10 Best Bands That Start With Q

Music groups whose names start with the letter “Q” occupy a fairly niche position in the history of popular music. But a surprising number of influential, innovative, and even revolutionary artists can count themselves as “Q bands.”

From prog rock legends like ‘Queen’ and ‘Queensrÿche’ to desert rock gurus ‘Queens of the Stone Age;, to glam metal hitmakers ‘Quiet Riot’, a diverse range of genres have been impacted by musical acts whose monikers start with Q.

Furthermore, the 21st-century rise of hip-hop has brought new Q artists to the forefront, including Atlanta’s chart-topping trap rapper ‘Quavo’ and underground production wizard ‘Madlib’ in the form of his alter-ego, ‘Quasimoto’.

This article will journey through some of the most significant musical groups beginning with Q, analyzing their origins and exploring how they shaped rock, metal, and hip-hop evolution over the past several decades.

Band NameGenreNotable MembersKey AlbumsUnique Elements
QueenRock, glam rock, progressive rockFreddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, John DeaconA Night at the Opera, The Game, InnuendoMercury’s vocal range, theatrical live shows, genre experimentation
QueensrÿcheProgressive metalGeoff Tate, Chris DeGarmo, Michael WiltonOperation: Mindcrime, Empire, Promised LandConceptual albums, socially conscious lyrics, technical guitar work
Queens of the Stone AgeStoner rock, alternative rockJosh Homme, Nick Oliveri, Mark LaneganSongs for the Deaf, Rated R, …Like ClockworkFuzz-heavy riffs, desert rock influences, rotating collaborators
Quiet RiotHeavy metal, glam metalKevin DuBrow, Frankie Banali, Carlos Cavazo, Rudy SarzoMental Health, Condition Critical, QR III“Cum on Feel the Noize” cover, pioneering hair metal sound
QuavoHip-hop, trapQuavious Keyate MarshallQuavo HunchoMelodic flow, catchy hooks, pop crossover appeal
QuarterflashNew wave, pop rockRindy Ross, Marv RossQuarterflash, Take Another PictureRindy Ross’ saxophone and vocals, “Harden My Heart” hit single
QuasimotoUnderground hip-hop, alternative rapMadlibThe Unseen, The Further Adventures of Lord QuasHelium-pitched vocals, lo-fi production, surreal lyrics
QuatermassProgressive rock, space rockJ. Peter Robinson, Peter Ames CarlinQuatermass, Quatermass IIHammond organ-driven sound, classical influences, proto-metal elements
QuanticElectronic, funk, soul, LatinWill HollandThe 5th Exotic, Apricot Morning, MagneticOrganic production, vintage instrumentation, and global music influences
QuicksandPost-hardcore, alternative metalWalter Schreifels, Tom Capone, Sergio Vega, Alan CageSlip, Manic Compression, InteriorsHeavy riffs, melodic choruses, raw intensity

10 Best Bands That Start With Q

Here are the most influential and popular bands that starts with letter ‘Q’.

1. Queen

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Queen is one of the most iconic and influential rock bands of all time, known for their unique blend of genres, flamboyant live performances, and the unmatched vocal talents of Freddie Mercury. Their creative ambition and musical versatility made them global superstars who continue to win over new generations of fans.

How did Queen’s unique blend of genres and theatrical performances captivate audiences?

From their formation in 1970, Queen was willing to experiment with styles ranging from glam and prog rock to metal, pop, and disco. This eclecticism, combined with elaborate costumes and live shows that felt more like theater, allowed them to connect with diverse fanbases.

Audiences were captivated by Freddie Mercury’s ability to command crowds like a master showman. Queen’s pioneering use of multimedia technology like light shows and dry ice further heightened the drama of their concerts. Songs like “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Killer Queen” seemed tailor-made for the stage, fusing catchy melodies with operatic grandeur.

Though all four members had strong individual personalities, it was clear Mercury was the ringmaster holding this sonic circus together with his otherworldly voice and magnetism.

What were their most iconic and groundbreaking albums?

Many of Queen’s albums are considered seminal works. 1974’s “Queen II” established their signature grandiose sound, with epic tracks like “Father to Son” showcasing their prog influences. “A Night at the Opera” (1975) featured their most ambitious anthem “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which pioneered the music video format and remains globally ubiquitous decades later. Bohemian Rhapsody movie was also released in 2018 which depicts the journey of Freddie Mercury as an artist and Queen as a band.

