Latest release: Into the Wild Life (Warner)
I first spoke to Halestorm vocalist Lzzy Hale just prior to the release of The Strange Case of… in 2012. Back then she was hoping to bring her band Down Under for a tour to support it, but then things got surreal when the album’s first single ‘Love Bites (So Do I)’ won a Grammy and after that there simply wasn’t time. Almost four years later, she’s been in the country less than a day and is already smitten.
“This is the first chance I’ve had to come to Australia for any reason,” Lzzy says pleasantly over the phone from her hotel in Melbourne. “And since I’ve arrived I’ve decided to spend a good percentage of my time off until Christmas after this tour here. I’m just going to head out and visit Byron Bay and try and see as much as I can before I have to head off.”
Since blowing off other nominees like Anthrax, Iron Maiden and Lamb of God for the Best Metal Performance gong Halestorm has been one of the most in-demand live bands in the heavy rock scene and this year’s Into the Wild Life album made the Top 10 in both the US Billboard and UK Album charts. It hasn’t given them much time to spare.
“We’re used to that,” Hale says. “We usually get a week or a week and a half off between tours. That’s not usually long enough to decompress between tours. You just sort of go crazy for about a week because you think you’re supposed to be doing something. It kind of screws up your life a little bit!”
That may be so, but success has given the life-long musician and the band she shares with drummer brother Arejay, bass player Josh Smith and guitarist Joe Hottinger the chance to work and perform with some of their greatest influences.
“We’ve been lucky that we’ve been able to tour with a lot of our idols and some really amazing musicians,” the singer says. “I gotta say I’ve missed out on the female end… a lot of my influences were dudes. I’d love to tour with the Heart sisters, Ann and Nancy Wilson – that would be really neat, or the likes of Pat Benatar. Maybe even Lita Ford. That would be really cool. I’ve been thinking about that the last year because there’s been so many things that I’ve been able to do.”
She has a laundry list of goals that just seems to keep getting longer.
“What’s left? What else can I do?” she asks. “When you create a bucket list and you start accomplishing things off of it, it’s not really about completing it now, it’s about adding more things to it! I never thought that would happen, so who knows? I keep putting more things on there, hoping I get to cross it off.”
After a jam-packed three and a half years, Lzzy Hale and Halestorm will now be able to cross their first Aussie tour off their list. Back in 2012 they were hoping to get attached to a festival or another tour, but since their profile was elevated with Into the Wild Life almost scraping into the Top 50 earlier this year they’re now able to do their own shows and really show the country what they’re made of.
“It’s really good for us because rather than just doing a festival show, we got to do club shows and really get a feel for what we’ve built here” she says. “This is a kind of a beginning. This is the handshake, so to speak, to Australia.”
Halestorm is on tour now:
11/12: Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle NSW
12/12: ANU Bar, Canberra ACT
13/12: Manning Bar, Sydney NSW
15/12: Tivoli, Brisbane QLD