The Mavericks will release a new album and embark on a tour next year, but a founding member--bassist and vocalist Robert Reynolds – is not going to a part of either group milestone. His fellow bandbates felt compelled to fire Reynolds due to an opiate addiction.
According to Rolling Stone Country, Paul Deakin, Raul Malo, Jerry Dale McFadden and Eddie Perez fired Reynolds in October, but they've known about Reynolds' drug problems since around the time they were recording their 2013 reunion album. The band will release it's new album, "Mono," on Feb. 17.
"I knew about it from before the band got back together. There were many signs when he first came back into the studio. I confronted him about it, and he denied," Deakin says. "When he finally admitted it, I said, 'I'm not going to sign these [record] contracts until you go into rehab.' On three separate occasions we put him in different forms of rehab over the past three years."
Deakin says he and the remaining band members are choosing to make the band's turmoil public for the sake of Reynolds, Reynolds' wife and the group's fans. In October, the band posted a message on its Facebook page that read, "At this moment Robert has chosen to take time to attend to personal matters. We wish him nothing but the best. And we offer our full support to him and his family in this difficult time." Shortly after, they released a second statement detailing the creation of a fund for Reynolds' wife Angie, who is battling cancer. Given the timing, many linked the two together, reports Rolling Stone Country.
Then the group discovered a devastating turn of events.
"We found out he was hitting fans up for money," explains Malo, who confesses he worried about the group's more loyal and well-to-do fans being bilked out of their money. "It's like, man, what if he hits somebody up for five grand, and then they go, 'Why didn't you guys tell us anything?' And now we put this fan in harm's way and they're out five grand because we didn't have the balls to say anything about it."
"He was using our fan base to reach out and acquire these things," adds Perez.
"It's like a starving person will steal," says Deakin. "They'll do anything."
"This is the worst thing I've ever seen as far as addiction," adds Malo. "He's far gone."
Despite the torture of the last three years, the Mavericks promise the door is open for Reynolds to return – should he get clean and devote himself to a rehab program. The group has even promoted Reynolds' brother Michael, formerly their merchandise manager, to tour manager and conveyed to Robert that the offer stands to fly him to in-patient rehab and cover any insurance costs.
Malo, Deakin and Reynolds founded the Mavericks in 1989 in Miami. Their unique sound was a blend of rock, country and the ethnic Latin rhythms of South Florida. In 1994 they released their debut album, "What A Crying Shame," and the next year "Music for All Occasions" – which was powered by the Top 15 hit "All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down," and in 1996 they won a Grammy for the song "Here Comes the Rain."
Eventually, heavy touring and personality conflicts wore them down and they disbanded in 1999, with Malo pursuing a solo career. In 2012, they regrouped for a performance at the Stagecoach Festival in California and decided to make the reunion permanent. "In Time," the band's seventh studio project, was released in February 2013 and peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Country Albums chart.