Legend has it that Kurt Samuel Vile’s passion for music was first kindled at the age of fourteen when his father gifted him with a banjo, though Vile admits to wishing it was a guitar and, indeed, playing it like it was one. Vile, a Philadelphia-born singer-songwriter and musician first publicly entered the music scene as a member of the indie rock band The War on Drugs. Formed in 2005, TWOD was a collaboration between Vile and fellow musician Adam Granduciel and the pair released their debut studio album in 2008 titled Wagonwheel Blues and set out on a promotional tour. Not long after, however, Vile decided he wanted to go solo and left TWOD.
While there was speculation that the catalyst for Vile’s departure was a falling out between he and Granduciel, both deny it and evidence for the contrary is the fact that Granduciel remained a member of Vile’s newly formed backup band, The Violators, alongside multi-instrumentalists Jesse Trbovich and Rob Laakso , and drummer Kyle Spence. Among those credited as major influences of Vile and The Violators are Springsteen, Neil Young, Tom Petty, and Pavement. Like some of his favorite artists, Vile initially created lo-fi recordings.
Between 2008 and 2013 Vile and his band have released five albums, in chronological order: Constant Hitmaker, God Is Saying This to You, Childish Prodigy, Smoke Ring for My Halo, and Wakin on a Pretty Daze. In September of 2013, Vile announced the release of his latest EP, It’s a Big World Out There (And I Am Scared). While Granduciel left The Violators that same year, the two longtime collaborators remain friends.