Sone of these are more franchises than bands at this point
Alexandra Pollard

16:10 2nd July 2015

More about:

There are some bands who, when just one member quits, decide to cut their losses and call it a day. "We always said it was all of us in the band, or none of us", they insist in an emotional press release. Then there are those who do the exact opposite.

For various reasons (usually either acrimonious separations or death), and to varying degrees of success, the bands listed here are still bravely plodding on, despite containing zero original members. 

From the confusing state of Sugababes to the dramatic narrative of GWAR, here are the most famous bands whose members weren't there from the beginning. 

  • Motograter: The nu metal band, best known for their homemade instrument of the same name, designed with industrial cable and guitar pieces, formed 20 years ago in 1995. Despite the fact that they have only released one album in that time, and their longest-serving member (by quite some margin) didn't join until seven years in, they're still touring today.

  • In Flames: The band was founded in 1990 by Jesper Stromblad of Ceremonial Oath, as a side project and vessel for his desire to write songs with more of a melody. In 1993, Stromblad wrote, recorded and self-produced the band's debut album. After initially using session band members, he eventually recruited Anders Friden as lead singer and Bjorn Gelotte as drummer. In 2010 though, Stromblad left the band, saying "I'm determined to fight and defeat my demons once and for all..." Those members that he'd recruited for his passion project years before stayed behind.

  • Sugababes: A bit of a messy one this. Sugababes began in 1998 with Siobhan Donaghy, Mutya Buena and Keisha Buchanan. One by one, each member left and was replaced - becoming more of a franchise than a band. When the three original members decided to reform in 2011, they didn't have the right to use the name Sugababes - so they called the band Mutya Keisha Siobhan instead. (Everyone knows they're the real Sugababes though)

  • Quiet Riot: After forming in 1973, Quiet Riot (so called because the members misheard, thanks to his English accent, Rick Parfitt's suggestion of Quite Right) made history ten years later, when their album Metal Health became the first heavy metal album to top the Billboard album chart. Their member history is extensive - Kelly Garni quit first, saying of Kevin DuBrow: "I hated him, he hated me", and two other members then defected to join Ozzy Osbourne's band. After splitting and reforming, the band lost their final original member, Kevin Dubrow, in 2007, when he died of a cocaine overdose.

  • Blackfoot: After achieving success in the '70s and '80s, the rock band broke up in 1985. In 2004, the band's drummer Jakson Spires revived the band with Axe's Bobby Barth as the lead singer. When Spires died suddenly of an aneurysm in 2005, the band persevered before fizzling out. In 2012, original lead singer Rickey Medlocke hand-picked an entirely new line-up, with him acting as producer. This resulted in what is possibly the worst press-shot the world has ever seen.

  • The Blackwood Brothers: It's not exactly surprising that the southern gospel group no longer have any original members, given that they began in 1934. After several line-up changes in the early '40s, the band became famous when they won the Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts competition on national television. Shortly afterwards, three of the members were killed in a plane crash. The band are still going today, with Blackwood ancestor Billy Blackwood providing baritone.

  • GWAR: You'd be forgiven for not being au fait with the various members of Gwar. Not only have there been over 30 through the years, but they also wear masks and adopt characters. In 2014 though, the band's lead singer and only original member Dave Brockie, whose character was known as Oderus Urungus, died of a heroin overdose. They're still going though, saying, "You can%u2019t write off Gwar. Gwar is gonna last a thousand years with or without its past or current members."

More about:

Photo: Press, Facebook