Vant on the Main Stage at Truck Festival 17
It’s All Indie (IAI) caught up with Mattie and Henry from Vant after their main stage performance at Truck Festival. We chatted backstage whilst Nothing But Thieves were playing which was an awesome soundtrack to the interview! Vant’s set was a highlight of the festival with the band fully embracing the awful weather by calling for a mud fight, fight, fight!! And that’s the reason I was covered in mud whilst chatting…..
Mud Fight!!! During Vant's set at Truck Festival
IAI: Hi guys, the last time I saw you was at Teddy Rocks Festival in Dorset which was also in the pouring rain. There were some amazing pyrotechnics right in front of you and I kept thinking you guys were going to jump off stage when they went off!
Henry: It was pretty hot!
Mattie: I thought I was gonna die.
Henry: It was genuine heat, shockingly hot. I’ve never had that experience. Potentially that’ll be the only time.
Mattie: We took advantage of it though, we got to choose the colour of our confetti! (confetti canons alongside the pyros)
IAI: A few bands before you jumped off the stage to run into the crowd giving security heart failure because of the pyros!
Mattie: We definitely weren’t that brave!
IAI: So last time I saw you it was in the pouring rain and of course today it’s pouring with rain…
Mattie: Maybe you’re the curse then?
IAI: And today you also arranged to get mud thrown at me as well
Mattie: Did you run away?
IAI: Well I was trying to take photos of the mud chucking! You seem to have been on the road forever?
Mattie: Pretty much nearly three years now really. We do it in quite a nice way, I don’t think we do a “let’s do a fuck off constant tour and then let’s not tour again for 6 months” there’s very rarely a week goes by when we’re not doing a show
IAI: What’s it like playing these big stages now?
Henry: Good. It’s a really nice feeling. Like today, it was such a great crowd.
IAI: That was amazing today you really got the Truck crowd going.
Henry: It was a really great show, it’s such a pleasure being able to do it.
Mattie: I guess it does show you progress, the stages get a bit bigger, there’s a few more people there. It’s nice it keeps you kinda going and fresh, and you start wondering how far it could actually go.
IAI: What was it like touring with You Me At Six (YMAS)? That was the first time I saw you guys live.
Mattie: That was really, really fun.
Henry: Yeah it was great.
Mattie: Such nice people. Their crowds were really great and responsive to us. I think that was the same as when we toured with Nothing But Thieves (NBTs). Some crowds really latch onto support bands and support them because most of the time the band putting them on really likes them which is why they’re there. I think we definitely felt that with YMAS. They were big fans of us and the reaction was similar with their fans.
IAI: I saw these guys (NBTs) play a small venue in Southampton only a few years ago to about 30 people and this is just unbelievable playing main stage to a festival with 15000 people!
Henry: Yeah it’s amazing.
Mattie: It’s crazy, I remember the first time we toured with these guys. Their very first album tour was pretty much identical to the size of album tour that we did at the start of the year. You get inspired by bands like these guys where it’s like oh shit it just shows you where it can go. You CAN play Brixton, it’s possible, it’s about believing it yourself.
IAI: And you’re playing in America now?
Mattie: Yeah we’ve done a couple of shows.
Henry: Yeah we did, and we went to Europe and played a couple of shows there and we’re going back to Chicago. It’s such a pleasure being able to do that.
IAI: What’s it like playing to an American crowd? Any different to here?
Mattie: Yeah, there’s not so much familiarity. A lot of people who came to see us knew the words which was amazingly inspiring to see, a bit of a whirlwind really. It was great.
IAI: What’s it like hearing your songs sung back to you now from the crowd? How does that feel?
Mattie: It’s amazing, you know it’s kinda very humbling. Don’t quite believe it when it’s happening especially when it’s loud enough to actually hear it like today. Kinda remember the headliner tour we did at the start of the year. It was the first proper time (cos the album had been out) and people knew the words and that was very surreal and yeah as Henry says it’s now surreal when you go to new countries and people know the words. It’s the power of the internet I guess.
IAI: It’s all so accessible now I guess. So talking about your album Dumb Blood, tell me what inspired the video to The Answer? It scared the hell out of me when I first saw it!
Mattie: So that’s what we were going for….
IAI: It worked!
Mattie: It was really just a rough kinda idea that me and the co-director Sam Crook had, we liked the idea of it being a sort of thriller with the nature of the music with the long musical intro, it felt like it would be really good to make it a little bit more cinematic and dark.
IAI: Was ‘The Answer’ the first track that caught on with people?
Mattie: It was out fairly early. It’s always been a good live track, we used to open with that
for a long time. It always has an impactual nature which is why it’s the first track on the
record as well. The whole reason I wrote it was for the shock factor, a long
climax and obviously the eponymous line at the end of the song and it just grabs
people’s attention. People say ‘who the fuck is this band….’! Yeah, I think it’s a
funny track ‘The Answer’, not a lot of people talk about it but when we play it people
are like, yeah it’s great.
Henry: It seems to be a favourite, a live favourite definitely.
IAI: So I hope that people do listen to your lyrics, yours are clever, they actually say
something which is not always the case with a lot of really popular songs. Do people
listen/ know what you’re talking about? Do people question you on that sort of thing?
Mattie: Yes I hope so, there’s definitely a large percentage of our fan base who cares about
it. We’re lucky enough to talk to people after our shows and hear about what they’re
doing in their own lives, not being able to vote because they’re too young and it’s
bugging them and I think it definitely does translate. I don’t know what the
percentage is of people who just like the music and the melody, that’s kinda why we
love writing the music so that’s first and foremost the most important thing, it makes
people have a good time. I don’t see any reason why you can’t be, as you said
‘clever’ about the lyricism because there’s an opportunity there to judge people on a
different level. There are a million songs about love but how many are there about
the Afghanistan/Iraq conflict you know?
IAI: Your audience today was across the ages, not many bands get that which is
awesome. I guess that isn’t something you target?
Mattie: Not really but it’s quite a common theme at our shows. At festivals about 70% of the
audience is young. I think that a lot of older people coming to our shows find it a bit
of a throwback to when people did write about important issues like when The Clash
were about. I guess there are similarities between our style as well which is kinda
cool and it’s translated across all ages.
IAI: Thanks for talking to me and I’ll see you at Reading Festival, in the rain no doubt!
Vant's Henry on the Main Stage at Truck Festival 17