Photo credit to Holly Turner.
The month of May has been a crazy busy one for VISTA. Just over week ago, the band dropped a surprise single for fans, “Witch Hunt,” and right before that announced a month long tour across the US through the Summer! You can learn more about the band’s upcoming plans and tour dates right below.
“Witch Hunt” is VISTA’s brand new single release, which was a complete surprise for fans. What led you to choosing this type of release?
Hope: We hadn’t done something like this before. Yeah, it’s a surprise release, but we spent all of 2018 so far planning for this. Everything leading up to this release, as well as The Bloodlust Tour, was all meticulously planned. We knew we didn’t want to put out another EP this year, or any kind of full record. We were actually going to put out another track on May 11th, but in the middle of a panel while we were at LAUNCH Conference in April, I scribbled out a release plan on a newspaper and leaned over to Greg to show it to him. We ran out into the lounge after the panel, hopped on the phone with our graphic designer, walked through the whole plan, and that was it. We scratched the idea to put a different track out, jumped ships to this one, and said, ‘hey, we’ve never done this before. Let’s put all of our best cards on the table.’
Greg: It was kind of a pretty sporadic decision but I’m happy it’s happening. I always enjoy putting out music and hearing people’s reactions regardless of when it is. Hopefully it comes to our fans as a nice surprise!
The song itself is great, by the way. When listening to your releases in order, you can literally hear the growth and progression. Can you share what has changed in yourself and your music, in your opinion, between Long Live‘s release and now?
Hope: Thank you! I’m super glad you say that you can hear growth – that’s our goal to the T. We’ve actually had full blown conversations about growth and progression during planning sessions or drives or wherever. I think with each release, each studio session, Greg and I get each other a little bit more. We really are able to figure out all facets of how we write, record, etc. So the more we put out, the more we’ll have learned about each other. I really think that’s where the growth comes from. For “VERSUS,” VISTA was at about 50%. “Long Live,” looking back at it now, we were at about 80%. Now, with “Witch Hunt” and everything else we’ve worked on this year so far, I’m hoping we’ve moved closer to that 100% full throttle VISTA. The music, the brand, the vision. We’ll get there.
Greg: When I listen I can hear it too, so that’s a good thing. Even though I didn’t have a part in writing “VERSUS”, it’s even cool for me to hear where the band’s “head” was at during that time frame and what I’ve come to add in the past 2 years or so.
Is “Witch Hunt” going to be a part of something bigger, such as an upcoming EP or even full length album?
Hope: We have no plans for an upcoming EP or full length in 2018, or at all right now. We’re just focusing on our summer tour, promoting “Witch Hunt,” and recording. We want to promote “Long Live” and this era all we can until we can’t stand it.
Greg: I think singles are gonna be the way to go for a bit. In order to have that full body of work I think we need a bit more inspiration and spark from all ends of the spectrum; creative, business, branding, etc. It needs to come genuinely and not be forced. But we are always writing.
In addition to the single, you’ve just announced a HUGE US tour. Tell me a bit about that! What cities are you looking forward to playing the most?
Hope: The Bloodlust Tour is made up of almost 75% new markets for us. That scares the hell out of me. I don’t know what’s going to happen when we hop over to these new cities. We’ve been having some horrible van issues the last month or so, so that stresses me out, as well. But overall, this tour is going to be an adventure. I’ve never been to Texas at all, so I’m stoked to head over there. I’m also excited to go back to Atlanta, one of my favorite places in the country, and honestly I’m pretty excited to go to Oklahoma, too. I would’ve never guessed we’d be doing a show in Oklahoma, ever. So having the experience of going to an unexpected state is going to be electric.
Greg: This tour is gonna be hella scary, but with enough preventive measures, it will probably go off without too many hitches. I’m looking forward to seeing some friends I have in Dallas, just looking forward to the experience in general, & being out for a while. I feel like my friends are gonna forget about me by the time I’m back. Oh well. I love touring.
Hope: At least you have us, friend 🙂
Outside of the US, where do you hope to tour next, and why? What do you think are the chances of that happening in the near future?
Hope: I’ve always said the UK. They’re very cool and receptive over there. I also really would love to tour Asia, Australia, and throughout Europe. I don’t know what’s going to happen next, we don’t have the base or capital to head over to those countries quite yet. But hey, if any bands are lookin’ for some support; hiiiii.
Greg: Everywhere Hope mentioned would be insane. I would love to play shows in other countries. & I wanna tour Japan. I wanna tour Japan. I r e a l ly w a n t t o t o u r J a p a n.
Hope: Just a million shows in Japan.
When people hear one of your songs, what do you want them to feel?
Greg: I just want them to rock out. If they wanna dig deeper, that’s cool too. But yeah. Jam.
