Before They Were Stars, They Were...Awful
Let's talk about genre-jumpers, shall we? A number of successful artists have made the leap from one genre to another at some point in their careers. but it doesn't always pay off.
Take Darius Rucker, for example. The onetime Hootie and the Blowfish front man made the right choice by taking a leap of faith into country music, which pushed his previously stalled career into musical overdrive. Others didn't quite as well, like Snoop Dogg's attempted transition into the rasta version of himself, Snoop Lion. Fans just weren't ready to let go of "Lodi Dodi," even if it meant some sweet Rastafari influences.
However, the musicians below were smart enough to jump genres before breaking into the big leagues. Punk rockers morphed into hip-hop callers, and headbangers musicians into ballad crooners. These folks earned their big names by changing their tunes -- literally. And no, Katy Perry is not on this list, because it's about musicians.
Dave King: Fastway to Flogging Molly Long before Dave King was kicking ass as front man for Celtic punk band Flogging Molly, he was kicking ass in the '80s as the vocalist for hard rockers Fastway. He played alongside some other well-known musicians, too: Motörhead guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke of the metal band, UFO bassist Pete Way, player for UFO, and Jerry Shirley, the drummer of Humble Pie. Way left the band before they recorded their first album, though, but King was there for all of 'em in their epic hair-band glory.
Erik Schrody: House of Pain to Everlast Everlast -- or, Erik Schrody, as his mama would call him -- was not always that tatted-out folk-rocker responsible for earworms like "What It's Like." In fact, he was once way less concerned with telling you what it's like, and waaaaaay more concerned with telling you to jump around. And then jump around again, before you jump up, jump up and get down.
That's right. Schrody was a member of House of Pain, hip-hop group whose hit song "Jump Around" was introduced to suburban households everywhere by way of the 1993 Robin Williams film Mrs. Doubtfire. However, House of Pain way outweighs Everlast, so maybe Schrody should have kept it old-school. We'll jump around if you promise not to tell us what it's like ever again.
Lady Gaga: Stefani Germanotta Band to Little Monster Master Well before Lady Gaga was doing whatever it is that Lady Gaga does, she was a plain-vanilla brunette going by her normal-people name, Stefani Germanotta, and making music in a band she founded -- the Stefani Germanotta Band -- with some friends from NYU.
Weird thing was, she wasn't half bad. Her keyboard skillz in the above video are as dramatic as one would expect from the woman who morphed into Lady Gaga, but she was still watchable. Go figure.
Michael Bolton: Blackjack to Adult Contemporary Back in 1979, well before Michael Bolton was making grannies swoon with the sound of his ballads, he was rocking out with Blackjack. That metal band's existence was short-lived -- they split up in 1980 -- but they still managed to release a couple of albums and go on a short nationwide tour. Pretty awesome, but Bolton sold it all for a life of pop-rock and adult contemporary. Gotta pay the bills somehow.
Beastie Boys: Hardcore Punk to White-Boy Rap Long before the Beastie Boys pioneered the way for future hip-hop groups, they were pioneering the way for future hardcore punk bands. Yeah, it makes sense when you think about it. They were pretty solid names on the New York punk scene too, supporting bands like Bad Brains, the Dead Kennedys, the Misfits and Reagan Youth. Somehow this information -- and the awkward video above -- makes us like these guys even more.
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Sugar Ray: Lame-Ass Metal Band to...Lame-Ass Not-Metal Band We weren't sure you could make Sugar Ray any lamer...enter Sugar Ray, metal band. Yeah, that's a thing that happened, and although we do prefer pre-highlights Mark McGrath to today's version -- or the '90s Mark McGrath, for that matter -- we still aren't sold on the validity of whatever was going on in the video above. Except for the breakdancing, which was indeed quite valid.
L'Homme Run to Vampire Weekend Want to see Vampire Weekend attempt to rap? Well, here you go, kiddos. "Pizza Party," the rap song the Vampire Weekend dudes recorded before they became what they are now, is pretty confusing. And by that we mean we have no idea what the hell was going on, or why. But at least they grew out of that phase, and into some Grammy-winning rockers, right?
Skrillex: Screamo to Dubstep Skrillex was the master of screamo in his last gig with From First to Last, and he is now the king of dubstep. This doesn't really need more of an explanation, because it somehow makes complete sense.
Belinda Carlisle: Punk Never Was to New Wave Sweetheart Before Belinda Carlisle o the Go Go's was bestowing early New Wave girl-rock songs like "Vacation" on us, she was kicking ass as the drummer of the Germs, the L.A. punk band of some renown. To be fair, her stint with the Germs was short-lived -- she left before ever playing a gig because of a bout with mono -- but it's still fucking awesome nonetheless. Plus she went by the name "Dottie Danger," which just kind of speaks for itself in badassery.
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