“The Game” (1980) spawned dance-pop crossover hits like “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and proved their versatility. Their final album with Mercury, “Innuendo” (1991) showed that even approaching the end, they could still innovate with complex tracks like the flamenco-influenced title song.

In addition to commercial high points, deeper cuts like “The March of the Black Queen” and “It’s Late” attest to Queen’s consummate skills as arrangers and performers.

How did Freddie Mercury’s flamboyant persona and vocal prowess contribute to the band’s legacy?

As a singer, songwriter, and band leader, Mercury imbued Queen with bravado, charisma, and a level of talent that made them true superstars. His four-octave range allowed him to bewitch listeners with styles ranging from muscular rock to soaring operatic vocals.

As a visual icon, his outlandish, sexually fluid persona and preening stage presence made their shows even more theatrical. Tragically, Mercury’s early death from AIDS-related illness in 1991 cut short his immense gifts.

But his valedictory effort on “Innuendo,” as well as the enduring popularity of his most famous works means his legend still overshadows rock decades later.

2. Queensrÿche

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The progressive metal pioneers Queensrÿche became icons for their conceptual, socially conscious albums and guitar virtuosity in the 1980s music scene. They took the grand ambitions of prog rock and successfully fused them into heavy metal’s intricate yet aggressive attack.

What was the significance of Queensrÿche’s role in the progressive metal genre?

Queensrÿche were key innovators in the early progressive metal movement that blended heavy, complex guitar rock with elements of classical and operatic music into a cutting-edge hybrid. Albums like “Rage for Order” (1986) and the seminal “Operation: Mindcrime” (1988) made them leading figures in bringing prog sensibilities to metal.

Unafraid of unconventional structures, their early music was filled with abrupt time changes, layered orchestration, and extended song suites. Their technical skill opened the doors for more experimentation in the genre by later bands.

How did their conceptual albums and storytelling lyrics set them apart?

Rather than standard sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll fare, Queensrÿche ambitiously crafted entire albums tied together by stories, concepts, and sociopolitical themes. For example, “Mindcrime” follows recovering junkie Nikki through a journey of revolution, murder, and personal torment as a metaphor for Reagan-era America.

Their follow-up “Empire” also wove together songs focused on themes of political corruption and looming fascism. This cerebral approach resonated strongly in the metal community, bringing a level of sophistication not always associated with heavy music.

What were their most critically acclaimed and influential works?

“Rage for Order” innovatively mixed prog rock with sinister dystopian themes and synthesized textures for a cutting-edge, cinematic feel that opened new frontiers for metal.

Their 1988 masterpiece “Operation: Mindcrime” is widely considered one of the greatest metal albums ever, beginning the band’s commercial peak through the early 90s. Driven by intricate guitar harmonies and the defiant vocals of Geoff Tate, hits like “Eyes of a Stranger” and “I Don’t Believe in Love” dominated MTV and rock radio.

Later albums like “Promised Land” (1994) and “Empire” (1990) continued to balance their intricate musicianship with more accessible, melodic anthems. Even after losing their most famous lineup, Queensrÿche’s early catalog stands the test of time as some of progressive metal’s landmark recordings.

3. Queens of the Stone Age

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The California rockers Queens of the Stone Age popularized stoner rock in the mainstream through their raw yet melodic and masterfully produced sound. They brought the riff-heavy desert rock style pioneered by guitarist Josh Homme to a mass audience.

How did Queens of the Stone Age’s blend of stoner rock and desert rock resonate with fans?

Formed from the ashes of iconic stoner band Kyuss, QOTSA pioneered a blend of dark, psychedelic desert rock with punk attitude and pop hooks that proved broadly appealing. Josh Homme’s fuzzed-out guitar and detached baritone connected with fans of underground genres.

Meanwhile, high production values and huge choruses allowed songs like “No One Knows” to achieve mainstream success. That balancing act between alternative authenticity and polished songcraft makes them a rare rock band comfortable both headlining festivals and opening for pop stars.

What were the themes and influences behind their lyrics and sound?

QOTSA’s lyrics often explore nihilism, drug abuse, and struggles with fame in detached, ironic tones influenced by Homme’s time in the Palm Desert music scene.

Slow psychedelic grooves inspired by bands like Black Sabbath mix seamlessly with the catchy melodies of pop and post-punk, reflecting the varied musical tastes of the band members.

Their music conveys both the gorgeous yet desolate atmosphere of their native Palm Desert area along with a sense of danger and darkness.

