Vant: "We want to be one of those bands that represents our generation"
Mattie Vant just wants to make sure the species isn't, y'know, fucked.
Published: 1:11 pm, July 28, 2016
“Our manager used to be in a band in the 80s called Kane Gang, and he used to say, you’d do interviews and two thirds of it would be about politics and left wing mentality. Now it’s just about how many fucking followers you have on Twitter, it’s ridiculous.”
Mattie Vant has something to say. And he wants others to join him, too. He wants that voice back, one for the new generation, and he’s not afraid to be it.
“It’s all very well, you know, when you see bands retweeting someone else or whatever,” he says, exasperated. “But you’re not actually saying anything yourself. You can regurgitate other people’s opinions as much as you want because it’s not dangerous. People are too afraid of being criticised for it. If you use the voice of someone else, it’s easy to use them as a scapegoat and to not take the fall.”
If you’ve listened to any of VANT’s early offerings, you’ll definitely have heard some form of political statement - but most of all you’ll notice how the lyricism comes from a place of worry and drive. “There’s so many subjects that we can talk about,” Mattie explains. “People are way too lazy in general with their lyricism. There’s so much by-the-numbers formulaic nonsense out there at the moment. You read some lines from bands and there’s nothing behind it at all.”
“It’s something that we really need to address,” he adds. “I guess we’re just doing what we do because it’s what we love. Because it’s more than just a band to us. The music’s obviously important, but we also stand for something. We want to be one of those bands that represents our generation for what it is and encapsulates the moment. I think the debut album will be a real mark of where we are in 2017.”
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For Mattie, the current generational voice is different to the sound his band are aiming for. “I think you’ve got to look to hip hop and grime to see any sort of political statements at all,” he ponders. “I make this music because I don’t really relate to that style of politicism, although I’m interested. I’m concerned with world-wide politics and the future of humans as a species. I don’t think there’s many people maybe looking at the way we act and we are as society.”
Of course, these days genres are almost worthless. Artists are taking inspiration from all over the place and using them to create more interesting and approachable sounds. Nowadays you can as easily find the same person at a Wolf Alice gig as you would a Stormzy show.
Still, for all the good it does, the easy come, easy go, throw away culture of 2016 isn’t necessarily something Mattie’s a fan of. “People just get bored of stuff,” he sighs. “That’s the problem. One minute, punk and revolution and all that sort of stuff is the new thing and then all of a sudden mobile phones come out or Twitter or the selfie is invented, and there’s something else to occupy people’s time. Yeah do it, but also try and make sure that life as a species isn’t fucked.”
“The [album’s] lead single is actually probably the most philosophical song we’ve released so far,” he concludes. “It concentrates more on our mentality and it questions the meaning of life. It’s called ‘Karma Seeker’ and it’s about people trying to rush their own life, constantly looking towards the future instead of enjoying the present. You miss so much.”
Not that that’s a problem for VANT. Their future is now.