Music Lists

6 Post-Grunge Bands That Sucked After They Switched Singers

Here are a few bands from the 2000s that fell into obscurity once they switched up vocalists.

Three Days Grace

Photo by Jason Sheldon/Shutterstock

It's hard when our favorite bands switch up on us.

Still, there are dozens of great rock bands who (somehow) carried on after transitioning lead singers. Dance Gavin Dance has cycled through three different clean vocalists and multiple band members but have somehow continued to curate great post-hardcore tunes, and everyone knows Genesis actually got better once Phil Collins took the helm.

Regardless, it's a hard transition to accomplish, and many bands have not been up to the task, especially within the confines of post-grunge's short-lived early-aughts heyday. A successful post-grunge act depends so much on the capabilities of its lead vocalist. Breaking Benjamin's tumultuous legal drama, complete line-up change, and scattered return to music wouldn't have been possible had Ben Burnley left alongside Aaron Fink and Mark Klepaski. Here are a few bands from that era that unfortunately weren't so lucky and fell into obscurity once they switched up vocalists.

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Music Lists

6 Underrated Metal Bands Led By Women

The future is female, even in rock music.

Photo by Hector Bermudez / Unsplash

The future is female, even in rock music.

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The Best Performances of Eddie Vedder

One of the original purveyors of grunge continues to rock on. Happy 55th birthday!

Eddie Vedder of the Pearl Jam

Photo by Matteo Chinellato (Shutterstock)

Pearl Jam's beloved baritone turns 55 today.

The multi-instrumentalist has enriched American rock music since Pearl Jam's debut in 1990. Eddie Vedder (lead vocals, guitar), Mike McCready (lead guitar), Stone Gossard (rhythm guitar), Jeff Ament (bass), and original drummer Dave Krusen helped bring forth the era of grunge and speaking out against the soulless corporatization of the music industry (we still love that the band sued Ticketmaster for creating a monopoly over concert ticket sales). When it came to finding their name, Vedder once claimed that "Pearl Jam" was an homage to his great-grandmother Pearl. "Great-grandpa was an Indian and totally into hallucinogenics and peyote," he said. "Great-grandma Pearl used to make this hallucinogenic preserve that there's total stories about. We don't have the recipe, though." In true rock and roll fashion, he later clarified the story was "total bullsh*t" (though to be fair, he did indeed have a great-grandmother named Pearl).

As a band (and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees), Pearl Jam has more classics than we have time to list, but Eddie Vedder shines brightest on these gems:


Back in the days of MTV spotlighting musicians rather than lonely strangers playing online games of catfishing and ghosting, there was MTV Unplugged. Your favorite musicians gave raw, stripped down performances of their biggest hits, revealing new layers of their talent as well as new emotional vulnerabilities of their work.


The lead song on Binaural is beloved by true Pearl Jam fans, despite it never being released as a single. The pulse-quickening pace is matched with Vedder's vibrating energy and his signature rasp.

Baba O'Riley (The Who cover)

Pearl Jam's 2003 cover of The Who's classic proved that they match the talents of rock's greatest bands. Even dressed in full dad-fresh-off-the-golf-course gear, Vedder gets all of Madison Square Garden on their feet with rock and roll energy.

Baba O'Riley (The Who Cover) - Live at Madison Square Garden - Pearl


As one of Pearl Jam's most well known songs, "Jeremy" can seem overplayed to some. But their 1992 performance at the Pinkpop Festival in Landgraaf, Netherlands saw Vedder at his sharpest, crooning in perfect sync with McCready and "unleashing the lion" in true Grunge spirit.


No words. Experience this. You're welcome.


THEORY's Tyler Connolly Discusses the #MeToo Movement and Going Pop on New Album

Frontman Tyler Connolly spoke with Popdust in an exclusive interview.

Jimmy Fontaine

Theory of a Deadman's first album feels like it was released a lifetime ago.

