Lzzy Hale Talks New Halestorm Album, Life as a Female Rocker + More
Halestorm are set to unleash the follow-up to their self-titled 2009 debut album, which yielded the Top 10 rock hits ‘I Get Off’ and ‘It’s Not You.’ Now, they’re ready to make a splash again with their new as-yet-untitled 2012 album. In addition to Lzzy Hale, the band also features Joe Hottinger on lead guitar, Josh Smith on bass and Lzzy’s brother Arejay Hale on drums.
Loudwire recently had the opportunity to chat with the very busy and very engaging Lzzy, during which time she talked all about Halestorm’s upcoming second album, her love of being on the road and crushing on Corey Taylor, among other topics.
Can you tell me a little about what Halestorm fans can expect from the new album?
It’s definitely a step forward from the last record. What we wanted to do with this record was bridge the gap between our last one and what everybody keeps telling us what we sound like live or what they’ve experienced from a live show. Obviously, we can go in there and do a live album but we wanted to capture it, especially with my little brother’s personality on the drums and not make everything so incredibly boxed in and perfect all the time.
What we ended up doing was we went in for one day and literally picked up every instrument whether we could play it or not and recorded anything and creating little sounds and nuances and interludes; we won’t be keeping all of them but it was a very freeing experience because we basically said to ourselves from the beginning of this process, ‘Why are we boxing ourselves in anything? If we can do it, let’s just try.’ If somebody had a good idea let’s just try it, we can always erase it, how can you delete it if you don’t put it down?
We ended up taking a lot of risks on this record as far as vocally, lyrically you’ll be hearing stuff that you know about me and that you can expect but you’ll also be hearing a lot of stuff that you probably weren’t expecting on this record. It’s really exciting in a way because I think it’s gonna be one of those things where I think people are gonna either love it or they’re gonna hate it. [Laughs]
All in all, we’re so incredibly proud of it, the songs are really good, it was a huge narrowing down process. We’ve been writing on the road for this record and basically we recorded two songs while we were still on the road; we flew out because we had two days off in the middle of a tour; we flew out to L.A. recorded those two songs, went back out on tour then got off tour went to L.A. recorded 10 songs and then had a week to do some press stuff then went back and recorded the rest, so it was kind of a whirlwind of an experience.
Coming to the end of it, you know making a record is always hell, it’s this good hell [laughs] that you have to go through. If it wasn’t hell we wouldn’t be so proud of it. Let me give you an example of the broad spectrum, there’s one song on there that has just vocal and piano, which I started out on piano but in my teenage years I was like screw the piano and so I went to guitar and never looked back and so on this record I decided to have some keyboard and to showcase my roots and what I started out playing in Halestorm.
On the other end I did a couple lead guitars and basically screamed my head off in some songs and crooned in the others, not to sound completely cheesy but it’s very duality based and I wanted to show everything, not just myself but the guys, we really kind of said “Okay, screw it let’s do everything.” It was a really fun experience being able to showcase everything we know that we can do but the weird thing is that there’s this underlying theme, it’s not just like we put down everything and it’s this mish mash of a record that you won’t be able to see us in. It’s actually very well put together which we didn’t think was gonna happen until the last minute so I just can’t wait to kick it out there in the world.
Do you have a name for the album and a release date yet?
We do, I’m not sure if we can tell you the name because I feel like I’m gonna get in trouble but definitely keep duality in mind, that’s not the title but it has something to do with that. We’re releasing a single in February and we’ll probably be releasing the album in between March and April.
You guys are gearing up for a European trek with Shinedown. Any tour plans for the U.S.?
Absolutely. It’s kind of slow in January with videos and photo shoots, we’re doing a lot of promotion in January; the last time we put out a record as soon as we finished it we went right back on tour so this time we’re doing it a little differently we’re trying to build up a little something and as much as it pains me to do it because I love being out on the road, I just want to play everything for everybody right now.
It’s going to be interesting because then we go over to Europe with Shinedown and they’re awesome, we’ve been friends for eight years and we’ve had like six or seven tours; it was at least twice a year we would be going out with Shinedown and for like the last three years we really haven’t been. I’ve missed them a lot. After that, all hell breaks loose and we’re going to wreak havoc on the States yet again.
In an interview with Revolver, you were crushing on Corey Taylor a little bit. What is it about him or just any other guy in general that appeals to you?
Well specifically to Corey, and it’s funny because that kind of blew up a little bit [laughs] — he’s a good friend and his family accepted us with open arms on the last couple tours that we’ve been on with him. Obviously, I have a couple of tour crushes always, it doesn’t mean I’m going to fulfill them especially because most of them are married or taken or out with some model somewhere [laughs] but one of the things that made me really fall in love with him and a lot of the other men I’ve been able to tour with is that they’re just funny and they’re really nice.
You can pick out the scariest dude on the tour and guaranteed he’s probably a smush — I just find that so incredibly attractive. With Corey, he will find any way to make you laugh, you could be having the crappiest day and he’ll be walking down the hallway like an old man pretending to pick something up off the ground. [Laughs]
There was one time in particular we all were eating in the catering hall and all we see is Corey Taylor, he calls it “Uncle Butt” and he taught my brother how to do it — it’s basically you walk like you got a back problem and you’re trying to pick up a quarter off the ground and both him and my brother are slowly moving down the hall and that’s all we’re looking at through the door way and everybody that was in the catering hall was just busting out laughing. It takes a certain amount of personality to bring the house down while everybody’s trying to eat their lunch but him and David Draiman and Dan Donegan and all the Disturbed guys, they’re such great people.
