In the Studio With Halestorm — Exclusive Interview
Comprised of siblings Lzzy and Arejay Hale, Joe Hottinger and Josh Smith, Halestorm have performed upwards 250 shows a year since their formation in 2006. The group's 2009 self-titled debut album found success on the back of its fine blend of melodic hooks and killer guitar riffs. Halestorm is back in the studio and Noisecreep got an exclusive chance to visit with the band, in the studio, to get all the details on the new record.
How long have you been in the studio?
Josh Smith: Worked for the month of June, and have kind of been on a pseudo-vacation for the past week or two.
Lzzy Hale: It's really strange because originally we were gonna have the record out in September and then we got ten songs done and then everyone said 'Hey we actually have more time.' So we're probably going to be putting it out early next year. So we had a week or two to just kind of like chill. It was very strange because we for the last three and a half years haven't gotten that long of a stretch without anything going on so like 'what do we do?'
What stage is the record at right now?
Josh: We're about halfway complete with our stuff. We're still getting in rough mixes working with them. It's kind of awesome; they sound really good. We'll probably do another 10 songs maybe.
Arejay Hale: We already have 10. We recorded two before we went out on our last tour and came out here for like three days and recorded two songs and then we did eight more when we came back out here and now we have 10 more to go. So we're almost there. It never stops really.
How do you think the finished product will compare to the first album?
Lzzy: Its kind of just the next natural progression. Last record we weren't really sure who was going to gravitate towards us and because of the last record we've gotten to know so many people and so many of our fans and its kind of become this 'they've brought us into their lives and we've brought them into ours' so a lot of what this record is being inspired by is them and it just musically, the aggressive stuff is more aggressive and the melodic stuff is more melodic. But we're experimenting.
The challenge is not to go left of center - you want to keep moving forward and with us its just that there's so many things that we're into we decided halfway through this process that you know what, why are we limiting ourselves to just this sound or just that sound? Okay, let's add some great guitar tones and bass and drums and all this stuff.' So we have a little bit of piano coming in on this record but there's a lot of other stuff that we just literally spent 2 days in the studio just doing crazy stuff that we're just gonna kind of pick through and put in between stuff.
Watch 'Familiar Taste of Poison' from Halestorm
How much writing do you do in studio vs. bringing material in from the outside?
Lzzy: It's a little of both. On the road, it's a little tough. It's more about collecting. You have a part here, you have a chorus here, sometimes a full song, maybe it's done on acoustic, maybe it's not done up with the band. And then we get in here and we toss a lot of stuff out. But the writing process never really stops. As soon as you kind of get into the groove of this, it's like creative purging or binging, whichever you want to use there. All of a sudden everything just starts flowing out of you and I don't know, you just hopefully capture it.
Do you have any outside songwriting help on this record?
Lzzy: definitely, I've been fortunate to meet a lot of great people over the last couple of years and this time around for some unknown reason they know who the hell I am so it's kind of interesting coming back into it and definitely the caliber of person has upped. I wrote a song with Rivers Cuomo from Weezer.
Joe [to Lzzy]: You wrote a song with James Michael [of Sixx:A.M.] that we recorded. He's awesome, but we've been writing with a bunch of people. It's fun, because we're writing with ourselves all the time, and it's great to get a new perspective.