Vant: "We will reincarnate in 2018 for sure"
Mattie and co. have gone on indefinite hiatus - but that doesn't mean they won't be back.
Published: 9:32 am, October 03, 2017
It seems every band is calling it a day this month - VANT have revealed they’re to go on indefinite hiatus after their upcoming UK tour, The Last Days Of Punk.
The band - who released debut album 'Dumb Blood' earlier this year, and appeared on the cover of Dork too (wahey) - will say goodbye with the release of a mini-album, 'Talk Like Thunder'.
Frontman Mattie Vant explains how the band came to the super tough decision - and suggests this won't be the last you see of the foursome...
Hey Mattie, so you’ve announced VANT are going on indefinite hiatus - was the decision a long time in the making, or did you just wake up one morning and decide you’d had enough?
It was in no way an easy decision. Many sleepless nights and difficult conversations culminated in this eventuality. It’s a positive thing though; the future is very exciting for all of us, as sad as it may seem right now!
So you didn’t enjoy being part of the major label machine, huh?
That wasn't really a factor, to be honest. We had an amazing time with Parlophone; they were a great label for us. They let us release a single (The Answer, which was also Annie Mac / BBC R1’s Hottest Record in the World) about child deaths in the Syrian war for fuck's sake! You can’t get any more creative freedom than that. They were, of course, shocked when we told them our intentions, especially after all the time, money and effort they’d pumped into the project up until that point. Our worry was that time, money and effort were starting to run out, it’s a business after all. We could never be a band without balls, if we had continued with Parlophone and our second record had sounded like "insert bland, say nothing, so-called “rock” band here" I’d fucking kill myself. They knew that as well. It was probably the most mutually agreed end to a major label deal in history. I fucking love those people, they truly believed in everything we did, and they genuinely wanted us to be the biggest band in the world.
In hindsight, is there anything you’d have done differently?
Not a thing. It’s been incredible. I still can’t believe a band like us were even signed by a major label in the first place, especially given the fact we had no fanbase or songs online when the initial offer came in. It’s been a beautiful whirlwind. We made some great friends, we played some incredible shows, and we got to travel the world! Above all, we made music that meant something, that mattered and documented a very odd time in human existence. How many bands can say that these days? We just don’t want it to tail off into nothingness when we can end on a high. We finished the summer on the main stages of Reading & Leeds festivals. That was the goal when I started making music, I’ve already surpassed every ambition and expectation I’ve ever had. The dream came true.
Do you think there’s currently a place in the mainstream for the kind of music VANT make, or is it just not the right time regardless of what’s going on behind-the-scenes?
To set the record straight, it is in no way a personal thing between me and the lads, we all love each other very much. 'Dumb Blood' was a homage to everything I love about rock music and I'm very proud of everything that we have achieved together. However, you have to take a step back, look at the current climate and assess what it is you want to accomplish not only as a musician but in life. The type of rock music that is currently popular isn’t the type of rock music I want to make. In general, rock music isn’t reaching the commercial success of other genres, and it’s nowhere near as forward thinking. It isn't at the forefront of what is pioneering, and that’s where I want to be as a musician. I’ve been making rock music for ten years or so now, ever since I was 14, I’m ready to experiment with new things, and that wouldn’t have felt right under the VANT guise. My ambition in life hasn’t changed, I still want to make a positive impact on this planet, I’ve just realised that angry political rock music isn't the best way to penetrate the mainstream. Also, in order to be able to go back to VANT in the future, I have to leave it behind and more importantly, untouched. VANT will always be an avenue to comment on the tumultuous state of this planet, and if a time comes when I feel like I have more to say, we will undoubtedly return.
There must’ve been good times too though, right? What are your highlights from your time in VANT?
Too many to list entirely but the ones that come to mind right now - every young musician's dream, signing to a major label, especially one as prestigious as Parlophone. Going to NYC & Chicago to play the main stages of legendary music festivals Governor’s Ball and Lollapalooza. Fuji Rock & Japan. Every single fucking time we went to the Netherlands, what a place, it was so amazing to see such acceptance and love for our music in another country! 5 Hottest Records in the World. Releasing our debut album 'Dumb Blood'. Selling out Electric Ballroom & of course treading the same boards as Nirvana, Radiohead & Arctic Monkeys (to name but a few) on the main stages of Reading & Leeds festivals.
The tour you’re about to head out on, have you arranged it all yourselves?
It was the brainchild of our brilliant booking agent Mike Greek and the team at CAA. It seems like a very fitting way to end things. I don’t think we were ever meant to play venues bigger than these anyway! Ha.
Are the songs on the accompanying mini-album all new ‘uns? Is that a Blur cover on the end?
Well spotted. As a homage to Parlophone and everything they’ve done for us we've included a cover of one of our favourite Parlophone acts Blur alongside five original tracks. Not to blow one's own trumpet but, I think we’re pretty good at the cover thing, and we’ve always had fun doing them. You can see our covers of Katy Perry, Rihanna & MIA on YouTube (I think).
Do you have any advice for bands going through similar situations right now?
Just make music you believe in for as long as you believe in it. If it makes you happy keep doing it, success isn’t everything, but if you’re ready to try something new, then that’s ok as well.
Are you sure you have to go? What’s next for you guys?
I’m afraid it’s time for us to take a break. But don’t be sad, new things are already underway, we will reincarnate in 2018 for sure. Thanks to everyone who bought an album, came to a show, wore a t-shirt, streamed a song, introduced us to a friend or shared something online. It meant the world to us at the time, and it always will do.
VANT tour the UK from 19th October.
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