My Vitriol

Between The (Touch) Line

Bugger. South Korea have just equalised against Italy in the world cup with two minutes remaining on the clock. Now this wouldn’t ordinarily have troubled me that much, but there are two reasons why, on this occasion, it does. One is because I drew Italy in the office sweepstake and looked for some time like I was in the money. The other is that in two minutes I am supposed to be interviewing My Vitriol’s Carolyn Bannister over the dog and bone. And now the awkward sods have decided to take the tie into extra time. Ah well, duty calls I suppose.

AD: What made you decide to release a remixed version of “Finelines”?

CB: Circumstance really. Of course, we got the American deal and were given a shitload of cash, and that gave us the opportunity to do the album the way we originally wanted to do it. The sound is a lot different this time around, and it’s a lot harder. Plus it gave us a chance to release it as a double album with all our B-sides and other rarities on it.

AD: The whole thing was remixed by Steve Thompson, of Korn and Guns ‘n’ Roses fame. What was he like to work with?

CB: I don’t know. I didn’t actually meet him. It was all done in America you see. Som met him and said he was a really cool guy. Anyway, the album is sounding amazing, so he’s ok by me!

AD: So when can we expect to see a “new” new album?

CB: Well, we’re writing at the moment, but it’s been so busy that it’s been difficult to fit it around touring and promotion for the new single and album. So we’re getting that out of the way first, so that it becomes a closed chapter, then hopefully by the end of the year we can start recording some new stuff.

AD: Fair enough. Now, as we all know, the name of the band was inspired by the character Pinkie from Graham Greene’s “Brighton Rock”, who would throw vitriol in the faces of anyone who threatened him. What do YOU carry in your pocket to fend off any over amorous male groupies?

CB: Ha ha ha. I don’t HAVE any over amorous male groupies! I don’t even have any AMOROUS male groupies. In fact I don’t even have any MALE groupies…and to take it one step further, I don’t have any groupies at all!

AD: I don’t believe that for one minute. Anyway, have you been personally taken aback with all the success you’ve had in such a short space of time?

CB: Well, we’ve been playing together for about three years now, so it seems like ages to us, not like things have happened really quickly. But yeah, when we first got a record deal we were like “Wow! This is unbelievable!” and although you always get bad reviews and good reviews, it’s always amazing when you get “single of the week” or something.

AD: I read somewhere on the internet that, although you’ve played your fair share of festivals over the years, you’re not exactly brimming with enthusiasm for Glastonbury. Why’s that?

CB: It’s just that, living near London, I always went to Reading every year, so I’m used to that. Glastonbury just seemed really false to me. There’s supposed to be all this spiritualism and hippy stuff, but it’s just full of scallies looking for fights, and lager louts all over the place. That said, I’ve only been the once, so I don’t want to slag it off – especially considering we’re playing there this year!

AD: I also read that somebody gave your tent away…

CB: No, it was a friend of ours who gave our sleeping bags away…because she thought these people were more in need of them than us. She hadn’t really thought about what the hell we were supposed to do though! We couldn’t believe that!

AD: I’m not surprised! So…if My Vitriol were a world cup team, which one would it be and why?

CB: Erm…South Korea, because of their sheer persistence.

AD: Ok, so, talking about…..hang on a minute….are you sneakily watching the football while I’m doing this interview?

CB: Er…yeah.

AD: I knew it! Then again, I must confess I have it on here in the background, so I’ve got half an eye on it myself. Anyway, talking of TV, you managed to get Vincent Gallo, of “Buffalo 66” fame in your controversial video for “Grounded”…

CB: Controversial?

AD: Er…well, it was filmed in a field when foot and mouth was at its peak…

CB (sarcastically): Oooh that’s REALLY controversial!

AD (sheepishly – no pun intended) : Erm…how did you manage to get him?

CB: Ah. Well that was a stroke of luck really. It was the video director’s idea to get him, and we managed to find someone who knew how to contact him. To be frank though, none of us really knew who he was before, so we all made a point of sitting down and watching the film out of respect for the guy before we met him. He was a nice bloke – he talks for England….er…America even. Anyway, after a bit of persuasion he came back and said “OK, put me up in a hotel and I’ll do it”. And that was that.

AD: What about Ozzy Osbourne? Is he a modern day genius or is he a complete dick?

CB: Ha ha. Well, I wouldn’t say he was a complete dick…

AD: I’m not sure. I can’t make my mind up on the matter.

CB: I was pleased to see he was playing at the queen’s jubilee anyway. He must have been pissing himself while he was doing that. I hope he was anyway. I’m not an intense fan but I like a few Black Sabbath songs. Hmm, modern day genius or complete dick? I’d say he’s somewhere between the two.

AD: Glad that’s all cleared up then. Finally, you went to Japan a little while before the world cup. How did that go?

CB: It was great. The fans aren’t as manic as everyone says they are. They’re all really well behaved and chilled. Just as an example, it was a really weird sight to see all these Japanese fans queuing in single file against the wall!

AD: Sounds about as surreal as seeing them all in England shirts. Actually I have got one more question. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever read about yourself?

CB: Ooh I don’t know. Oh yes, - that I used to be in Elastica.

Now that IS weird. The only similarity there is that both bands are fantastic, with Carolyn’s band having the edge over Justine and co in my view. You only have to listen to a couple of tracks from “Finelines” or “Between The Lines” to realise what a class act they undoubtedly are. Anyway, there’s about 3 minutes left of the football so I’m going to go and watch…oh shitshitshitshitshit – South Korea have just scored a golden goal. They really ARE like My Vitriol. After all, if you buy their album, you’ll feel like you’ve struck gold yourself.

Interview and transcript by Tone E


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