• Axl Rosenberg

I’m not really a Hopsefall fan – in fact, I find them pretty irritating – but, still, I was intrigued by Lambgoat’s report that the entire band has quit on singer Jay Forrest, leaving him to soldier on with an entirely new band under the same name (commented unfortunately named bassist Mike Tyson: “We just couldn’t get Jay to stop talking about the ‘giant’ he swore he kept seeing in the sky.”).

And why, pray tell, did I find this news so interesting? Well, because it raises the question metal fans must ask themselves with increasing frequency these days: how many members of a band’s original line-up have to actually, y’know, be in the band for it to continue using the name?

Everyone seems more or less alright with Dave Mustaine continuing on as Megadeth since he was always the primary songwriter and creative force anyways, and no one seems to scoff that Napalm Death has had enough members to fill a football stadium (and currently features, if I’m not mistaken, not a single original member – not one!); on the other hand, everyone’s panties are in a twist because Axl Rose, the most famous member of GN’R, has the cojones to go on with the GN’R name even though Slash isn’t in the band any more – which is odd, because Slash’s co-guitarist Izzy Stradlin actually did most of the songwriting everyone always assumes Slash did, yet I’ve never heard anyone scream “WHERE’S IZZY?!” at a nu-GN’R show.

Meanwhile, Trent Reznor bitches and moans to the press every time a member of his back-up band ups and leaves him (current victims of his shit slinging include former guitarists Richard Patrick, who went on to form Filter and is currently fronting Army of Anyone, and Robin Finck, who, of course, is Axl’s new Slash) – and that’s really fucking weird, because none of them have ever written or co-written any Nine Inch Nails material, and most of them have never played on a Nine Inch Nails album. And then, of course, there’s The Smashing Pumpkins

Sigh. It’s not a debate that’s easily solvable, and, for better or worse, even before Axl Rose and Dave Mustaine, there was a precedent for bands touring with only a single original member (like most everything else in metal, Black Sabbath did it first). And so, for now, Forrest will just have to be content with a Hopesfall that may very well be Hopesfall in name only – but since Forrest’s press release doesn’t even list the last names of any of the new band members, something tells us that the guy won’t be losing any sleep over the issue.


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