An Interview with VANT

By Charlie Catmull

Q: You’ve played festivals abroad; would you say you’ve been growing a fan-base overseas?

Matty: The Netherlands in particular has been amazing for us and we are going back out there in December. But the real exciting one for us this year was Japan. Getting to go to the other side of the world and 10,000 people turning up to watch you play was pretty mind-blowing.

Henry: Not having any idea either, like, literally I had no expectations of it really. I thought no one knew who we were, it’s amazing.

Q: Your songs are pretty political, against the grain, and why is that? Is it trying to get the message out, we have had a pretty crap year in terms of global affairs this year.

M: I think we’ve had a pretty crap existence really as a species. As soon as we learnt we could control and manipulate people, it’s never really been the same again, and we live in a very poignant moment in history I feel. We kind of went through this weird phase in western society feeling like we’d reached levels of equality in the 60’s and 70’s but we’re still nowhere near the level of equality that we should be at. We had this weird lull in the 80’s and 90’s where people were in this happy state of pointless existence. There were things happening around us, maybe it wasn’t as obvious [and] things weren’t being publicised. Now we have the internet that infiltrates everyone’s lives and we spend just as much time in the fake digital world as we do in the real world.

Q: I guess the people that follow you are the people that like you and your message so that’s why they like you in the first place?

M: Yes and no. We do have people sometimes that’ll go ‘I disagree with you on this’ and it’s like, ‘well, great, at least we’ve challenged your opinion –‘

Q: It’s good to create some sort of discussion…

M: You can still like the music and maybe not necessarily agree with our principles but it means you’re a racist, bigoted *laughs* a**hole that wants to destroy the planet and doesn’t give a f**k about global warming or equality or a better education for our children. I think we just want to bring things back in to the real world and start discussions there, whether it’s in interviews or at shows, encouraging people to talk with their friends and family outside of the digital atmosphere.

Q: Would you say music is the best format for this, in terms of getting a wide message across?

H: No not really

M: I mean it’s always been there. We’ve had artists like Dylan and Neil Young and the Clash and, more recently, artists like P.J Harvey and Bjork where they are challenging people’s ideals. But the things we take inspiration from are things like documentaries, comedians, art and actually reading the f***ing news. That is enough, as I said before, because of how transparent everything is now. You’re sat there watching a news channel or reading a newspaper and you’re going ‘I can’t believe they’re actually admitting this sh*t’. But that’s the way it is now, so we’re just basically trying to encourage that thought.


Charlie Catmull

This article was published in our November 2016 issue.

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