Tuesday 12th June 2018
An electronically-tinged alternative rock band, NY-based outfit VISTA originally formed in late 2015. Comprised of lead vocalist Hope Vista and guitarist Greg Almeida, the band combines both modern alternative rock and electronic influences to create their unique anthemic sound. VISTA released their debut 4-track EP “VERSUS” shortly after their original inception, in which their debut single “On The Brink” debuted worldwide on idobi radio. Their name hasn’t been shy in the press, since; the band has garnered praise from outlets such as Alternative Press, Rock Sound, Substream, and AXS. Success has continued to rise, after VISTA recently dropped details of their upcoming 25-date Bloodlust Tour, following their surprise single “Witch Hunt,” which has already racked up over 20,000 streams within the first 18 days of release.
Photo Credit: Holly Turner
You released your new single “Witch Hunt” a couple of weeks ago. How are you finding the response to the track so far?
Hope: Really awesome. We’ve never really been able to figure out the Spotify puzzle, but “Witch Hunt” became our most-streamed song in just 10 days, I think. People on all social media grounds have been insanely kind to us about this release.
Greg: Yeah, I’m super stoked about that and how we’re finally starting to pick up traction with it. People have been so nice.
What was the decision behind deciding to surprise release the single, and what was the fan reaction to it? I notice you were putting out teasers on the lead up to it…
Hope: I don’t think we’re going to surprise release anything again, but we just wanted to try a different marketing approach. We hadn’t dropped something without warning before, so we just mapped out a plan and chose to announce our upcoming tour and “Witch Hunt” back to back. I think people were a bit confused at first, but once they realized it was music, it built up. Definitely an interesting thing to see, and a one time thing.
Greg: Yeah, I’m happy we did it though. Everything is a learning experience. Some stuff about the “vague” marketing techniques were cool. In the end I think it all worked out though.
What’s the story behind the single?
Hope: We were angry during our last tour about how things in modern media were unraveling in terms of both politics and figures in the entertainment industry. Not pinned on one person in event in particular, it’s a track about internally questioning who you can trust amongst universal chaos.
Greg: Yeah, honestly it’s just about that feeling of hysteria we got. It really feels weird having no one to trust or look up to sometimes.
Hope: And we have felt that a lot collectively as a unit, as VISTA. When you’re putting your trust, time, passion, and money into your business and career, feeling a lack of trust in your surroundings is one of the most frightening things there is.
Will there be an accompanying video to follow?
Hope: Yes, we just shot a music video for it a few weeks ago, but we haven’t announced the release date for it yet.
Are you looking to release an EP or album in the near future?
Hope: Nothing planned for another EP as of yet. We’re focusing on promoting this single, promoting The Bloodlust Tour, and releasing that video. Once all that’s complete, then we’ll start some conversations about what our next moves are. We moved very fast last year and did a lot back to back. So right now I think we’re just taking it one thing at a time, watching our pace.
Greg: Yaaa. We’re always scheming though.
You’re heading out on The Bloodlust Tour in less than a month now, and you’ll be performing 25 dates. How are you feeling about getting back out on the road?
Hope: Stressed, to say the least. It’s a long tour, our longest yet, so we’re still piecing together certain things and are crossing things off our to-do list. Once everything’s crossed off, I’ll feel a lot better. But either way, I’m excited to play a lot of shows, I also just love having content to post on social media, and meeting new people. I’m excited to go to new states I’ve never been to.
Greg: It is stressful but we are just trying to power through one thing on the checklist on the time. I love being on the road though.
Are there any venues in particular that you’re looking forward to playing at?
Hope: I’m excited to go to Texas, I’ve never been there. We’re doing Nashville again, which is one of my favorite cities ever. Potentially my favorite overall just to be in, breathe in. I’m also really stoked to play in Raleigh. My favorite show is set in North Carolina, One Tree Hill. So I’ve always just wanted to be in North Carolina.
Greg: I am very excited to play in all the new cities. That shit is my favorite. Other than that we’re going to hit our favorites like Nashville and Long Island. Back to Orlando too!
What can we expect from the tour, and will you be performing any more new material?
Hope: We’ve actually been playing “Witch Hunt” live since March, but nobody knew what it was. So we’ll be playing that every night, most of the “Long Live” EP. We have one other new song that isn’t released yet that we’ve also been playing since March, you’ll hear that every show. As always, our lighting rig. Just a ton of energy, nice flow, my weird stage outfits. We also have our Long Live 1 year anniversary show in our hometown on 7/19, that’ll be our longest set yet, I think like 12 songs?
You must be so excited to be performing at the Vans Warped Tour this year. That’s got to be an experience for any band, and even more so knowing it’s going to be their final year. How did the opportunity come about?
Hope: We had this on our band bucket list since the start, so we’re just excited to get the experience. It was honestly just timing, we knew the right person and made the connection, and he gave us the opportunity. You can catch us walking around the entire day with picket signs (I’m actually stoked to do this).
Greg: Yes! It’s gonna be so cool dude. Reminds me of when I played Bamboozle back in the day. We’re gonna make that set count for sure.
What do you get up to outside of music to help make ends meet as a band? I notice you’ve been appealing for donations to help with your upcoming tour and travelling costs.
Hope: We actually haven’t appealed for any donations; that would mean we’ve begged or urgently requested. We have always been very transparent about our financial situation, being a two-piece band with no financial backing, so we have made posts saying that if anybody would like to buy some merch, all of the money from merch sales will go directly to tour costs. Since we only ship in the US, we’ve also included our PayPal in the posts and said that if anybody would like to help us out, here is our direct PayPal link. But we’ve never asked or begged people to donate to us for tour; we have just put our info out there if anyone wants to help, and we’ve always made that very clear. All costs are on us, as we’re choosing to do this. It’s very difficult though. I work three jobs, six days a week and Greg does overnight shifts in the city. I also pay all of my own bills and live on my own, as well as meeting my half of the band cost split. It’s difficult, we don’t hide that, and if anyone has ever been willing to help, we appreciate that more than anything. But we also understand that the costs are our responsibility, which may eventually lead to not being able to do certain things because we just simply can’t afford it. I think it’s important to be transparent and honest with our audience about this type of thing so they understand all facets of being an unsigned band. The biggest challenge is building this while also trying to live comfortably.
Greg: Hope explained this very well. I’ve been very blessed to have a job with a super flexible schedule that pays well, and I essentially just call them when I want to work. I also get to see some pretty cool stuff at work too every now then. Anyways, yeah you have to budget everything to a T in order to make this work. It’s tough.