It's awesome being a famous performer: everyone knows who you are, your music reaches millions of people worldwide, and the millions just keep flowing in. However, it's easy to forget that a lot of these people consider themselves artists, and often want to try to expand their art away from what people expect.
In the music world, this tends to lead to side projects. While some of these turn out great (and sometimes even more popular than the bands they spawned from), in the case of these 9 projects, they're more weird than anything.
Garth Brooks - Chris Gaines
The country legend decided to try his hand at more regular rock fare, but didn't want his longtime fans to get confused or put off by an album that sounded nothing like his other stuff. The solution? Grow an emo haircut, wear eyeliner, and change his name to Chris Gaines. No, we are not kidding.
Sir Paul McCartney - Liverpool Oratorio
The hardest-working Beatle may have had plenty of successful bands following the dissolution of the band that made him famous, but his Liverpool Oratorio project wasn't one of them. It was an eight-movement classical piece (like, not classic rock, actual classical music) that loosely told his life story. Weird.
Mike D - Country Mike
You might not know Mike D's name, but chances are you're familiar with his work. As a third of the main trio that made up The Beastie Boys, Mike's responsible for co-writing some of the definitive rap songs of all time. So of course, he had to make a country album as a joke and distribute it to friends and family.
Tommy Lee - Methods of Mayhem
Formed on the eve of his divorce from Pamela Anderson, the Motley Crue drummer formed a rap-rock side project with people like Fred Durst, Snoop Dogg, Lil' Kim, Kid Rock and George Clinton making guest appearances. The album actually went Gold, but let's be real here: when was the last time you thought about it?
Keep reading for even more bizarre side projects...
Pat Boone - In A Metal Mood
1950s Christian pop star Pat Boone proclaimed "No More Mr. Nice Guy" when he did this cover album of heavy metal anthems, turning them into the style of big-band jazz. It's not the worst thing ever in all honesty, but it's definitely one of the weirdest. He even promoted it on MTV while wearing leather and a dog collar.
Korn - Fieldy's Dreams
While already a member of one of the biggest rap-rock/nu-metal bands of the late 90s, Korn bassist Fieldy decided to go even further into the rap side of things. The result was an album that tried to be like Methods of Mayhem, but instead just sounded like a mix of songs that Cypress Hill would've axed while recording an album. This is peak 90s.
Green Day - The Network
A side project that the Green Day boys still refuse to admit to being a part of (even though it's now pretty well-documented), The Network was a throwback to new wave bands of the 80s. Its one album, Money Money 2020, honestly isn't too bad, but this is definitely one of the stranger projects on here.
Joe Pesci - Vincent Laguardia Gambini
Mr. "How Am I Funny?" himself is no stranger to a music career. In fact, he once tried to quit acting entirely in order to be a singer. The result of that was bad enough, but this album, a collection of songs recorded as his character from My Cousin Vinny, is inexcusable.
Aretha Franklin - La Diva
The Goddess of Soul decided to try to be a Goddess of Disco. How bad were the results you might ask? The album was never released by the label. Yeah, THAT bad.