In 2002, the band's debut was soaked in the heavy guitars and post-grunge workings of the early aughts. Tyler Connolly's gravelly growl was notable, his jet black hair, tattoos, and all-black attire signifying the arrival of a new bad boy in rock and roll. The band's hit project, Gasoline, expanded on the post-grunge fixings of its predecessor but dipped into a previously untapped commercial sensibility. "No Surprise" was filled with the angst of a relationship turned sour, but the band's unique fusion of country and rock, combined with an ear worm of a chorus, made for commercial success. Meanwhile, tracks like "Santa Monica" and "Since You've Been Gone" showed the versatility of Connolly's range: at one moment coarse and abrasive, the next open and cathartic.

Over the next 20 years, the band would slowly shed their post-grunge skin and lean more into these radio-friendly sensibilities. Now, after six albums, Theory of a Deadman isn't even the same band anymore. They've even shortened their name. "The darkness is definitely still there," said frontman Tyler Connolly, "but what inspired the change? I think I had written every riff there was on the guitar!" After 30 years playing guitar, Connolly has transitioned over to the piano. "It awakened this creativity," he said. "It also allowed the kind of room for us to be a band where we all have our effects." The frontman sat down with Popdust to talk about the band's new album, Say Nothing, their drastic change in sound, and the effects of the #MeToo movement.

THEORY - History Of Violence [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

What transpired between Wake Up Call and Say Nothing? It seems like you guys got back into the studio pretty quickly.

"I think it was just a lack of time off. We weren't allowed to decompress from Wake Up Call, so a lack of sleep, and [going back into the studio] is where a lot of the inspiration came from. The creative process was very similar outside of having time off."

Sonically, the two sound similar. Who produced them?

"Martin Terefe produced Wake Up Call as well as Say Nothing, and I think he was much more timid on the earlier record, not really knowing us. [On Say Nothing] the only difference was that he really went gangbusters! He really spent a lot of time with the songs he was sent. We were so blown away by how much input he had. It was really amazing."

What inspired your lead single "History of Violence." What's the story behind its creation? Why did you choose this song as the lead single?

"The #MeToo Movement inspired it. I think the #MeToo movement is so large and powerful, and it's fantastic that women are gaining strength and [fighting for] equality. Being an all-male band, I think for us to support that is what we're looking to do with "History of Violence." There was no story behind it other than the fact that we wanted to create something to help women. The label chose the song as the lead single, and we're very happy they did; we love the song and it's great that it's out there."

Jimmy Fontaine

What should listeners take away from it?

"Empathy for the character, but, also, I think it's going to help people, help women, come forward. Like "Rx," we hope it gives people strength to talk to somebody and say, "Hey, you know what? This has happened to me." Sometimes people need a lighthouse, something to direct them, and, for us, hopefully this is something we can do to start that."

Tell me about "Strangers," your latest single. It seems to be a similar sort of rallying cry.

"That's exactly what it is—it's a cry for help, a cry for unity, a cry for everyone to get together. It's not about necessarily who you vote for or which side you're on, but it's really just about trying to get to the middle and agree that we're all human beings and we can all have our own opinion. It's just gross how biased the news is. So [the song] is me trying to process how I can say something without sounding like I'm complaining or picking sides. You have to be very careful not to pick sides [and] try to get everyone to come to the middle."

THEORY - Strangers [Official Visualizer]

Tell me about your tour. How's life on the road?

"It's awesome! I recommend it. We get to go all around the world. I think people assume that every night we're playing Paris, New York, or LA, when in reality, we're actually going to every corner, every state, every province. We go to a lot of places that maybe don't have internet reception, because that's where everybody is. I think now, more than ever, we've really hit our mark. We've been doing this for almost 20 years, and I think we feel the most at home now finally up on stage in front of all our fans. It's really a blessing."

How's your chemistry as a band after all these years? You guys are veterans now, it seems like.

"Well, it's interesting because when you start a band, you get on a tour bus and there are 4 guys that you've never lived with before and now all of a sudden, you're with these people 24 hours a day. So, in the beginning, it was definitely tough. You have 4 different personalities that maybe don't mesh. I think after all these years, we're brothers now. We love each other. It couldn't be more fun. We have a blast. And yea, guess that's what we are now, we're veterans."

