10 Bands Who Have No Original Members

Photo by Mark Britain
Heart at House of Blues in 2010
Just about every famous band has featured a lineup switch at some point. Even Rush, whose lineup has been static for 39 years, had a different drummer for their first album. But every now and then we see a band whose lineup gradually erodes. The switches pile-up until, one day, the longest-serving member joined a decade after the band originally formed.

It's crazy to think that any band could continue after that. After all, if you saw them before and after, you'd be seeing two entirely different bands with the same name. Nevertheless, it does happen because the legal ownership of band names can be a weird, tumultuous thing to even think about.

Plus, there's still money to be made off those band names. These are ten you might want to think about before you decide to buy tickets to see them next time around.

10. Stratovarius
Even excepting the years when the Finnish power-metal band was called "Black Water," every member that started using the name Stratovarius in 1986 is gone. The longest-serving member now is vocalist Timo Kotipelto, who joined in 1994.

9. In Flames
The last remaining original member of In Flames, founded in 1993, was Jesper Stromblad, who bailed in 2010. That left vocalist Anders Friden and guitarist Bjorn Gelotte, both of whom joined in 1995, to keep it going.

8. Blackfoot
Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Rickey Medlocke's other band formed in 1969 and continues today with a lineup who all joined in 2012, "handpicked" by Medlocke. Medlocke hasn't played with them himself since 1997.


Lynyrd Skynyrd & Bad Company at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 7/11/2013

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Napalm Death...  yeah, cause I'll be pissed if someone else is yelling at me?


A lot of this is semantics.   Heart IS Ann & Nancy, In Flames has been largely defined by Anders and Bjorn who have been members since 1995 and The Misfits died in 1983.

Even if we were to pretend the new misfits (which own no rights to original misfits recorded material) were The Misfits,  Jerry was a member on the earliest recordings, replacing the original female bass player after less than six weeks.  She left having played no gigs and only a handful of rehearsals.  The claim that he isn't an original member is nearly as silly as claiming The Misfits still exist at all.


In some cases, can't this come down to semantics, or shades gray, as to which members – or even what occurrences – best define a band's identity? Or when the given "band" as it branded or understood, actually became an enduring entity? In the Heart example, although they were a band, with a different name (?), before the Wilson sisters joined, isn't "Heart" pretty much universally defined by Ann & Nancy's presence? Would anyone going to see Heart today know, or even care, that there was some fledgling version of Heart before the sisters? Food for thought. And no, I'm not a Heart fan.

Kyle King
Kyle King

When the last original member is gone, it is no longer a "band"...but a "brand".

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