Photo Credit: Holly Turner
Comprised of vocalist Hope Vista and guitarist Greg Almeida, VISTA is a anthem rock band ready to release their second EP, “Long Live” July 21. The seven-track EP is primarily high-energy rock songs that tell the story of a dystopian society.
The EP begins with “Allegiance,” setting up the scene for the EP’s concept. Everything fits together for the concept–the lyrics, the instrumentals and Vista’s powerful vocals. The track flows into “Inside Anxious,” which includes action movie sound effects that puts the listener on the edge of their seat, as if they’re watching a movie, waiting to figure out what happens next.
The third track of the EP is “Hellbent,” continuing to tell the story VISTA created. “Dominance 2.0” starts off much more mellow before pulling itself back into the powerful anthem rock music style. The album then goes into the title track, giving the feel that the dystopian society VISTA created is fighting back.
The main critique of this EP is that many of the songs sound similar, blending together. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, though the EP could use a little more variety. However, when the sixth song of the album, “Part III” comes to play, it provides some variation from the previous five hard rock songs. Vista’s powerful vocals soften in the short, raw acoustic track. The EP then comes to a close with “Henchman,” one last powerful rock song.
Overall, “Long Live” is a great EP, successfully tells a clear concept in seven songs. While it doesn’t have much variety in terms of style of songs, each song is crafted well to tell the story. The instrumentals, sound effects and lyrics keep the listener paying attention, wanting to know what happens next. For fans of this style of music, it’s a great EP to add to your library. – 4/5
We sat down with VISTA to discuss “Long Live,” the EP’s inspiration and more. Read the Q&A below.
- How did you both get your start in music?
Greg: I got started from getting an acoustic guitar from my mom when I was younger. I basically just started learning Green Day songs after that, then one thing led to another. It was weird. A blink of an eye and now I know how to play all these different instruments and know all these different facets of what goes into music.
Hope: My dad was a master classical guitarist and a music teacher, so I was surrounded by music from the time I was born. I wanted to be just like him, so I got some guitar lessons from him, he gave me his Fender strat when I was 10, and that was it. Handing me that guitar gave me my identity at a super young age. I started singing when I was I think 3, my grandparents have these really old VHS tapes of me giving them ‘concerts’ at their apartment.
- How did you form VISTA/meet each other?
Greg: I knew Hope was looking for a partner to start some type of full time project with, so I reached out to her and we made it happen.
Hope: Yeah it was really simple, VISTA had been around for a bit before Greg got involved and I was just looking for a new guitarist who was committed to making this their career.
- For our readers who haven’t heard you before, how would you describe your sound?
Greg: Anthem-rock is what we like to say.
Hope: Yeah! We really continue to explore what makes up an anthem, and how we can describe that word through a genre of music. What makes a track anthemic? We take that question and experiment a lot with different sounds that fall under that umbrella and run with it. Lots of arena rock influences, alternative influences, and electronic sounds.
- What’s something our readers should know about VISTA’s music?
Greg: It came from two people who are actually friends and want to do this for the rest of their lives. Two people who are actually people!
Hope: We genuinely are true friends and I think that shows in a lot of things we do. We both have the same goals in mind, we both want to turn what we’re passionate about into our full blown careers.
- What are your musical inspirations?
Greg: I really like so many different types of music, I love really technical stuff like CHON, and The Fall of Troy, then I like classic stuff, hip hop, bubble gum pop stuff, if it’s written well with some sort of integrity I can appreciate it.
Hope: My main inspirations are definitely more non-musical, but certain sounds inspire me. I love hearing big, booming drums and bass lines that kind of pulsate throughout my body. Certain guitar tones inspire me, honest music inspires me.
- What are your non-musical inspirations?
Greg: Inspirations for writing music can come from anything. Sometimes it can just come from personal experiences in my life, sometimes it can come by listening to a certain artist. Somes it can come from movies. I wrote a song about a movie about a year ago. That was cool.
Hope: My general inspiration for writing just comes from daily life and what’s happening around me, what’s happening in the world. Current events, what’s on the news, what’s going on in my own personal life. I’m very aware of my surroundings, so I pay attention to every little detail of every story I hear or what I see on a news report. I also get inspired by how those events make me feel – I’m a very heart over head type of person and that reflects a lot in my writing.
- What was the recording process like for recording Long Live?
Greg: It was both fun and stressful, we were just going through the growing pains of being a band. Finding out where each other’s head was at. Towards the end of it, we got into a nice groove, and were able to write songs easier.
Hope: Yeah, it was definitely difficult at first. We had a difficult time getting into that groove because we’re both pretty headstrong. Once we found a solid rhythm, the songs came out so much easier and the studio time was a lot less stressful. We did the last song for the record in like a day! It came out so easy once we fell into that rhythm.
- If you could plan you dream tour, who would be on it and why?
Greg: Us, Nickelback, and Rick Astley.
Hope: What a tour that would be. Hahaha. Mine would definitely be VISTA, Linkin Park, and maybe Tonight Alive!
- What’s something non-musical that our readers should know about you?
Greg: Don’t worry, non-musical readers. You aren’t any different or less special because you’re non-musical. Hell, who knows, maybe one day you can be musical!
Hope: Something non-musical….this is kinda still musical, but I’m super obsessed with late 90’s bubblegum pop culture. It was what my childhood consisted of and the industry was so different back then marketing and sound wise, I’m just so in love with that era.
- What’s next for you in the rest of 2017?
Greg: We want to tour, a lot. Or as much as we possibly can!
Hope: Yeah, we’re definitely going to be touring a lot! No more new music the rest of the year, just gonna be pushing “Long Live” a lot through touring and potentially a music video for one of the EP tracks.
Pre-Order “Long Live” here.