10 Bands That Actually Got Better After Losing Members

The Art of Moving Forward.

FILE- Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters performs during the 54th annual Grammy Awards in this file photo dated Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012, in Los Angeles. On Tuesday Aug. 28, 2012, music industry online magazine NME says the Foo Fighters have played their
Chris Pizzello/AP

Losing a band member can be an equivalent to losing a family member at the worst of times. After years of slogging it out on the road, life tends to catch up with some rock stars a bit quicker than others. Even if these artists didn't die per se, to see some of the greatest musical minds actually drift apart is more than many fans would be able to stomach.

However, the best of these acts know how to turn these circumstances into a positive. From losing a main songwriter or even the dreaded lead singer departure, these acts were able to thrive without the help of their foundational members. Instead of sinking like a stone, these artists managed to even get bigger and better after they signed the musical divorce papers.

Whether it was just due to being in the right place at the right time or getting rid of some of the excess baggage, the new looks for these acts turned them into bonafied stars rather than just another underground band. It may have left these artists' core audience a bit perturbed, but when has anyone ever gotten successful without pissing somebody off? Despite being in a bad spot from a musical perspective, there's no way these acts have any second thoughts about their rise to the top.

10. Green Day 

Green Day were one of the fresh faces the rock scene sorely needed in the mid '90s. After the best creative mind of the decade was destroyed by Kurt Cobain's hand, many gnarly rock fans found refuge in this little upstart act from the Bay who were making letter perfect pop punk. Despite getting the job done with only 3 core members, many people forget about the salad days of Al Sobrante.

Born John Kiffmeyer, Sobrante joined both Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt in the late '80s when they were first starting to get their musical dreams off the ground. In lieu of the usual massive debut record, these guys took the DIY punk approach and worked off of a handful of EPs and a pretty decent full length effort 39/Smooth with Kiffmeyer behind the kit. Though there was nothing inherently wrong with Kiffmeyer's drumming, his style of being just a little bit behind the beat became all the more noticeable when Armstrong and Dirnt started to grow as players and songwriters.

Finally realizing his role as the third wheel, Sobrante left Green Day for college, leaving drummer extraordinaire Tre Cool to fill the spot on Kerplunk, which gave the band enough exposure to be signed with Reprise Records for their pop punk opus Dookie. While Sobrante may have had the best intentions when it comes to Green Day, not vacating that drum throne would have been one of the greatest cases of wasted potential in punk history.

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