How did the band’s lineup changes and collaborations shape their evolution?

While Homme’s songwriting and production have been a constant, QOTSA has gone through several lineup changes over the years while regularly collaborating with other acclaimed artists.

Nick Oliveri’s raw punk energy defined much of their early work before more melodic bassists joined later. Dave Grohl’s fierce drumming featured on 2002’s breakout hit “Songs for the Deaf.” Other guests including Mark Lanegan, Trent Reznor, and Alex Turner have added their unique flavors to QOTSA’s eclectic mix across various albums.

This alchemy of combining a solid foundation with a rotating cast of iconoclastic talent has allowed them to continuously explore new sonic territory.

4. Quiet Riot

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The Los Angeles metal upstarts Quiet Riot became an overnight commercial sensation thanks to their hit 1983 album “Metal Health” and its infectious cover of “Cum on Feel the Noize.” They helped prove the mass appeal of flashy, radio-friendly heavy metal to mainstream audiences.

What was the impact of Quiet Riot’s role in popularizing heavy metal in the 1980s?

While earlier bands like Black Sabbath invented metal, Quiet Riot’s success was pivotal in taking the genre into the mainstream for the first time. Their polished pop-metal sound was palatable enough for radio and MTV.

“Metal Health’s” #1 chart debut was a watershed moment that opened doors for many melodic metal bands through the rest of the decade. Record labels realized metal’s moneymaking potential, though later groups often lacked Quiet Riot’s strong songcraft underneath the pyrotechnics.

How did their cover of “Cum On Feel the Noize” become a cultural phenomenon?

Though originally recorded by the British glam band Slade in 1973, Quiet Riot’s propulsive, metallic remake became one of the most ubiquitous anthems of the 80s. Powered by an irresistible chant-along chorus, the song exploded onto the Billboard Hot 100 and cemented Quiet Riot as an icon.

Its triumphant energy and rallying cry made it the go-to arena rock anthem and frat party soundtrack during the spandex-clad hair metal era, embodied by its appearance in the 1984 comedy “Footloose.”

Even people unfamiliar with Quiet Riot came to recognize the song’s signature riff and chant. Its phenomenal success ensured no 1980s retrospective feels complete without it.

What were their most successful and influential albums?

Thanks almost entirely to the title track and “Cum on Feel the Noize,” 1983’s “Metal Health” instantly shot Quiet Riot to stardom as the first metal album to top American charts.

Though unable to match its meteoric success, follow-ups “Condition Critical” (1984) and “QR III” (1986) scored further hits and solidified their legacy as pioneering stars of hair metal before the tragic cocaine overdose of singer Kevin DuBrow in 1987.

While short-lived, Quiet Riot’s influence far outweighed their brief reign thanks to Metal Health’s enduring popularity.

5. Quavo

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As one-third of Atlanta rap supernovas Migos, Quavo stands out for his infectious vocal melodies and versatile pop crossover appeal that dominate today’s hip-hop landscape. His slippery triplet flow and earworm hooks make him one of the most influential voices in the trap music explosion of recent years.

How did Quavo’s unique flow and delivery contribute to the success of Migos?

His slippery triplet flow – cramming three notes into each beat with pinpoint accuracy – gave Migos an instantly recognizable verbal dexterity. Quavo effortlessly switches up his smooth yet punchy delivery from chorus to verse, keeping listeners engaged where other rappers may become monotonous.

When fused with Takeoff and Offset’s equally nimble flows, his agile style made Migos a dynamic trio capable of dominating any beat, no matter how skeletal or booming. Quavo’s melodic sensibility helped establish Migos as pop crossovers without losing street cred.

What were his most popular and chart-topping solo tracks?

Quavo’s gift for sticky hooks made him an in-demand featured artist, leading to hit collabs like “Congratulations” (Post Malone), “I’m the One” (DJ Khaled), and “No Brainer” (DJ Snake). His guest spots often overshadow songs bearing his name.

But smash singles “Huncho Dreams” and “Workin Me” scored a big solo success, as did his album “Quavo Huncho.” Proving his breakout stardom, he even hosted an episode of “Saturday Night Live” in 2018.

How did his collaborations with other artists showcase his versatility?

Beyond his hip-hop roots, Quavo has shown remarkable range as a vocalist, popping up on tracks in genres like EDM (“Hey Ma” – Pitbull), Latin pop (“Taki Taki’- DJ Snake), and funk (“Red Room” – Offset). His chameleon-like talent to blend his melodic style into any context makes his appearances intriguing and unpredictable.

