HALESTORM's Lzzy Hale has confirmed to U.K.'s Rock Sound that she has been using her coronavirus downtime to compose material for the band's follow-up to 2018's "Vicious" album. "I've been writing, honestly, some of the best songs I've ever written, because I've just had the time, and there isn't any deadline and nobody's breathing down my neck, saying, 'Hey, where are those demos?'," she said (see video below).
"I haven't been home without a gig for this long in probably over 15 years, so that's a strange thing. I think in one way, I have the time, but in another way, I'm seeking that high out, I'm seeking that joy that I find from playing out live every night. I'm not writing for any other reason — I'm not writing for a deadline, I'm not writing for a record, even though technically I am; we are technically working on a new HALESTORM record. But I'm writing from such a position of joy right now, literally just getting excited about some small piece of music. And I'm taking more risks now, because I have the space and the time and I've settled into something. And I'm not even quite sure what that is, and I feel like it's gonna reveal itself maybe later, but right now, I'm in it, and it's exciting.
"It's funny, because I thought about these pros and cons," she continued. "The cons of this pandemic have been I have to be home and I don't get to do what I love to do, as in travel. I'm not with my road crew and my bandmates every day. But on the other hand, everything that I was writing before the pandemic hit I kind of put on the backburner and I just started fresh. The lyrics mean something different now, and the music means something different now. It's not just this thing you do because it's fun to play. It's almost like you're being your own ambassador of rock music. And what does that actually mean to you, besides just, like, 'Yeah, we're gonna rock out.' Like, what is that? So it's been fun to go down that rabbit hole."
Asked what stage of the songwriting process the new HALESTORM album is and whether there is any material that is fully tracked, Lzzy said: "I have a lot that's fully tracked. It's kind of been a relay sport, because we're not all in the same room. So how it's pretty much been going is that, obviously, I have a studio down here, but I have two writing stations upstairs — one by a piano and then one just a simple rock rig with a guitar. So basically, I've been writing the song in its entirety in how I see fit, and then I pass the baton to my guitar player, and then I pass the baton to our rhythm section, and then we discuss it later. It's been really exciting. We have a lot that's finished, which I think is awesome.
"With this pandemic and the future kind of being unknown, at least for me, the way I'm feeling is that I'm living in the now," she explained. "I'm, like, hey, if this is the last song I ever write right now, I'm gonna finish it and I'm gonna enjoy every bit of it. I'm not gonna settle. I'm not writing for radio or what I think the fans wanna hear or what I think our label wants to hear, our management — whatever it is — I'm writing from an element of my truth. And I've always done that, but I think it's just peeling back another layer of that onion."
"Halestorm Reimagined", a collection of reworked HALESTORM original songs as well as a cover of "I Will Always Love You", the love ballad made famous by Whitney Houston and Dolly Parton, was made available on August 14.
Lzzy and her brother Arejay (drums) formed the band in 1998 while in middle school. Guitarist Joe Hottinger joined the group in 2003, followed by bassist Josh Smith in 2004.
In December 2018, HALESTORM was nominated for a "Best Rock Performance" Grammy Award for its song "Uncomfortable".
In 2012, the band won its first Grammy in the category of "Best Hard Rock/ Metal Performance" for "Love Bites (So Do I)". According to the Grammy web site, Lzzy became the first woman to earn a Grammy in the category.