As Days Of New vocalist Travis Meeks followed his muse on the group's sophomore effort, Jesse Vest (bass), Matt Taul (drums) and Todd Whitener (guitars) took a hike over "creative" differences. They recruited vocalist Hugo Ferreira, who had been kicking around the Detroit music scene. Ferreira relocated to Louisville, KY, where the quartet holed up for six months writing and working on songs. Tantric's sonic blitz, with acoustic touches, not to mention Ferreira's driving vocals, got them signed to Madonna's Maverick label. Their eponymous debut was released in '01. Nearly three years later they returned with "After We Go."
"After We Go" logged disappointing sales, largely because the singles, the title track and a cover of Fleetwood's "The Chain," made little impact. That was the least of Tantric's emerging problems.
Vest left the group in '05 stating he wanted to spend more time with his family. Tantric had been touring extensively with 3 Doors Down and Shinedown. Bruce LaFrance was brought onboard as work began on what was tentatively titled "Tantric III." About a dozen songs were recorded before Maverick Records collapsed. The legal complications frustrated both Whitener and Taul who eventually packed it in leaving Ferreira as the only original member. Mindful of both label issues and the contributions made by Whitener and Taul (now ex-members), "Trantric III" was shelved.
Ferreira enlisted Joe Pessia (guitar), Erik Leonhardt (bass), Marcus Ratzenboeck (electric violin) and Kevin Miller (drums). If Miller's name sounded familiar it was likely due to his stint with Fuel. Ferreira came across Pessia through a mutual friend, Nuno Bettencourt. The Extreme guitarist had worked with Pessia in the DramaGods, a Bettencourt solo project that turned into a group.
On the Silent Majority Group label, Tantric released "The End Begins" in '08 and were able to land "Down And Out" in the Active Rock Radio Top 10. The album also featured one-time labelmate (Maverick), Candlebox's Kevin Martin, singing with Ferreira on "The One."
After touring in support of "The End Begins," Tantric underwent another line-up change as drummer Kevin Miller was replaced by Richie Monica.
Also, longtime producer, Toby Wright, got his walking papers in favor of former Creed touring bassist Brett Hestla for '09's "Mind Control."
Since band members lived in different cities, the album was assembled in a piecemeal fashion - sound files emailed and phone conversations. The set failed to reach the Billboard 200, peaking at #101, but equaled "The End Begins" peak at #15 on te Indie chart.
Having released albums in consecutive years, Tantric took a prolonged break before issuing their fifth studio album, "37 Channels," in '13. The single "Mosquita" featured guest vocals from Shooter Jennings (Waylon's son) and performances by guitarists Kenny Olson (Kid Rock) and Kevin McCreery (Uncle Kracker) and drummer Greg Upchurch (3 Doors Down).
2004 After We Go
2008 The End Begins
2009 Mind Control
2013 37 Channels
"37 Channels" is a vast improvement over the "Mind Control" mish-mash (a dark, dense and haunted excursion with overly dramatic vocals that jumps from Arena Rock to Post-Grunge, often within the same song).
Overall, the songs on "37 Channels" are far more cohesive. Even the electric/acoustic blends work with the violin having a more predominate role. The 'star-studded' "Mosquita" is the set's essential track, but the post-Grunge opener "Again," "Loss For Words," "Rise" and "Broken" also standout. There's even a fine arena ballad, "You Got What You Wanted."
"The End Begins" travels through a number of styles from pseudo-Funk ("Love Song") to straight-ahead Rock ("Lucky One" - a great track). The power-ballad "Wishing" and the title track show the band's melodic side to good advantage while the vocal juxtaposition of Martin and Ferreira on "The One" is at first startling but ends being especially compelling.
The addition of violinist Ratzenboeck was a good move, especially on the title track and "Down And Out," which is the expected dark, haunted, song of regret. However, the track stands apart from much of the album.
"After We Go" is a great set. Energy, drive, pay-attention guitar lines, hooks, spot-on vocals and innovative arrangements don't necessarily insure a successful album but it's a good start. Tantric takes these elements and assembles them into exceptional songs. "I try to work things out but a little mistake has slowed me down." a line from opening track "Chasing After," sets the tone. Tantric is in top form on "Falling Away," "Hey Now" and "Hero." Too bad the album didn't do better.
Tantric's self-titled debut has the chunky Alt. Rock hit "Breakdown." The CD also features the uptempo "Live Your Life (Down)" and "Revillusion."