We sat down with Enoma and Lucy to talk about all things Haunter.
We are delighted to share the work of alt-pop band Haunter. These folks are in a new and exciting phase of their musical journey and are here to share their story as well as their latest release “Illuminate.” Drawing influence from early 2000’s emo/pop-rock bandmates Lucy Lenoir - Vocals, Mark Schroeder - Bass, Mike Ray - Guitar/Synth, and Enoma Asowata on Guitar/Synth have come together to share their love for creating beautiful and honest music. We sat down with Enoma and Lucy to dive into their origin story, uncovered some more details about their new single, and so much more. Check it out below.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us today Haunter! We are super excited to get to know a little more about you but before we begin, I would like to get a feel of the room. Fuck Marry Kill: Early 2000’s Emo Essentials - Taking Back Sunday, Blink-182, Paramore. Go.
Enoma: Right away with the hard-hitting questions. Super into it. Let’s see, I think kill Taking Back Sunday, so they can apologize for bleeding on my shirt. Fuck blink-182 because it would be the world’s funniest or saddest foursome ever, also I feel like Travis is a cuddler. You know sometimes you need that afterward. Makes you feel safe. Marry Paramore without a doubt. Hayley Williams and I would be one hell of a power couple, but as a whole, we’d have an amazing team. Then I could get drum lessons from Zac and I really like that idea. He’s incredible.
Great. Now that that's out of the way can you give us the origin story of how Haunter was formed?
Enoma: So the band started with me a couple of years ago. An old band of mine was coming to an end and I wanted to keep writing music and do something different. I had a friend of mine (shout out to Aaron Musslewhite) who had a studio in town where we would work on demos for like a year or two. Although, I threw away all those songs. It was necessary to get the practice in so not a total loss. While I was working with him I had gone to a Sleeping With Sirens show to see some friends and I ended up meeting the dude who would become Haunter’s long-time co-writer/producer/friend Tyler Smyth.
We formed a pretty fast friendship and he invited me to go out to LA some time to record. Took some time and I reached out to Lucy (vocals) and asked her if she wanted to join. We didn’t have any songs or even a band name but she said yes almost immediately which was a shock to me. She has such an adventurous spirit. Shortly after Lucy and I got together Tyler’s band Dangerkids had come back into town on tour. Their merch manager introduced me to Mark (bassist for Haunter) that night and we immediately clicked. On our first trip to LA, I invited my best friend Mike (guitars/keys for Haunter) to just hang out. He kept making recommendations to the songs we were writing and they were so good. He kind of just made his way into it and it’s always felt natural to have him involved in the process.
What does pop music mean to you?
Enoma: I think pop music, or rather music in general serves as a way to connect with each other. I love pop music because to me I sort of see it as a challenge. How can you write something that is very personal to your lived experience and find a way for it to have meaning to someone else?
Lucy: Pop music means making music you can listen to and enjoy whether you’re 9 or 90. It’s simple but goes hard as hell.
How has the music you all grew up listening to shaped your perspectives on the world?
Enoma: I grew up in the punk rock and hardcore scene and they were all about inclusion, diversity, freedom of thought, and protecting marginalized communities. They seemed like radical ideas but so very vital. As I got older, my tastes in music shifted but what I loved is knowing the bands I started to fall in love with all came from the same scene, which meant a lot of the members shared similar ideas and values as myself. Even when there was a disconnect, it was meant with thoughtful discussion.
Lucy: I grew up mostly listening to heavy-metal music, so so my dream has always been to make music and tour the world. I honestly never thought that it could be with a pop band, but here we are!
Tell us a little bit about your new single, “Illuminate.”
Enoma: "Illuminate" is probably the sweetest song we’ve written. It’s straight up a love song inspired by relationships Lucy and I were in with our respective partners. It was sort of an homage to the moment when you realized you are in love. It’s always like these quiet moments, you know? Like when your partner knows you had a rough day and comes over with your favorite food or if they just do something small but meaningful just to make you smile. We wanted to capture that energy with the song. Music and production-wise with "Illuminate" we made a conscious decision to try to “take you to the mountaintop.” We were intentional with every aspect of the song, particularly the percussive parts of the piece. We wanted to pair the sparse but ethereal guitar work with these larger-than-life drums and Lucy’s incredible vocals. Tyler consistently helps us get lightning in a bottle.
