By Carl Begai
Halestorn vocalist Lzzy Hale clearly has no concept of downtime, having used whatever breathing room she had in between tours to speak with me for a new BraveWords feature story. That interview can be found here. Following are a few extra bits of insight from that discussion:
Lzzy is, of course, known for her killer voice and good looks, but in keeping with her next generation Joan Jett appeal, she also plays guitar. In fact, she looks rather strange on stage without her signature Explorer in hand.Asked if she’s at all disappointed by most people treating her axe-playing as as afterthought – although Premier Guitar recently did their best to remedy that with a rig rundown – Lzzy doesn’t worry about it.
“I got into playing guitar because I wanted to be a bad-ass,” she admits. “That really was the only reason. I followed Tom Keifer from Cinderella and decided I had to get off the piano (laughs). As I learned more about the instrument it became more of a personal journey for me. I don’t really mind being in the shadows guitar-wise because I’m becoming a better player year after year. As that happens people will start noticing me as a guitar player. I don’t pay a lot of attention to people paying a whole lot of attention to me (laughs).”
As mentioned in the BraveWords piece, any pressure felt by the members of Halestorm going in to make their new album, Into The Wild Life, was short-lived. She credits producer Jay Joyce and his run amok work ethic for keeping the band on their toes and bringing out the best they had to offer.
“I think all of that pressure was kind of shattered as soon as we had our first day in the studio with Jay,” says Lzzy. “He’s this chain-smoking rocker dude but he’s deprived of his rockdom because he’s located in Nashville. On the first day in the studio we recorded the song ‘Mayhem’. We’d been playing out the song live and developing it, the one song we were sneak previewing during our shows. First day, it was maybe the 10th take of the song, we’re standing in a circle playing it the way we do live, recording in this beautiful church, and the vibe was great because we didn’t feel like we were in a studio. Jay says to us, ‘There’s no bridge, there’s no anything, there’s nothing in the middle.’ I told him there was a little rant thing that I do and he said ‘Yeah, but even that’s boring. Take that whole section out, play the riff, Joe (Hottinger / guitars) can do a solo over it.’ I’m like (nervously) ‘Ooookay…’ (laughs). He decided that whatever we came up with the five minutes he gave us, that’s what we were going to go with.”
“We wrote the riff, Joe started soloing over it, and while we were jamming and recording trying to connect everything, the engineer took the click track out. So, we had to follow my little brother (Arejay / drums) which, if you’ve seen us live, you know it’s a little scary (laughs). So, I’m following Arejay and suddenly I hear ‘Okay, go into that rant at the bridge!’ I messed up the words, ended up not really completing it, yelling ‘Shake it!’ something like five times, and then Arejay and the guys came in. The only thing I could think to add to that was that scream because I didn’t know what the fuck was going on (laughs). That was the take we ended up keeping.”
“And that was the first day of recording (laughs).”
Outside of Halestorm, Lzzy is known for hitting the studio and stage as a guest vocalist, having recorded and / or performed with artists including Adrenaline Mob, Seether, Slash and Corey Taylor to name a few. It has to be said that one very important collaboration has yet to take place, namely teaming up with her former vocal coach, KIX frontman Steve Whiteman.
“Oh my gosh, any time he says go I’ll do it. That guy is so nice and the reason I still have a voice after so many years of doing this. He’s a fucking amazing dude and if he says jump I’ll ask how high. I haven’t seen him in a few years because I moved away from Pennsylvania a couple years ago, so Steve and I need to make a play date (laughs).”
For those that missed the link above, check out the Halestorm feature on BraveWords here.