Formed in 1981, the Lords of the New Church had a formidable intercontinental punk rock pedigree. Singer Stiv Bators and guitarist Brian James were founding members of Cleveland's Dead Boys and London's the Damned, respectively, both successful and influential punk pioneers. (Note: Much like Keith Richard(s), Stiv spelled his surname both with and without a terminal "s" at various points in his career. Throughout his time with the Lords, however, he was billed as Bators.) Bassist Dave Tregunna and drummer Nick Turner were veterans of Sham 69 and the Barracudas, which were less seminal but still well-known. But while the Lords' music had elements of punk, it was more melodic, better-produced, and played with a higher degree of professionalism. This alienated some of the hardcore punk audience, but brought the Lords a much wider and more diverse fan base.