HALESTORM's Lzzy Hale and Josh Smith recently spoke with Paulie Walnuts of HardDrive Radio. The full conversation can be viewed in two parts below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the band's new single, "Uncomfortable":
Lzzy: "This is one of the first songs that ended up coming together for this record. We did this record with [producer] Nick Raskulinecz, and he was there from the gestation process, through pre-pre-pro, through pre-pro, through making the record, and then the eleventh hour... the whole thing. In the beginning, one of the things that really troubled us was, it's our fourth record – we had no idea what to do. Our amazing A&R guy came over and basically said, 'You know me — I always have an agenda, but this time, I have no agenda, so go write your record and let me know when you think it's done.' When we were talking to Nick, he basically said, 'When was the last time that the four of you just got together and jammed, and started with music first?' It's like, 'Man, it's been years since that happened.' This particular song ended up starting as an instrumental, and then kind of took it from there. It made the cut every single time."
Josh: "It's got an engine on it, as you can tell. I just think that it doesn't let it up. It was a fun journey making that. It's funny — I feel we talk about Nick so [much], he should be, like, the fifth member. He was just a great guide on this record, but from song to song as well. This song, we're glad it made the cut, and glad it's the first thing to put out into the world."
Lzzy: "This particular song, we have a version with a completely different ending. We recorded it, like, five or six times over, so we really got to know the song before it ended up being in its final stage."
On the group's forthcoming album "Vicious":
Lzzy: "On our previous records, we would write whenever we could and then pick a producer and then go and record everything and whittle it down. This time, we did it completely in the opposite way."
Josh: "We did it like we used to do it. It's a lot harder — it's a lot more involved and a lot more work, and a lot more rewarding, too. I understand why people get into the notion of 'Let's write some songs, find a producer, here are the songs, let's hit record ' — it speeds things up; it makes sense. But this was a blast. This was, like, back to our basement days — wake up [at] one in the afternoon and go down to the basement and start making noise."
On what else they did differently:
Lzzy: "For starters, I think everything, honestly. With Nick, one of his goals producing our record — what he's told us — is to bring out what he sees in us as a fan of HALESTORM. We decided early on [that] we're going to double down on rock; we're not going to go in a strange left [turn]; we're not going to go for a pop grab. Let's do what we would do in our basement. It's been fun to go through that. He kept us kind of in the lane, out of the gutter — like, if it's a bowling alley, he's the bumpers. That's a terrible analogy. [Laughs] With us, we had multiple versions of every song. We would come back from a tour and be like, 'Ooh, what about this? Let's go back and listen,' so we really got to get inside these songs before we released it to the public. On previous records, we don't really know whether anyone's going to care until we release it, and then usually, as we develop it live, we'll be like, 'We should have done that.' We've gotten to the final versions of these songs by now."
Lzzy: "He's so animated in just the way that he approaches recording, and he's such a nerd in the best way possible for everything – gear, guitars, drums. He just made us feel comfortable, and I think brought the best out of us because of that."
On touring with IN THIS MOMENT and NEW YEARS DAY:
Lzzy: "We just got off our first leg, which is awesome, because I've never been surrounded by more girls on tour ever. It's kind of weird, because you really start noticing how many 'dude qualities' you soak in over the years. I'm used to hanging for a bunch of dudes, so when you have a bunch of girls asking you, 'Do you have a hair straightener?' I'm like, 'Actually, I don't think I do, because no one has ever really asked me that before, besides some emo guy at one point – seriously. It's been really cool. Between Maria [Brink] and I and also Ash Costello, we're all really good friends. We've been friends for years, but we're always so busy that we can never see each other. We decided years ago that we have to do a tour together, so we booked the tour, and the state of the world that we're in right now, all of this stuff started happening, so we found ourselves in the middle of this movement. We didn't realize how important the tour was going to be until we were in it, so it's been really neat to celebrate not just being women in general, but being women in the rock genre, and showing what that means to us. It's been great."
"Vicious" will be released July 27 via Atlantic. The album was recorded at Nashville, Tennessee's Rock Falcon recording studio with Raskulinecz, who also helmed HALESTORM's third covers EP, 2017's "ReAniMate 3.0: The CoVeRs eP".