Image by Andrew St. Clair
When tragedy (or mere temper tantrums) leaves bands in the dust, it’s often hard for the members to pick up the pieces and start again. The wounds might be fresh, but the art charges on. Here are five groups that formed out of the ashes of others.
No Devotion (above)
When Welsh cyber-rock outfit Lostprophets fell apart due to singer Ian Watkins’ pleading guilty to child sex offenses, they vowed never to play their own music again. But guitarists Lee Gaze and Mike Lewis, drummer Luke Johnson, keyboardist Jamie Oliver and bassist Stuart Richardson wanted to continue as a unit. Enter former Thursday and current United Nations front man Geoff Rickly. As owner of No Devotion’s label, Collect Records, Rickly planned on documenting the band’s progress on video, but he became the voice of the septet on the ’80s-influenced “Stay.” A full-length album is expected in the future.
A veritable who’s who of rock history, the definitive version of Velvet Revolver featured vocalist Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots), hired gun extraordinaire Dave Kushner and three Guns N’ Roses alumni (guitar god Slash, bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Matt Sorum). The Gunners had approached Weiland back in 2002 when STP was still alive and kicking, but it wasn’t until that foursome’s demise the following year that the gravelly voiced artist joined Velvet Revolver. (His stint lasted two albums, until 2008.)
After their iconic leader, Ian Curtis, committed suicide in 1980, the remaining members of Joy Division made a pact to carry on sans the old name. New Order was the resulting phoenix, enjoying even more mainstream success than its darker predecessor. The throbbing “Blue Monday” and bright “Age of Consent” became two of the decade’s most beloved songs. New Order is still around today, touring and preparing a follow-up to 2013’s Lost Sirens (Rhino).
Billy Corgan put to bed his alt rock outlet, Smashing Pumpkins, in 2000 and jumped almost immediately into the giddier project Zwan. Pulling a triple threat, Corgan, Matt Sweeney (Chavez, Skunk) and David Pajo (Slint, Tortoise) all manned the guitars for this otherwise mellower offering, while Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin and A Perfect Circle bassist Paz Lenchantin held down the rhythm section. The supergroup only lasted long enough to release one album, 2003’s Mary Star of the Sea (Reprise). Corgan and Chamberlin eventually resurrected the Pumpkins in 2007.
Really, this offshoot of Brit-pop behemoths Oasis was a long time coming. Throughout Oasis’ tenure, brothers Liam (vocals) and Noel (guitars/songwriting) Gallagher were at each other’s throats. In 2009, their relationship went kaput and like a custody battle, Liam took their band mates with him. Beady Eye wasn’t a huge departure from the Beatles-driven vibe of their former group, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Their social media handles haven’t been active since canceling their Coachella 2014 performance, leading to speculation that the Gallaghers have made amends.