The Vines have pulled out of a scheduled U.S. tour with Incubus that was scheduled to begin June 25th. Bassist Patrick Matthews walked off stage during the first song of a May 28th radio show in Sydney, Australia, but the band refutes subsequent claims that it has broken up.
“The decision has been made to take a break to deal with the mental and physical exhaustion issues the band currently face,” a statement reads. “The band would like to sincerely apologize to Incubus, our fans and friends. We would like to thank everyone close to us for the continued support.”
The cancelled dates follow erratic performances by the Vines during a tour with fellow Australians Jet earlier this year. Chicago Tribune said of a spring show, “Watching a band disintegrate is not a pretty sight. But self-destruct is
exactly what the Vines did Friday at the sold-out Vic in front of a dissatisfied audience, many of whom booed and stormed the exits before the group’s brief forty-five-minute set came to a merciful end.” The New York Times described a March set as “remarkably listless, and sometimes comically bad.”
The majority of the criticism has focused on singer Craig Nicholls, whose stage manner on certain dates of the tour was described as not-so-elegantly wasted. He put down fans (“fucking morons” was allegedly directed at Chicago fans) and had a difficult time keeping his songs together. In the past, Nicholls has made no secret in interviews about a penchant for ingesting copious amounts of marijuana smoke.
The scotched tour isn’t likely to help the band’s second album, Winning Days, which is in dire need of a sales spike. After scoring a Number Eleven bow for their debut, 2002’s Highly Evolved, the Vines failed to break the Top Twenty with Days, which has gone on to sell only 129,000 copies to date, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The Vines were scheduled to perform at the U.K.’s Reading and Leeds Festivals this August. Those dates had not been cancelled at press time.