New York alternative rock band VISTA, comprised by Hope Vista and guitarist Greg Almeida, is gearing up for their first headlining tour of 2018. The Blood Lust Tour will go for twenty-five dates throughout the US, bringing us VISTA’s electronically-imbued rock sound featured in their latest single “Witch Hunt”. Music Existence had the opportunity to interview the members via email where we spoke about their upcoming tour, Warped Tour, and their influences.
ME: What was the creative process like for Long Live?
Greg: Long Live was a lot of back and forth between me and Hope figuring out how to write with each other and it was fun. It was hard at times but I had a lot of fun making it.
Hope: Definitely lots of back and forth. At that time, we were really working to just get into a good working groove. It took a bit of time to fall into a solid working relationship, as well as develop one mutually with the producer (Okan Kazdal) but once we hit that peak, I think our best songs came out. The whole process took about 6-7 months.
ME: It is said that “Allegiance” lyrically centralizes around the theme of finding an oasis in a dystopian society. What was the source of inspiration for that theme and powerful lyrics like: ‘Turning point of the human race, Pledge allegiance to us, you’re safe’?
Greg: We kind of just wanted to create a “place” where people could feel like they were accepted, not that it has to be this bright paradise. But we wanted to just try to band everyone together with our music somehow. We thought that was a good anthem for that.
ME: The Bloodlust Tour is set to begin at the end of this month, what are you looking forward to the most for this tour?
Greg: Playing new cities for sure!
Hope: I’m stoked to hit up Texas. I know it’s going to be hot out there, but it’s a state I’ve never been to, so I’m looking forward to seeing two of its cities. Of course meeting people, seeing people we haven’t seen since last tour, getting to go through our set every night. Tour is a weird process. You drive a lot to hop on stage for 30-40 minutes every night, but I can’t see myself doing anything else. I’m just looking forward to the whole thing.
ME: What do you want your fans to walk away with from your performances?
Greg: We want them to feel inspired and powerful. We want them to be like “fuck yeah that was a sick show.” Pretty much.
Hope: Yeah, we really want them to feel empowered. That’s really what the concept of “The Oasis” from “Long Live” came from. We wanted to create a safe space for our listeners to come enjoy a show, while simultaneously just feeling safe and comfortable. I don’t see much of that anymore in this industry because of all that has been going on, so we want to make sure people feel comfortable at our shows.
ME: Which song from the EP are you most excited to perform?
Greg: I love playing “Inside Anxious” or “Henchmen.” Or “Hellbent.”
Hope: We’ve been playing all these songs for almost a year now, but I still get excited to play “Dominance 2.0” and “Henchmen.” They usually get the strongest responses and most crowd interaction, which I really feed off of for energy.
ME: What was is like to work with Zack Odom and Kenneth Mount from ZK Productions on “Witch Hunt”?
Greg: It was great. They’re the homies.
Hope: Zack and Ken have been two very good friends of mine since mid 2015. I last made a record with them then, my last solo record. My experiences with them back then really, really unlocked a huge amount of determination in both my writing and vocal performance. They brought out qualities in me as an artist that defined my brand; they just get it. They understand what artists want to bring out of their writing, how they want to convey their work. I text them very frequently just to chat, get advice on things, and everything in between, because they are two people that A) jump-started my career by helping me define my artistry and B) are so incredibly knowledgeable in their craft.
ME: How has VISTA evolved since its inception in 2015?
Hope: Besides it physically being a different band, I think VISTA is just very strongly branded now, we’re very in touch with what makes VISTA, “VISTA” if that makes sense. We are constantly evolving though, and I think listeners can tell with each track we release.
ME: You guys will be at the NY date for Warped Tour, what are some of the emotions and thoughts going in on WT’s final run?
Greg: It’s sad but I see why it’s happening. We are honored to be a part of it. It has such a legendary history.
Hope: The other day I found an old email I had sent in 2012 to the general Vans Warped Tour submissions email address. It was this silly little email I sent asking, kind of begging, to be put on the next lineup. It was odd finding that now, because I said in the email that it would be an honor to play, and I still damn well mean that. It has been one of my career goals since I was very young to somehow be a part of this tour, and the fact that it’s happening on the final run is just the ultimate circle of life. My best friend and I were actually just talking about this; we used to talk about it together when we were kids. She took off work to go to our date and that’s just going to be the total come around.
ME: Listed as VISTA’s influences are Thirty Seconds To Mars, Muse, Linkin Park, Bring Me The Horizon, and Sleeping With Sirens. What are some of the aspects of those bands that have inspired and attracted you?
Greg: I really like that most of them came from NOTHING. Especially Sleeping with Sirens, man I remember getting into them when their first album was out. Love them.
Hope: Yeah dude, these bands all really took the time to build brands and very unique, individual styles and sounds. I admire bands that build from the ground up. These bands also are constantly evolving and growing, and that’s a quality I have a lot of respect for.
ME: Going through the band’s social media I noticed the blue motif. Is there a specific reason for that particular concept?
Greg: Gotta stay on brand, chief. We just try to make stuff cohesive and look professional. We like black and blue and everything in between.
Hope: I don’t know why he keeps saying ‘chief,’ but it’s just the color scheme we picked for the Long Live era and as of right now, we have no plans of changing it.
ME: If you could only describe VISTA in three words which would they be?
Greg: Power. Determination. Memes.
Hope: Definitely not memes on my end. I agree with power and determination. I’ll add passion.
ME: Last but not least any shoutouts?
Greg: Shoutout to all the people streaming “Witch Hunt.” I love y’all. Let’s keep breaking records. Come out to The Bloodlust Tour!
Hope: Thank you for opening your ears to us! See you on the roooooad this summer!
Make sure to click on the links below and check out VISTA at a city near you:
Greg: @grooglesVISTA (Twitter/Insta)
Hope: @hopevista (Twitter/Insta
“THE BLOODLUST TOUR” DATES:
6/25 – Bungalow – Manchester, NH
6/26 – Stamps – Buffalo, NY
6/28 – The Cave – New Haven, CT
6/29 – Smiling Moose – Pittsburgh, PA
6/30 – The Outpost – Kent, OH
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
7/16 – Imurj – Raleigh, NC
7/17 – The Boulevard Tavern – Charleston, WV
7/18 – Sidebar – Baltimore, MD
7/19 – Revolution – Amityville, NY
7/20 – Patterson Creations – Attleboro, MA
7/21 – Connie’s Ric Rac – Philadelphia, PA
7/22 – Brighton Bar – Long Branch, NJ
7/24 – Gold Sounds – Brooklyn, NY