P.O.D.'s manager, Tim M. Cook of Cook Management, LLC, has released the following letter to the group's fans:
"I'm getting ready to get on a plane to New York for New Year's.
"As most of you know by now, P.O.D. and MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE are playing on top of the 'Pontiac Garage' in Times Square. We are thrilled.
"So, before I jump on yet another flight for the year (my 85th!), I thought I'd take a moment to fill you in on what's been going on with Marcos' [Curiel, guitar] return to P.O.D.
"Many have asked me if the boys are going to make any 'official' statements. The answer, for the time being, is 'no.' For one, they are also on flights to New York right now, but more importantly it's a time of rebuilding friendships and writing music. And let me tell you, the music coming out of P.O.D. right now is extraordinary. They've been through so much together. It's a beautiful mess, for sure.
"There is something very special about seeing Sonny, Marcos, Traa, and Wuv in a room together. The energy is otherworldly.
"Last week we announced that Marcos was back. There's been a huge amount of excitement about this. With this, some of you have been asking about the latest with [guitarist Jason] Truby...
"Before I address that, let me say that my 10 years of managing P.O.D. have been speckled with what I can only refer to as 'miracles.' Time and time again things happen with this band that defy logic. They have been an inspiration to me and to just about everyone they come in contact with. Again, there is something very special about these four guys. And each day I wake up, I am truly grateful that I get to work with such remarkable people.
"We were honored to have Truby (or 'Trube,' as we call him) be a part of P.O.D. over the past few years. During his time in the band, P.O.D. sold over 1.5 million records, including the lead single for the platinum-selling 'Matrix Reloaded' soundtrack.
"For some time leading up to the 'Going in Blind' video, Truby was questioning whether he could continue to tour, etc. For those that are wondering, this is not an easy life. Sure, we've been fortunate, but you pay for it with your life, family, and everything else.
"(I was actually talking to Marcos about this today and we agreed that in the end it all averages out to a good thing... we are blessed. Think about what the [RED HOT] CHILI PEPPERS went through with John Frusciante. the guy gets hooked on heroin, the band moves on to Dave Navarro, that doesn't work, and then Frusciante comes back. in the middle of all of this, I bet it was a very painful time. But it has certainly averaged out to a remarkable career and they are probably closer friends.)
"After the 'Going in Blind' video shoot, Marcos was calling Wuv and they were having conversations... just talking as friends, but this led into the idea of Marcos coming back to P.O.D. At that point, Marcos said he wanted to call everyone else, explain what's going on in his life, and reconcile the friendships.
"Marcos called me on Wednesday, Nov. 1st. I was in the parking lot of a local deli, late for a lunch meeting. Five minutes into the call, Truby was calling on the other line. I wasn't able to take the call because I hadn't heard from Marcos in a long time and it was, of course, an emotional time. I called Truby back that night and he said, (I'm probably paraphrasing a bit), 'I got home and I really have the sense that I need to bow out of P.O.D. I can't explain it, but it just feels right for me to do this.' You can imagine how STUNNED I was! Marcos calls out of the blue -AND- Truby calls out of the blue — ON THE SAME DAY. Neither one of them had any idea this was going on until a couple weeks or so after! This is the kind of stuff that seems to surround this band.
"On November 9th, the five of us met together for lunch. It was the first time we had been in same room together for years. Marcos showed up with this heavy backpack. We all kept asking what was in there. During lunch he pulls out copies of the new U2 book, 'U2 by U2', and he gives one to each of us. He said, 'Man, I just want to INSPIRE people again.'
"It was such a divine moment and so obvious that the four of these guys need to be doing music together. After lunch they couldn't wait any longer to jam together so they drove over to their rehearsal studio. Marcos wanted to share some ideas that he had. He told us that he's been up 'til 3 or 4 a.m. every night playing music and unable to put his guitar down.
"We arrived at their rehearsal space and Marcos plugs in and starts playing. I called my office and my wife and said, 'THIS is why I love being a manager.' It was just electrifying. It brought tears to my eyes to see them back in a room and to feel such greatness. Hearing them talk through ideas, bounce things off of each other... it was brilliant.
"Later that day we talked about getting away together for a couple of days... a retreat if you will. On December 12-14, we went to Catalina Island. We spent a day fishing, hanging out, talking about the future. The guys caught a bunch of fish which a local restaurant cooked up for us that night. (Your humble manager here caught one pathetic little fish that had to be thrown back. I'll stick to artist management.)
"So what's next? They are already writing and have signed a very interesting new record deal. (more on that later)
"I believe the boys are on to an extraordinary record... I'm not just talking about a good record, or a record 'hyped' by the industry and all that nonsense. I'm really getting the sense this one has greatness on it. Very few bands make it this far, overcome so much, with such belief from their fans... (Thank you, warriors, and the promotions crew)
"I'll leave you with this...
"Bob Ezrin, the legendary PINK FLOYD producer said recently, 'You are NOT an artist simply because you write, play and/or sing. You are a musician and a performer... To qualify as an artist, you need to create something that changes the way people feel, hear and think. Even in times when the people are pious, God may grant us a handful of true artists per age.'
"2007 is certainly one to look forward to."
Check out pictures of the "new" P.O.D. lineup at this location.
In other news, former P.O.D. guitarist Jason Truby has issued the following statement regarding his departure:
"First of all, I want to clarify any questions concerning my involvement with P.O.D. I am no longer a member of P.O.D. I want to thank all of you for your support and love over the past four years. It has been an honor getting the opportunity to spend time with you and sharing music with you.
"My decision to depart as a member is personal and came before Marcos was considered. I believe in P.O.D. and will be a part of P.O.D. forever. They are lifelong friends.
"As for myself, I've been working on a project with my good friend Phil Keaggy who is helping me with a vocal album, and also linking up with Lance Garvin on some tunes as well. Nonetheless, thanks to all of you for the chance to be a part of this rally for the greater cause. Sometime you have to follow the wind even when you don't know where it's leading.
"I pray the Most High will guide you in His unspeakable love. Goodbye for now..."
P.O.D. released a "greatest hits" collection, aptly titled "Greatest Hits - The Atlantic Years", on November 21 through Rhino Records. The CD contains 17 tracks, including two new songs — a previously unreleased track from the "Testify" sessions (helmed by Glen Ballard), and a new song that was recorded with producer Travis Wyrick (PILLAR). The latter track was mixed in Los Angeles by Chris Lord-Alge (AFI, UNDEROATH).
P.O.D. was with Atlantic for four albums and two EPs. The band signed with Atlantic in 1998, after selling more than 40,000 copies of its independently released EPs. The group's Atlantic debut, "The Fundamental Elements of Southtown", came out in 1999 and went platinum, while 2001's "Satellite" was a multi-platinum success. But the group felt that personnel changes at Atlantic were responsible for recent sales dips — more than 500,000 copies of 2003's "Payable On Death" were sold, but less than 250,000 copies of the recent "Testify".