Written & Produced by Meryl "LJ" DeWitt
Edited by Rachel Rosell
Meryl "LJ" DeWitt: For our readers unfamiliar with you, please introduce yourselves and to keep it interesting, give us a random fact about yourself.
Hope: Hiiii. I’m Hope Vista, lead vox of VISTA. Diet Dr. Pepper drinker, Backstreet Boys lover, big fan of the New York Giants, usually only wear the color black, and I <3 Kit Kats :)
Greg: Hi i'm Greg, some call me Groogles. It’s way too long of a story haha. My random fact is that I can't stand beans and or ketchup.
Matt: I’m Matthew and the drummer of the band. You may know me as the guy who looks like Steven Yeun, aka Glenn from the Walking Dead (RIP). I have a blink-182/Angels and Airwaves/Star Wars/500 Days of Summer/Superman tattoos.
LJ: Musicians get to travel to great places to spread their message, but unfortunately they also end up in some not so great cities. Have you ever had a city or situation where you were genuinely scared you were going to die?
Hope: I always think something bad is going to happen. But every city has it’s ins and outs, I just like getting to see new places and explore as we come and go. I don’t think I’ve had a near-death on the road just yet! I’m sure I will, though. I have the worst luck in the history of the US.
Greg: We usually try to be smart about these things. Thank gosh nothing bad has happened thus far. Hope misplaced her bag in Virginia, lol.
Matt: I’m more worried about dying in Greg’s car than I am about what city we’re in. If you ever want to get a glimpse of how hot Hell is on Earth, let Greg drive your car. Nuff said.
Hope: HIS CAR IS 7000 DEGREES.
LJ: Ladies in the music industry tend to get some... unwanted attention from time to time. Have you guys ever had any creepy stalkers or outlandish fans?
Hope: No stalkers. But I do get some really gross messages from people on social media occasionally. I keep my Twitter DM’s open, so I can keep that line of communication open for anyone, and with that comes the opposite end of getting those weird messages. I just laugh at them though, some of them are hilarious. Yesterday I got a DM saying, “I bet you are a sadistic and dominant girl.” And I was just like….. Oh my god. What a mess.
Greg: No stalkers for me, everyone is usually cool. Unwanted advances on women/anyone are really not cool though. If you’re reading this and someone isn't into you, take no for an answer please.
Matt: Nothing bothersome thus far. Knock on wood!
LJ: Have you ever "lost" a bandmate right before a set? If so, where were they to be found?
Hope: I never know where Matt is, ever. He likes to get into a zone before we go onstage, so he just goes off by himself for a few minutes and I’ll have no clue where he goes! We always find him though :)
Greg: They actually lost me in Virgina cause I was warming up, haha.
Matt: I have a tendency to go off wandering to get my mind in the zone like Hope said. I also love to explore so I go searching around the venue.
LJ: So, you guys just released your new song "Henchmen". Tell me a little about the writing process that went into it. Inspirations, and struggles you faced with it?
Hope: Yeah! “Henchmen” was a voice memo idea I had that I just showed Matt and Greg at the end of a practice. I think I had like three versions of the first verse that I was working through lyrically, but they vibed with it and we kept building it from there. We wanted an apocalyptic kind of feel, I was inspired lyrically by every event that 2016 brought on. I just thought, “what a world that we’re in,” and that became one of the most hard-hitting lines in that track. Fighting oppression, our current society, bravery; all themes of “Henchmen”!
Greg: Yeah, this world can suck a lot sometimes, lots of injustices are still among this country, and we wanted to give a voice to those who feel oppressed today. We struggled to get the chorus right until just before recording, haha.
LJ: As far as your debut EP Versus goes, what song has been your favorite to perform or you've been the most personally invested in?
Hope: I’m still in love with “On The Brink.” It takes the most toll on my body, especially because that’s the last song in our set and by that point, your adrenaline is nearly depleted. That track was originally written to define the VISTA anthem-y sound, so I still hold it close because it’s what brought the band to life.
Greg: I like all the songs. “Henchmen” I’m a little more invested in because I had a part in creating it.
