Catatonia Calls It Quits

Welsh pop-rock favorite Catatonia, one of the most successful acts in the U.K. in recent years, has confirmed that it is splitting. The news follows lead singer Cerys Matthews' recent treatment at a c

Welsh pop-rock favorite Catatonia, one of the most successful acts in the U.K. in recent years, has confirmed that it is splitting. The news follows lead singer Cerys Matthews' recent treatment at a clinic for "anxiety and exhaustion," which in turn had caused the cancellation of a U.K. tour.

Catatonia's most recent Blanco Y Negro/WEA album, "Paper Scissors Stone," debuted on the U.K. chart at No. 6 last month, but spent only four weeks in the top-75, while the single "Stone By Stone" reached No. 19 in early August.

Those statistics represented a sharp decline from Catatonia's huge popularity of previous years, when Matthews had been a high-profile and often outspoken figure in the British media and the band enjoyed consecutive No. 1 albums with "International Velvet" in 1998 and "Equally Cursed and Blessed" the following year. The group also hit the U.K. top-10 with the singles "Mulder and Scully" in January 1998, "Road Rage" that May, and "Dead from the Waist Down" the following April.

Speaking to Billboard last year about the band's relatively low American profile prior to the belated North American release of "Equally Cursed and Blessed" by Atlantic, Matthews commented, "If you'd said a year ago, 'do you want to break America?,' I would have said it was the last place in the world I was interested in. When you start off, everything is a bed of roses, the world is promised, then you suddenly realize, America's massive. But it's much better now, Atlantic is so much behind us, and at least they're going to give it a go."