Alternative Rock band My Vitriol released their debut album in the UK in 2001 on Infectious records to unanimous critical & public acclaim. Having been signed after only 7 shows, and 7 months of being together, the band soon unexpectedly found their songs in the otherwise pop, 'nu-metal' and 'nu-Buckley' dominated mainstream charts of their day. Thankfully things have now changed, as before 2001 even high profile new acts from outside those scenes, such as Queens of the Stone age, and At the Drive-in had not yet managed this.
As a testament to their skills they counted fans amongst peers, established artists and heroes alike, landing support slots with many of them: Butch Vig & Shirley Manson from Garbage, Chino Moreno from Deftones, Stabbing Westward, Placebo, Muse, Manic Street Preachers, A Perfect Circle, Feeder, Coldplay, Ash, to name a few.
Having been discovered by legendary UK talent spotter & DJ Steve Lamacq, the band eventually saw this intital support being reinforced by the rest of BBC Radio One and their playlist. Besides radio, by this point the band had unexpectedly become UK music press favourites, which they however treated with a pinch of 'flavour-of-the-month' skepticism.
Throughout the year, MV's star kept rising as the band found themselves appearing numerous times on tv shows such as Top of the Pops, as well as notable festival performances such as, mainstage Reading to 40,000 people and a nightime higher billing the following year, Glastonbury, V, T in the Park, etc.
The band headlined their first festival stages in Holland on the mainstage in Rotterdam, and the indoor arena in Norway's Quart. They also performed across europe at Roskilde in Denmark, Festimad in Spain, and to 20,000 people at Rock am Ring in Germany. At Summer Sonic in Japan, where Sony Music released their debut, they played to 18,000 people. Their first and only headline show in Tokyo sold out in hours and the venue had to be upgraded twice.
The bands music eventually worked its way through to various mainstream TV shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer amongst others and were even offered Hollywood movie roles, and modelling jobs from the likes of Ralph Lauren, and Next along the way. "We thought it would be better to stick to what we knew best!" drummer Ravi Kesavaram joked.
The bands headline shows were noted at this stage for the swathes of guitars set to moody backlit silhouettes, interspersed by thundering strobes, all in which....the members could hardly be seen all set. 'Pretentious as it sounds, we wanted to do something a little different to what was around... to create an atmosphere which suited the songs...focussing away from our huge egos!'
My Vitriol had evolved from a punk infused alt-rock outfit into something with greater dimensions altogether. This saw some of the music press draw comparisons to bands from the early 90's 'Shoegaze' era. However while being as expansive and atmospheric, My Vitriol shows were far more melodic and energetic than that scene had ever produced. To this day the band have never played a headline show which did not sell out.
Astoria headline show review, July 2002:
"My Vitriol are capable of reaching places only Nirvana, the Manics and Radiohead have reached before, big words we know but at their best My Vitriol are quite capable of attaining a cinematic, tremolo-bending enormity that catches you right there. That's why we'll never have anything better to do on a Friday night when My Vitriol are in town."
The band retained their coy attitude towards the spotlight in the video for their 2nd top 40 hit single 'Grounded', which starred notorious cult figure Vincent Gallo. They appeared for less than 30seconds.
"Unfortunately Vincent fell out with our label over stuff... he's quite a character. But it was great not to have to be actors for the day, and hey Buffalo '66 rocked!"
The song was also a hit in South Africa but MV also saw their popularity reach areas of Asia and S. America to a underground cult following, without performances in those territories yet. This buzz lead to the band signing the US release rights of the record to Sony/Epic for a reported $400,000. "Funny really, all that for one tour!". Part of the deal was to remix/tweek the album with Guns n Roses/Metallica producer Steve Thompson.
On hearing the US mixes, Infectious records made a decision to re-release this version in the UK as a double album format, including B-sides and rarities, forming the complete works of My Vitriol to date. This was released as a mid-price record, but the pre-empted backlash was unavoidable in certain quarters of the UK media and fanbase, who viewed the move as a cynical profit-driven record company exploit. Regardless many reviews hailed the release: "Sure to be remembered as a classic in years to come." Music Week said, and "A near classic" said Kerrang.
At the end of 2002 after 3 years of solid touring, lead singer Som Wardner announced their hiatus at their second to headline billing at the Kerrang Festival, "We won't be around for a while. We're gonna take a break and write a new record, thanks for supporting us from the beginning". And just like that.... they were gone.
Despite having only been together for 5 years and with one full album release, My Vitriol's influence can be heard amongst many new artists around the world.