Just one month ago the Transplants were riding high with a second single scheduled and a co-headlining tour with Pennywise poised to kick off in November.
Now it looks like those plans are being scrapped — at the very least. Late Tuesday night, the Transplants announced that, due to an unspecified illness, they were canceling their upcoming appearances at the U.K.'s massive Carling and Leeds Festivals, as well as "all other future tour dates," including the Pennywise tour (see "Transplants Firing On All Cylinders With New Tour, Single").
As breakup rumors began to swirl, the band's management tried to assuage the situation, chalking up the cancellation to frontman Tim Armstrong's "exhaustion" and saying the band wasn't calling it quits.
"Basically Tim's unable to perform. When he gets better we'll address specific touring plans. All three of them want to support this record and love this record. They spent over a year making this album, but being that he's not feeling well, we don't know when he'll be able to perform," Transplants manager Eric Hellman said Wednesday (August 17). "It's not like the band is in jeopardy though. It just boils down to the fact that no one in this band wants to piss off fans. So we'd rather be honest and tell people, 'Well, the November tour may happen, but it might not.' Hopefully the tour will happen, but if it doesn't, don't be shocked.' "
Hellman would not disclose any more information about Armstrong's condition but said he's unable to continue any Transplants-related activity and that "as of today we have no touring plans."
"Tim needs to get better. When push comes to shove, the music is great, and it's a priority, but everyone's health and family comes first. And Tim wants the same things as those guys, but he can't do it in the condition he's in right now," he said. "As far as I'm concerned, Tim will always be a member of Transplants. But we're in a position right now where we don't want to lie to our friends. And the honest truth right now is that Tim isn't feeling well right now, and he needs to get better."
When MTV News caught up with Transplants rapper Rob Aston backstage at last week's Warped Tour stop in Camden, New Jersey, he made no mention of Armstrong's medical condition. In fact he seemed obsessed with nothing else but finally hitting the road with his band.
"When we put out our first record, we didn't really get to tour at all. We didn't get to go to Europe, didn't get to go anywhere. So it's been like two and a half years since we got to play again. But we're lucky, we get to do Reading and Leeds, do a European tour, go to Japan, Hawaii, come back in November and December, do this tour with Pennywise. We got a lot of making up to do this time around."
Hellman said Armstrong's condition does not affect the band's plans to release a second single — which he said will now be "Crash and Burn," not "What I Can't Describe," as had previously been reported — or their collaboration with Houston MC Paul Wall (see "Transplants Team Up With Paul Wall For First Chopped-And-Screwed Rock LP").
"We're still heading forward with both of them. I can tell you that people will be hearing both the single and the chopped-and-screwed album real soon," he said. "But right now Tim's got to feel better. Everyone is so supportive of Tim right now. Travis and Rob are super supportive of everyone the work with. Neither one would wish pain or problems on anyone."