The Tea Party
The Tea Party is a rock band formed in Windsor, Ont., with Jeff Martin (vocals, lead guitar), Stuart Chatwood (bass, keyboards) and Jeff Burrows (drums). After becoming a band in 1990, the trio independently released 3500 copies of its self-titled debut album in 1991 and sold all of them within a year. That attracted the attention of a number of record labels, and the group signed with EMI Music Canada in 1992 and released Splendor Solis the following year. The band's dark sound, mystical lyrics and Martin's deep voice drew comparisons with The Doors, and Splendor Solis was certified double-platinum in Canada (where the video for "The River" won two MuchMusic Video Awards) and established The Tea Party as a major act in Australia. The group became one of the first in the world to perform a live Internet-only concert in 1994.
The Edges Of Twilight (1995) blended North African, Middle Eastern and Indian music with heavy rock and used more than 30 different instruments, and the band earned three JUNO AWARD nominations and won a MuchMusic Video Award for "The Bazaar." The six-song Alhambra EP (1996), featuring a multimedia CD-ROM component, was used as a bridge until the 1997 release of Transmission. Triptych followed in 1999 and "Heaven Coming Down" gave the group its first number one radio hit. The Tea Party marked its 10th anniversary with the release of Tangents - The Tea Party Collection, a 15-song compilation of new songs, hits and rare and remixed tracks. The group's first DVD, Illuminations, featured all of its videos and was certified platinum after coming out in 2001. The Interzone Mantras followed and earned the band a gold record and 2 more Juno nominations. The Tea Party's final album, the gold-certified Seven Circles, was released in 2004.
Martin took his bandmates by surprise in the fall of 2005 when he announced that he was leaving them to embark on a solo career. His Exile And The Kingdom solo debut was released in 2006. Over the years that the band was together, The Tea Party's records combined to sell more than a million copies in Canada and, although the group never won any Junos, it was nominated for 13. The band reunited in 2011 to tour. Also that year, they announced that they would release their internet domain name, teaparty.com, for sale in order to capitalize on its value to conservative US political groups of the same name.
The band's eponymous album was released in 2010.