“I try and make music that makes people think but I also want to make music that allows people to jump around and lose their inhibitions for 90 seconds.”
It’s going to be an exciting and busy Autumn for grunge/punk group VANT. Embarking on the upcoming DIY Presents: The Neu Tour in October, the foursome will take part in a rotating headline tour with Inheaven and The Big Moon. After reviewing their two stellar tracks Do You Know Me? and Parasite (and with the recent surprise of new song The Answer), we were pleased to speak with the band to discuss interactive performances, dream festivals, curating laws, career highlights, and Seinfeld. Tickets for The Neu Tour are now available here.
AMBY: Hey VANT. Welcome to AMBY and thanks for speaking with us! Where does our interview find you today?
VANT: Sat in bed with a cup of tea and a fading hangover.
AMBY: You have just released a video for your track The Answer. Tell us a bit more about the song.
VANT: It’s pretty observational, I wrote the lyrics a couple of years ago now and I find with some songs that you miss things your subconscious may of been trying to address at the time. I’ve only just realised myself that the chorus addresses the sheer weight of pressure put on governmental decisions. There is no easy answer. It’s an empathetic criticism of current affairs and the way politicians, journalists and the general public perceive them.
AMBY: Lyrically, the band does not pull any punches. Do you feel that it’s time for people to start thinking a little more about the music they listen to when it comes to lyrics?
VANT: I don’t think it’s necessarily about the music we listen to, it’s more about the messages we take from it. Everything has its place. I wouldn’t want to listen to political music constantly or I’d go insane. That said, I don’t think we should be championing lyrics that condone prejudice and misogyny or promote materialism. You do however need music for certain times, if you’re sad, if you’re happy, if you want to dance, if you want to smoke a spliff. I try and make music that makes people think but I also want to make music that allows people to jump around and lose their inhibitions for 90 seconds.
AMBY: When can fans look forward to the release of your debut album?
VANT: We’ve already recorded what could on paper be the record. However, we’re going back into the studio between now and the end of the year to see if we can come up with something new that can challenge our existing body of work. Late spring next year is the aim at the moment but I guess it depends on how quickly things move.
AMBY: You’re creating quite a buzz for your live shows. What to you makes for a great performance?
VANT: I try and engage everyone in the room at some point during the show, whether that’s through eye contact or directly bumping into them! It should be interactive, it’s an excuse for people to let themselves go, there is something tribal about live music.
AMBY: You’re playing a few festivals this summer. If you were to curate your own festival, who would you want to be on the bill with you?
VANT: That is tough. I could go on for hours, let’s address the main stage, we’d open it so I could just get drunk and enjoy the rest of the day: The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, Neil Young, Pixies, Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, Weezer, Tame Impala, Metronomy, Mac DeMarco, Parquet Courts, VANT.
AMBY: If you could create a law that everyone would have to follow, what would it be?
VANT: All of the laws I would choose to create already exist and are continuously broken, unfortunately, that is the reality of the world we live in. For example worldwide laws concerning Female Genital Mutilation are very poorly enforced and it has been overlooked for a long, long time. Only recently, thanks to the compassionate efforts of heroic campaigners, has it come into the consciousness of the general public. I’d make it illegal to bury your head in the sand and pretend nothing exists outside of your own little bubble.
AMBY: With so much going on at the moment, as a young band, this must be an exciting time for you. What has been the highlight so far?
VANT: For me The Answer being play-listed on BBC Radio One is a massive achievement. This is way more than a band to me this is a mission statement, it’s a way of life, it’s fucking important. The fact that a song that addresses some really biting issues is being played to millions of people around the world on a daily basis marks the start of something really exciting.
AMBY: Lastly, what’s something about VANT that nobody knows yet?
VANT: Five years ago I watched the entirety of Seinfeld in a month, think about that…
Thank you VANT, for giving us your answers!