Halestorm Singer Says She's Thrilled to Tour with Female-Fronted Bands In This Moment and New Years Day

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JIMMY FONTAINE
  • Jimmy Fontaine
Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale says she and her current tour mates, In This Moment and New Years Day, have talked about touring together for years. But the three hard rock acts, each of which features a female front person, finally got their schedules synced earlier this year to hit the road together.

They bring their tour to the Masonic Auditorium at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 26.

“We’ve known each other for years, and it was always something we talked about," she says in a phone interview. "We were always like, ‘What about next year?’ Finally, we did it kind of selfishly. I’ve never been surrounded by more estrogen on a tour. I can easily borrow eyeliner, and it’s been great. I don’t have to ask the one guy in the other band that wears make-up. I don’t think we realized how important it has been until we got out there and did it. We watch the audience and see these girls just owning their moments. It’s their show.”

Hale admits she initially took inspiration from “dude singers” such as David Lee Roth, Ozzy Osbourne, Ronnie James Dio and Alice Cooper. But shortly after she started the band, her mother suggested she give female rock singers a chance too.



“When I was 15 or so, my mother told me, ‘You need to hear Janis Joplin and a live record from Heart and this Pat Benatar compilation I have,’” she says. “I could connect the dots from there. All those elements go into who I am now.”

Originally, Hale and her brother Arejay began jamming together when they were kids. They formed the band when they were still teenagers.

“Arejay has always been a prodigy of sorts,” says Hale. “He’s always been able to do that on the drums. All I had to do was write these stupid little songs. He could put a beat behind them, and he made me look really good. We’ve been doing it ever since. It’s always been the two of us. In the early days, when we were trying to find band members, we’d have these 15-year-old guitar players, and their parents would pull them out of the band because of school or whatever. I asked [Arejay] if he thought we were crazy for wanting to do this. He said, ‘What else are we going to do?’ He’s followed me down every rabbit hole I’ve gone down. He’s always there.”

After a few lineup changes, Halestorm signed with a major label in 2005 and embarked upon a regular cycle of touring and recording.

With the band’s latest effort, Vicious, the group ditched the songs it had written prior to entering the studio in the effort to come up with material that Hale says had more “truth” to it.

“In the beginning, right before the start date in the studio, I was trying to write the next record,” she explains. “I wrote a bunch of songs and got together with a bunch of people and wrote songs with them. Every song felt like it was an out of body experience with a few shreds of truth. One song was for the label, and one was for fans. We tossed all of those songs and went into preproduction with practically nothing.”

Every day, they’d see which band member had brought a new riff to the table; they’d work collectively to turn it into a song.

“We were recording as we were writing,” says Hale. “It was like a light switch went on. I realized I should chase after what got me excited in the first place, and that’s why I was here. It was really freeing. It was great to write that way and to have a producer who was seriously just your cheerleader. He was a fan of Halestorm. He knew I could sing higher, and my brother could get crazier. He kept us on our toes, and it was fantastic, and we came out the other side swinging. We had renewed respect for each other.”

While the album begins with “Black Vultures,” a by-the-numbers hard rock anthem complete with a wailing mid-song guitar solo, it also embraces more acoustic instrumentation than past albums have. “Conflicted” features acoustic guitars but doesn’t love its heaviness as Hale lets loose some Robert Plant-inspired “oohs.”

“I love the acoustic parts of the songs,” says Hale. “It’s something we shied away from on previous records. When I was coming up on the scene in Pennsylvania, there were the two types of girls. There were the girls who wanted to be [Disturbed’s] David Draiman, and there were the girls who wanted to be [singer-songwriter] Jewel. I was smack dab in between that and stayed away from the acoustic guitar out of spite. It’s been slowly entering into our music, and I just love the acoustic guitar.”

She says that all three bands on the current tour embrace “different corners of genres.”

“We just do our own thing, which is awesome,” she says. “It’s really inspiring. All three of us encourage each other and we all watch each other’s shows. It’s really fun. We’ve done it a couple of times. Each time, it gets a little more intense because we’ve gotten used to each other. It’s nice to be on the stage and look at these teenage girls and tell them there is a path. It’s neat to be in that position now.”

Halestorm, In This Moment, New Years Day, 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26, Masonic Auditorium, 3615 Euclid Ave. Tickets: $49.50, masoniccleveland.com

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