DJ Smith left Red Dragon Cartel due to lack of work

Original Red Dragon Cartel singer Darren James Smith says he left the band due to a lack of guaranteed paid work.

Smith, who split with Jake E Lee’s group in March, says he couldn’t count on making a living with RDC as there were no firm plans for future tours.

He tells Sleaze Roxx: “I just think it wasn’t working enough for me and when the tour was cancelled, I just couldn’t count on making a living. I’ve always made a living so for me going away, maybe possibly touring, I couldn’t rely on it any longer.

“It’s Jake’s band – he’s the boss. He calls the shots and it was just odd for me to be in that situation. There are no bad feelings – it’s just my work ethic is a little bit more intense I guess, and I prefer to work and to know that I’m working.”

RDC’s debut show in 2013 was panned as Smith was out of tune and thought to be drunk. Before he left the band in March, Smith told The Shoe With Miles Schuman that the infamous gig ended up being the best thing that could have happened to them.

Smith was replaced by Michael Beck – who only lasted a few weeks in the job himself after also suffering a debut show nightmare in which he sang the lyrics to one song while the band played another.

RDC this week confirmed Jason Bonham man Chas West as their third frontman.

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.