Everclear's Montoya Comes Home, Tour Continues

Everclear cut short their tour of Australia earlier this month, and now they're touring the U.K. without bassist Craig Montoya. The official reason cited by the record company is exhaustion. A management spokesperson told MTV News that Montoya will be back on board when the band plays the States in May.

Meanwhile, Australian music industry columnist Christie Eliezer reports that the cancellation of the band's Brisbane concert and at least one show in New Zealand was preceded by "a screaming row" between Montoya and frontman Art Alexakis during a set at Wollongong University in New South Wales. Eliezer reports that the fight continued backstage. Alexakis has denied the report through email sent to one of the band's websites.

Still, if its true, the band can be forgiven for having thin tempers -- the Australian tour was definitely not a happy one. Media reports from down under reveal that Montoya's bass was stolen at the Extreme Games concert on the Gold Coast;

a firecracker or pipe bomb was thrown on the stage in Melbourne; and that Alexakis was hit in the face by a shoe in Wollongong.

Eliezer's column also reports that following the theft of the guitar, Alexakis swore at the audience, made a reference to "the worst kind of **** convicts" and dropped his pants and dedicated the final song to the cursed thief. Everclear's management could not confirm that report. They did say, however, that the guitar was recovered and a 20-year-old man had been charged with theft.

Everclear released their last CD, "So Much For The Afterglow," on Capitol October 7th and have been doing media appearances and performance tours ever since. The band is expected to take a long break after the pending U.S. tour while Alexakis completes an acoustic solo album to be issued sometime next year.