Simon Crampton of ThisIsNotAScene recently conducted an interview with HALESTORM frontwoman Lzzy Hale. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
ThisIsNotAScene: The new album, “A Strange Case Of…”, came out in April. Have you been surprised by how well the album has been received?
Lzzy: Definitely. Maiinly because we love the record, but as we’ve noticed in past years, just because of what we like and don’t like, just because we like something, it doesn’t mean that everyone else is going to like it [laughs], but yeah, it was very cool. Not to be cheesy, but it was very strange — we’d had some success on the last record in the States and a little bit over here [in the U.K.], and we were just a little worried that it was a little too all over the place or for me personally that some of the more vulnerable parts of the record would put people off, that they wouldn’t want to hear that from me, because on the last album it was all superhero all the time, and it’s like, “Hey, I’m a tough chick” and all that, so to open yourself up like that, I was a little nervous about. But so far so good, and its already exceeded the last record. I feel like everyone over here has gravitated to this one versus the last one.
ThisIsNotAScene: Was there a point when you were writing some of the slower more personal songs like “Break In” and “Beautiful With You” that you were worried that you were putting too much of yourself on display?
Lzzy: Definitely. I feel like with songs like that, I write them anyway, but I hardly ever show them to the guys in my band, only because I assume that no one is going to want to hear that from me, or the guys in the band are going to think its too cheesy or too girly of a subject. I went through a period of my life and as a writer, especially as a teenager where I was, like, “Screw power ballads and piano stuff, I’m going to write heavy stuff and scream my head off. It’s going to be annoying and obnoxious.” but I kind of settled down a bit during the making of this record and the song that spurred the whole thing off was a B-side called “Hate It When You See Me Cry” and I wrote the song in five minutes after a bottle of wine and recorded it into my phone, and I had the brilliant idea at the time to send it to my AR guy, which I remembered I’d done in the morning and was like, “Dammit, I’m going to get it. Someone is going to be mad at me.” The AR guy called me and I kind of ignored his call. Then he called me again two more times, so I answered and said, “Yeah, I know… I’m sorry I sent you this thing that’s just on acoustic guitar.” And he was, like, “No, no, no. I love the song, can you do more like that?” Basically he said they didn’t think I had that side to me, so it was kind of a surprise to him and my guys, and after that, the floodgates opened and I did a lot more of it. But even then, you put it down and you record it and you hear it, it sounds great and I love the collection of songs on this album, but then you’re thinking, “Did we do the right thing?” And you never really know until you kick it out into the world and see what people think.
ThisIsNotAScene: When you did the Carnival Of Madness tour in the States, you performed “Break In” with Amy Lee from EVANESCENCE. Was that a strange experience for you to share something so personal with someone else like that?
Lzzy: I’m not going to lie to you, I was a little shy when I first met her, because she’s been famous a hell of a lot longer and had to deal with a lot more than I have. She’s not really into a whole lot of the more upbeat rock stuff that we do, like the “Love Bites…” kind of stuff. After a few dates of us playing together, she came bouncng out of her bus one day because she’d seen my walk past and was, like, “I’ve just heard ‘Break In’ and I can’t stop listening to it. I know all your parts, and I had this weird idea. Do you think you would let me come up and sing your parts with you?” and I was, like, “Of course.” It was actually very reassuring for me, especially as she has always shown that vulnerable side to her, so it was reassurance and a big “Fuck yeah!” for me. It made sense, and if I hadn’t put that song on the record, you never know… she might not have come up and sang with me, so it was a very cool experience.
ThisIsNotAScene: One of the things that has happened to you recently is that you were voted Revolver magazine’s Hottest Chick In Rock 2012. How did that feel for you?
Lzzy: It was very flattering and very humbling. The coolest thing about Revolver is that they spend a lot of time on it, and there’s always an article to be done, so there’s always a story behind it — it’s not just a centrefold, poster-child kind of thing; you can always dig a little deeper. It’s fun, though, man, and I ended up keeping it classy on the cover. [laughs] I definitely enjoy it. Sex and rock and roll go hand in hand. I enjoy that aspect and the dressing, but the one rule that I go by is that I make sure I have something to back it up. If, over the course of this, it becomes all about that type of stuff, then I did something horribly wrong. [laughs]
Read the entire interview from ThisIsNotAScene.