HALESTORM's Lzzy Hale and Joe Hottinger spoke to Kaytie of the Razor 94.7 radio station about the progress of the songwriting and recording sessions for the band's follow-up to 2015's "Into The Wild Life" album.
"We're writing," Joe said. "I think the record's written, and we actually probably have a bunch of it recorded, but… I don't know. We haven't, like, officially started, but we're about to. So we just have to, yeah, dive in and see where we're at and go for it."
"We picked a producer before we had any songs written," Lzzy added, referring to Nick Raskulinecz, the acclaimed producer who has previously worked with RUSH, KORN, ALICE IN CHAINS and DEFTONES, in addition to having helmed HALESTORM's third covers EP, "ReAniMate 3.0: The CoVeRs eP", which came out in January. "And he basically said, 'Hey, I have this studio and I have this pre-pro budget situation and I wanna do the record with you guys, so let's start.' So we started literally from scratch — like [with] no real ideas — and ended up doing a bunch of instrumentals with him, and then I'd take it home and write over them. And, yeah, it's been a lot of fun. So, like Joe said, we're recording and we're writing, and then, in a few weeks, we have, like, the big meeting with label and management, and then we go from there."
"A lot of the demos could just be keeper takes," continued Joe. "I don't know… It's all recorded well enough."
Asked about the overall sound of the new HALESTORM material, Lzzy said: "It sounds like us [laughs] — really! It's interesting, 'cause Nick is such a rock producer, so going into this process, I wasn't worried about, 'Okay, is it gonna sound rock enough?' or whatever, 'cause we worked with a couple of producers in the past that are obsessed with, 'You have to cross over to Top 40,' or we're, like, their guinea pig, first time doing a rock band, so you have that stress in the back of your mind, like, 'No, we have to make sure this rocks.' And this time, we have no stress like that at all."
"Nick is such a rock [guy], he sees us as, like, 'This is what I haven't heard you do yet,'" Joe added. "So we're kind of bouncing our ideas off his… He knows what rocks and what he wants — he's just a fan — so it's kind of fun to bounce the ideas off him and see if… 'You think that'd be cool?' And he's, like, 'I think it would be cooler if it rocks a little more.' And we're, like, 'Okay. Then let's do that.'"
According to Lzzy, HALESTORM's upcoming album will showcase the tremendous playing ability of her chief bandmate, her kid brother Arejay Hale, who took over the drum kit their parents bought for Lzzy and is still playing behind her.
"I can't wait till you hear Arejay on this record; it's unlike anything that you've heard," Lzzy said. "I mean, we all know Arejay, and he's not here to defend himself, but he's nuts in the best way, and he's a modern-day Keith Moon when everyone sees him live, but no one's really ever been able to capture that yet, and I think we're doing that. We've been shocked, and I'm his big sister — it takes a lot to shock me with him. And we're, like, 'You got him to do that? That's crazy!'"
"ReAniMate 3.0: The CoVeRs eP" featured an eclectic mix of songs from artists like METALLICA, SOUNDGARDEN, JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS, SOPHIE B. HAWKINS, TWENTY ONE PILOTS and WHITESNAKE.
"Into The Wild Life" was criticized by some fans for veering too far into pop music territory.