As comfortable in the art world as he is in the streets, these diverse collaborations display Quavo’s curiosity and adaptability as an artist with more ground still to explore.

6. Quarterflash

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The pop-rock duo Quarterflash earned widespread radio play and an enduring hit single with “Harden My Heart” before new wave’s decline in the mid-80s. Centered on singer/saxophonist Rindy Ross and guitarist Marv Ross, they brought authentic musicianship to the slick pop productions of their era.

What was the significance of Quarterflash’s role in the new wave and pop-rock scenes?

At the peak of 1982, Quarterflash brought rock credibility and exceptional musicianship to the increasingly synthetic world of new wave. Polished yet passionate, their self-titled platinum debut album helped bridge the gap between classic AOR and radio-friendly pop.

At a time when many bands were all style over substance, Quarterflash had the chops and emotional conviction behind their carefully crafted songs.

Rindy Ross’ saxophone riffs and soulful singing made them stand out on the charts. They paved the way for other talents like Huey Lewis to bring rootsy playing to poppier production styles later that decade.

How did their hit single “Harden My Heart” resonate with audiences?

The aching sax riff and Rindy Ross’ powerhouse vocals made “Harden My Heart” an instant radio staple upon its release in late 1981.

It became one of the definitive power ballads of the 1980s by striking a universal chord about masking pain with emotional walls. Fueled by heavy rotation on MTV and pop radio, its cathartic chorus ensured it remained embedded in popular consciousness for decades to come.

Though they were labeled as “new wave,” the song’s timeless lyrics about lost love and Ross’ soulful delivery gave it a gravitas lacking in much ’80s synth-pop. It ensured Quarterflash would not be quickly forgotten as just another fleeting one-hit-wonder.

What were their most acclaimed and influential albums?

Their self-titled platinum debut yielded several hit singles thanks largely to the breakout success of “Harden My Heart.” 1984’s “Take Another Picture” spawned minor hits but failed to achieve the same momentum in a shifting musical landscape.

Though they never fully recaptured their early fame, Quarterflash left behind a small but solid discography notable for its high level of craft. Rindy Ross’ saxophone and voice remain among the most iconic sounds of early 80s radio.

Their ability to inject emotional directness and genuine musicianship into slick pop productions makes their work hold up better than many new-wave peers.

7. Quasimoto

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The helium-voiced alter ego of producer Madlib, Quasimoto brought an eccentric, lo-fi perspective to underground hip-hop in the early 2000s. His bizarre vocal style, dense beats, and colorful lyricism offered a vibrant alternative to mainstream rap.

How did Quasimoto’s unique alter-ego and production style set him apart in the hip-hop world?

The fictional blunt-smoking character of Quasimoto gave Madlib a vehicle to explore his most eccentric impulses as both rapper and beatmaker.

Heavily pitched-up vocals floated over gritty loops crafted from obscure vinyl records. His DIY approach to chopping up jazz and psychedelic rock on dusty equipment produced a sound completely outside the mainstream and utterly original.

Unconcerned with radio play or clubs, Quasimoto crafted hazy sound collages to inhabit as this weed-obsessed troublemaker. His attention to analog texture in a growing digital genre made his music especially unique.

What were the themes and influences behind his abstract and surreal lyrics?

Channeling an oddball outsider persona detached from reality, Quasimoto’s lyrics built upon the DayGlo fantasies of P-Funk. He inhabited colorful realms filled with bizarre boasts about his prowess as an emcee and producer.

His raps were filled with humorous non-sequiturs and self-referential rabbit holes, revealing a stoner’s fractured perspective brimming with inside jokes.

This vibrant lyrical escapism contrasted the muted urban atmospheres in much underground hip-hop. The vivid vernacular was as crucial as the production in building his cartoonish world.

How did his collaborations with other artists showcase his versatility?

Though mainly a solo figure, Quasimoto’s cuts have featured on tracks by Peanut Butter Wolf, Madlib’s hip-hop collective Lootpack, and alternative rap duo Madvillain (his collaboration with MF DOOM).

The entirety of “The Unseen” shows his ability to provide his signature dusty backdrops for a variety of voices besides his sped-up vocals.

His elastic style meshes well with a wide spectrum of rappers while retaining his off-kilter personality. Whether rapping or producing, Quasimoto’s endearing weirdness ultimately overcomes his seemingly alienating approach.