You called Say Nothing your most "honest" album.

"I think I'm just talking about things I really want to talk about. I used to shy away from certain topics in the past, being afraid to upset fans. On [Say Nothing], I just dove right into topics like politics and stopped thinking about what upsets people. It's just a perspective that I think people need to hear. I think sometimes that's what music is for, outside of being an art form or a creative process, it's also sometimes a voice for a generation. I grew up listening to guys like Bono and Rage Against the Machine and you wonder if you could do something like that. Maybe as you get older, you get braver."

Say Nothing is set for release on January 31st, 2020

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Brittany Howard's "Jaime" Is Utterly Brilliant

The Alabama Shakes frontwoman's debut solo album is a warm revelation, both powerful and unmistakably hers.

Brantley Gutierrez

It's a miracle to watch the way Brittany Howard fills a space.

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Creed Frontman Scott Stapp's New Album Is Cheesy and Devoid of Meaning

Disguised as our friend, Stapp offers a nostalgic trip to the Creed days of yore, but upon closer inspection, the release is hollow and impossible to take seriously.


Remember when being melodramatic was cool?

Gerard Way had long black hair and wore amber red ties and caked-on foundation and mascara. The Used were writing lyrics like, "I broke a needle off in my skin / Pick the scabs and pick the bleeding." Teenagers would passionately make out to Hoobastank's "The Reason." It was the aughts. Everything was sensationalized, all of it was cathartic, and none of it made any logical sense in retrospect.

All the while, Creed's "Arm's Wide Open" was being sung all across the country, with only a fraction of listeners picking up on the heavy-handed religious undertones that now seem painfully obvious. It's no doubt that the song was a bop; the post-grunge wave was filled with bops. But the post-grunge fanbase grew up quickly, and the movement dissipated as quickly as it came. When the veil of puberty was lifted, listening back on those songs brought with it a potent mix of nostalgia and shame. It's hard to believe now, in 2019, that a large portion of the population considered Three Days Grace to be saccharine music rather than the soundtrack for a serial killer. Yet whenever one of these bands is replayed during a drunken galivant with "the boys," we sing along almost satirically, because it's more fun to reflect on the past in jest rather than acknowledge that every artist listed above is actually still making music. Scott Stapp, the former lead singer of Creed, is one of them.

Stapp's latest solo release, The Space Between The Shadows, is a lie. Disguised as our friend, Stapp offers a nostalgic trip to the Creed days of yore, but upon closer inspection, the release is hollow and impossible to take seriously. "It's hard to forgive, even harder to forget," Stapp sings on "Name," "I am a son without a father." In the video for "Purpose for Pain," Stapp's interpretative condemnation of child abuse makes it seem like he's got corpses buried in his backyard. "Fell into the light, thrown from the abyss, screamed so many nights, not going out like this," Stapp sings. "I fought the devil and he won." Meanwhile, "Face of the Sun," Stapp's pump-up track, is just plain cheesy. "Fight until the end, in the name of love," he calls out with great solemnity. The closing track, "The Last Hallelujah," is so engulfed in its own dramatics it almost becomes satirical.

For years Stapp has been assaulted by his demons, and he has somehow emerged from each near-death experience still charismatic and optimistic for the future. His journey to sobriety and beyond is no doubt admirable, but it's hard to take the testament of Scott Stapp. Any vague guise of sentimentality is overshadowed by the album's clear lack of vulnerability. The cover art, most likely meant to convey a Stapp enlightened by his experiences, just paints the singer as a self-obsessed white guy.

But maybe this is part of his journey. Maybe Stapp is just going through the motions he needs in order to find a resolution. "Gone Too Soon" may be hard to take seriously on its own, but when placed in the right context, it's clearly a well-intentioned ode to his fallen rock compatriots. The Space Between The Shadows is cheesy and lame and sounds like our dads made a rock band, but it's comforting to know that at least Stapp isn't a dick, and at least Creed fans of the past and present don't have to worry about their beloved rock singer ending up like Wes Scantlin.