latest song, ‘Stolen Diamonds’, earlier today, the band are set to head out on the road this September for a huge national tour. Be sure to see one of the most critically-acclaimed and beloved groups in the country when they hit up your town later this year.

Slipknot

While Slipknot began life as a six-piece back in the mid-’90s, it wasn’t long before one of Iowa’s most famous exports expanded their lineup to the nine-piece group we know them as today. While Slipknot were often a confronting and shocking band in their early days, casual fans often found it hard to tell members apart, with the group referring to themselves as numbers and wearing unsettling masks during their live performances.

BROCKHAMPTON

Switching over to the hip-hop side of things for a moment, BROCKHAMPTON have made a reputation for themselves over the least year as one of the genre’s most prolific and exciting bands. Starting life after ‘frontman’ Kevin Abstract asked a Kanye West forum if anyone wanted to start a band, BROCKHAMPTON officially has over a dozen members however many are artistic contributors rather than musicians.

With the group having released three albums in 2017 alone and with another one on the way, you can just imagine how much of a logistical nightmare a tour for these guys might be.

INXS

While many could have been forgiven for thinking INXS was a relatively simplistic quartet or trio, the legendary Sydney rocker actually maintained the same six-member lineup from their 1977 inception until frontman Michael Hutchence’s death in 1997.

While the band would recruit a few guest vocalists in their later years, they never strayed from the base formation of being a sextet and managed to maintain their reputation as one of Australia’s largest (and most famous) pub-rock bands.

Arcade Fire

One of Canada’s biggest indie exports, Arcade Fire originally began life as a duo before quickly expanding to a seven-piece group within a year. Fronted by Win Butler, the group also features his younger brother Will, and wife Régine Chassagne, proving that the group really is a family affair.

Musically eclectic and breathtakingly grandiose on the live stage, Arcade Fire have spent the last 17 years crafting some of the biggest records in the world of indie-rock, and turning themselves into one of the world’s must-see acts in the process.

Rammstein

Ever since their formation in 1994, Rammstein have kept the same six-person lineup, and have often joked that their strong relationship is the key to their longevity – even noting that if any member were to leave, the group would cease to exist.

While the band’s crushing sound saw them rise to fame around the world in the ’90s, it’s their live shows that gain the most publicity, with so many explosions and flames used in each show that frontman Till Lindemann actually became a licensed pyrotechnician so they wouldn’t have to pay someone to do it.

TISM

Melbourne’s TISM are undoubtedly one of the most iconic and enigmatic groups to have ever graced the Australian music scene. Consisting of seven members, this anonymous and pseudonymous group spent just over 20 years delivering their trademark biting satire alongside their brilliantly-crafted rock music.

While many in the Aussie music industry claimed they never really ‘got’ TISM, and attempted to write them off as a ‘joke band’, diehard fans will argue that the group’s esoteric humour just went unappreciated. Whatever the case, there will be never be another band quite like them.

Foo Fighters

When Dave Grohl kicked off the Foo Fighters back in 1995, they were technically a solo project, with all of the music from the Foo Fighters’ first album being written and recorded by Grohl himself. However, after he realised that performing live might be a bit of a hassle as a solo artist, he recruited a few musicians to help form his new band.

Soon, the Foo Fighters grew to a five piece by the end of the ’90s, featuring Pat Smear of Nirvana and the Germs, Chris Shiflett of No Use For A Name, and Nate Mendel of Sunny Day Real Estate. In 2005, the group welcomed aboard Remi Jaffee as a touring keyboardist, before officially naming him a fully-fledged Foo Fighter in 2017, and expanding the group to the six-piece we know them as today.

West Thebarton

Adelaide’s West Thebarton might be relative newcomers onto the Aussie music scene, but there’s nothing new about their desire to be one of the best (and biggest) Aussie rock bands in the country. Featuring a total of seven members, the group have been spreading their music message for a few years now, with frontman Reverend Ray Dalfsen proving his worth as one of the most energetic singers on the music scene today.

The Polyphonic Spree

Formed in the wake of Tripping Daisy’s breakup back in 1999, The Polyphonic Spree began life as a means for frontman Tim DeLaughter to create the music he used to listen to as a child. Originally consisting of twelve members, the group’s membership is so vast that Wikipedia currently names 20 members in their current line-up, with an additional 64 as having performed with, or been part of the group at some point over the years.

While the band’s music is described as symphonic rock, there really isn’t any other way to describe it, as most symphony orchestras out there would probably blush at the sheer sight of this Texan group. It’s also worth noting that their size isn’t just a gimmick either, as they absolutely slay it in the studio and on the live stage, too.

The Cat Empire 2018 National Tour

Thursday 6th September
Odeon Theatre, Hobart (SOLD OUT)
Supported by Odette (All Ages)
Tickets

Saturday 8th September
Palais Theatre, Melbourne (SOLD OUT)
Supported by Odette (All Ages)
Tickets

Sunday 9th September
Theatre Royal Castlemaine (SOLD OUT)
Tickets

Friday 14th September
Enmore Theatre, Sydney (LAST TIX REMAINING)
Supported by Odette (All Ages)
Tickets

Saturday 15th September
Enmore Theatre, Sydney (LAST TIX REMAINING)
Supported by Odette (All Ages)
Tickets

Sunday 16th September
UC Refectory, Canberra
Supported by Odette (All Ages)
Tickets

Thursday 20th September
The Triffid, Brisbane (LAST TIX REMAINING)
Supported by Odette (18+)
Tickets

Friday 21st September
The Triffid, Brisbane (SOLD OUT)
Supported by Odette (18+)
Tickets

Saturday 22nd September
The Triffid, Brisbane (SOLD OUT)
(ALL AGES 2pm matinee)
Tickets

Saturday 22nd September
The Triffid, Brisbane (SOLD OUT)
Supported by Odette (18+)
Tickets

Sunday 23rd September
Night Quarter, Gold Coast
Supported by Odette (All Ages)
Tickets

Friday 14th December
The Cat Empire Carnivale at Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle
With Odette, Grievous Bodily Calm, Lucy Peach & more to be announced (18+)
Tickets

Saturday 15th December
The Cat Empire Carnivale at Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle

With Odette, Grievous Bodily Calm, Lucy Peach & more to be announced (18+)
Tickets