Red Dragon Cartel
Vocalist Darren James Smith left Red Dragon Cartel in '15, just a little over a year after the band's self-titled debut. "(It's) kinda complicated, but I think it was the right thing to do," Smith said at the time.
Over the next few months, the group went through no less than four singers (Michael Beck, Chas West, Paul D'Eath and Shawn Crosby) before Smith returned.
Red Dragon Cartel was founded in '13 by Jake E. Lee, guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne (from '82 - '87, until he was unceremoniously fired by Ozzy's wife/manager Sharon) and Badlands, best known for their '89 self-titled debut album (which peaked at #57 on the Billboard Albums chart).
Red Dragon Cartel's '14 debut went to #69 on Billboard.
While most of the attention was focused on the lead singer revolving door, the bass slot was no more settled. Original Ronnie Mancuso exited early on. Greg Chaisson, formerly with Badlands, stepped in. But around the time of Smith's departure, Chaisson was out and Anthony Esposito was in.
And the changes kept coming. Red Dragon Cartel recruited Phil Varone (Saigon Kick, Skid Row) as its drummer. He replaced Jonas Fairley, who played on the band's debut album.
2014 Red Dragon Cartel