HALESTORM vocalist/guitarist Lzzy Hale, drummer Arejay Hale and guitarist Joe Hottinger recently spoke with Sweetwater's Nick Bowcott. The full conversation can be viewed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the group's longevity:
Lzzy: "It's just great that we're still here. We say it every single night — we have so much fun with each other, and we're really lucky. We're about to release our fourth full-length record on Atlantic Records, and we know so many talented bands that never even make it to their second on a major label, so the fact that we're still here, we're still touring, we haven't killed each other yet, it's quite the feat."
Arejay: "It's taken us 20 years to [get here]. I don't think a lot of people realize how long it takes to get anywhere. So many bands get right on the cusp, and then they give up because it's not happening as quickly as they expect it to. You've got to realize, it takes a long time. The more you do it, the better you get at it."
On the power of live music:
Lzzy: "I know it's kind of a cliché, but music — and especially live music — is addicting, and it's kind of our drug of choice. There are those moments where we'll have some time off and be like too much time without a gig — like, 'Man, I'm just, like, really bummed. I don't know why — I have no reason to be bummed,' and then you go out and have a gig and [feel] like, 'Oh, I feel better. This is great.'"
Arejay: "It's 23 hours of work and one hour of bliss. It's a lot of work, the whole process. You have to love every aspect of it. It's so much more than just performing live. You need to embrace doing the interviews, doing the meet-and-greets, doing the grunt work. You have to enjoy it; you have to love it."
On the group's writing process:
Lzzy: "We approach a song in a lot of different ways, but we have such respect for what everybody brings to the table. I can do something that they can't; Arejay can do something that none of us can; Joe can do something, on and on. We also, because of our instruments, we always listen to a song in a different way. Me being a vocalist, lyrics are my thing, and I want to make sure that that's the thing I do best. Joe is just the riff master for days, and Arejay holds it down. I can't wait for [people] to hear this new record, because you can really hear that type of clarity, and hear everything that Josh [Smith] does on bass that I feel like in past records, gets put in the past a little bit because I'm out front, I'm a girl, yes, everything's all shiny. But it's not just about me — it's about all four of us, and when we come together like that, there's something that nobody else in the world can do and that we can't recreate with anybody else."
On the group's chemistry:
Lzzy: "There's a certain thing when you live with the same people and you're writing with the same people. These guys know me more than my family does. They've seen my worst days, my best days. When you have that type of relationship with people, the music, you have this internal language. It's just fun — it's still so much fun."
Arejay: "I think that helped us in the studio too. The majority of the songs on our new record were just us jamming together and coming up with parts off the cuff. I think that's what makes this new record kind of sound like the most HALESTORM-sounding record [yet] — it's straight from [the heart]. It's not over-thought."
On whether being a role model is burdensome:
Lzzy: "I get more inspired by it than intimidated, because I subscribe to if I am unapologetically myself and not trying to be anything that I'm not, and not trying to be cool and not trying to be a really good role model, I'm a better role model for these kids. It's just such an honor. I get letters every single day — handwritten letters from teenagers, and they'll draw me pictures with the Explorer [guitar] and talk about how they started a band at school. Nowadays, there's so many more outlets than we had. There's School Of Rock and Girls Rock and all of these ways that you can get into music. The fact that if I'm just a small part of a young lady going, 'That's possible. If she can do it, so can I'... Even if that doesn't mean a rock star — maybe that means, 'I want to be a doctor'; maybe that means, 'I'm a girl and I want to be a mechanic' — that's just amazing to me. Just to be a part of somebody's life like that is truly an honor."
HALESTORM's fourth full-length album, "Vicious", will be released July 27 via Atlantic. The album was recorded at Nashville, Tennessee's Rock Falcon recording studio with producer Nick Raskulinecz (RUSH, ALICE IN CHAINS, DEFTONES), who also helmed HALESTORM's third covers EP, 2017's "ReAniMate 3.0: The CoVeRs eP".