Savage Garden's Hayes Plans Solo Album

Savage Garden will take an extended break once the band's world tour wraps up in South Africa in December, giving singer Darren Hayes an opportunity to work on a solo album, according to posts by Hayes on the band's official fan Web site,

Hayes told fans he's been working on songs in his spare time all year and expects to start recording in February, but no specific plans are in place, and no producer has been chosen for the project, according to the band's manager, Larry Tollin.

Hayes also said he's been working on a screenplay he hopes to have produced.

Savage Garden have not broken up, the singer stressed, and he added that the duo, which includes instrumentalist Daniel Jones, likely will reconvene in late 2001 or early 2002 to record a third album, a follow-up to Affirmation, released November 1999. Jones intends to work as a producer on other projects during the band's

hiatus, Hayes said.

Meanwhile, Hayes has asked fans to stop requesting the band's latest single, the title track from Affirmation, en masse. The band's fans have created special Web sites dedicated to garnering the band more airplay, but Hayes said he is concerned that such campaigns have a negative impact at radio, and that the band risks getting a reputation for 'fixed' requests.

"Mass emails, phone calls etc simply do not work and cause more damage than good," Hayes wrote. The song "Affirmation" was not the hit the band hoped for, but no one was to blame, he added.

"There are many reasons why 'Affirmation' wasn't a hit, and had nothing to do with the quality of the song or the support of the fans," Hayes wrote. "Affirmation as an album has sold over seven million copies worldwide in only one year. We are happy. We are thankful and grateful. But I think it's time to stop with strategy and just be supportive. Trying to resurrect 'Affirmation' now is not a

good idea. It's over, and we should move on."

Hayes added that the song would be the last single from the album.