Like many other bands, the Halestorm rock outfit makes up for lost tour time. In the spring, it launched a lineup with Stone Temple Pilots, Mammoth WVH and Blackstone Cherry that considered Halestorm the last band standing, as all other operations were hit by COVID-19. (Fortunate fans who were at the final show in Montana on May 30 witnessed a special three-hour set.) The quartet returned on July 7 for another US tour. will run until October 8, in a rare outing where all talent fronts or includes women: Pretty Reckless, The Warning and Lilith Czar are supporting the ride.
After nearly four years, Halestorm released a new studio album, Return from the dead (May 6, Atlantic Records), a raucous, angry outburst fueled by intense emotions experienced by heroine Lzzy Hale and her band mates over the long haul coronavirus pandemic. The hit title track and “The Steeple” as well as the ballads “Terrible Things” and “Raise Your Horns” deal with the world’s turmoil and want to regain the musical identity they and their fans share. missed.
The album’s title proved to be prophetic: “Back From the Dead” and “The Steeple” both hit #1 on BillboardsMainstream Rock Airplay chart. The track has now dominated the list six times, out of 13 top 10 entries, and has also scored four chart-topping spots on Top Hard Rock Albums. According to Luminate, Halestorm has earned a total of 2.5 million album-equivalent units, and its catalog has racked up 1.1 billion official on-demand streams in the United States.
There’s more to Halestorm to celebrate this year. Hale is the judge on No cover, a talent contest that debuted on YouTube in April, where unsigned artists compete to win record contracts by playing original material. Announced in 2021 as Gibson’s first female brand ambassador, she introduced her signature Explorerbird in May with a humorous video clip. Z2 Comics is publishing the graphic novel Hyde Manor, inspired by the group’s music, this fall. And August marks 25 years since the first Halestorm gig that Hale played at the age of 13. For her, the “allies and buds” that have accompanied her on the band’s journey – guitarist Joe Hottinger, bassist Josh Smith and her brother Arejay on drums – probably know her better than anyone. .
Here, Hale opens Billboards about life in captivity, how she wasn’t always the screamer that fans saw on stage and fell in love with “devil music”.
You are Gibson’s first female brand ambassador. It’s great, and at the same time – really? Just the first?
That’s something [the Gibson role] which they have only really introduced in the last few years. But I remember when we received the Grammys [for best hard rock/metal performance in 2013 for “Love Bites (So Do I)”], and all that this press has to offer: the first woman to win the award. I thought, “There must be someone else.” Just a few short years ago, at any festival or bill of any kind, I was the only woman there.
And now it’s completely flipped. We played Welcome to Rockville a couple of weeks ago and it was probably a good 50/50 split. All my sisters were there, and it was a pleasure to see. I miss the early days of the tour – I wouldn’t think about being a girl until someone talked about it. “Oh yeah, I’m the only one around. Alright, great. Let’s go to a rock concert. “
Is it like guitar design?
We started talking about Explorerbird right before COVID-19 came out. I wanted to boldly go where Gibson had never been before and create a hybrid guitar that reflected all the fierceness I used against the darkness this world was throwing my way. This fiery ax is my weapon of choice.
On stage, it looks like your jovial jovial side comes out and you banish some demons.
When you’re on stage, you can be as open and free as you want. I definitely cite that this band helped me come out of my shell, because I was a quiet and shy kid.
I have to tell you this story my mom just told me… I was in kindergarten, and my mom had to be called by the teachers, because they were trying to show us how to scream if there was a fire. If there is a fire and you are hiding in a closet somewhere, you have to shout to the firefighters so they know where you are and then they can rescue you. Obviously, I’m not going to scream. I just refused out loud. And my mother spoke up about it. Because she was like, “You’re making a living now screaming.”
But it’s great. I still use writing and performing as a form of therapy and as a way to be as weird or as loud as I want to be, because I’m allowed on stage to do that.
Obviously you don’t like the lockdown too much. You’re the one who really thrives when you’re out there promoting yourself to an audience.
The first month of lockdown, [I felt like], “We will treat this like a vacation. We will deliver beer to your door.” I didn’t realize until we dived into it how I use a live show – or camaraderie, or even just the idea of forward, missionary, actionable motion. some sort of plan – like the tools in my arsenal to keep me healthy, and to combat the darkness that might creep in. I used to call it an identity crisis because all of a sudden, I wasn’t necessarily the Lzzy Hale on stage that I liked to be. I am now Elizabeth Mae Hale IV in her pajamas for three days in a row, thinking about what the future might hold, and I haven’t seen her in a while. It’s a roller coaster ride.
