Proudly hailing from Mansfield, a suburb in the city of Brisbane, the rockers hit No. 1 on the ARIA Albums Chart with Everything Is A-OK, their most recent album, from 2020. Its predecessor, Waco, from March 2016, was their first chart leader, and went on to win best group and best rock album at the 2016 ARIA Awards.
The decision to step away was announced by the group’s label, I Oh You, part of the independent Mushroom Group. “After a celebrated career spanning almost two decades, today our family from Violent Soho announce they are going on an indefinite hiatus,” reads a tweet.
Adds label founder Johann Ponniah, “I’ve been lucky enough to have worked with Violent Soho for coming up on 10 years and it’s impossible to overstate their contribution to I OH YOU, the wider Australian music industry and my life. They have taught, inspired and encouraged me in ways that only family does.”
Their music “has captured the nation’s hearts and airwaves” and not once did they bend for an industry that so often asks its creators to do so,” he adds. “I’m proud of what they have achieved so far, but even more so I’m proud of how they achieved it.”
Formed in 2004, Violent Soho captured the attention of Sonic Youth cofounder Thurston Moore, who signed the group to his Ecstatic Peace! label ahead of their debut studio album release, We Don’t Belong Here.
Comprising Luke Boerdam (vocals, guitar), James Tidswell (guitar), Luke Henery (bass) and Michael Richards (drums), the four-piece signed with I Oh You in 2012.
Their first LP through that deal, Hungry Ghost, dropped the following year for a national Top 10 berth (with a peak of No. 6), and winning a brace of AIR Awards.
As a sweet, departing gift, the band shared a new single, “Kamikaze.”
“We feel so grateful to have experienced the journey and to all the people that believed in our music and showed us so much support,” reads a statement from the band. “However, as individuals we’ve found ourselves in different places over the last few years and so we’ve decided it’s time to take a break and lay low for a bit.”
Before taking that break, the band will perform at Splendour in the Grass festival next weekend, and their “last show for a while” is set for Sept. 10, a homecoming gig at Fortitude Music Hall.
“This isn’t the end of the band,” the statement continues, “but we are looking forward to giving ourselves some space, focusing on our families, and giving back to the community which fostered and carried us.”