On the radar: Vant

To say politics is a dirty word among Britain's youth is like opining that the earth is round. Where, then, are the voices of dissent? You're looking at them…

"I started writing because I was genuinely frustrated that no-one in the rock genre was voicing an opinion about anything that mattered," explains Sunderland-born Mattie Vant, frontman of indie punks Vant.

"Everyone has this feeling like it's going to come to a head. Everyone seems frustrated"

"We've got another government for rich people. There are so many people affected, [so many] young people finding it hard. That causes frustration and anger, which should be shown through our music."

For Mattie, though, the silence from a generation of cowed rock bands has been deafening.

"I look to earlier generations: The Clash, Rage Against The Machine… These people had something important to say and it is kind of shocking that no-one is saying anything [today]. Everyone has this feeling like it's going to come to a head. Everyone seems frustrated."

The Answer

Mattie's lyrics deal with everything from the implications of a UK-US 'special relationship', to immigration and apathy - all in two-minute torrents of first-wave punk energy, moreish choruses and empowering garage-rock riffs.

"We also have two very different styles of lead guitar," adds Mattie. "[Co-guitarist] Henry [Eastham] comes from a theoretical background, whereas I'm self-taught. I play the solo on Parasites and he plays the one on Do You Know Me? and you can see quite a difference between those tracks."

While Henry utilises a Fender DeVille, a Jazzmaster and a large pedalboard for the creation of sizeable sonic squalls, Mattie's found his voice with a Telecaster and Supro amplifiers. "They have this driven, surf-y feel," says Mattie. "But with my pedals, it creates a really grungey sound."

Whether it was the tone, the writing or the message, things have moved quickly since Vant started sending out demos earlier this year. There's been heavy gigging and now Reading and Leeds festivals and an October tour, but TG senses there's more to come - and not just from Vant.

"When we signed to Parlophone, one of the guys there said, 'Do you realise there are probably going to be a lot of bands that copy you?'" says Mattie.

"But if there are a dozen bands coming out with something to say off the back of what we're doing, that's amazing. That's an achievement in itself."

  • For fans of: The Vines, Slaves, The Vaccines
  • Hear: The Answer

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Matt Parker

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.