Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale: Fans ‘Are Going To Love This New Record’
Halestorm have been in the studio finishing their third album and vocalist Lzzy Hale recently took a few moments to speak with ‘Loudwire Nights’ host Full Metal Jackie. She spoke about their progress on the disc, shared a little about what’s inspiring her lately and gave some insight on the approach to recording. Check out the chat below.
Lzzy, onstage your performances seem possessed with the emotions of the moment. How do you get yourself worked up to that intensity in the controlled environment of the studio?
I haven’t been able to tap into that until this record. Mainly, because we’re doing a lot of — 90 percent of this recording is all live. All of us are just in a room in a circle playing together. So, it’s not that hard to flip that switch when you’ve got your guys next to you and you’re singing into a microphone, playing an instrument. I don’t know why I’ve never tried this before on our past two records, but I sing differently when I’m playing something. Instead of being in this vocal booth with the fishbowl and a really expensive mic in front of me I’m on a SM7 with my guitar strapped around me, playing while everyone is in the room and singing. It’s definitely not that far off from the same feeling I get walking onstage, which is really refreshing. I didn’t think that was possible to bridge that gap and it looks like we’re doing it.
Capturing the live onstage power of a band on a studio album is something bands have been trying to do for decades. What bands do you think did it best and how do those bands inspire you by the example of what they did?
A lot of the bands we’ve been referencing for this particular challenge have been bands that have no choice but to do that [laughs]. As in a lot of the bands in the ’90s, Pearl Jam and bands from the ’80s and ’70s, Fleetwood Mac and Tom Petty. It’s crazy how back in the day that’s what you had to do. You had to A: practice the song. B: Actually be good — and also try to hit as many good takes at one time as you can because there’s only so many tracks and times we can keep doing this, so you have to get it right and you have to chase after that moment. It’s funny. This record has been more challenging and I’ve learned far more than I did on the past two records. You really are depending on yourself. It starts and ends with us. That’s scary but it’s also really exciting. But when it works and you get to listen back to your song that you just recorded, and you feel the excitement of your bandmates and you can hear all the nuances that make you a band — that’s something you can’t even explain.
Can’t wait to hear more new music. We’ve heard a few new songs you’ve played on shows in the spring. When do you think we’ll hear some new tunes?
We’re debating that as we speak this week. I have a few meetings. We’re trying to nail down a date. As far as to give you a reference, we just got back two of the first mixes off of hopefully what will be our first single. So, you most likely will hear a new single fairly soon. As far as the actual release date, I’m not sure. We’re going to try and get it out before the end of the year or directly after, is what I’m hoping happens. But I’ve made these promises before [laughs].
When you were putting together ideas for the new album, what was the No. 1 thing you wanted to try different than before?
The difference from last time is that I didn’t want to think too much about is this going to be universally acceptable? Great for radio? Is the label going to like this? Are my bandmates going to be embarrassed if I talk about this? I was trying not to think too much about it and in all honesty, a lot of these songs that came together were bits and pieces of conversations I’ve actually had on Twitter and Instagram and via Facebook with the few people that follow me. That sounds like such, “Oh wow that’s so 2014 of you to say!” But it’s really true. I definitely don’t get out much, we’ve been doing 14 hour days in the studio.
I’ve been using social media and Twitter to have just some more in depth conversations with our Halestorm fans. They really open themselves up. They let me inside some of their thoughts and issues and it’s been very, very inspiring and humbling to be a part of somebody’s life like that. A lot of these subjects that we think are important and that they have definitely been brave enough to tell me have seeded their way into a lot of these stories. They’ve inspired me to be very unapologetic on this record. I’m just going to do what I’m going to do to sing and it’s gonna be called whatever the f–k I want. That’s what it is. It’s wonderful to have that kind of relationship with your fans, it really doesn’t feel like there’s too much of a hard line between who inspires who and who rocks whose world.
What does it feel like, the rush you get, when you write a great riff or clever lyric or record a great take and you absolutely know how good it is?
You know, it’s a little otherworldly because if I sit down and I try to write a song — I do that anyway, just because it’s good practice and exercise as far as your art. Sit down, I’m going to write something today. But when something comes out like that, that you know just instantly that is something really special, you’re kind of looking over your shoulder like — who did that? That definitely wasn’t me! I’m not that clever! It’s otherworldly. I’m not a crazy hippie or spiritual person, but I know that there’s something that’s happening that started something, call it whatever you want to call it. Something running through ya, It’s weird you asked that question.
I just talked to my guitar player Joe about this yesterday. I do get the same feeling that I did when I was 13 and when we first started the band. The mission was to write songs and to play out and when something comes together like that, you get this very — it’s still that juvenile excitement. I think that is something that I’m always chasing after [laughs] and that I’m always hoping that I never lose. It keeps me going, man.
Lzzy, in what ways do the expectations of your fans coincide with your own artistic inclination when you’re writing new music? I definitely want to give them what they deserve and need. Something specifically that definitely inspired me in the beginning of this writing process, there was a group of fans. Some are from Germany, some are from the U.K. All over the country here, they ended up putting together this fan “Halestorm appreciation video” — which I’m pretty sure you can still find on YouTube. It’s 20 minutes of them talking about their first time coming to see us and what certain songs mean to them and what as a band, as a whole mean to them.
There are things — I don’t know if we really knew the impact to some of these people that we’ve had on them. I’m telling you what, halfway through I’m like tearing up and I look over to my bandmates and I’m like, “They are going to love this new record! I want to give them everything that they need.” There’s a difference with feeling the pressure for a third record and then just knowing that you’re on the right path for these people and not necessarily for the rest of the world, or success’ sake. I hope that they see some of themselves and see what the impact that they’ve had on us. I hope they hear that in this next record. As far as pressure goes, we’re stoked on the record. No matter what, even if everyone hates it, we’re still going to play it. [laughs]
Thank you so much for calling in, Lzzy. We’re so looking forward to new music and all that’s to come.
I can’t wait for you to hear it, Jackie. As always thank you for always letting me talk.
Thanks to Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale for the interview. Look for the band also hitting the road on tour at these locations. Tune in to Loudwire Nights With Full Metal Jackie and Tony LaBrie’ Monday through Friday 7PM through midnight online or on the radio. To see which stations and websites air ‘Loudwire Nights,’ click here.