Band lineup changes are hardly a rarity in the music scene. Between creative differences, life events and personal fallouts, it’s pretty common for at least one member to go in a different direction over the course of an outfit’s tenure. And that, of course, leaves a significant void to be filled.
How a band decide to fill the vacancy varies considerably. Some may hold open auditions, while others call on the help of friends or fans. No lie, though, we’re always the most excited when we see a familiar name getting pulled in.
Here are 10 established artists who stepped into already famous bands.
Dave Melillo (Cute Is What We Aim For/Nocturnal Me/Anarbor)
The name Dave Melillo likely means something different to you depending on when you got involved in the scene. Believe it or not, the vastly talented multi-instrumentalist stepped into not one but two preexisting outfits. Melillo started his career as a solo artist under Drive-Thru Records but later joined Cute Is What We Aim For for their Rotation era. After the band split in 2009, he formed Nocturnal Me alongside fellow Cute alum Jeff Czum and Mike Lasaponara. The band released one EP, Two Faced, in 2011 before Melillo went on to join Anarbor for a brief stint as a guitarist.
Aaron Gillespie (Underoath/The Almost/The Dangerous Summer)
You’d think that Aaron Gillespie would have his hands full between serving multiple roles in both Underoath and the Almost. Believe it or not, though, the drummer also lent his talents to the Dangerous Summer last year in light of Ben Cato’s departure. In addition to helping with their 2020 EP, All That Is Left Of The Blue Sky, he’s hoping to tour with the band in the future as well.
Chris Hornbrook (Poison The Well/Senses Fail)
When Senses Fail parted ways with their foundational drummer Dan Trapp in 2014, Chris Hornbrook jumped in to fill his spot. Prior to that, though, he had spent well over a decade with metalcore band Poison The Well. The band had gone on hiatus in 2010 but have since reunited sporadically for some live shows. Hornbrook ended up departing Senses Fail in 2018, allowing for the entry of Steve Carey (The Color Morale).
Rob Felicetti (Patent Pending/The Ataris/Bowling For Soup)
Talk about a spread. Rob Felicetti broke out onto the scene in 2010 when he took up guitar positions for both Patent Pending and the Ataris. Though he served in the latter for only two years, he’s played consistently with Patent ever since. Not exclusively, however. In 2019, Felicetti joined Bowling For Soup as their bassist following the departure of founding member Erik Chandler.
Michael Guy Chislett (Butch Walker/The Academy Is…)
If you were a fan of the Academy Is… in the mid-2000s, then you probably remember the buzz around guitarist Michael Guy Chislett joining the lineup post-Almost Here. The Australian-hailing musician had previously played with Butch Walker, bringing the iconic pop-punk outfit a new, unique claim to fame.
Kristen May (Vedera/Flyleaf)
There’s no denying it: Kristen May was brave for stepping up to replace Lacey Sturm in Flyleaf. The vocalist had formerly fronted the indie band Vedera for seven years. The outfit disbanded in 2011, and she started to pursue her solo career when the opportunity to join the legendary alt-rock band presented itself in 2012. Unfortunately, she only performed for a few years before she left in 2016, at which point the band went on an indefinite hiatus.
Matt Walst (My Darkest Days/Three Days Grace)
To say the scene was rattled when Adam Gontier left Three Days Grace would be an understatement. However, we can’t be mad at the way things played out after the fact. The band enlisted the help of bassist Brad Walst‘s brother, Matt Walst, on vocals and rhythm guitar. Prior to joining the band in 2013, Matt had fronted the alt-rock outfit My Darkest Days for nearly a decade.
Matt Skiba (Alkaline Trio/blink-182)
Is there any band transplant more iconic than Matt Skiba in blink-182? The founding frontman of Alkaline Trio joined the pop-punk outfit in 2015 as a vocalist and guitarist following the departure of Tom DeLonge. While the replacement received a wide range of responses from fans, there’s no denying that his continued contributions to both bands are impressive as hell.
Todd Morse (H2O/The Offspring)
The Offspring have had a significant number of lineup changes over their nearly 40-year tenure. So much so that their roster history is starting to look a bit like Black Flag‘s. Todd Morse just became a fixture of the band, taking over the role of bassist formerly held by founding member Greg K. Morse had previously played as the rhythm guitarist in H2O for nearly 20 years before his departure in 2015. Prior to joining the Offspring permanently in 2019, though, he’d stepped in for several of their tours dating back to 2009.
Ian Crawford (The Cab/Panic! At The Disco/Never Shout Never)
Few artists can boast a multi-outfit-spanning discography as impressive as Ian Crawford‘s. The multi-instrumentalist started making a name for himself in 2007 when he replaced Paul Garcia as the Cab‘s lead guitarist. He then went on to join Panic! At The Disco as a touring musician in 2009 and left in 2012. Next, he joined Never Shout Never as a guitarist in 2014. He parted ways with the group following the release of Black Cat and has since dropped a solo album, Grand Wheel.
Which of your favorite artists have stepped into an already prolific band? Let us know in the comments!