ECHO

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with HAUNTER

Featured Photo Credit: Taylor Foiles

HAUNTER is the latest project from Lucy Lenoir (vocals), Mark Schroeder (bass), Mike Ray (Guitar/Synth), and Enoma Asowata (guitar/Synth). 

Inspired by bands like Paramore and Jimmy Eat World, the alt/emo pop group connects to listeners through relatable stories. 

Their latest single, “Risk It All,” a collaboration with Grammy nominated producer MYTH (Tyler Smyth), is about a summer romance’s relatable nostalgia and fearlessness.

We chatted with Lucy (@apothicalucy) and Enoma (@enomahaunter) about the single, what fans can look forward to next and more. 

What inspired you to write “Risk It All”?

Enoma: Our band has a real love for nostalgia. So when we sat down with Tyler to write this song, we really kind of focused on the feeling. I know I wanted to capture this feeling of a summer romance. Really focused on the idea of how fleeting a moment can be and the bravery it takes to just be present and live in the moment. The guys and I sat down and really tried to lay down a foundation where we could explain the idea to Lucy and give her space to do what she does best.  I think our inspiration thematically is drawing from unique experiences we have and the common thread that pulls them together. 

What was the writing process like? 

Lucy: When I arrive in LA to record, Tyler, Enoma, Mark, and Mike, have all been already working on the instrumentals for all of the songs. So that means when I arrive, I haven’t heard anything yet! I really enjoy waiting until I get to LA to hear the songs, that way I can feel the bass from the speakers and the energy in the room change when the songs are first played. I like to write down what I feel as soon as I hear the energy from the songs, that way everything feels more real when this song is finished. I basically just write lyrics and ideas to whatever immediate energy I get, and it seems to work out pretty well! We very much work as a team, and there are no bad ideas. We try anything anyone mentions, and as long as it makes the song sound better, we keep it.

Enoma:  Essentially the way it works is that, Tyler, Mike, Mark and I meet up about a week before Lucy joins us in the studio. We talk about the different vibes and energy we want to capture. From there we’ll go through all the rough ideas and samples we want to use to spark the creative flow. Lastly, we do like a phrase/word association exercise. Like we’ll pitch like one liners or phrases that might serve as a jump off point. It helps us figure out what we want the songs to be about. After that, Lucy comes in and listens to the songs and we get down to writing lyrics. We all throw in ideas. Nothing is off the table. If it will make the song better, it stays. It’s very collaborative and there’s no room for egos. 

You worked with Grammy Nominated Rock/Metal Producer Tyler Smyth aka MYTH (LIGHTS, I Prevail, Falling In Reverse). How did you get connected with him and what has it been like collaborating? 

Lucy:  Enoma knew Tyler before I did, and if I’m not mistaken, it was because Enoma let Tyler‘s band Dangerkids stay at his place while they were on tour! I have been so grateful for the experience of working with Tyler. As soon as we met we realized we were very similar as people in our life experiences and personalities. I honestly have never enjoyed working with someone this much. Tyler is so so smart and intuitive with music, and only has great ideas. He is open to any writing ideas that I suggest, and I have learned so much from him in the time that we have been in the studio. It’s very inspiring to see how hard-working he is, and working with him only pushes me to want to be better at everything I do! Cheers to small-town kids!

Enoma: I met Tyler through this band Dangerkids. He was touring with some friends of mine in Conditions. The bassist in Dangerkids, Jake and I as it turns out have a lot of mutual friends. We kept in touch and as the band stayed at my place Tyler and I got to know each other. We ended up really getting along and when I told him I had an idea of putting together project, he invited me out to LA to hang out and write. Tyler is literally a genius. There’s almost nothing he can’t do. He just has this mind for music. He’s the kind of friend that makes you believe that anything is possible. I mean I am not the best guitarist or songwriter, but Tyler creates an environment where you just want to push yourself. You want to make the song better and when you contribute and it lands it feels awesome. Tyler has become one of my closest friends and I can’t think of working with another producer ever. We vibe with him and the job is his as long as he wants it. 

If you could set listeners up in the perfect environment to listen to “Risk It All,” what do you imagine it looking like? 

Lucy: I would say to get a huge group of friends together on a hot day, talk about your crushes, sit by the pool with a drink in your hand and sing the lyrics at the top of your lungs after listening to this song 30 times in a row!!! Then text your crush this song and ask them on a date. 😉

How did you all get connected?

Lucy: Enoma reached out to three other musicians with a completely open mind. Enoma and I had played a show together in the past at House of Blues in Houston, who had known Mike for forever already, and Mark met Mike while on a tour back in the day as well. We’re basically a bunch of scene kids just doing what we are passionate about. We had all just been doing our own thing, and Enoma was the first one to reach out and put us all together!

Where did the name HAUNTER come from? 

Lucy: We want to haunt your ears and your heart with our music, you won’t be able to let us go. 

Enoma: I can’t really top what Lucy said. My answer was way dramatic and boring haha. Let’s go with what she said. 

How would you describe your sound? 

Lucy: We’re like if Pvris, Chvrches, Taylor Swift, and and Dua Lipa had a baby.

Enoma: Lucy done did it again. I think sonically we take a lot of our cues from artists like Chvrches, Ellie Goulding, Dua Lipa, Taylor Swift, CXLOE and like big Pop artists. Though, we are also emo kids, and one metalhead, and there is always this underlying Rock element to what we do. So bands like Jimmy Eat World, PVRIS, The Maine sneak their way into elements of our song writing for sure. 

Who did you listen to growing up and do they have an influence on your sound today? 

Lucy: I grew up listening to all kinds of music from a very young age. One of my first favorite bands ever was Destiny’s Child. I was so inspired by them as a kid, and I wanted to be Beyoncé so bad. I was like if they are from Houston, and I’M from Houston, why can’t I do that too!? I never gave up on that thought. If anyone else can do it, so can I. 

Enoma: I didn’t really have a strong musical identity or influence in my life creatively until college. But hands down, Jimmy Eat World has the biggest influence on me and how I write. I have always loved their more pop focused songs. They have this really interesting way of combining these really concise and thoughtful lyrics with some amazing instrumentation. While I’m not writing that type of music, I know for a fact the way they write lyrics have made it into our songs for sure. Outside of that there are pop acts that I just love that influence Haunter. Artist like Cxloe, Loote, Ellie Goulding, Chvrches really have shaped what Haunter is sounding like now. 

What can fans look forward to next? 

Lucy: We may or may not have a music video coming soon!!?!?! That and we have much MUCH more amazing music just waiting to be released, and it’s all pure fire. 

Enoma:  Got a couple of things in the pipe line. More songs, a new music video, and some other surprises. Really excited for more people to love Haunter as much as we do. 

What is one quote that you have heard or that you go by that you want to ECHO out to the world?

Lucy: MAKE ART AND LIVE.

Enoma: Vote or Die.

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