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Five famous Australian bands that started in a garage

Looking for motivation for your band? The garage has been the home of creativity for decades. The team at Merlin loves to hear a good Aussie garage inspiration story. Here are some of our favourite Aussie music legends and their garage connections.


Crowded House

While front man Neil Finn is actually a Kiwi, rock band Crowded House actually formed in Melbourne in 1985 alongside Australians Paul Hester and Nick Seymour! Crediting garages for jams in their early days, the band had huge success in their home countries and around the world.


Midnight Oil

World famous Australian rock band Midnight Oil began their career practising in frontman Jim Moginie’s garage in Sydney’s Northern Beaches. The band’s political protest song, Beds are Burning, won an ARIA Award for Best Single in 1988 and in total, the band sold 12 million albums before separating in 2002.



From high school, the four Farris brothers who form INXS played gigs and recorded demos in their parents’ garage until they were approached by the manager for Midnight Oil, who invited them to tour with the band. Fast forward to 2019 and the band is the third-highest selling Australian music act in the United States, and has sold over 60 million records worldwide.


Tame Impala

Tame Impala are an Australian rock band conceived by multi-instrumentalist Kevin Parker. The band began as Parker’s side project in his home garage, where he wrote, recorded, performed, and produced all of Tame Impala’s early music. He posted the songs he made on Myspace and this eventually gained attention from labels. Today, Kevin tours globally with his four piece band.


The Riptides

Sixties garage rockers The Riptides was formed by a group of students studying architecture at the University of Queensland. The band began rehearsing in their garage and soon began performing across Queensland and throughout Australia.


By the 80s, the band were well on their way to becoming one of the biggest bands in Australia but sadly broke up before they were able to release a debut album. Over 30 years later in 2014, their debut album, which was recorded before the band’s split, was released by frontman Mark Callaghan.