Red Dragon Cartel Part Ways With Singer Darren James Smith, Welcome Michael Beck
Red Dragon Cartel are moving forward without the services of vocalist Darren James Smith, who appeared on the band's self-titled debut disc. The group, which features Ozzy Osbourne guitar great Jake E. Lee, made the announcement in a brief statement posted online.
"Red Dragon Cartel and singer Darren James Smith have officially parted ways. All scheduled shows will still take place as planned with Michael Beck on vocals. We would like to welcome Michael to RDC and we look forward to getting back onstage," read the statement.
Smith stated, "It is true I left RDC. Kinda complicated but I think it was the right thing to do. One day I'll comment more, for now that's all folks!!!" Smith reportedly has returned to his other band Harem Scarem and will be playing a hometown show at the Oshawa Music Hall on April 2.
As for Beck, he joins the group after working behind the scenes in recent years as the owner, engineer and serving as a producer at SoundVision Recording Studio in Mesa, Ariz. He's worked with such acts as Soilwork, Marilyn Manson, The Black Dahlia Murder and more over the years.
Red Dragon Cartel got off to a shaky start in their first show at Los Angeles' Whisky-a-Go-Go, but eventually found their footing on the road. The group's debut disc featured several special guests including Cheap Trick's Robin Zander, In This Moment's Maria Brink, Iron Maiden's Paul Di'Anno, Pantera's Rex Brown and Slash's Conspirators' Todd Kerns and Brent Fitz.