Looking forward to the future of Punk Junk Magazine, I wanted to start a feature where we interview women in the music industry. Whether they're on a stage or behind the scenes or in this case, both. For our first badass female, I talked to Hope Vista about being the lead vocalist of the alt rock group VISTA and also the owner of her own PR company, 25/8 PR.
Why did you originally start
25/8? How did the idea to even start your own PR company come up?
I wanted to help artists who did not have existing capital; I’ve always believed that if you’re just
starting out as a new artist, it should not cost an arm and a leg to learn and grow in your craft. While
I was still a solo artist, I was financing all of my endeavors with my own money. As costs continued
to add up, I realized that in some areas (not all), I was investing into channels that were just sucking
up my money.
That didn’t feel right to me; I knew there were other artists out there, like me, who were just dipping their toes in the water and couldn’t afford to empty out their savings into people who just saw you as a dollar sign. I had personal experiences, but no formal education in public relations, so I spent months researching and reading, soaking in as much information as I could about publicity and press. I built a database of contacts, practiced writing pitches; if I could be a resource to up and coming artists on a budget, then I could also help them save money for future
endeavors, and pass along knowledge simultaneously. That’s why I started my company; I filed for an LLC almost three years ago with no clue. I’ve messed up in many areas, and grew from those mess ups. My primary goal in this space is just to offer press campaigns to unsigned artists that are affordable, build up their press list, and give them some insight.
What do you look for in artists that you want to represent?
Potential. A desire to work and learn. A willingness to work together to make a campaign
successful, artists who know how to research and are open minded to suggestions. Press
campaigns are very much two-sided; publicists may have contacts, but if an artist expects their
publicist to turn straw into gold, it might not be the best time to add them to your team. You have to
be just as willing to work. Has having to run a business on top of being an artist proven itself to be difficult?
It’s actually made it easier, for a few reasons. This is a company I can run on the road, so I’m able
to work while touring, especially on long drives with a hot spot. Besides that, running 25/8 PR has
taught me a lot that I’ve been able to apply directly to VISTA, including various communication
skills and how to write out certain types of emails.
Obviously before VISTA, you were a solo artist. What made you want to be a part of a band
over being a solo act?
Quite honestly, I didn’t feel challenged. I was stuck in my own head. I wanted to hear fresh ideas,
be a part of something that worked in unison to create something bigger, better. The way to do that was to escape my own thoughts, and work in tandem with other musicians. I craved a challenge. As a solo artist, I called the shots. In order for me to continue growing and expanding my craft, I needed to put myself in an uncomfortable spot and allow other ideas to flow in, outside of my own headspace. I’d been very gungho about what I wanted with HV, and my ideas were not always the best choice; I wanted and needed balance, and I was very fortunate to find that in Greg.
What made you want to put out your single SKIN&BONES under Hope Vista as opposed to
VISTA? Have there been songs you wish you released as a solo artist that you had released
Simply put, it’s not a VISTA song. I wrote this song in my own time outside of VISTA, when we were
going through a difficult time this past fall. “SKIN&BONES” was written to alleviate and confront
feelings of defeat that I was experiencing; I wanted to dig into those emotions and create a very
simple piece of music to counteract the complex feelings. On the opposite end, there’s never been
a song that I wished I released as a solo artist instead of VISTA. VISTA was built on the foundation
of hearing other people’s ideas and melding them together to form one strong, collective body of
work, and that’s what Greg and I still strive to do. Everything we do in VISTA is collective; there’s
never a track that’s just Greg or just me. We get inspired by each other’s ideas, branch off of those,
and continue building. Before VISTA, I was just Hope Vista as a solo artist, and Greg was a
member of another band, he actually still is. So we do our thing in VISTA, which is full time, and if
either of us ever want to write music that does not fit into the VISTA branding, we have our other
At any point, do you see yourself stepping away from VISTA or 25/8 to focus on the other full
Absolutely not. VISTA is my life, my passion project, and what I plan to do for as long as I’m able to.
Our hope is to make VISTA our primary income-earning careers. 25/8 PR is also my job, and
currently my main source of income, and I’m fortunately able to intermingle the two. For me, that’s
the perfect combination. I work on the road while we’re building VISTA, and hopefully in the near
future, VISTA will be what financially sustains both Greg and I.
We will be posting a review of Hope Vista's new single "SKIN&BONES" next week. She will also be releasing her autobiography, Prevail: Finding Normal, exclusively on Amazon on January 8th.
To check out more info on Hope, her band VISTA, and her company 25/8 PR, check out these links!
Photos By: Holly Turner