When a significant event happens to a band, or members go onto start a new project, they often find themselves in a lose-lose situation.
Blog: Why the emergence of No Devotion is a cause for celebration
Gavin Lloyd salutes the return of former Lostprophets men in new Geoff Rickly-fronted band
Audioslave suffered from not being the sum of their esteemed parts. Gallows had many fans claiming that Wade MacNeil couldn’t replace the departed Frank Carter and they should go under another name. Although these 'albatross around the neck' situations are perhaps a given when known musicians go onto make new music, an extreme case of this is Lostprophets.
The horrendous crimes of Ian Watkins have been written about plenty of times now, and I always found it dreadful how the other members of the band have been dragged into it. The pain of knowing their bandmate and friend was capable of such unspeakable acts must have been unimaginably awful to endure. On top of this, with journalists reporting on the court case using Lostprophets hashtags on twitter and HMV pulling all the band’s albums from sale, the other members of the band often found themselves guilty by association.
Although it’s understandable given how awful Watkins crimes were, it is terrible how the band’s legacy has suffered. Despite being in fine form these days British rock wasn’t always so prevalent, and Lostprophets were one of the most important bands in getting young British rock bands on the map. The likes of Shinobi Vs Dragon Ninja, Burn Burn, Last Train Home and Rooftops were once festival highlights and guaranteed dance floor fillers at rock clubs. In the wake of Watkins' crimes, they all are now tainted with a black mark against them.
It’s such an extreme case that separating art from artist seems somewhat impossible for many. Furthermore, it is a travesty that even the band members themselves can no longer be proud of all they achieved, having lost everything they worked so hard for through no fault of their own. As sad as it is, those songs have now become something far too painful for many fans to now listen to, and it is only understandable that the band themselves would want to completely distance themselves from it.
I for one, though, am incredibly glad that the remaining members of Lostprophets have decided to start a new project and carry on writing music, along with Thursday front man Geoff Rickly, as No Devotion. It would have been easy for the band to completely shy away from the public eye, however I think what they’re doing is a brave move and should be applauded.
Last night the band unveiled the first material from the new project. It’s a far cry from their former band, full of synths and a huge 80s influence, yet these two songs Stay _and _Eyeshadow showcase the superb song writing prowess of these individuals and point to a brighter tomorrow following such dark days. I personally wish Lee Gaze, Mike Lewis, Stuart Richardson, Jamie Oliver and Luke Johnson the best of luck, and am excited to hear more from No Devotion in the future.
For more on No Devotion, including details of their first UK tour dates, click here.