Fans don’t always heap adoration upon bands in a fair way. Either due to the attention spans of audiences or the charisma of a given performer, people tend to give the lion’s share of the credit for a band’s music to one or two members of a band. One reason for this uneven distribution of praise is usually that, while a few band members take on most of the songwriting duties, one musician is more prone to displays of technical musicianship or attention-grabbing behavior than others, even when those displays wouldn’t work without the rest of the band (we typically lionize Eddie Van Halen, but his best work always includes Michael Anthony holding down the bass line).
But a band is more than just a group of musicians. A band is the almost-magical constellation of a particular collection of individuals working together. And sometimes the appeal of a band stems directly from the least-flashy members. AC/DC swapped lead singers and kept producing great music, but Phill Rudd’s consistent percussion gave the band something for listeners to grab hold of.
Today, we pay tribute to those members who keep major bands alive, even if they’re rarely in the spotlight. These 10 musicians may not be the frontmen of their respective groups; they may not even get writing credits on the biggest songs their bands record. But each of them deserves their fair share of acclaim for their talent and tenacity.
These are 10 of the greatest unsung heroes in major rock and metal bands...