“Sagacious punk rock.”
Those are the three words Mattie Vant, frontman of rock band VANT, uses to describe his band’s sound – and he’s absolutely right. Having scored five track premieres as Annie Mac’s ‘Hottest Record in the World’, several mid/high-bill festival slots, a place on The Edge’s List of 2017, and supported rock icons like Biffy Clyro and You Me At Six, it’s hard to think that the up and coming British rockers put their heads together for the first time just three years ago. And with the recent release of their debut album DUMB BLOOD, The Edge got the chance to chat with Mattie about all things punk, politics, and predictions for the future…
With a distinctively political edge to their music, it’s hard to ignore the transparent influence that commandeers each song, and, more importantly, drives the boys to continue making them. “The state of humanity” is the muse to their sound, the state of “a confusing and challenging time to be alive,” Mattie ponders. “We wanted to document the ongoing self-destruction of a species and challenge the ideals of what pop music has become” he details, before adding; “we’re ambitious.”
Ambitious is one way of describing VANT’s sound, and fortunately so. In a world of apparent meaningless pop music, VANT are standing at the frontline of the rock revolution, with a determined and captivating energy that bleeds into their live performances too. “The more energy we give, the more energy the crowd gives, and then the more energy we then give,” Mattie explains. “I’ve always tried to be a crowd pleaser, I’m sure I’ve always entertained people BUT possibly irritated them in my early years!”
With the widely acclaimed success of their support slot for You Me At Six’s UK tour last October, it’s hard to think ‘irritating’ is at all an accurate description. “The You Me At Six tour was great. Such a nice bunch of lads and really great crowds every single night,” Mattie says, but admits “it’s been a great year for us, but it might be a while until stadiums!” Although little thought is needed to decide on his ideal support act for that future stadium tour; “I’ll just get Tigercub on every night until eternity.”
For the Seaham-born frontman, his artistic influences reside in the sound of MIA, The Clash, and Neil Young, “who remind me to continue doing what we are doing.”And understandably so, for whilst the three are iconic for their outspoken morals and messages, VANT are quickly joining their ranks. “Anyone that speaks out about the atrocities around us is doing a great thing,” Mattie affirms, cementing the very core of VANT’s purpose, and an admirable one at that.
Settling in to discussing DUMB BLOOD’s individuals tracks, Mattie notes that ‘Do You Know Me?’ is “the most autobiographical track, it talks about our time working in full time, minimum wage jobs and the total lack of understanding and empathy those in power have about how difficult those circumstances can be.” Still, he remains optimistic about the future. “There are so many kids that care about this world and want to change it. I’m full of hope,” and no doubt the boys of VANT will continue to exert that influence on their growing fanbase as the years go by. “We’re just gonna keep writing songs that we love and challenge ourselves to better what we’ve done in the past with every release,” he remarks, and to the inevitable delight of the overlapping rock circles they envelop. A stadium tour might be a little way off for the boys of VANT, but for these political punk rockers, 2017 will undeniably be their year – the year of sagacious punk rock. There’s no turning back now.
VANT are currently touring the UK, and you can buy tickets for remaining dates here. Their debut album DUMB BLOOD is out now via Parlophone.