You’d be hard pressed to find many bands primarily in their early twenties heading into their thirteenth year, but Pennsylvanian quintet, Halestorm, tick that box with ease. Having had a successful 2010 on the road with bands such as Avenged Sevenfold and Stone Sour, the band ended their year in the UK with Taste of Chaos, opening for Disturbed and Papa Roach before bringing in 2011 with a NYE show in Philadelphia.
When it comes to searching facts on members of bands, it’s easy to find the same bullet pointed list repeated over the Internet rather than hearing it from the person themselves. Looking at Halestorm, you’ll find something that stands out: a female frontwoman who has lived and breathed music her entire life. Lzzy was lovely enough to take a few moments of her time to explain, in her words, the best parts of being in a band, her fondest memories and where she sees herself in the future.
Did you always have a love for music when growing up?
LZZY: Music was always a part of my life. Growing up my family would take my brother and I to week long music festivals, where we’d camp and then everyday there’d be different bands. Concerts, and in general, MTV and VH1 was always welcome in our house. Not to mention that my dad was a bassist and we always had a piano, guitar or drum kit in the house.
Did you find becoming a musician a natural aspiration from a young age?
LZZY: I think it was always a part of me. It felt natural, normal. But the epiphany that this was what I was meant to do didn’t hit me until age 13.
Who do you consider your musical inspirations?
LZZY: My parents (their “song” is Panama by Van Halen). They were both way into Rock. The Beatles, Heart, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Dio, Deep Purple, The Who etc. So what I recognized as heavy rock was the weighty-ness of classic rock n roll. The 70s and 80s era was a huge inspiration to me, but my parents also instilled in me an open mind… So even though I’m a rock chick I can see the good in other genres and find the honesty in all generations of music.
What was your aim when starting out in music/Halestorm? Did you ever think you’d find the success you’re currently experiencing?
LZZY: My goal in the beginning was to see how far I could take it. I always knew that I had something special with Halestorm. We already had the heart and soul, my brother Arejay and I, and that was half the battle… With what I knew we were both capable of… We were destined to go far. But I don’t think I ever expected the kind of response we’ve been getting. Our fans around the world have become this other driving force for us! We are lucky to have so many people believe in us.
Your favourite things about touring and being able to make music?
LZZY: My heart is in the live show. Touring is and will always be my favorite thing to do. Since I was little I dreamt of what it’d be like and it’s everything and more than I’d hoped. Making music for me is the set up. You write a song and flip your insides out! You toil and become an emotional wreck so that you can then be liberated by performing those songs in front of millions of people! I’m not an overtly religious girl, but it can only be described as a religious experience. A high, that you can literally become depressed without it, when you come off the road!
What do you consider your greatest achievements and memories in music so far?
LZZY: My greatest memories happen every day with these boys! Being able, not only to do the thing you love everyday and try to make a living at it, but to do it with your best friends is truly the greatest! Being able to open for Ronnie James Dio was a big one for me – truly an inspiration, personally and musically. I’ll miss him. Touring Europe 3 times this year and going to Japan was a great achievement for us! Making 3 killer music videos, touring with the likes of modern rock royalty, proving ourselves as musicians and road dogs.
What, overall, do you hope for in the future of Halestorm?
LZZY: My wish for Halestorm is that we’ll make it to the reunion tour! We are gonna surpass the Stones! I wanna be a wrinkly cougar singing “I get off” when I’m 60!
Although today you will find more women than ever taking on the industry headfirst and gaining the praise of talent they deserve, the genre still has a male domination. Tying in with our piece on ‘Women in Rock’ that is being worked on, we wanted to know – from personal experience – how it feels to be considered a successful female in a prominently male industry.
How do you find being woman succeeding in an industry considered “male dominated”?
LZZY: It feels good! I’ve always had the opposite view: that I actually have the advantage in a male dominated genre. I’m usually the only girl on a tour, so I stick out. Press usually comes to me, and will have a chick on the cover of a Mag rather than a dude. Let’s face it, if you can leave an audience slack-jawed – you’re great – but if they aren’t expecting a girl, and she leaves her audience slack-jawed, she’s the one everyone’ll be talking about.
But somewhat of the personal challenge (but not a bad thing) is that as a whole, the woman in rock CANNOT suck! The world will not stand for it! You can have a crappy guy band up on stage… and they might be huge… but have a girl doing the same thing and she’d be booed off stage. So, those of us who make it out of the stereotype “tampon rock” are the few, the proud, the women who have something to back it up!
Quality over quantity. It doesn’t matter what someone’s sexist view of a woman in a rock band is… If you have honed your craft, no one can argue.
What advice would you offer to females looking to take a step into rock/metal?
LZZY: Bottom line is to love what you do. That is the ultimate end all. If you love and believe in what you are doing, don’t give a shit what anyone else thinks! This is a rollercoaster ride of a biz! You can’t plan but you can make small goals like “put a band together” or “play the rock club in your city”. Don’t get discouraged if it’s a slow ride; just do the best you can.
Get your shit together first! Don’t start a band and then immediately start shopping to labels! Practice, hone your craft, play lots of shows, write music… and ONLY then, when you’ve figured out what and who you are as a band, shop to labels… If you even need to at that point.
As for what 2011 holds for Lzzy Hale – you can find her as the latest addition to the Metal Hammer crew, having her own ‘Agony Aunt’ column. You can also purchase Halestorm’s “Live in Philly” DVD, released on November 16th and their self titled album from the Atlantic Records’ webstore.