Haunter are Lucy LeNoir (vocals), Enoma Asowata (guitars), Mark Schroeder (bass) and Mike Ray (guitars/keys/vocals) and they are about to take over your world. To those old school emo kids who never grew up (including us) and are no longer ashamed to admit their love of pop, Haunter bring everything you love together and are just what you’ve been waiting for. Self-confessed as “Your Favourite Weirdos” we think they’re set for big things and are definitely one to watch. Eager to dive straight into the world of Haunter, we sat down with Enoma and Lucy to get the lowdown…
Hey guys, first of all how are you all doing and how is 2021 treating you so far?
Enoma: This year honestly is going really well all things considered. Everyone in the band and our immediate loved ones are healthy and happy. 2020 was such a messed-up year, I’m just super grateful for something really simple like our health. Never taking it for granted anymore.
Lucy: So far so good! Other than the general hooplah and pressures of covid, everything has been pretty wonderful so far!
Can you give us the story behind Haunter?
E: Sure, my name is Enoma and I am one of the guitarists for the band. I very rarely play keys or drum pads for the band too. Our origin story depends on who you ask haha. Ultimately, I started the band after one that I was in started to fizzle out. I still wanted to write music, but I definitely didn’t feel like it was something I could accomplish on my own. I also wanted things to be fundamentally different than the last project. Something really rooted in positivity and as cheesy as it sounds light. I asked our vocalist Lucy if she wanted to start a pop band and without a second thought she said yes. From there when my friends in a band called Dangerkids were in town their merch manager introduced me to Mark. We clicked pretty much right away and started working together the next day. After that, my best friend Mike came along with us to LA on our first trip to just take photos and video. He kept making really great suggestions on how we could make the music better that by the end of the trip, we just asked him to join the band.
L: I was in a metal band about seven years ago now, when I played a show with Enoma’s previous band. We met and apparently, I made an impression, because all this time later, he asked me out of the blue to be the vocalist for a pop project! We took a huge risk trying to do this and it has definitely paid off!
What influences and inspires you as a band?
E: I think collectively we all really love Pop music. Haunter is sort of a celebration of all of those bands and artists within that realm that have inspired us. We’re total suckers for a strong and catchy melody. I think bands/artists like Chvrches, Ellie Goulding, Imagine Dragons, Demi Lovato and Tegan and Sara all have varying levels of influence on us sonically. Personally, am inspired by bands like Jimmy Eat World, they blend pop sensibilities to some killer rock songs. They’re my favourite band. In the pop world, there’s so many bands I love that colour how we approach song writing. Honourable mention to: Loote, Arizona, Matthew Koma, Annika Wells, Nightly…I could list bands forever. I’ve always admired pop song writers because when it’s done well, it’s amazing.
L: Life! We always have something crazy or wonderful or heart breaking that happens that inspires all of our songs. We’re lucky this is the case; we will never run out of material to write about.
How would you describe your music?
E: Pop music for Misfits.
L: Pop music made out with your mom and wrote music for your favourite Disney movie. I feel like that’s pretty spot on.
“THIS SONG WILL MAKE YOU WANT TO TAKE EVERY CHANCE AND EVERY OPPORTUNITY THAT YOU’VE EVER HAD TO FOLLOW.”
Your new single Illuminate is out now, what can you tell us about it?
E: Illuminate I think at the core of it is a real love song. Typically, Lucy and I are like living the same lives. We both end up in relationships and go through breakups pretty much around the same time. So, with this song we were both seeing people and it was still like new and exciting. It was about the quiet moments when you’re just watching a movie and they make a comment out loud that you’re thinking. It just kinda hits you in such a simple way. You’re totally into this person and you’re in love. Illuminate was written with all that in mind.
L: This song will make you want to take every chance and every opportunity that you’ve ever had to follow. This song is truly inspiring, huge production, inspiring lyrics, and definitely needs to be in in the end scene of a sweet young love type movie.
We hear the track was produced and co-written by two-time Grammy nominated producer Tyler Smyth, who has worked with the likes of LIGHTS, I Prevail and Falling In Reverse, how did the collaboration come about and how what did Tyler bring to the track?
E: So I met Tyler through his band Dangerkids. First, I have to say they’re dope. Such a great band. So, while they would tour though Houston (our hometown) I would offer up my place for them to crash. We ended up talking every time they came through and I showed him songs I did with my old band. Tyler offered to record me if I got a project together. I think he was just trying to do a friend a solid at first, but over the years we’ve gotten better at writing so it’s an exciting thing for us to do.
L: The funny thing about that is Enoma hosted Tyler‘s band on tour one time, and years later it has led to him not only producing us but being featured on our track as well. I’m so glad these guys met each other, Tyler is one of the most creative and inspiring people I have ever met in my life. He is so full of energy and ideas… And we kind of operate on the same wavelength, so we get along really, really well when working together. I really can’t wait for everyone to let us know what they think about him on our track!
Making awesome music isn’t your only forte, we see you guys also have a clothing company and that Lucy is a tattoo artist– have you got any other creative skills hidden away?
E: We’ve got some serious talent in our band. Lucy is hands down the most talented. She is an amazing tattoo artist, she’s a chef, a model, a poet, an astronaut on the weekends probably. She kinda does everything. Mark runs our clothing company, Print Money Gang, he also runs a company called Keahi with some friends and he is like jack of all trades. He knows a little bit about everything so you can always count on him to get things done. Mike is a photographer and he started working on videos as well. As for me, I do a little design work. I’ve designed all the current items Print Money Gang has except our logo (the logo was designed by our friend Lou Miceli). I also make all the Instagram/Tik Tok content you see from us.
L: Yes, actually! I was a chef for a few years for catering companies and private fine dining as well! Before that, I was in dance for several years, did graphic design for a while, just about anything you can think of that is creative… I have probably tried it or done it as a job! My whole life revolves around art, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
As self-confessed former emo kids (and one metalhead) would you agree that once an emo, you’re always an emo? You never lose those roots right? How do those emo influences come through in your music?
E: Yeah, being emo sort of stays with you forever. I mean with Jimmy Eat World being my favourite band it’s definitely not a secret I am an emo kid at heart. If you’ve seen those Tik Tok videos “It’s not a phase mom…” that’s basically me. Once a sad-boy always a sad-boy. Haha. I think lyrically they come out in the sort of themes we talk about. A lot of our songs are sort of nostalgic. Life through rose coloured lenses.
“WE ALL HAVE THOSE SONGS AND BANDS THAT MAKE US WANT TO CREATE OUR OWN BIT OF NOISE FOR THE WORLD TO HEAR.”
L: Even as a metalhead, I would agree that once an emo, always an emo. There are certain metal songs that I can’t stop listening to every day, even if I have heard them for 15 or 20 years now. I believe the same thing rings true for emo kids. We all have those songs and bands that make us want to create our own bit of noise for the world to hear. A lot of my inspiration for melodies and lyric content goes right along with what I have heard as a child in metal and hard rock music as a young headbanger.
Pandemic-permitting what does the rest of 2021 look like for Haunter?
E: Plans are more or less going to be the same. We’re working on releasing more singles this year, with a big one dropping in the late Summer/early Fall. We also are starting to look at some options for a live stream experience and if it is safe to travel…we’ll head back to LA to record more songs with Tyler. We like to go every single year so we’re hoping we can do it again this year. Fingers crossed cause it’s our favourite thing to do!
L: We’re hoping to release a music video and do some live performance videos as well! We can’t wait to see how all of the other bands come out of 2021 as well, it’s definitely a challenge to be more creative! And we can’t wait for more!!