We heard you loved our review of Halestorm’s upcoming album “Back From The Dead” and decided we should sit down and talk with the legendary voice of Halestorm herself – Lzzy Hale. This incredible hard rock band has been around since Lzzy was only 13 years old living in rural Pennsylvania. And here they are 24 years later still kicking ass and making the world just a little uncomfortable as Ms Hale would say.
Hey Lzzy, how are you today?
I’m great, thank you so much for doing this with me today.
Of course, thank you for being here! A lot of this upcoming album is a reflection of your experiences with your mental health throughout the pandemic. How was that period of time for you and how did your emotions during that time translate into these songs?
I think what I rediscovered through writing this album is the ‘why’, the reason I love putting my thoughts down on paper and trying to fit the puzzle pieces in my head together. It’s so much more than what it has turned into – it’s more than a career choice, the thing I do, an extension of my personality. I need to write in order to figure things out. I still use it as my therapy. B.C., before COVID, I inherently knew that but because all these other things go on in my life, I put the reason I write on the back burner. I went through a period of time where I didn’t know what to do with myself and I didn’t even know if we were going to be able to go into the studio. It came to a point where I had to sit down and figure it out. That was the biggest epiphany or re-epiphany.
That’s amazing. I feel like a lot of bands can get stuck in the cycle of the industry where they write a record, do press, go on tour, then before they realize it’s time to write another record again. I can imagine it was refreshing to not *have* to follow that cycle.
It was. I went through a bit of a roller coaster ride because at first it was really refreshing because I haven’t had a true vacation since 2015. I’m okay with that because I have a hard time sitting still. At first I was excited to eat junk food and watch movies but then it set in that it had been a really long time since a show. The more our roadies were out of work, we had to find something to look forward to and when that wasn’t happening that’s when it got a little dark. The beautiful thing about now is that the album is finished, we have tour dates, we’re living more in the moment, even embracing the nerves. We’ve always been very appreciative of where we are but it’s at a different level now and the audiences are the same way – it’s beautiful.
In the words of Tom Keifer (of Cinderella) – Don’t Know What You’ve Got ‘Til It’s Gone.
After hearing the album and especially now hearing the context, I feel like that raw emotion translated perfectly into the album. To me, this album was sort of a return to the early Halestorm sound. Is that something you’d agree with?
I definitely agree. It’s funny, we’ve had this conversation as a band because you’re not the first person to say that and you’re also not the first person to say this is a heavy record. I don’t think we went into it thinking we were going to do that but I guess it came because we didn’t have anything else to put our feelings into so everyone was on 11. We were the most Halestorm we could possibly be. This is the Halestorm-iest record. We began rehearsals today for the new songs and there is just an excitement and angst channeled into the songs. This would’ve been a much different record if the world hadn’t changed. I’m almost grateful to have been in the position to make this record under the circumstances.
And after being away from live shows and the studio for so long, you guys really got your fire back. That’s not to say that you lost it at all because ‘Vicious’ is an amazing record but you guys got time to regroup and focus your energy into one thing because live shows were taken away. That’s something I’ve always felt about Halestorm is that your live energy translates perfectly onto your albums and a lot of bands struggle to do that.
That’s hard to do, we’re lucky with our producer Nick Raskulinecz. You can’t help but have that energy around him. When we’re recording guitars, he’ll literally sit two feet from us and hype us up. He’s one of the only producers we’ve worked with that is a true fan of the band and that helps. He can look at us and see us the way the world does. That definitely helps when it comes to getting the energy on the album.
Sometimes you need that person to push the envelope in the studio. Halestorm has been together for quite a long time and you guys have most definitely grown leaps and bounds musically and I’m sure as people as well. What would you say is the biggest lesson the music industry has taught you?
There is so much. First and foremost, it’s all the same game. If you’re in a video game and make it to the next level, it’s still hard. It’s always going to be hard in some way just on a different level. I don’t say that as a disparaging thing at all, I see it as a good thing. You know if you made it through the last things you thought were hard and you’re on the other side of it seeing your path of survival, you feel like you can take on the next thing that makes you a little uncomfortable. For us, we’ve always had to push ourselves to take the next step regardless of whether we were ready for it or not. The second thing is the camaraderie with my bandmates, we still love each other and we still hangout as friends. We go out on band dates, go bowling and stuff. We are always reminded that it is still the four of us against the world.
Dream tour lineup
Foo Fighters, Ghost, we’re going to bring back Ronnie James Dio and Janis Joplin. Mainly because I want to get all those people at one table for lunch before everyone plays and just have a conversation haha.
If Halestorm were a jazz band, what would the band be renamed?
We probably would end up doing psychedelic jazz because we’re into that at the moment. The Snakes of Mulan, or something like that. Not a one-word title. That was terrible haha.
I love that it’s still edgy.
oh yeah, it’s gotta have some teeth to it. I feel like at this point it would dip into the stoner jazz realm.
What is one thing you’ve done and will absolutely never do again?
Eat sea urchins. I’m a very adventurous eater but I didn’t really understand what I was getting myself into. It’s the little spiky guy but it came out on this plate and it was like someone squirted toothpaste on a plate but it tasted like fish. Yeah…. never again.
Where can people buy and stream Back From The Dead?
Everything is in a package on Halestormrocks.com and it will be streaming everywhere. Make sure you check out the videos because we love a visual aid.
Is there anything else you’d like to include?
Look out for us on the road, we’ve got shows with Stone Temple Pilots, Black Stone Cherry, The Pretty Reckless, and many others. Most importantly, thank you so much Shannon for taking the time to talk to me. You had very great, unique questions.
Shannon Wilk is a Connecticut-based music industry creative; bassist and photographer. She has brought her bass guitar skills to stages all over the country in various bands, most recently The Heartless and Alice Loves Alien. Dubbed the “female Rudy Sarzo”, Shannon has a unique and captivating stage presence in addition to her distinctive playing style. Since beginning her professional career in 2019, she has made waves in both the live music scene and the digital world, playing legendary stages such as the Whisky A Go-Go and the Monsters of Rock Cruise, as well as accumulating nearly 1 million views across online platforms.At 17 years old, Shannon Wilk has become a force to be reckoned with in the rock n’ roll scene. In addition to her blossoming music career, she has continued to showcase her passion for live music through concert photography. From KISS to Foo Fighters to Evanescence to Yungblud and more, Shannon has captured rock royalty through her lens. In 2018, she launched her own publication, Rockin’ Interviews, where she has connected with beloved ‘80s heavy metal artists through her independently produced podcast.