QUICKIE OF THE WEEK: A short interview with Samantha Emily Bower & Johnny Halpin (LIGHTWAVE)

written by Marko Jakob | 23.02.2022 |

Pix666: Hello Samantha, hey Johnny. Thanks for taking the time for the interview. How are you doing?

Samantha: Yes doing really well thanks! Thank you for having us!

Johnny: Doing great thank you, thanks for asking!

Pix666: Your band is still quite new, you just formed Lightwave a few months ago. Please tell the readers how it all started and what kind of music you make.

Samantha: I was working on a new project with a new fresh musical direction around summer 2020 and was seeking musicians. From being in bands before I was keen to work with people I already knew as opposed to strangers.

Following the choice to disband my previous band Griever in summer 2020, it was a no brainer to jump straight into a new project with Samantha who I’ve known for 10 years and begin writing fresh new material. We took musical elements of everything we enjoy from pop, metal, synthwave and more, and the songs started flowing!

Pix666: Have you been involved in other bands or projects before?

Samantha: Yes I’ve been involved in a few bands and then went down the solo route for a while. I enjoyed having the freedom to do what I wanted, but then I was ready to be in a band again with the right people.

I was in a UK goth-metalcore band called Griever, we were active 2012-2020.

Pix666: Some weeks ago your third single ‘Fake’ was released. How have the reactions to the song been so far?

Samantha: Great actually! It really took off quickly which has been incredible.

Johnny: It’s definitely been our biggest single of the trio we released, and the feedback we received has been amazing. Definitely very happy.

Pix666: What is the story behind the song and how and where did you shoot the video? Were there some funny moments during the video shooting?

Samantha: The song is based around the concept of people not always being who you think they are when you meet them and invite them into your life, until they finally show their true colours. This was actually the first song myself and Johnny worked on lyrically.

Johnny: We shot the video in a music venue in Southampton, which our management own. It was a really fun shoot, and probably the funniest moment was the fact that I was slowly getting drunk because my acting scenes involved me imitating an alcoholic football fan. And of course I chose a strong beer haha!

Pix666: The clip is approaching the 100,000 views mark on YouTube – a really impressive number. Do you look at the statistics on YouTube and Spotify, e.g. do you know where your listeners live?

Samantha: I tend to babysit a release for the first few days and then check back every week or so. It was great noticing our music reach counties as far as Japan and the USA.

Johnny: I like to keep close tab on our analytics, and we have definitely had increased numbers across the board on all socials… and they are still going up!

Pix666: A few days ago you released your debut EP “Dark Cycles” with a total of 6 songs. How difficult was the way to a complete EP, also in view of the complications and restrictions due to the Covid situation?

Samantha: It personally gave me more free time to write and focus on our project.

For me personally, the Covid pandemic was the PERFECT time to sit down and write a collection of sick songs. We had all the time we needed, and really took advantage of it to hone our EP sound and make sure it stood out the way we wanted!

Pix666: Where can people buy the EP? Do you have other things in the shop, maybe some cool shirts or something like that?

Samantha: We’ll be selling them at our shows and you can also purchase or stream the EP across all digital retailers.

Johnny: We have everything from t-shirts and CD’s, to hoodies and beanies for sale… and we ship worldwide!

Pix666: Another question… are there any big problems for British artists after the UK leaves the EU? At least I can imagine that it won’t be as easy as before to deliver merch to the rest of Europe.

Samantha: It’s awful when Brexit finally happened, and it will affect small artists like us the most unfortunately and seriously impact whether we can afford to tour the mainland.

Yes merch import costs will go up for our overseas fans which may dissuade them from purchasing our merch. We hope some new regulations may be initiated by our government and the EU to support small artists export and tour in Europe.

Pix666:  Are there already plans for live performances by Lightwave in 2022?

Samantha: We have some cool scheduled shows and indoor festival slots this year. We had an EP release tour booked but unfortunately it had to be rescheduled due to Covid restrictions.

We are also booking up some shows and maybe even a tour or two after summer 2022… Very exciting times. I can’t wait to be able to play live shows again!

Pix666: Tell me a little bit about your dreams…. In which locations or at which festivals would you like to perform and with which band(s) would you like to go on tour in the future?

Samantha: USA has always been a dream, and would have loved to have been around during Warped Tour (rip) as that vibe was perfect for me genre-wise. Still… I wouldn’t turn down Download Festival or Reading Fest!

It’s all about Asia for me. Japan, Malaysia, China… It would be a dream to tour through countries like these and meet fans of different cultures and backgrounds. If I had to choose a band to support… It would probably be Spiritbox or Chvrches.

Pix666:  Do you have any other news about Lightwave or some interesting personal things about you that you would like to share with the fans?

Samantha: I have quite a lot of cats, and I won’t specify how many… You have to guess. And I love tea.

I also love tea, we both love tea. It’s just the best isn’t it? You can be sure there is plenty of exciting news in the Lightwave camp to come, but for now please enjoy our EP ‘Dark Cycles’ and share the love with your friends <3

Pix666: Thanks for the interview, good luck for the future – and above all, stay healthy.



photos © by Charlie Bluck Photography