Not all band lineups are meant to be.
It’s always hard to get two musicians to agree on a direction, let alone five or more. Even though some of these bands started out with an “all-for-one” mentality, things got complicated as time went on.
While some of these bands have soldiered on without their key members, each of these bands have changed in numerous ways.
Whether it was over money, creative control, or just musicians being divas, these departures were extremely messy.
Some of these waters may have smoothed over recently, but it took a long road to get there for many.
Metallica and Dave Mustaine
In the early ‘80s, Metallica was just a bunch of punks who got the chance of a lifetime signing a record deal in New York.
With the stage set to make Kill Em All, the band had one problem: Dave Mustaine. After making the trip across the country, the rest of the band handed Dave a ticket back home, thinking he was getting too out of control when he drank. While Kirk Hammett was drafted in later, that didn’t stop the band from using Dave’s licks, including his best material on songs like ‘Jump in the Fire’ and ‘The Four Horsemen.’
Dave wasn’t one to roll over, forming Megadeth with the intention of getting back at his old bandmates. The tension between Mustaine and Metallica has definitely cooled in recent years, but Dave still doesn’t seem totally happy in the number 2 spot in thrash metal history.
There is no heavy metal without Black Sabbath.
Ozzy Osbourne eventually had enough, becoming creatively uninspired and getting strung out on drugs during the making of Never Say Die. While Ozzy threatened to quit more than a few times, his stage presence deteriorated as well, with Tony Iommi at the front of the stage and the Prince of Darkness at the side.
Once Black Sabbath kicked Ozzy out, he trashed his former bandmates, saying they shouldn’t use the name Black Sabbath if they’re going to use a different singer like Ronnie James Dio.
Black Sabbath will always be Tony Iommi’s monster, be it Ozzy, Dio or Tony on the mic.
Eddie Van Halen was always the creative powerhouse in Van Halen.
Eddie Van Halen’s musical genius steered the band toward superstardom, but David Lee Roth wasn’t too happy about including keyboards on 1984.
Dave suggested the band get back to the edgy rock and roll they made back in the day, only for Eddie to insist that keyboards be given a proper spot on the album. While 1984 contained some of the biggest songs Van Halen ever wrote, it came with a heavy price, with Dave leaving the band.
Eddie released statements about how tough it was to work with Eddie over the years. Van Halen made up for lost time with Sammy Hagar, but Dave titling his next record Eat Em and Smile drove a wedge between him and the band that would continue for decades.
Guns N Roses
In the golden age of hair metal, Guns N Roses wore the crown.
When the ‘90s hit, Axl Rose bled out much of the band’s goodwill. After forcing keyboards on Use Your Illusion I & II, Axl made a mess of the band’s following tour, burning through cash on backstage parties and ditching shows altogether.
Izzy Stradlin left midway through the tour and the rest of the band trickled out behind him. Since Axl owned the right to the band name, he kept Guns going with a laundry list of fill-in musicians and made fans wait years for Chinese Democracy to eventually arrive.
It was a long road to reunion, but seeing Slash and Duff back in the band feels right
Motley Crue might be the most dysfunctional band in hard rock.
After years of grinding, things started to hit a wall, and Vince Neil was not ready to go back into the studio after Dr. Feelgood. Once the band got some downtime after touring wrapped up, they regrouped at the studio to work on new material. There was one problem though: Vince didn’t show up.
After no-showing countless times, the band fought once Vince showed up leading to his separation from Motley Crue. That’s dependent on who you ask though. While Nikki Sixx maintains Vince left the band, Vince believes he was fired without warning.
That animosity never changed, with Vince still not wanting to be there when they reunited for Generation Swine almost a decade later.
While the Crue might yuck it up on tour these days, Vince still maintains that the band is far from friends off the stage.
Via The Dirt
Most of the tension in Poison stemmed from Bret Michaels and CC Deville.
While both of them loved to party onstage, CC didn’t take care of himself, resulting in one of the most awkward VMAs performances of all time. That was just the beginning.
After the show was over and the lipstick came off, Bret and CC got into a heated argument which turned into a fistfight involving the entire band. The writing was on the wall that CC had to go, although he eventually rejoined at the end of the 90s.
Poison might tell you that they aren’t the most talented musicians in the world, but what makes everything work is the chemistry between all 4 guys.
Rage Against the Machine
Rage Against the Machine will always be a political band.
Towards the end of their career, they were still clicking on the political front, but clashing on everything else. During the tour cycle for The Battle of Los Angeles, Tom Morello talked about how much tension was growing within the band, saying,
“I’ll put myself first and foremost. It was a lack of emotional maturity and being able to deal with each other as people.” That divide only grew once the MTV Awards happened when the rest of the band disapproved of Tim Commerford scaling the scenery in protest when Limp Bizkit won.
Outside of a covers record, the band went their separate ways, with the instrumental end forming Audioslave and Zach de la Rocha pursuing smaller projects. Thankfully, they’re back on the same page.
The 2000s weren’t the best time to be Korn.
Guitarist Brian “Head” Welch departed the band to concentrate on his spiritual journey, and drummer David Silveria announced he would be going on an indefinite hiatus from the group.
There were many questions surrounding his departure, but David became more vocal about what he went through once he left, calling out Fieldy on Facebook for, “acting like a tough guy for so long but he’s actually a cowardly little bitch.”
This came out of nowhere for the rest of the band, Fieldy saying that he doesn’t have any beef with Silveria and Jonathan Davis not ruling out the possibility of playing with him in the future.
Now with Fieldy out of the band, the idea of getting an OG lineup reunion seems out of reach.
Every band member tends to pick up lead singer disease, and Twisted Sister was no exception.
As the band kept working through the ‘80s, bassist Marc Mendoza started to get frustrated with how much Dee Snider wanted to call the shots (and getting a lot more money when writing the songs). Marc had mentioned that Dee was becoming a control freak towards the end of the band and claimed that he wanted to see him dead saying, “I didn’t want to kill him. But if he died in a car wreck or something like that I would say ‘Good riddance to an asshole.’”
Dee owned up to his ego, saying “I was driven beyond driven that I believed my own hype and there was no talking to me.” After the release of Love is for Suckers, Dee said the band was over. It’s a good thing that Mendoza wasn’t available to weigh in at the time though saying “if I was there, he would have been walking with a limp for the rest of his life.”
Grunge might have wiped away Twisted Sister’s brand of rock and roll, but the band’s biggest enemy was their own egos.
On their final tour promoting Down on the Upside, Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell tired of touring, saying the repetitive side of their traveling life was feeding into their creative tension. By the time the band got to their final stop in Honolulu, Ben Shepherd ran into issues with his equipment and took it out on everyone else, including spitting on members of the crowd and bandmates Kim Thayil and Matt Cameron.
Cornell tried to ease the situation, but Ben wasn’t having it, storming off the stage and leaving Chris to close out the show by himself on acoustic.
It was a sad way for grunge’s last big act to go out.