VNDTA (from l-r): Callan Hughes (guitar), Jay Bacon (guitar), Willem Mason-Geraghty (drums), Megan Targett (vocals)
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
It is safe to say that Hertfordshire metal quartet VNDTA have faced their fair share of challenges over the past couple of years.
During the initial recording process of debut EP ‘Pale Glow’, the band went broke and had to resort to all sleeping in vocalist Megan Targett’s car, Megan ended an abusive relationship, and she also sadly lost a beloved member of her family.
However, instead of letting all that overcome them, the four-piece decided to channel the negative energy into a raw, passionate combination of alternative and progressive metal, and now, things are very much looking up for them.
With a mini-tour of the UK coming next month, and the EP’s re-release in April, VNDTA chatted to me about what can be expected from these, their difficult journey up to now, and what they’re hopeful of achieving in the future.
How did the band form?
Megan and Willem met each other at Download Festival, Megan knew Jay through the local music scene, and we met Callan at a local show. Not really an amazing story, but it was the start of one.
You were originally called Vendetta. Why the shortening of the name to VNDTA?
We felt as though we had matured a lot with our sound, as well as individuals. There had been a few line-up changes, and so we just wanted a fresh start without changing the name completely.
What is the band’s songwriting approach?
It usually starts with one of the boys coming up with a riff or drum hook/rhythm. Then, we all just jam to it for ages and see where it goes. Sometimes, Meg will have a vocal hook, but that can often be more difficult to work with.
What inspires the band lyrically?
Mental health is a big lyrical inspiration, as well as all the causes of it. Meg has had a pretty rough time for someone so young, so she’s got a lot to say.
You’re re-releasing your debut EP, ‘Pale Glow’, in April. You all experienced some challenges during the initial recording process, didn’t you?
Yes, we were all in horrible situations and places in our lives and at the end of it, we had a big line-up change. We seemed to be cursed with bad luck, but now we have a solid line-up and amazing friendships, we wanted to give the EP the recognition it deserves.
For those who didn’t manage to the listen to the EP first time around, what can they expect from it?
‘Pale Glow’ is a heavy, groovy, aggressive EP with a lot of melody and emotion. It’s angry, yet has a sensitive side, and although there’s a lot of harsh vocals, there’s lots you can sing along to as well.
Next month, the band will be going on a mini-tour of the UK with a bunch of other emerging metal outfits. How is the experience, for you all, of playing live and touring?
We live to go on tour. Travelling around the country and playing live shows is what we love. Last time we went on tour, it was the happiest we’ve ever been, we just didn’t stop laughing. None of us wanted to go back home. We met so many new people and made a lot of new friends. It’s just the best.
What are the plans for after the mini-tour and EP release?
We’re currently writing a load of new songs and want to get back into the studio. The plan this time though is to record a full-length album and then tour it all over Europe. That would be the dream.
What is the band’s long-term aim?
We’d love to be in a situation where we could quit our jobs and do the band full-time. At the moment, working full-time jobs in addition to what we’re doing as a band is aging us pretty quickly.
Just getting our music out further and being able to play all over the world would be a dream come true. America, Japan, China and Australia. We’d love to travel the world.
‘PALE GLOW’, VNDTA’S DEBUT EP, WILL BE RE-RELEASED ON APRIL 13.
FURTHER INFO ON THIS, AS WELL AS THE BAND, CAN BE FOUND HERE.