13 Amazing Bands Similar To Guns N’ Roses

Written by Dan Farrant

When we talk about hard rock or heavy metal, Guns N’ Roses are probably one of the first bands that will come to mind. This rock band from California has cemented itself as one of the greatest bands in the history of music.

Formed in Los Angeles in 1985, this iconic band holds a special place in the hearts of rock enthusiasts worldwide. From opening acts for other bands to having powerhouse performances on their own tours, Guns N’ Roses never fail to wow audiences.

If you love their music and want to find some new bands to add to your playlist, then you’re in the right place. In this post, we’ve put together a list of 13 amazing bands similar to Guns N’ Roses, so you’ll have no shortage of new music to listen to. Let’s get started.

Guns N’ Roses by Raph_PH (CC BY 2.0)

1. Aerosmith

Who hasn’t heard of Aerosmith? This American rock band was founded in Boston in 1970. They quickly gained recognition for their powerful and dynamic sound.

With Steven Tyler serving as the lead vocalist and Joe Perry on guitar, this legendary group became known for their hard rock and bluesy style. In addition, their energetic live performances drew comparisons to Guns N’ Roses.

A major milestone in Aerosmith’s career was their tour with labelmates Guns N’ Roses. You could say it was a match made in rock heaven. Both bands shared a mutual love for hard-hitting music characterized by skilled musicianship and memorable lyrics.

2. Mötley Crüe

The heavy metal band Mötley Crüe emerged from the vibrant Sunset Strip music scene in the early 1980s. They quickly solidified their reputation as one of heavy metal’s legendary bands.

The band was founded by bassist Nikki Sixx and drummer Tommy Lee. They captivated audiences with their unique mix of glam rock aesthetics and hard-hitting hits like “Girls, Girls, Girls” and “Kickstart My Heart.”

Mötley Crüe was often compared to Guns N’ Roses due to their controversial behavior and shared roots in California. Both bands became known for their wild behavior and controversies that only added to their appeal.

Mötley Crüe was notorious for wild partying habits that frequently made headlines. From chugging contests to objectifying women, they earned an infamous status within music history.

3. Van Halen

The iconic hard rock and heavy metal band Van Halen emerged in the late 1970s with a sound that would resonate with fans of Guns N’ Roses. One of their defining features was Eddie Van Halen’s exceptional guitar skills. It earned him a place among guitar virtuosos like Ritchie Blackmore and Randy Rhoads.

Like Guns N’ Roses, Van Halen experienced internal conflicts between band members throughout its tenure.

Nevertheless, the band found success with their multi-platinum albums and chart-topping songs. Their albums Van Halen and 1984 produced hits such as “Jump” and “Panorama.”

With these high-energy tracks, fans of Guns N’ Roses will fall in love with the powerful sound of Van Halen.

4. Skid Row

If you love Guns N’ Roses, you might also like Skid Row. This band was formed in 1986 and quickly gained a following with their hard rock sound.

Skid Row and Guns N’ Roses both rose to prominence during the “hair metal” era of the late 1980s. They were part of a wave of bands that brought a fresh and energetic sound to the rock scene, characterized by loud guitars, catchy hooks, and rebellious attitudes.

Both bands had a glam-influenced image, with members known for their long hair and flashy stage presence.

Skid Row’s debut self-titled album spawned hits like “Youth Gone Wild” and “18 and Life,” showcasing their energetic and melodic sound similar to Guns N’ Roses.

5. Velvet Revolver

The Grammy Award-winning hard rock band Velvet Revolver had a lot of similarities with Guns N’ Roses. Formed in 2002, the lineup included three former members of Guns N’ Roses. The band’s name was suggested by lead vocalist Scott Weiland.

The band gained prominence with the release of their debut album, Contraband. It produced their hit single, “Slither.” The song won the band a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance.

Unfortunately, the Velvet Revolver didn’t have a long career due to personal issues with Weiland that led to their disbandment. However, they remain one of the top supergroups because of their musical contributions.

6. Led Zeppelin

The British rock band Led Zeppelin had a huge head start from Guns N’ Roses by at least 17 years. Still, the two bands share similarities worth mentioning.

Led Zeppelin was formed in London in 1968. They were widely regarded as one of history’s most influential and successful rock bands. In fact, they were among the forerunners of hard rock and heavy metal.

Like Guns N’ Roses, Led Zeppelin incorporated blues and a hard rock sound into their music. They released successful albums and songs such as “Stairway to Heaven” and “Kashmir,” which have become iconic rock classics.

Both bands have left a lasting impact on the rock music landscape, cementing their status as legends in the genre.

7. Poison

You should definitely check out Poison because their music is perfect for fans of Guns N’ Roses. Poison was formed in 1983 and is one of the most iconic bands from the ’80s hair metal scene. They rose to fame at a time when glam metal was taking over Hollywood.

