As part of our NE Live at Leeds coverage, Gareth Burroughs, photographer extraordinaire, met up with the guys from Vistas, who have exploded on the scene over the last twelve months. Heralding from Edinburgh, they are: Prentice Robertson, Dylan Rush, Jamie Law and Graham McDonald and they are sharing their own take on indie-rock through relentless touring and festival appearances. They intend to spread their sound far and wide this Summer.
Vistas introduce yourselves…
Prentice: I’m Prentice – I sing and play guitar
Dylan: Yeah and I’m Dylan – another guitarist.
Tell me a bit about your band …
Prentice: We are from Edinburgh and we are a four-piece -we play indie: upbeat indie rock. We formed at the start of January 2016 and have been going since then and the usual question is how we formed! We were mates in high school. After we left we took the band the bit more seriously and not just doing it for fun. Dylan wasn’t in the band at that time just the three of us and then we got Dylan into play guitar and that is the biography of Vistas exactly up to this interview.
So where are you playing today?
Prentice: We’re playing at the Trinity Stage and we’re playing 7 till 7:30. We’ve been twice now and it’s been really good both times.
So have you played in Leeds before?
Prentice: We played this year with The Marskin’s at The Church and then we actually played the same venue again and then The Chapel in 2017 for a band called Towers. We’ve played the same venue twice but different rooms so it’s nice to go a bit further afield in to Leeds this year.
Who are your personal favourite bands?
Prentice: I would say The Strokes and they are an influence – it’s hard to be in a guitar band and not have a wee bit of influence from The Strokes. They’re a band to go back to and I don’t get bored listening to them. And Julian Casablanca- a singer. He’s brought out a new record as well with his other band.
Dylan: I’m a massive fan of The Beatles; that’s what I’m mostly into – we kind of like beat-indie music like The Vaccines and Circa Waves.
So, you have a new single out?
Prentice: Yes we do – it’s called Calm and the inspiration behind that was the word ‘calm’. It has become a motto in the band so we can slightly stress less about things. It kind of felt appropriate to write a song with that title and it came out in 23rd of March – it’s got a good response on Spotify and it’s on vinyl as well.
Do you have a video for it?
Dylan: We do have a video for that single and the meaning behind it is that it’s like a tour video ‘cause we were on tour with a band called The Maskins and we hadn’t done a tour video before so that was kind of the reason why. We just wanted to do something we hadn’t done before. We had a chap following us about filming and we filmed some of it ourselves. It was fun, to me it’s good to look back and see the things that you were doing ’cause it can become a bit of a blur when so much is always happening.
When writing your songs what processes do you go through?
Prentice: I usually do it myself. I’ll sit down and come up with something, a description, and make a little demo of it and then we’ll take it to the rehearsal room and then bash it out and it becomes more like a Vistas song. Then it all just melts into the song we end up with.
What can your audience expect from your set tonight?
Prentice: Just half an hour of very – indeed – high energy. That’s pretty much it. We don’t try to do too many bells and whistles, we just hope the songs do it for us.
So you’re playing at Live at Leeds – what do you like about the festival?
Dylan: Our initial impression was like – we turned up and the first people we saw we liked. We know the band Touts who we went on tour with last year. We just ran in to them which was pretty nice and everyone just seems to be really friendly and buzzing for live music.
Prentice: Yeah I mean like we’ve not done it before but the line-up is great. It’s a great site! We’re in Liverpool tomorrow – we’re looking forward to that as well. We’ve only played Liverpool once. We’re on the road quite a lot: we’re away for most of May. We’re doing these couple of shows and then we’ve got our own Scottish headline tour and we’re doing Great Escape and playing a gig with Spectre and then we’re away to Dot to Dot as well so we’re really busy in May.
Speaking of festivals what are the three essential items for festivals?
Prentice: For me it’s a change of jeans – so you don’t have to wear horrible jeans after you played, a bag for life because never underestimate the power of a bag for life and a wee thing of honey.
Dylan: I’d probably say exactly the same but a guitar, an amplifier and a pedalboard and maybe a microphone but that’s four …
Which are your favourite festivals to attend?
Prentice: Growing up, our first big festival we went to was T in the Park – which obviously it’s not around now – but the closest thing to that is TRANSMT which we were at last year which is Glasgow. There’s five days of it this year with The Arctic Monkeys playing as well over two weekends. It’ll be mad.
What about festivals you play at?
Prentice: TRANSMT was very good and that was our very first festival as well so that was class and then it’s sometimes like the ones that are unexpected: we played Bestival which is like entirely the other end of the country – that was great – and Velodrome as well, which is up in Inverness – that was really good as well. We are looking forward to doing this. We like the City Bass Festivals as well.
Click on the link below for ticket and tour information – but hurry as there are very few dates left.