We’ve just been really blessed and I’ve been blessed as a chick to be pretty much the only girl on the bill on all of these tours; you feel like you’re the little sister almost of all of these guys who have had these 10 to 12 year careers and you’re sittin’ here and you’re kind of like the new girl but it comes to the point on a tour where I don’t even really notice that I’m the only girl because they’re such sweethearts and they make me laugh. I think that’s a big part of what I love about the boys in the band too and what I find attractive in men in general is really the ability to not take everything so seriously because it is rock ‘n’ roll after all; it’s a freakin’ circus, we’re not accountants here. We’re all really lucky to be able to do this and I just think that it’s incredibly sexy for somebody to be able to actually function in this life and have a good sense of humor.
Now onto a guy that you may not get along with sometimes — your brother Arejay Hale. You probably get this question a lot but is it tough being in a band with your sibling?
[Laughs] We’ve always been really close, but I think we take that for granted sometimes and sometimes I forget that he’s growing up and that he doesn’t need a mother 24/7. The only time he really gets mad at me is when I try to mother him like, “You know we have bus call at 2p.m.” Although I will say he is the absolute heart to my soul and he’s been my little buddy forever. We started this band together and he still is that guy; it doesn’t even have to be funny, and he’ll make me laugh. I still think he needs a camera on him 24/7 to capture what is Arejay — he’s a special boy. [laughs]
You said in an another interview that you want to create a heavy female supergroup with some of your very talented buds; can you elaborate on that?
It’s funny how all of that gets kind of blown out of the water. It’s funny because now all of those girls have contacted me saying, “You’ve been talking about us in the press” [Laughs]. I was talking to a woman in Michigan and how everybody keeps saying there’s not enough females in bands and we were talking, actually there are a lot of girls out there doing it right now and it makes me feel so incredibly proud to be a part of that. People have different views of the whole hottest chick thing Revolver did and thank God for them doing that because we ended up all meeting each other through the whole thing.
So we’ ve talked in passing, nothing set in stone but we’ve talked about literally getting together as pretty much, the few and the proud that can actually play and sing and doing a project. Now it’s just a matter of everybody getting off tour or the best amount of time to do this but it’s definitely something that I want to do. We’re all on different tours and different stuff going on but it will happen eventually. They’re good girls and I’m proud to be among them.
What’s your opinion on things like Revolver’s Hottest Chick in Hard Rock or even our own Loudwire Rock Goddess or the Year?
It’s really cool that you guys do that. I feel like you have to think about it in a positive light; we kind of have the advantage over the dudes. You can have the hottest dudes but people would much rather buy something that has the hottest chicks so in that aspect we kind of have a tool to open up the door. Now, our responsibilities as a chick has to be once you open up the door you have to have something to back it up. The good thing about most of the girls that I’ve met on the road is that regardless of whether they’re cute or not, man they can bring it onstage which is inspiring not just for young girls and young people in general but for myself because then it makes me want to step it up. It’s really cool that you guys and Revolver, Kerrang overseas does that as well because it really is a good thing for us.
There are videos of fans playing an instrumental acoustic version of your tunes and you guys have done some awesome acoustic versions of songs. Are you guys thinking about maybe releasing an acoustic single or EP in the future?
Yes, we have realistically thought about that, we actually recorded some separate tracks when we were recording our latest record that we will definitely be releasing later on down the line, just acoustic. We would love to put out something whether it be covers or originals, I would love to do that, because it’s such a different animal, it’s so much more intimate and I love doing that. We’ve done that in between our sets every now and then but it’d be great to release something to show everything bare bones what we can do.
Just wondering why no “i” in Lzzy?
The weird thing is, I didn’t name myself that. It was a super fan of ours. When I was 17, we had our first website and we had a meager following in Central Pennsylvania and on the East Coast, and we had this one fan, she was like a super mom fan, she loved our band, she came to every show and she wrote out this letter on our message board online in pages it would be like 15 pages long, it was ridiculous. She started saying how Ozzfest is coming through and it should really be called Lzzfest and Lzzy instead of Ozzy and all this stuff. She wanted us at 17 to play Ozzfest which again is ridiculous but what happened was if you typed in our name into a search engine the letter was the biggest thing that came up at that point.
These little girls started emailing me and sending me these messages over our site, changing their names because they saw that my name was L-z-z-y because this woman had said somewhere in the letter L-z-z-y instead of O-z-z-y, so I started getting these letters from J-s-s-y for Jessy and N-k-k-y for Nikky they were dropping their vowels left and right. I’m like this is actually kind of cool maybe I should adopt it for a little while so I started signing my stuff Lzzy because it was funny and then it just stuck and I never stopped.
Now in the long run I’m glad because when you put in Lzzy in the search engine, you find me and you don’t find Thin Lizzy, or Lizzy Borden or Lizzie Maguire so it worked out. It was one of our first experiences with how when something comes up online, it can be misconstrued, so it was like that happy accident.