Last month, we introduced you to VISTA, a three-piece anthem rock band made up of frontwoman Hope Vista, guitarist Greg Almeida and drummer Matthew Vlossack.
Since releasing their debut EP VERSUS earlier this year, the band has faced a line up change. However, Hope, Greg and Matt are now a stronger version of VISTA and are ready to take on the world with their high-energy anthemic rock tracks.
We recently caught up with the band to discuss their EP VERSUS, the new group dynamic, a new era of VISTA music and what they would like to achieve in the future.
You describe your music as ‘anthem rock’ – for anyone who’s yet to listen to VISTA, what does that entail?
VISTA: Big, booming drums, chants, call and response, pulsing guitars, high-energy anthemic choruses, light, airy synths. Lots of elements that are reminiscent of a live show!
Hope, you’re the brainchild behind VISTA. What made you want to transition from being a solo artist to being in a band?
Hope: I needed a challenge, and I needed to confront change. Change is something that I’ve run away from my entire life, I’ve always been scared of it. I knew that it was time for me to face the fear and learn to embrace outside ideas!
VISTA has seen a few changes in terms of lineup since the band first formed. With Greg and Matthew now on board, how has the group dynamic changed?
Matt: There’s now an Asian in the band! Haha I like how we all come from different musical backgrounds while having similarities and can bounce off ideas to each other.
Greg: I think we’re all way more focused towards the goal here. We all came together cause we wanna play music (that we think is dope) and tour full time, it’s dreams we’ve had since we were kids. Eyes on the prize, you know?
Hope: It’s a totally different vibe. Both of these guys are very experienced, and we all have the same vision, which is key.
Your debut EP VERSUS was released earlier this year. What did you make of the reaction it received?
Hope: Greg and Matt have both said to me that they feel like “VERSUS” never got a chance, and I definitely agree. We lost two band members the weekend the EP was released, so we didn’t really get to promote it or push it through shows, interviews, or content. I love that record. And the response we got from the people who did hear it, it was just so awesome. I love reading through feedback and seeing where we can improve and where our strong points are in the ears of the outside listener. That’s where you grow. But I’d still really love to try and push “VERSUS” a little more while we have the time!
How do you go about the process of songwriting? Do you usually start with the lyrics first or the instrumentals?
Matt: Hope and Greg come up with ideas together and show me. Then I work on my part. Or sometimes when we’re messing around between songs and Greg plays a random note / riff, I tell him to save and remember it for later.
Greg: For me it depends, LATELY, it’s been very focused on instrumentals first, cause that’s what just comes to me. However, I’ll have songs where a sick vocal melody/lyric can practically write the rest of the song. I guess the only reason I do instruments first a lot is cause I’m very “vibe-focused” when writing.
Hope: I’m very lyric-oriented, that’s usually where I put my main focus. It’s a combination sometimes. Sometimes a melody will come first and you have to chord match. Sometimes a progression just sounds sick. But I have lists of title ideas and concepts that I want to bring to life at some point! So that’s typically where I go first!
Do you have a favourite song that you’ve written/released? For us, we’re torn between ‘The Departed’ and ‘On The Brink’.
Matt: ‘On the Brink’ is SO much fun to play! It’s definitely my favourite. It’s such an “in your face” song and ends the set on a high note. ‘Dominance’ is a mutual favourite between us three currently too. It’s the climax of the set and such a powerhouse of a song.
Greg: I love ‘On The Brink’. That song is suuuuuuuuuuper tight, wish I was around while that was being written! The new stuff we’re doing is pretty cool too!
Hope: ‘On The Brink’ was written to be the VISTA song; the song that completely defined the band’s sound. So that’ll always be really special to me! I’m actually really stoked that Greg and Matt were open to throwing ‘Dominance’ in the set, too. I released that as a solo artist last year, and I completely credit that song for giving me identity as an artist. It’s cool to bring that back and twist it into a VISTA version.
Are there any lyrics that you’re particularly proud of writing?
Hope: Probably the first verse of ‘Mansions’! It’s super personal, kinda hits a deeper chord for me than the rest of the EP tracks.
You’ve teased at least one new single before the year is out. What we can expect to hear from your new music?
Matt: Huge anthemic choruses and hooks, booming drums and ambient, driving guitars.
Greg: For me, I definitely focus on my guitar work a lot, I try to make things interesting for myself, and hopefully the listener too. Definitely anthem-based though. I just like to throw cool chords over stuff.
Hope: We were just texting about some new ideas the other night. We’d definitely like to try and get a single out in early December!
You’ve also got some live gigs coming up this month. What can fans expect from your shows?
Matt: Expect the same energy from the album to resonate in our (live) set if not bigger. I want to send that kid who came out to see us to go home and go, “WOW.”
Greg: Honestly, just to have a good time! That’s what we’re all about right? We like to have fun on stage and jam out to the tunes, for sure. We definitely like connecting with the audience too and just making it fun for everyone involved.
Hope: I jump around from left to right, front and back. We’re really going to be bringing these tracks to life and it’s all about getting these kids to leave life at the door for the night.
What do you hope to achieve in the next few years?
Matt: To see the country/world with Hope and Greg; to make touring full time and get to as many cities and fans. To record a few albums…also to beat the other two in Mario Kart…OH. And to hit as many Chipotles as possible on tour too.
Greg: Definitely want to be doing full U.S. tours. Possibly overseas. Have a lot of new material, have things very settled in and working at a consistent and often pace towards everything. Now is grind time!
Hope: I am the Mario Kart champion. BUT. We’re all on the exact same page for where we want to be. US tour, new EP in 2017, another single before the end of the year, break into the European and Asian markets eventually. We’re just taking it one year at a time though!
Thank you to VISTA for their time and good luck for the future!
“VERSUS” is available to stream below.
Share your thoughts on VISTA and their EP with us on Twitter @CelebMix.