Tantric Transcends Days Past

In 1998, three members of the platinum-selling act Days of the New were fired. But instead of slinking off into obscurity, the ousted members turned lemons into lemonade: They recruited a new singer,

In 1998, three members of the platinum-selling act Days of the New were fired. But instead of slinking off into obscurity, the ousted members turned lemons into lemonade: They recruited a new singer, created a new band, and are now experiencing commercial success as Tantric, with an eponymous debut album on Maverick/Warner Bros.

Tantric lead singer Hugo Ferreira says, "It's taken a while for people to associate our music with the Tantric name, but we've been working our asses off with touring. Radio and MTV have also helped us."

Tantric embarked on a tour of radio stations last November. The single "Breakdown" was serviced to rock radio in January, and it has since become a top-five hit on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks and Modern Rock Tracks charts. Released Feb. 13, the album "Tantric" is at No. 89 on The Billboard 200 in its 12th week on the tally.

Along with Ferreira, Tantric's lineup consists of guitarist Todd Whitener, bassist Jesse Vest, and drummer Matt Taul. Ferreira, who was previously in the Detroit band Merge, says that the Louisville, Ky.-based Tantric operates like a democracy: "Everything's equal with us, from the money down to the writing. We're sticking to that agreement. That's the downfall of a lot of bands -- when egos get out of control."

Ferreira adds that Tantric's growing popularity won't go to the musicians' heads: "We're not the kind of band that thinks we're too cool to say hello to people and sign autographs. We get a lot of pleasure from meeting our fans, and I don't want to be in the type of band that takes our fans for granted."

MTV has weighed in with support for Tantric. The network featured the band on its new-artists programming segment "You Hear It First" and currently has the "Breakdown" video on its playlist, as does MTV2. Ferreira and Whitener will co-host an episode of MTV2 Rock on a date to be announced. Tantric also recently performed on NBC's "Late Night With Conan O'Brien," and "Breakdown" was featured in ads for the Sylvester Stallone film "Driven"; the song also appears on the film's soundtrack.

Tantric has been on a concert tour since January. Following a break in June, the band will go on the road with 3 Doors Down from July 3 to Aug. 11. Meanwhile, Tantric's second single, "Astounded," will be released to rock radio May 22, according to Maverick.

"We've got a lot of hard work ahead, and we're not caught up in rock star glamour," Ferreira says, laughing. "We're still a baby band, so we can't take ourselves too seriously."