Lucy: "Illuminate" is a song about how are you glow when you’re with the person you’re supposed to be with. The person that makes you feel like you can conquer anything in the world. We all need that person to help us realize our full potential sometimes!
It has been difficult, to say the least when it comes to releasing new music during the pandemic. How are you navigating the waters?
Enoma: It hasn’t been easy, to say the least, but this pandemic created some unique opportunities. I think with this past year people needed more art to help them get through these times. Bands have had an opportunity to get creative with how they release content. I think for us, we’ve benefitted in some ways because we’ve been forced to sit down and really think about how we can engage with our fans and potential listeners. We’ve been really focused on just trying to talk to anyone and everyone who is willing to engage with us. It sounds simple but the quarantine has been really hard on everyone. So it’s a win to just get up out of bed sometimes. Just working to build that community of fans become friends and then become family has been our focus. We just gotta step up the TikTok game. We’re working on that for 2021!
Lucy: Lucky for us, we already have quite a few things recorded music-wise. We are just trying our best to make waves in the water that we’re swimming through right now. We are basically planning on releasing music and videos until we die. So get ready for a whole lot more.
Do you ever feel that music can be restrained by genre labels?
Enoma: Absolutely. However, the exciting thing about music recently is that we’re seeing less and less of that. Genre blending is honestly the future of music. I like to think of it like this, our band is comprised of a bunch of emo/pop-punk kids and one metalhead, but we write pop songs. Why let our background trap us into writing the same thing over and over again. So many people listen to a bunch of different styles of music so why shouldn’t artist challenge themselves and try to do a bit of everything. Might make marketing harder, but who cares? If the song is good and you work smart it will find the right audience for itself. Fortune favors the bold!
Lucy: I don’t feel like genre really restrains anything. In every aspect of my life, I try my hardest to do whatever it is that makes the best product. I’m not really worried about labels or how it is perceived as “pop”. We are going to continue to do whatever the hell we want, and hope that people like it along the way.
What message would you hope to send to listeners through your music?
Enoma: Looking back on our songs I think our biggest message is to love yourself. Flaws and all. Know your worth and never be afraid to walk away from things/people/situations that don’t serve to make you a better person. Be bold, be fearless, be authentic. I’d love for anyone who hears our music to find something in it that speaks to them. My favorite songs are the ones where I’ve sat back and thought “Oh man, I’ve been through that.” or “Damn, I know how that feels.” We’re all just doing our best to get from one day to the next, so anything we can do to make someone feel a little less alone is a huge win in my eyes.
Lucy: You can do absolutely anything, you just have to actually do it. Don’t talk about it, be about it.
Is there anything new in the works that you look forward to sharing?
Enoma: We’ve got a lot of music that we will be releasing this year and into 2022. Actually just this past weekend, we shot a music video for what is my absolute favorite song we have written. It’s called “Untouchable” and I legit cry when I hear it. I can’t believe I had a hand in writing that one. Outside of that, we have a lot of remixes we will release as well and we have our first collab track with Tyler (under his MYTH moniker) that will be out just in time for it to be a summertime bop. Also a few more secrets we just started putting together. It’s gonna be an active year for us!
Lucy: We have music videos, photoshoots, and a full album’s worth of songs coming to your earholes this year!
What are the next steps for Haunter once the world opens back up again?
Enoma: Go hug all of our friends immediately. Then put on a show with some of our friends in our hometown and just celebrate that we can bring our passion to the stage and create that shared experience that we’re all missing so badly.
Lucy: We want to be sure once we are able to perform that we are putting on the best most exciting live show possible. Want to be sure that people are perceiving the music how we really want it to be heard. I can’t wait for people to feel the music in their bones at our first live show!