VISTA: Greg Almeida (guitar), Hope Vista (vocals)
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
PHOTO & COVER ART by HOLLY TURNER
Hailing from the state of New York, two-piece VISTA formed towards the end of 2015 and immediately made an impact with their debut EP “VERSUS”, which showcased an anthemic rock sound and received much praise from the music media.
With the release of follow-up “Long Live” imminent, I spoke to the duo about this, as well as their journey so far.
How did VISTA form?
HOPE VISTA (vocals): Greg joined the line-up last year, I was looking for a new guitarist and we had mutual friends, so he just messaged me on Facebook asking about it! VISTA was first formed almost two years ago now, though.
How would you describe your sound?
HOPE: We call it anthem rock. Lots of arena rock influences and a large incorporation of electronic sounds, as well. Thick bass, booming drums, guitars that pulse through your body.
GREG ALMEIDA (guitar): We try and make things big sounding, somewhat! We also try to make things resonate with the listener.
HOPE: Yeah, always big. The bigger, the better.
What are the band’s main musical influences?
HOPE: I’m more influenced by life experiences than anything. I take things that I experience or that I see happening around me and turn them into music. The music itself will usually line up with my overall feelings towards whatever I’m writing about lyrically.
GREG: There isn’t really many musical influences we reference every time we write a song, we kinda just try stuff and see what sounds cool and what doesn’t. That doesn’t mean that we aren’t mindful of what other artists are doing, though.
HOPE: That’s super true. We don’t ever want to sit there and say, ‘We want to do what this artist is doing‘, because that’s their craft. Their work. We do a lot of experimentation and see what kind of falls under the anthemic umbrella and what boundaries we can push with that word in mind.
What would you say was your approach to songwriting?
HOPE: Me personally, I always sit down with one of my guitars and play around until something pops out. Sometimes a melody or lyric will just shoot up and then I run to a guitar and voice memo it on my phone.
GREG: This shit is so random to me. Sometimes I’ll hear an instrumental song in my head, then demo it out and send it to Hope. Sometimes I’ll hear a little line of a vocal and try to expand on it and then put music to it. It’s different every time!
HOPE: Dude, yeah. Each song on this record had a completely different writing process, which was super weird for me.
The band has a new EP, “Long Live”, coming out later this month. How has the recording process been?
HOPE: It was super difficult at times, we compromised a lot to make sure both of us were happy with the final product. It’s harder with two people’s thoughts instead of four, because there really isn’t any majority rule there. If one person doesn’t like something, it’s hard to change their mind, so you have no choice but to find a compromise somewhere. That aspect of it was challenging at times, honestly.
GREG: It took a long time but I’m glad it did. If it had taken like no time at all, I’d be worried it was underdeveloped! We spent a lot of time making sure things were perfect. I was perfectly happy with the amount of time it took and how we went about it.
How will this EP be different to the last one?
HOPE: It’s a lot more developed. We spent months upon months planning for it and developing every angle, from the actual music to the artwork to the overall branding. “VERSUS” was put together quickly, written quickly, no development or growth at all. To put out two records in 14 months is a lot, but listeners will clearly be able to hear the growth if they listen to “VERSUS” and then “Long Live”.
GREG: This EP has a whole different set of people in charge of instruments besides Hope. Hope is a great lyricist and songwriter, so I’m glad I was able to put my two cents in with guitar parts and drum parts and synth design. You can tell that these songs came from me and her together.
You supported Against The Current earlier this year, and you’re going on tour next month. How is the experience of playing live?
HOPE: It’s always awesome for us because we like to put on a super energetic show. We don’t stand still, we don’t NOT interact with people. We try and make it as personable as possible and as cohesive as we can.
GREG: It’s super fun! That’s the best part of it for me.
What is the band’s opinion of the current state of the American music industry?
HOPE: I don’t really have a particular opinion, I just keep up with the times and pay attention to everything that goes on so I can see how it can be applied to VISTA to help us succeed.
GREG: My opinion is that it’s super weird and niche-ey. As you get older, you start to see who the “influencers” are in the industry and you basically just have to choose what you like and what you don’t. I really try not to board any label-fuelled hype-trains anymore. When I look at someone’s page and listen to their stuff, I’m usually able to tell if it was written with integrity in mind. That matters to me.
What is your long-term aim?
HOPE: We’d really like to do a full US tour at some point and eventually break into the European and Asian markets, sign a record deal, record a full-length.
GREG: Yes! And if we can do all of that and still afford to pay all our bills, we will be alright!
HOPE: To make an income by doing what we’re most passionate about.
“LONG LIVE”, THE NEW EP FROM VISTA, WILL BE RELEASED ON JULY 21.
FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND AT THESE SITES: