top of page

RELEASE DATE: 27/09/24

Picture a time when you could have a good time all the time. It was an era when fast cars rolled under neonlights, yachts were a sensible housing decision and fighting for your right to party was a full time occupation.This mythical age had an equally flamboyant soundtrack to match, and it blared from boomboxes anddashboards in every time zone. It was the 1980s, and bands like Van Halen, Toto and Def Leppardpersonified a summertime sound built on big beats, bigger melodies and choruses so epic that singing alongwas the law, and places like Vegas, Hollywood, and Miami Beach became hedonistic epicenters of a global,sonic heatwave.Cruelly overlooked among these hard-partying capitals is the little town of Wigan, just outside of Manchester –average annual rainfall: lots. It was there that multi-talented musician Sam Millar was born, and where that80s vibe has found new life in the form of his debut solo record. It’s called Virtual Summer, and it’s 14 slabs ofthe slickest sounds this side of a hot pink Mustang with the top down and the stereo way, way up.“Wigan’s just a little town, it’s not the nicest place – I know you don’t expect this sort of thing to come out ofhere, but that’s why it did,” says Millar. “Half the time it’s raining and miserable, so Virtual Summer is liketapping into summer whenever you need to, just put it on and it’s always there for you.”Raised on a parental diet of Slade, Springsteen and Sabbath, it wasn’t long before Millar soon discovered hisown hard rocking obsessions, and if there’s a familiar ring to any of Virtual Summer’s dopamine cannon blaststhen it’s because it’s the culmination of the guitar-slinging maverick’s lifelong adoration for the finely honedmelodic perfection of the giants of AOR, and Toto in particular.“I guess you could call it cheesy, but there’s something about being able to sing a song after you’ve heard onechorus, the feeling it gives you – it’s just so positive,” he says.Of course this didn’t all happen overnight. Millar has played and toured as a guitarist for years in other bands,but it wasn’t until the pandemic that his love of the sunny-side-up sparked the idea to try his own hand at