On the flipside of the former question, what do YOU feel when you hear your work?
Hope: Hyper critical. There’s always piece of tracks I wish I would’ve done differently vocally, or production aspects I would’ve personally liked to change a bit. But overall, I’m proud of what we’ve done so far. As we keep progressing, I feel better and better about what we’re creating.
Greg: I feel pretty proud honestly. We got some badass and slightly wonky stuff going on. I love it. I’m so interested to wonder what we’re gonna sound like a year from now, 5 years from now, whatever. The concept is crazy.
Lately (especially since the passing of Avicii), the mental strain that working in the music industry puts on a person has been a hot topic. How do you think we could work together to improve the industry overall and the wellbeing of everyone within it?
Hope: His passing really upset me. He such a bright young artist with the world in his hands, but his passing also proves that success, money, and fame do not always equate to genuine happiness. The bottom line is, we all struggle. Greg and I attended a panel a few weeks ago that was moderated by Anna Shinoda and Talinda Bennington, the wives of Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington. The panel itself was about mental health in the music industry, and holy hell, did it hit us hard. I walked out of the panel physically shaking, because everything they talked about hit home. We need to check up on our friends. The importance of self-care is crucial. If you notice patterns of change in your friend’s self-care habits, that may be a sign something is wrong (this is something they stressed in the panel). We all need to be more aware and compassionate. I couldn’t even sum up my answer to this question if I tried. This industry is known to be toxic, but if we were all a bit more aware, we could really move towards improving everyone’s mental well-being.
Greg: This is a loaded question and I like that you’re trying to publish the answers to it. Because the answer does not come from one person, it comes from the voice of an entire audience. To add to that voice; I’ll just throw in that the mental strain of music is no joke. For some people, like me, it can really get you to anywhere at any time. It doesn’t have to be that way but it can be. ESPECIALLY if things aren’t going right, or you’re unsure of the future. You have a lot of trouble seeing the light at the end of the tunnel That’s when it really fucks with me the worst. I can’t stand it. We just need to all keep talking to each other and picking each other up. Keep talking about it. The more people realize it’s gonna be okay, the better.
Continuing on the topic of mental health, how do you personally deal with the stressful nature of this business?
Hope: Lately, I’ve really tried to pay attention to my self-care routine and making sure I take time for my own mental health. I try to hike for 30 minutes every morning. I have a night routine that I make sure I follow; that’s my self-care time. Essential oils, drinking water, taking my makeup off at night, moisturizing, putting on chapstick, taking my vitamins, stretching. These are all just small parts of my daily routine that contribute to my own well-being. The biggest for me is a tip my dad gave me when I was in high school. He told me, ‘even if you’re just sitting in a chair outside, you have to get 20 minutes of vitamin D every day.’
Greg: Sometimes it just take a good paradigm shift, or some other odd thing to snap you out of it. Whenever I feel anxious, I try doing an activity that I would normally never do. Some of my fondest memories and best hobbies have formed over needed to do something new due to anxiety. Also meditation, breathing exercises, and video games.
Is there anything I missed that you would like to talk about?
Hope: “Witch Hunt” is out NOOOOW and The Bloodlust Tour kicks off on 6/25 in New Hampshire!!!!
Greg: Go listen to “Witch Hunt” on Spotify. You have no idea how much Spotify streams matter in the industry now. So go and stream that dang thing. Stream it 20x times. Then stream it 20 more. Make your dog listen to it. Ok, thank you. See you on the road. \/ /\
Upcoming Tour Dates:
6/24 – Bungalow – Manchester, NH
6/26 – Stamps – Buffalo, NY
6/27 – The Cave – New Haven, CT
6/29 – Smiling Moose – Pittsburgh, PA
7/1 – Skully’s Music Diner – Columbus, OH
7/2 – Irving Theater – Indianapolis, IN
7/3 – Wire – Chicago, IL
7/5 – Amsterdam Bar & Music Hall – Saint Paul, MN
7/6 – The Riot Room – Kansas City, MI 7/8 – Vanguard – Tulsa, OK
7/9 – The Dirty 30 – Dallas, TX
7/10 – Super Happy Fun Land – Houston, TX
7/11 – Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
7/12 – The Haven – Orlando, FL
7/13 – Nighthawks – Jacksonville, FL
7/14 – The Wilbury – Tallahassee, FL
7/17 – The Boulevard Tavern – Charleston, WV
7/18 – Sidebar – Baltimore, MD
7/19 – Revolution – Amityville, NY
7/21 – Connie’s Ric Rac – Philadelphia, PA
7/22 – Brighton Bar – Long Branch, NJ
7/23 – Patterson Creations – Attleboro, MA
7/24 – Gold Sounds – Brooklyn, NY