Matt: What Greg said. Henchmen hands down.
LJ: Is there any songs that'd you'd consider the black sheep of the EP? If so, which and why?
Hope: Probably “The Departed.” It was the least developed production-wise, it’s the most straight-forward track in that collection. But when I wrote that, I was writing in a key I’d never tested out before, it was lyrically complex. I like it. I just wish there had been more time to develop it more so it could’ve been something bigger, more arena sounding like the other three songs. But that song also gives me 3 minutes to kind of take a breather in our set, so it’s muchhhh appreciated.
Greg: Pfffff. “The Departed” grooves hella hard live. At least the way we play it now does. I don't mind it at all, but it was a little harder to get groovy than the rest.
Matt: The Departed isn’t a bad song. But I added more to the drums to have it flow better. What’s on the record was really boring (drum wise) in my opinion. So I added some “flare” when we play it live. Flows a lot better now.
LJ: Three albums you'd want to be buried with?
Hope: Linkin Park’s Meteora, Less Than Jake’s Anthem, and the entire Backstreet Boys discography. If that counts. That’s like 10 extra albums.
Greg: Fall of Troy’s Manipulator; Carly Rae Jepsen’s E•MO•TION, and Chon’s Grow. So hard to pick 3 so I'm adding in Now Now’s Threads. You can’t stop me! It’s my funeral!
Matt: Angels and Airwaves I-Empire, 30 Seconds to Mars This is War, and Brand New The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me. I’m going to have Brand New’s “Jesus Christ” play at my funeral with a guy dressed as a Reaper.
LJ: Ever had any stage nightmares?
Hope: YES. Oh my god. One time I was playing in Philly, and it was so hot inside that venue, there was no air conditioning. I was sweating like crazy, I didn’t eat or drink enough before because it was an earlier show. So I ran out onstage to start my set, and two lines into the first song I started dry heaving onstage. It was absolutely humiliating, so I ran right back off, my stage manager at the time literally threw a bottle of water to me, I ran back out, and said, “SORRY, I HAVE ALLERGIES!” So horrible. And a terrible cover.
Greg: Yeah I’ve forgotten lyrics before, fucked up my guitar parts, it happens! Nothing so major though. Sometimes equipment stops working. Happens too.
Matt: I play to backing tracks and a click. My fear is that the mixer or something will just stop working. My old in-ears popped out twice in our set and I had to go from what was in the monitor. It was awful.
LJ: Twenty years from now, what is one thing you want to have become known for?
Hope: I’ve just always wanted to make an impact through the music I’m a part of. Not in any specific way in particular, but if I can make any kind of impact on any listener, I’ll feel accomplished.
Greg: Being an honest and genuine musician who truly sits and writes all day and creates ‘cause he loves it. Someone who feels their best when creating or performing.
Matt: If a kid in 20 yrs. came up to me and said I inspired them to be a musician, to never give up on their dreams then I can die happy. There would be no greater feeling.
LJ: Finally, is there any random facts, comments, or words of wisdom you'd like to leave with your fans?
Hope: Thank you for helping VISTA grow + we hope you enjoy “Henchmen”!
Greg: Stay wise. Think for yourself. Browse dank memes. Support friends and artists you love. Be kind to each other. Listen to Henchmen if you have some spare time.
Matt: Without the fans, we would be nothing. So THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. We try to make the best music and what not for you guys. As for wisdom: “Don’t limit your challenges, challenge your limits.” I have that written on my arms. Always be yourself. Though a fictional show, I will always remember what Mr. Feeny said in the last ep. Of Boy Meets World: “Believe in yourselves, dream, try. DO good.” That will always stick with me too. There are enough assholes in the world. Don’t be one of them. Always follow your heart. Even when the world is against you.
New York based band VISTA offers a melody sure to grab your heart strings. With smooth vocals and a bright sound, they're surely a band to keep an eye on. It's easy to get lost in a sea of screaming and rage-filled lyrics in the alternative scene. That's why I love the refreshing, uplifting sound these guys bring to the table! Check out a recently conversation we had with the band!