Local bands and musicians from San Jose, CA

Sleep performing at the Fillmore in Detroit in 2018. | Photo via Wikimedia Commons

We’ve shared five music legends who had San Jose connections — and thanks to you, dear readers, we’ve got more bands with local roots to let you in on

These five bands are certifiable San Jose originals — and we’ll keep this list of musicians from yesteryear + today rockin’ with more additions as they come.

We’ve also got a Spotify playlist for you auditory learners out there. 🎧

🎶 Skankin’ Pickle 

Made up of students from Westmont + Los Gatos High School, this 1980s band combined ska, punk, dubstep, swing, and new wave. They went on to form Dill Records in 1991, based out of Monte Sereno, to release their debut album “Skafunkrastapunk,” and toured until 1996. 

🎶 Jupiter Sun 

This band formed in 1992 out of an East San Jose garage and played at SJSU’s amphitheater + popular SoFA concert venue, F/X. Their indie, shoegaze sound appealed to the rising pop scene, until they eventually split in 1998. Give “Zookeeper” a listen.

🎶 Sleep 

This doom metal trio debuted in San Jose in the 1990s, and most notably coined the term “stoner metal,” for their psychedelic + heavy sound — comparable to Black Sabbath. When they released “Sleep’s Holy Mountain” in 1993, they were heralded as the leaders in the genre.

🎶 The Forgotten 

Before touring across the US, Europe, and Japan, this punk band started in the South Bay in 1997. They brought their alternative, punk revival sound to Downtown clubs like Johnny V’s — and some members still perform occasionally at Las Vegas’ annual Punk Rock Bowling Music Festival.  

🎶 T9 

Formed in 2002, this garage band began playing in a studio on the corner of Taylor St. + Ninth St. (hence the name) and mixed styles of reggae, ska, funk, blues, and R&B. The band often played at the Voodoo Lounge, Agenda Lounge, and Toons. As far as tunes, we’d rec “Spend My Life.”

Got more local music recommendations? Keep em’ coming.