Kurt Samuel Vile is an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. He is best known for his solo career and as a former member of indie rockband The War on Drugs, with whom he recorded one full studio album. Both in the studio and during live performances, Vile is accompanied by his backing band, The Violators, which currently includes Jesse Trbovich (bass, guitar, sax), Rob Laakso (guitar, bass) and Kyle Spence (drums).
Influenced by Pavement, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Tom Petty, and John Fahey, Vile began his musical career creating lo-fi home recordings with frequent collaborator Adam Granduciel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The duo subsequently formed The War on Drugs, with Vile departing following the release of their debut studio album, Wagonwheel Blues (2008).
Focusing on his solo career, Vile released two albums, Constant Hitmaker (2008) and God Is Saying This to You… (2009), compiling his various home recordings dating back to 2003. Vile signed to Matador Records in 2009, and released his third album, Childish Prodigy, that same year. The album was his first recorded in a studio and with the full participation of The Violators.
In 2011, Vile released his fourth studio album, Smoke Ring for My Halo, which significantly increased his exposure. His fifth studio album, Wakin on a Pretty Daze, was released in 2013, with Laakso replacing Granduciel in his backing band. In 2015, Vile released his sixth studio album, b’lieve I’m goin down….