Few bands can boast a flawless resumé. From moral mishaps to accusations of ‘selling out’, punk, rock and metal are peppered with tales of bands who took their excesses too far, and nearly crushed their own careers in the process. When the fuck-ups are musical though, you enter expensive, complicated territory.
Fandom is two-way street, and the influence a band’s throng can and should exert on their art is an oft-hotly-debated topic. Taking creative leaps of faith is important, but to leave your fanbase’s expectations behind in search of success and sonic reinvention can prove deadly. Countless bands have tried and failed to switch things up; some of them never recovered from the critical hit such experiments took on their careers.
Rock’s tribalism can be its biggest strength, or its greatest flaw. Its fans are often open to innovation, but always wary of mainstream invasion - sometimes, that tightrope becomes a razor-wire. Below, we delve into a bunch of rock’s biggest musical missteps, some of which were almost career-killers.