All these songs [on Back From the Dead] comes from this core personal position that I’m trying to overcome. On the other hand, now that I’m listening to these songs and we’re streaming, it seems like they’re incredibly popular and speak to so many different people. As part of this fully personal journey, through the release of this profile, I’ve come to realize that I’m not alone in anything we’ve all been through.
On the softer side of the album, acoustic “Terrible Things” deals with deep concerns about how crazy the world seems to be. “Raise Your Horns” is a vocal and piano ballad that one would expect to become a big metal anthem, but it is a bit melancholy.
Sure. None of us could not feel that weight and be almost helpless, and try not to completely give up hope in humanity. It was like, “Humans are inherently good? Are we resigned to repeating these mistakes over and over and taking back these great strides in the healthy evolution of the human race? What’s going on? ” With “Terrible Things,” we felt it was important to address that issue. There is some hope for that. This is me and we really just said, “I still have to believe we’ll all be okay and we’ll figure it out.” Or what am I doing all this for?
With “Raise Your Horns”, I really wanted to write a song with that phrase. But when you start to put it in the context of a normal hard material bang, it can have a bit of a nose up. That phrase has a different meaning to me now. Over the years, it has become an integral part of my speech on mental health. The phrase, to me, means self-promotion, and I really wanted to put that in a different context – a more personal meaning of the song’s meaning.
It was a great live performance, because when I recorded the vocals for that song, I got a little emotional. You come to a point where you are lacking close friendships with people. And what does that mean? When I go live, even if it’s the first time someone hears it, they know exactly what to do. As soon as I got into that chorus, everyone got up, and it was just a beautiful display of unity and celebration of this unity. It’s amazing to see that come to life after recording.
I consider “The Steeple” a sequel to your #1 hit of 2015 “Amen.” Both songs explore the concept of your personal Halestorm church – but while “Amen” feels a bit more rebellious, “The Steeple” is about trying to win back that very community in recent times.
YES. Whether we’re in the stands or on stage, there have been moments in my life when I’ve gone out and watched a friend play at a local rock concert, and you can clearly feel that The rain cloud is being cleared. That’s why [there’s] the first line, “It stopped raining in my head today.” I’m back, and here I am with all my people. I don’t know why I like to use religious terms for devil’s music. My religion of choice is all of this, the fellowship you have with people and the music we make. It is the closest thing to magic you will find here on earth. It’s great to be a part of it. It’s that we’re really trying to build the church and recreate that because we don’t have that.
The Explorerbird promo you made for Gibson also works like a video Return from the dead. In the clip, you actually “cook” your bright red guitar before going on stage. It got me thinking: When will we get Lzzy Hale Serial Mother cooking show?
Man, I swear, I have this in me really want to do it and have [Slipknot/Stone Sour’s] Corey Taylor or [Judas Priest’s] Rob Halford was there: “Hey, we’re going to cook chicken tonight.” I would love to do that, just like Martha Stewart wrong. That commercial was fun to do because I really enjoy cooking, so it was fun to talk a little bit about it and be a little cheesy and wink at the camera. Then the transition between the average person, suitable in the kitchen versus [on the] phase – there’s always a bit of a dichotomy to what I do. You need a balance between darkness and light.
I was at CVS a few weeks ago, and this woman is probably in her 70s, wearing a leather jacket and bright red lipstick. I was like, “Is that my future?” I can’t help myself. I walked by, I was like, “I love your whole look.” And she looked at me, and she said, “I love your whole look. “We are like doppelgangers. I feel like there’s going to be a moment where we don’t necessarily have to grow up. We don’t have to be like, “Okay, now I’ll use Dad’s device…”
I hate the phrase “rock dad.”
Oh, I know. It bothers me a lot because I still love that music. It’s not dad rock, it’s still heavy metal to me. So funny. Let’s start a campaign: No more rock dad!
https://www.billboard.com/music/rock/halestorm-roaring-back-from-the-dead-with-no-1-hits-summer-tour-1235113380/ No.1 Hits, Summer Tour – Billboard