VANT are a striking indie-rock four-piece who took to the stage of the Scholar in Leicester on 20/11/2016. Receiving recognition for their numerous audio appearances for Radio 1 on Annie Macs “Hottest Record in the World” the band toured the UK and Europe throughout the beginning of the year and followed on through the summer with one-off appearances for both Biffy Clyro and later Catfish and the Bottlemen at Castlefield Bowl.
Opening with their 2015 single ‘The Answer’ the band expressed the raw and lively tone early on, which they collectively sustained throughout the night, merging together a combination of frenzied rock music with deep, meaningful lyrics. VANT radiated a vibrant atmosphere through their stage presence, leaving little of it untouched as they kept the crowd bouncing from their electric style. Playing a mix of already well known tracks from their upcoming debut album such as ‘Karma Seeker’ and ‘Parking Lot’ midway through the set, they created a fierce energy as each song boomed through the room and I think it’s fair to say that at times it was fascinating to watch them preform. The thing I like most about VANT is the grittiness of the beats which are accompanied by some of the most heartfelt and meaningful lyrics that run through pretty much every song they’ve written – something they were able to communicate perfectly to the audience. It’s easy to see why the band are expanding their fan base so quickly with their unique style and their upcoming debut album, it’s clear that it’s only the beginning for them.
VANTs debut album is set for release on the February 17th.
What’s your best advice for upcoming student bands in Leicester and the best way of getting your message around?
Mattie (lead vocals and guitar)- I don’t think there’s a format, it’s all hard work basically. I mean, we’ve been doing this for ten years before we got a break. It can be really tough and it can be really long but I think if you’ve got enough passion for something then eventually someone will notice that and give you a chance. A band can get signed before they’ve even played a show, before they’ve released a record like what happened with us.
When bands do start to grow, what’s the best way to cut down nerves before a big show like Castlefield?
Billy (bass guitar) – It’s not really a nervous feeling for us, it’s more apprehensive and waiting around is the worst part but I think you look forward to going out and actually doing it. It’s amazing to have an opportunity like that to play on such as huge stage to so many people so you just embrace it.
With a lot of your lyrics being centred around global issues, do you think the best music is music with a strong message or could it be a mix?
Mattie – It just depends on you as an artist, I can’t write about things that don’t have some importance. I find it self-absorbed if I write about my own life but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve got to be politically engaged with what’s happening in the world. I think bands are now becoming more engaged and more aware of a platform to change things and influence people and I think that’s an amazing thing because it shows that people have remembered the importance of music and how powerful it can be. I guess we combine the two things because I find it easy to do so but a lot of people don’t – so I like it but it doesn’t mean others have to.
In that sense then do you find it easier to write music that you care strongly about or not?
Mattie – The only music that matters is honest music. If you believe that whatever the person is saying is something that they truly care about then that’s when it makes a connection with an audience. If it’s complete lies then people see through that immediately. Some of my favourite musicians write about love because you need that side of it in your life – you need someone to emphasise with. I would feel fake if I did that, every single line of every single song we write is important and has a message behind it.
Starting a band can be a difficult process but how was it for you?
Mattie – Thankfully for us it was a really natural process I think.
Billy – Yeah everything just kind of fell into place nicely – as all things do I guess.
What do you believes been the biggest milestone / marker that the bands reached so far?
Mattie – Our BBC radio support has been incredible. We’ve had five consecutive hottest records in the world which is pretty amazing. To feel that much love from the biggest radio station is great. But its still nice trying to enjoy every step of things even if it’s not as good as the last thing. Going to Japan was pretty cool I wouldn’t really call that a marker.
Billy – Yeah it was a nice part of the journey I guess.
Mattie – But the thing that were really looking forward to is the album, that’s the 17th of Feburary like that’s-
Billy – That’s a marker
Mattie – It’s finally us going this is what we think, this is a complete body of what we are. So I think that and signing the record deal
Billy – Yeah that’s another one
Mattie – I think they are the two major millstones so far.