August 3, 2017

Bringing indie-rock back to Scotland is bright and bouncy band Vistas. Made up of Prentice Robertson on vocals and guitar, Dylan Rush on guitar, Jamie Law on bass and Graham McDonald on drums, the band create melodic indie rock that’s tinged with attitude and are renowned for their high-energy and adrenaline pumping live shows. In the run up to their gig at our Edinburgh store, we caught up with the band to chat all things Vistas, their favourite things about playing live and their newest release “Hold Me”…

How did you start making music together?

Myself, Jamie and Graham starting playing music together in high school but it was just for a laugh really and we were terrible! But by some fluke we got booked for a small festival in Scotland, and after that we thought we’d try and make a go of our band. So we took some time off, focused on writing better songs, playing better live and taking a whole new attitude to the band. We then brought in Dylan as an extra guitarist and in January 2016, we started Vistas.

Where did the name Vistas come from?

I really just liked the word vistas and I heard somewhere that good band names have two syllables in them. Then pitched the idea to the rest of the band and it stuck with us. It was a surprisingly easy process, probably because anything was better than our last band name.

How do you describe your sound?

Bright, high energy, bouncy indie.

Your next release will be “Hold Me” – what’s it about?

I wrote ‘Hold Me’ when a few great opportunities had come our way in the band, which is what you’ve always wanted but when it’s presented to you it seems a bit more daunting than you might have thought. But regardless of how scary they might be, not letting that sorta hold you back from doing those things… if that makes any sense. That’s what the personal meaning is to me, but hopefully it can mean something to other people too who’ve maybe felt the same thing at work or in a relationship or whatever. Basically, as long as the song means something to someone else I think I’ve done my job as a songwriter.

What are your favourite things about playing live?

Definitely the crowds, and I speak for the whole band when I say that. Obviously we personally love playing live, it’s our favourite thing to do, but for us, playing live (and everything we do) is for the people who’ve taken the time to come see us. It’s really all you can ask for in a band that people would want to come see you live, whether that’s 30 or 300 people that’s absolutely our favourite thing about gigs.

What’s your writing process like?

I write our tracks and then usually demo them at home and send it over to the guys to listen to. That gives us the bones of the song. Then we take it to a rehearsal room and try out different ideas to flesh it out a bit more, add in extra lead parts, backing vocals, things like that and then we have for the most part a finished track.

How do you feel your sound has progressed from your first release?

I think the songs have just become bigger and bigger since our first release, and I think that just shows we’re gradually maturing and getting better at what we do. I think it’s also kind of funny how from release to release we kind of swap in-between the more indie side of indie rock and then on the next release the more rock side of indie rock. Keeps things interesting!

How did you get involved with LAB Records?

They approached us and we were dead excited to work with them. They’re a great label who do some amazing things for upcoming bands, and it’s class to see them supporting music in Scotland too. Buzzing to be part of the LAB family.

Who are your biggest musical inspirations?

We have quite a wide music taste as a band but generally we take a lot of inspiration from the gods of modern indie, like The Strokes, Kings of Leon or The Killers. But individually I’d say it varies from The Beatles, The Doors, Led Zeppelin to more modern bands like Two Door Cinema Club, The 1975 and Circa Waves.

What’s next?

More gigs and more music! Our new single ‘Hold Me’ comes out the day after our Urban Outfitters show and we can’t wait to share that with everyone. Then we’re playing Bestival down in Dorset and heading off on tour in September and October. Then another single around November. We’re just ecstatic for it all.