Poison’s influence on rock music cannot be overstated. They were pioneers of the genre, paving the way for countless other bands. If you’re already a fan of Guns N’ Roses but haven’t checked out Poison yet, then it’s high time you do so!

With their unique blend of glam rock and heavy metal influences, their hit tracks “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” and “Something To Believe In” will make you fall in love with the band.

8. Def Leppard

The British rock band Def Leppard was formed in Sheffield, England, in 1976. The band has undergone various lineup changes but has maintained its popularity throughout the decades.

Both Guns N’ Roses and Def Leppard have albums that became two of the best-selling albums of all time. Guns N’ Roses’ debut album, Appetite for Destruction, was a huge success. Similarly, Def Leppard’s Hysteria sold more than 25 million copies worldwide.

Both bands also released commercially successful hit singles. Def Leppard’s radio-friendly songs “Photograph” and “Rock of Ages” helped them become one of the most successful bands from the 1980s hair metal genre.

9. AC/DC

Undeniably, AC/DC is one of rock music’s most influential bands. Formed in 1973, the band’s guitar riffs, hard-hitting sound, and energetic live performances have made them a fan favorite for decades.

Both AC/DC and Guns N’ Roses draw influences from the blues and classic rock, infusing their music with memorable guitar riffs. Case in point, AC/DC’s “Back in Black” and Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child o’ Mine.” These songs’ guitar hooks have become iconic.

Both bands also have frontmen who possess a strong stage presence. AC/DC’s vocalist, Brian Johnson, and Guns N’ Roses’ Axl Rose are charismatic and have distinct voices.

Throughout their career, AC/DC sold more than 200 million records worldwide. That made them the 16th-best-selling artist worldwide. In 2003, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

10. Slash’s Snakepit

One band that Guns N’ Roses fans should check out is Slash’s Snakepit. This hard rock supergroup features three former Guns N’ Roses members, including the founder, Slash. The band was formed in 1994 in California.

Musically, Slash’s Snakepit retained some of the bluesy hard rock elements in Guns N’ Roses’ music. The band’s sound was rooted in classic rock, combining bluesy guitar riffs, energetic rhythms, and soulful vocals.

Songs like “Beggars & Hangers-On” and “Been There Lately” capture the essence of hard rock with a touch of blues, reminiscent of Guns N’ Roses’ early work.

11. Kiss

The mid-1970s witnessed the rise of a band with antics never seen before. The rock band Kiss from New York City became synonymous with flamboyant costumes, elaborate stage makeup, and high-energy performances.

Similar to Guns N’ Roses, Kiss is famous for their over-the-top live performances. They were into elaborate stage setups and pyrotechnics. Though Guns N’ Roses would be considered mellow compared to Kiss, still, the former was known for long hair, rock and roll fashion, and rebellious image.

Kiss’ discography is filled with hard rock anthems like “Rock and Roll All Nite,” “Detroit Rock City,” and “I Was Made for Lovin’ You.”

12. The Black Crowes

Both Guns N’ Roses and the rock band The Black Crowes were formed at around the same time. Like Guns N’ Roses, the band drew inspiration from the bluesy rock sound of the 1970s, infusing it with their own modern edge.

Like Guns N’ Roses, The Black Crowes enjoyed chart and commercial successes. Their debut album, Shake Your Money Maker, was certified multi-platinum. Their second album, The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200.

The Black Crowes’ performances often featured extended improvisations. This showcased the band’s musicianship and ability to jam on stage. With hit songs like “She Talks to Angels” and “Remedy,” the band has left a lasting impact on rock music, carving its own unique place in the genre.

13. L.A. Guns

We’re ending the list with the American hard rock band L.A. Guns, formed by guitarist Tracii Guns in 1983. They’ve made a reputation for their high-energy performances and catchy guitar riffs.

If you must know, L.A. Guns merged with the glam metal group Hollywood Rose in 1985. The new group became Guns N’ Roses. After a brief tenure with Guns N’ Roses, Guns reformed his band with a new lineup.

L.A. Guns has been a staple in the music scene for decades. They drew inspiration from similar heavy metal bands like Guns N’ Roses. Both bands incorporated elements of bluesy hard rock and sleazy rock ‘n’ roll.

Summing Up Our List Of Bands Like Guns N’ Roses

And now we’ve come to the end of our post today. The bands above will surely satisfy your craving for hard rock music.

From Aerosmith’s bluesy rock sound to AC/DC’s guitar riffs, we assure you that you’ll have a hard time choosing a favorite! Why not add them all to your playlist?

We hope we have included all bands that share similarities with Guns N’ Roses. If not, you’re welcome to send us your recommendations!

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Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.