8. Quatermass

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The British prog trio Quatermass left behind a small but influential body of work fusing rock with classical and psychedelic styles in the early 70s. Centered on keyboardist J. Peter Robinson and bassist/composer Peter Ames Carlin, they expanded on common prog rock tropes into darker and heavier territory.

What was the significance of Quatermass’ role in the progressive rock and space rock genres?

Quatermass were important pioneers of album-oriented prog alongside better-known bands like King Crimson, Pink Floyd, and Genesis. Their Hammond organ-dominated sound was thunderous for the era, making them progenitors of the keyboard-driven space rock typified by Hawkwind and other psych-leaning acts.

They helped push proto-metal and prog beyond the blues foundations that still underpinned much British rock then. Songs like “Black Sheep of the Family” demonstrated their heavier direction.

How did their experimental and psychedelic sound influence other bands?

Quatermass took inspiration from 20th-century orchestral music and fused it with blues-based hard rock and tripped-out distortion. This ambitious formula proved hugely influential on fellow British bands like Deep Purple, who covered their track “Black Sheep of the Family.”

Their cosmic prog left imprints on space rock icons like Gong, Ozric Tentacles, and Hawkwind as well. Though short-lived, Quatermass pointed towards heavier directions that blended classical structures with crushing riffs and psychedelic effects, which later groups would continue to explore into the birth of heavy metal.

What were their most acclaimed and influential albums?

Their 1970 self-titled album established their grandly heavy prog credentials, while its follow-up “Quatermass II” delved into more explicitly psychedelic territory with sci-fi concept themes.

Reissued together, these two albums represent their small but innovative contribution to the growth of ambitious, album-driven rock during the post-60s era. They showed that the sonic extremes of both thunderous heavy rock and spaced-out psych could fuse to push boundaries even further.

9. Quantic

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Producer and multi-instrumentalist Will Holland, aka Quantic, has cultivated a passionate international fanbase by fusing electronic music with vintage funk, soul, and Latin influences. His warm, organic production style smoothly integrates electronic elements with eclectic grooves.

How did Quantic’s blend of funk, soul, and electronic music create a unique sound?

From his early downtempo trips to salsa-driven dance tracks, Quantic’s production style smoothly integrates electronic textures with warm organic grooves, intricate percussion, and retro instrumentation.

By utilizing live brass, piano, and guitar over ingeniously chopped samples, he avoids sterility to create a vibrant hybrid sound embracing the best of old and new.

There is a richness to his layered, intricate arrangements that pulls the listener deep inside the mix. His music manages to feel both vintage and forward-thinking simultaneously.

What were the themes and influences behind his socially conscious lyrics?

Inspired by time spent absorbing creative communities across the Americas, Holland uses his lyrics to spotlight inequality and celebrate multiculturalism.

His words often advocate for social justice and reflect his experiences traveling to and collaborating with musicians from Colombia to Haiti.

The cross-cultural philosophies in his messages parallel his borderless musical fusion. By honoring the shared roots of global black music, his songs take on an uplifting, universal resonance.

How did his collaborations with various artists showcase his versatility?

Quantic has undertaken joint projects spanning cumbia, Afrobeat, Ethiopian jazz, and more with acts like Ethiopian legend Mulatu Astatke, West African vocalist Bembe Segue, and Colombian combo Grupo Taribo, among many others.

His chameleonic production talents allow him to seamlessly bridge styles and languages while highlighting his guests’ musical strengths. Whether dwelling in smoky funk or effervescent tropicalia, his work with global collaborators retains his signature warmth and attention to organic instrumentation.

Band that starts with Q: Wrap Up

Though few casual music fans may realize it, musical groups with Q-based names have indelibly influenced the development of album-oriented rock, heavy metal, alternative rock, hip-hop, and other styles over the past half-century.

From Queen’s blend of prog-rock grandeur and pop accessibility to the complex musicianship of Queensrÿche, to Quicksand’s role in pioneering post-hardcore, groups starting with Q have time and again pushed genre boundaries and innovated new fusions.

Meanwhile, more recent acts like Quavo and Quasimoto show the letter’s ongoing relevance in the contemporary scene. Though they operated in separate eras across different musical worlds, these artists’ shared position as genre pioneers and innovators united by that initial Q makes them a more cohesive group than may first meet the eye.

Their enduring influence serves as a reminder to never underestimate the unexpected creativity possible, even within self-imposed restrictions.

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