My Vitriol live at KOKO, 24 November 2006.
|Years active||1999–2002, 2005–present|
My Vitriol are a British alternative rock band, formed in 1999 in London. The band currently comprises vocalist/guitarist Som Wardner, drummer Ravi Kesavaram, guitarist Seth Taylor and bassist Tatia Starkey. The band had success with their debut album Finelines in 2001 which spawned three Top 40 hit singles in the UK Singles Chart, before announcing a hiatus in 2002. The band were credited as spearheading a new shoegazing movement, dubbed nu gaze. They released new material in 2007, and are set to release their long-awaited second album in 2016.
Ravi Kesavaram and Sri Lankan born Som Wardner met at UCL where they lived opposite each other in halls, with Wardner studying genetics and Kesavaram studying biochemistry. A year and a half later they began playing together, with Kesavaram playing drums, and Wardner playing the rest of the instruments. They recorded an EP, "Delusions of Grandeur", in two days. BBC Radio 1 DJ Steve Lamacq received a copy at a gig, and played the band on his Session Unsigned slot, which led to national exposure for the band and various press and record company interest.
The duo recruited former Mint 400 guitarist Seth Taylor and bassist Carolyn Bannister, and released their debut single, "Always: Your Way / Pieces", on Org Records on 6 December 1999.
The band's first single, "Losing Touch", was released in April 2000 on Infectious Records, peaking at number 91; the second "Cemented Shoes" reached number 65 in the UK Singles Chart in July. Their third single, "Pieces", charted at number 56 and the fourth, "Always: Your Way", broke the UK Top 40, peaking at number 31. Soon after the band’s debut album, Finelines, was released and it reached number 24 in the UK Albums Chart in March 2001. The final single from the album was their biggest hit, "Grounded", which peaked at number 29. The band toured extensively and played UK and international festivals in Europe and Japan.
The band had radio hits in South Africa and Iceland and signed to Epic in the US for a reported $400,000. The album was re-mixed by American producer Steve Thompson for release in the US. The new mix of the album was released in the UK in July 2002 as part of a 2 CD re-issue featuring b-sides and rarities, titled "Finelines/Between The Lines". The re-issue stumbled to number 96 in the charts. "Finelines/Between The Lines" was preceded by the "Moodswings/The Gentle Art Of Choking" double a-side, which was the band's final Top 40 single, scraping in at number 39.
At the end of 2002, after three years of touring, Wardner announced My Vitriol's touring hiatus at Kerrang Weekender. Their song "Always Your Way" was voted in 2002 as one of the best alternative songs by Xfm listeners. The band recorded a cover of Elliott Smith's "Bottle Up & Explode!", upon hearing of the singer-songwriter's death in October 2003. It was reported in December 2003 that the band had finished writing their second album and were recording with Colin Richardson, with a view to a 2004 release. In May 2004, Gigwise confirmed that the second album was due for release in 2004 and revealed track titles "War of the Worlds", "My Whole World Implodes" and "Between Mercury and Mars".
Bassist Carolyn Bannister departed the band sometime following the show in 2005 and was replaced by Laura Salmon, formerly of the heavy metal band Area 54. The new lineup of the band played KOKO in Camden, London in November 2006.
In March 2007, the band released the limited edition single "This Time" under the pseudonym of 'A Secret Society' via Org Records. The single was followed in July 2007 by "A Pyrrhic Victory EP", released via Xtra Mile Records. The band played several festivals in the UK, including Download, Guilfest and a headlining slot at Offset Festival the following year. The band continued to play live through 2008 and 2009, taking in two UK tours and shows in Europe and Japan. The band played at the final gig to be held at the London Astoria on 14 January 2009.
In May 2013, the band played their first show in nearly four years at KOKO in London. Guitarist Seth Taylor left the band due to family commitments and was repleaced by Sam Harvey. Seth Taylor rejoined the band in September 2013, while Salmon was replaced by Tatia Starkey.
A PledgeMusic campaign to fund a new album was launched at the show, with a proposed release for 2014. However, it was then announced that the campaign would instead fund a rarities album entitled The Secret Sessions. In May 2016 the band posted on Pledgemusic that although recording was finished they needed an AP2 licence in order to begin pressing. In September the band announced the ten track album would be shipped to those who had contributed to the campaign.
- Cast in Amber (2006, My Vitriol)
Singles and EPs
- "Always" / "Pieces" (1999, Org)
- "Losing Touch" (2000, Infectious)
- "Cemented Shoes" (2000, Infectious)
- "Pieces" (2001, Infectious)
- "Always: Your Way" (2001, Infectious)
- "Grounded" (2001, Infectious)
- "Moodswings" / "The Gentle Art Of Choking" (2002, Infectious)
- "This Time" (2007, Used band-name moniker 'A Secret Society', Org)
- "A Pyrrhic Victory EP" (2007, Xtra Mile)
- "Nightcall" (2014)
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