[Interview] VANTA [HU]

VANTA band, Hungary
We had the chance to 'chat' with Vanta, the doom/sludge duo (Balázs and Győző) from Hungary and we present you this interview in order to get to know them better.

1.-Hello and welcome to Downtuned. First of all, give us some info about the band's background just to let people know you better.
Hi, and hello to all the metalheads out there!
About our background in a nutshell: we met in high school when we were 13 so we've known each other for a long time. And we have a lot in common such as taste in music, attitude, morale, and so on, which is one of the sources of Vanta's power.

2.-Did the members of the band participate in other projects or bands in the past and what kind of music did they play?
We do have side projects. First of all, we play together in a punk rock band called Irrational Beer Pong League.
Balázs: I always get involved in multiple music projects, mostly because I like to experiment and compose music in different genres. I did have several projects in the past with various flavors including electronic rock and comedy punk.

3.-How did you come up with the name "VANTA"? Is it actually derived from the "Vantablack substance"? Does it mean something particular for you?
Yes, the substance 'vantablack' is exactly what the band is named after. We wanted to name it after something very-very-very-very dark to express the dark mood of the noise we intended to make, and this was the darkest thing we could find.
Balázs: Besides that, I used to work in the field of nanotechnology as a researcher (I did my PhD in that field), and vantablack is a nanomaterial (arrays of carbon nanotubes), so it is kind of a reference to my past activities.

4.-How big or active is the underground music scene at your place of living? How easy or difficult
was for you to make your first steps as a band? Was it easy to find an audience for your music at your place?
Vanta - BlackSince the formation of Vanta, playing live has been the highest priority. We are lucky that the underground is pretty active in Budapest, and there are a lot of great bands and venues. The first show required some effort to organize (and we worked hard to put the material together), but since then, we have been receiving invites for more and more shows. For the kind of music we play, there is a narrow, but stable and enthusiastic audience, and the events we attend usually target to them.

5.-Almost two years have passed since your first EP release "Black". What has stayed the same and what is different today in the band and in the way you work?
The attitude, enthusiasm, goals, and the level of productivity haven’t changed. The songs, however, have become more mature in the sense of structure, level of experimentation, and dynamics. We do more jamming, therefore more stuff is coming from instinct.

6.-What were the biggest difficulties that you encountered in producing and releasing your music so far? Are those difficulties going to affect the way you'll handle a full album release in the future?
In the past, we did the production and releases on our own, the hardest part was to manage all related things besides creating the music: keeping contact with press & media, promoting stuff, planning the releases, and so on. Recently, we’ve teamed up with a DIY group of organizers called Baby Gorilla Records, who can help us with these activities so we can focus more on the music part. So in short, the process of releasing a full album is going to be in good hands.
Vanta - Medieval

7.-Do you have plans for a debut full album release soon?
We would love to create an album. We are productive enough to put together a material that is strong enough. However, we need to target people who are 'conscious music consumers', by which we mean they proactively search for music to listen to, and take the time to listen to a full-length album without getting distracted. We believe metal is a genre where conscious consumers are the larger part of the population.

8.-How would you describe your music to someone who doesn't know you yet? Is that the style that defines "Vanta" or is there room for more experimentation?
Headbangable, angry, modern metal with groovy and bluesy flavors, without polyrhythmic fixation.
We’ve been told by fans that there’s a recognizable Vanta-esque flavor in our songs. On the other hand, we deliberately create something different with each song, because we do like experimenting.

9.-What were the main reasons and influences that made you adopt this music style?
We are heavily influenced by good movies, CH3CH2OH, and legendary metal bands. Our motivation is to channel frustration and negative emotions via making noise. It’s always been. Vanta’s music gives us relief.

10.-How does the whole songwriting process work for you? What are the emotions you want people to receive when they hear your music? What are your lyrics about?
Vanta - Erebos
The process in general is a multistep iteration of jamming, incubation, recording, and re-listening. We want our music to help people get rid of their anger, fear, and sorrow, like it helps us. Lyrics are mostly direct representations of problems. Songs of the Medieval EP, for example, are about the current age that makes you think you are living in the middle ages: there are flat-earthers, anti-vaxxers, leaders who refuse to believe in science, witch hunt based on hearsay, and so on. Sex Addict is literally about sex addiction.
Balázs: Other than that, sometimes I write about movies (like Feed You to the Pigs), or I get more metaphorical (see I’m the Ocean or Erebos).

11.-During a gig, is the communication with the crowd important for you? Does the positive feedback from the crowd motivate you to perform with more passion?
Balázs: It is definitely important. It is such a great experience when I see people smiling and banging their heads to the rhythm of the song! It does make me more passionate. I usually try make eye contact with people in the audience and smile back while playing. I remember an occasion when the audience and I competed between two songs on who can shout louder, it was totally spontaneous and felt really awesome!

12.-Are there any "special" bands that you dream to share the stage with?
Dreaming about playing a show with Ufomammut or Mastodon, although we are currently tiny ants compared to them.

13.-How do you imagine "Vanta" in 2029?
We imagine walking around in a random city, we see people wearing Vanta T-shirts, we see the name of the band graffitied on the walls here and there. We imagine violent movies and beer ads with our music (because violent movies and good beer deserve metal). A darker vision is that society collapses and each day is going to be a fight to survive and we need to restrict ourselves to play in caves using stones and skulls.

14.-What are your plans for this year? Is it a priority for you to try and participate in gigs outside your country?
We have a lot of things on our agenda, including new releases (some songs are already recorded and waiting for the right moment), create video material, plus merch, and lots of shows.
Balázs: We’d love to play in different parts of Europe. I’m going to trip around Europe in March, and do some field research to see what venues are there, what the audience is like, and so on. After that, we can start planning shows abroad.

15.-We wish you good luck to whatever you do in the future, the epilogue is yours...
Thank you, and thanks for the interview. For those who would like to get involved in the world of Vanta, we recommend checking us out online for updates and links to music. New stuff is coming soon, and it is going to be strong. \m/ 

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