Jake E. Lee’s Red Dragon Cartel Welcome Back Original Vocalist Darren James Smith
Red Dragon Cartel, the band featuring onetime Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Jake E. Lee, have seen plenty of upheaval during the promotion of their self-titled debut disc, but in the end, it's all coming full circle for the band. Vocalist Darren James Smith, who exited the band back in March, is now back with the group after a revolving door of vocalists took his place over the last few months.
Smith was initially followed by Michael Beck, but by late April the band had again made a change with Chas West taking over. Paul D'Eath also had a short tenure, and the most recent Red Dragon Cartel vocalist was Shawn Crosby, who made his debut with the band on July 9 in Philadelphia.
Red Dragon Cartel made the announcement of Smith's return via their Facebook page in the following message:
We would officially like to welcome Darren James Smith back to Red Dragon Cartel! He will be reuniting with the band for shows on September 6th and 10th in California followed by a tour of Japan that begins on September 15th! The band will be taking the rest of 2015 off from touring to hit the studio and start recording. The highly anticipated second album from Jake and RDC will be ready for release in the first few months of 2016!!!
Smith stated at the time of his exit that it was "kinda complicated but I think it was the right thing to do," and added that he would comment more at a later date. The vocalist position is not the only spot in the band that's been in a state of flux. Original bassist Ronnie Mancuso exited early on, with Lee's onetime Badlands bandmate Greg Chaisson taking over on bass. But in March, Chaisson gave way to Anthony Esposito, who has remained on bass ever since.
As the band goes into the recording of their next album, the lineup is Smith on vocals, Jake E. Lee on guitar, Esposito on bass and original drummer Jonas Fairley behind the kit.