Five Bands That Survived the Loss of Key Members

These bands continue to play on even after quick and sometimes dramatic splits

Most bands deal with the departure of key and founding members, whether it’s because of a falling out or simply the need to regroup. Following a split, some bands get worse, some get better, and some cease to exist. With the recent tour of Blink-182 minus a main member, we got to thinking about bands that have persevered even after a breakup. Here is a list of bands that continue to play in the absence of a few key members.

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

There was a bit of drama surrounding the departure of longtime vocalist, Jade Castrinos, from Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros. The split happened fast, right before the band was supposed to begin a tour in 2014, and fans weren’t exactly aware of it until they noticed that the band was performing without Castrinos. Things got even more spicier when Castrinos posted this on Instagram following the split: “for seven years I sang and wrote music with edward sharpe. They voted me off tour a week before they left, via email. lol.” The band then responded by explaining that they didn’t feel right touring with Castrinos without giving a reason. However, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros are still kicking, with a new album that was released this year. “Home,” however, is just not the same without Jade.


A photo posted by blink-182 (@blink182) on

After parting ways in 2005, we saw the birth of various side projects between the three members, including Angels & Airwaves, +44, the Transplants, and TRV$DJAM. In 2009, the band reunited, toured, and even released new music, only to split again in 2015. Between these partings and reunions, lots of drama occurred in the media between the band members, including claims from Hoppus and Barker that DeLonge ditched the band last minute after a record deal was already finalized. Blink-182 is currently headlining a tour and making new music with Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba in replacement of DeLonge.


A photo posted by GROUPLOVE (@grouplove) on

Probably best known for their second single “Tongue Tied,” Grouplove has been around since 2009 and has recently released a new single entitled “Big Mess.” In late 2013, founding member Sean Gadd announced a temporary leave from the band to work on solo music, while rumours circulated about whether there was a falling out between Gadd and the band. In 2014, after a series of tweets was released about Gadd’s unclear status in the band, Gadd finally announced his official departure from Grouplove “forever.” Regardless, Grouplove’s presence in the indie scene is alive and continues to grow, with the release of a new album set to happen this September.

Death Cab For Cutie

In 2014, founding guitarist and producer Chris Walla announced his departure from DCFC following a final live performance at Rifflandia in BC. Walla had been a member of the band for 17 years, and although he had announced his resignation from the band, DCFC stated that Walla had a large part in producing their eighth album, Kintsugi. Although it was sad to see Walla go, the band is still together and seems to have a good relationship with the former member.

Modest Mouse

Another departure without the drama, founding member and bassist Eric Judy left the band in 2012. Known for his charisma on stage, Judy met Isaac Brock while working at a local video store outside of Seattle. The two later met Jeremiah Green, and Modest Mouse was born. The band is still touring and recording music, and although Judy isn’t an official member of the band, he still appears on some recordings.