Hootie and the Blowfish and Dave Matthews Band are two music groups that often find themselves on the most annoying list. The two rock jam groups have broad appeal. Yet many critics are loathe to recognize their musicality.
Perhaps we just like to love the bad bands, naughty rockers, and sad, lamenting country artists. But none of those descriptions seem accurate for these two groups.
Join us as we explore more about these two bands and what makes them so annoying.
Let’s jump in!
Who Are Hootie and The Blowfish?
Hootie and The Blowfish are a soft rock band formed in South Carolina in 1986. Darius Rucker and Mark Bryan met as freshmen at the University of South Carolina. As the story goes, Mark heard Darius singing in the dorm showers, and a musical collaboration soon followed.
The original lineup consisted of Rucker on vocals and Bryan as lead guitarist. The two added Dean Felber on bass and drummer Brantley Smith. Jim “Soni” Sonefeld replaced Smith when he left for other endeavors. However, Smith still makes guest appearances.
They were sensitive to the locations they played in as they were a multiracial band with an African American lead singer. In the deep South, there could be tense moments. In one instance, the guys took their Marine buddies along for added protection.
The band toughed it out playing cover songs in Southern bars and fraternity houses. Slowly, they built their business sense by selling t-shirts and their self-financed LP, Kootchypop. Finally, Atlantic Records’ talent scout Tim Sommer signed them because they were great at music too.
The band’s first album, Cracked Rear View, was the most successful album of 1995. And they delivered some well-known singalongs. In addition, their tunes Only Wanna Be With You, Let Her Cry, and Hold My Hand, were Billboard Hot 100 top ten hits.
Hootie and the Blowfish still play today. So why are some people so averse to them?
What Is So Annoying About Hootie and the Blowfish?
The band name is the first thing that’s so annoying about Hootie and the Blowfish. They created the moniker with the nicknames of two college friends. Hootie is routinely listed among the worst band names of all time. We have yet to learn what it means.
Any musical group that gains notoriety by playing frat houses has to be annoying, right? But these guys seem like your everyday next-door neighbors. They love golf and YMCA pick-up basketball. And their music video for the song Only Wanna Be With You is too stinking cute, mixing subpar athleticism with musicality.
When Hootie’s first mainstream album dropped, people were slightly underwhelmed by the upbeat music. On the heels of punk and grunge, some found the music lukewarm. Nevertheless, stalwart fans love the great melodies in their songs despite critics calling the guys mediocre.
Hootie’s colossal hit, Only Wanna Be With You, is like the Kumbaya of the nineties. We can all sit around the campfire and sway back and forth to the chorus. They’re just downright goodie-two-shoes.
Despite these annoying details, there are some good things about the band.
What Are Some Good Things About Hootie and the Blowfish?
Hootie didn’t just play in clubs and fraternities; they actually graduated from college. They established their vibe and reputation for ten solid years with a great work ethic before making it big.
Despite a little hiatus between 2008 and 2018, the band members remained productive. Solo careers for Soni, Mark, and Darius collectively produced 12 albums.
From frat house days to the Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation, the guys established this charity in 2000. They see it as a way to give back to South Carolina public education in return for nurturing their aspirations. They’ve given roughly $2.9 million to over 200 causes. Nice work, guys!
The Foundation’s signature event is the Hootie’s Homegrown Roundup. Every August, underprivileged kids receive free dental and eye exams, haircuts, new shoes, and a backpack full of school supplies. Setting these kids up for success isn’t annoying at all.
In 2016, Hootie and the Blowfish received the Elizabeth O’Neil Verner Governors Award. It’s South Carolina’s top honor for artistic achievement in the state. The members received it for using their celebrity to help education, especially music education.
The Story of Dave Matthews Band
Like Hootie and the Blowfish, Dave Matthews Band (DMB) went mainstream in the 1990s. The band’s name comes from its South African founder, Dave Matthews. But, by all band members’ accounts, the name was unintentional.
The current band members are Dave Matthews, Carter Beauford, Stefan Lessard, Tim Reynolds, Rashawn Ross, Jeff Coffin, and Buddy Strong. Their music is American rock with a bit of jazz, folk, and indie rolled into a jam band fusion.
Also, like Hootie, DMB worked the college scene in Charlottesville, Virginia. Their unique sound took advantage of a saxophone and a violin in addition to the usual grouping of guitarists and a drummer. A reputation quickly spread on the frat scene, and they played a lot of college campuses.
In 1994, Dave Matthews Band’s stardom hit with the release of their debut studio album, Under the Table and Dreaming. The album is still their most successful, certified platinum six times, bringing them international recognition.
DMB is also a multiracial group aware of social issues regarding racism around the country and the world. Matthews, of South Africa, is vocal about the inequalities he notices in society.
In addition, the band is very loyal to its crew and dedicated fanbase. They hold together a mini-community, going so far as to print their own concert tickets.
The group hasn’t slowed down since the nineties. Over the decades, more than 25 million fans purchased concert tickets. And they’re still touring and entertaining fans around the world.
Why Do People Hate Dave Matthews Band?
Like Hootie, Dave Matthews Band gets little sympathy for the band name. Some might consider it boring. A group named after the founder is so 1950s, and not in a good vintage way.
DMB is accused of lacking any real oomph in their songs. Despite its mass appeal, some people find their music rather lukewarm. They’re described as talented but not sexy.
The band hasn’t charted in 23 years, and their music feels safe, maybe even a bit predictable. Despite their jamming, they’ve recorded the album Under The Table and Dreaming eight times. So, maybe their creativity waned as well.
The obnoxious fanbase is one of the main reasons some people dislike DMB. The beer-swilling frat boys grew up, and now diehard fans find the band’s concerts a reminiscent experience of the past.
And they follow DMB around, much like those who follow The Grateful Dead. The only difference is that DMB fans tend to be more yuppies than hippies. But really, which of those groups is more annoying?
Is There Anything Good About Dave Matthews Band?
For every reason someone hates Dave Matthews Band, there are an equal number of reasons why fans love them.
Critics may lament the safety of DMB’s music, but the band boasts awards. They have a Grammy, four VH1 Music Awards, and numerous other nominations and recognitions. In 2019, the group received the most popular votes for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, they didn’t make it, but fans remain hopeful.
Dave Matthews Band has its own charity, the Bama Works Fund, based in Charlottesville, Virginia. It addresses disadvantaged youth, disabled persons, the environment, and the arts and humanities. Dave and his bandmates have donated over $40 million to charitable organizations through the Fund.
The support DMB provides goes well beyond Virginia. They built a recovery fund in tsunami-ravaged Sri Lanka. And after Hurricane Katrina, the band participated in multiple fundraisers for the victims. They also supported earthquake victims in Haiti.
The NAACP awarded the band with the Chairman’s Awards. The honor recognizes individuals who have committed themselves to acts of public service while using their platforms to create effective change. Matthews accepted the award on behalf of the entire group.
So, Who Is More Annoying?
The Dave Matthews Band name might be more annoying if we compare band names. Even though bizarre, at least Hootie and the Blowfish put some thought into it (if not that much).
Both bands have notably lackluster yet safe music. And the polarizing DMB fans are no match for Hootie’s happy-go-lucky guy-next-door image. With throngs of obnoxious dreamy fans and contributing over $40 million to charity, DMB might beat Hootie in being the most annoying. If you can consider any of that actually irritating.
Which band do you find more annoying, Hootie and the Blowfish or Dave Matthews Band? Tell us how you feel about them in the comments below.