We recently had a conversation with Lzzy Hale from Halestorm, as their second album The Strange Case Of… is out now. If the conversation had continued any further it would clearly have involved us trying to ask her out while crying, because she’s fucking cool as shit. Here we go:
Hi Lzzy, where are you?
I’m in the States actually, I’m visiting family and all that, so hanging out with my mum. I’m used to being on the road dealing with other people’s schedules, so it’s strange. I told my manager, “Can you send me a schedule, so I know to eat lunch around noon and fit a shower in here and there?”
So it’s weird suddenly having a day when you’re not running around after other people?
Yeah, I kind of miss it actually, I’m like, “What am I doing?”. But luckily we do have a lot to prepare for. The record’s coming out and the we have new tours coming up, so we have stuff to do. I get a couple of weeks without structure, then it all starts again.
How are things generally for the band at the moment?
Really exciting actually. I love this, it’s such an amazing milestone – even though it’s small, it’s a milestone for us – to actually release a second record. And, you know, we’ve never been here before, never had a second record before. It’s really exciting. There’ve been a couple of things that have happened that have been a little strange. Like, we had one of our songs on the show Glee. We’ve got tours coming up, the record’s going to be released, and we’re releasing videos. It’s neat, this is what I love about this business, you never really know what’s going to happen, and the anticipation is killing me.
The Glee thing seems insane. How did that come about?
It was strange. It was definitely one of the strangest things and probably one of the most exciting things that we’ve ever done as a band. Generally, you know, we’re a rock band. I don’t really watch the show and I didn’t really realise how huge it was. But the wonderful thing that happened was that we released a song and then everyone watched Glee, and it’s just amazing, we went to number one on iTunes for like a week, we made our Billboard Top 100 debut, and I’m getting like, 100 followers a day on Twitter. A lot of things have happened just from being able to expose yourself to people that wouldn’t usually seek you out, you know.
The number of people that watch that show is mindblowing, it’s like fucking everywhere.
Yeah, but also the type of people. I find that now I’m getting to talk to a lot of little kids that didn’t really know who we were, because obviously it’s more of a pop culture type of thing. So it’s just being able to break though to another genre but still being yourself. It’s very cool, I don’t mind it at all.
You are a lady, and it’s festival season. We’re mostly stink dudes who happily live in our own filth for four days at a time – as a girl we thought, and hoped, you might have a different perspective on such things.
You know what’s interesting, there are times that go by when I’ll only have like one shower in three days, possibly, it depends. But you have to take care of yourself. I’ve become a master of the sink shower, and obviously you have to have dry shampoo. You’ve got to take care of yourself. It’s all about good personal hygiene and luckily, the guys in my band are quite good at that. In past years we’ve had to have certain sit downs and interventions with some people, like, “Hey dude, you stink, we can’t stand being around you”.
You don’t generally find the word ‘intervention’ used in that kind of context, like your friends and family sitting you down and going, “Look, you just smell so bad”.
“You just need to shower,” yeah. But for the most part it’s cool, you have to realise you’re living two feet from each other and my guys are really good to me, I suppose. It wasn’t always that way, like on our first tours we weren’t all sure how it worked, and I told the guys, you lose your smell virginity first. Because when you recognise what something smells like, something that you’re not really supposed to know what it smells like, you can never really get that back.
Do you want to be more specific?
You know, if you can tell if somebody hasn’t changed their underwear in a while, that’s bad.
Right. Where you know what they’ve been doing instead of changing their underwear.
Yeah it’s one of those things. I remember telling that to the guys early on and I think it stuck, because so far they’ve been pretty good. We’re kind of honest with each other. My little brother’s in the band, he’s the drummer, and he ended up wearing the same pants for a week’s-worth of shows, but instead of washing them, he’d just hang them up in the bus, usually where somebody would get a face full of muddy ass when they got on it.
No-one needs that, especially not from a member of your own family.
Yeah, that’s a whole other ball game. Especially being his big sister, I just wanted to kill him. But for most of the time it’s fine. But for me, personally, as I meet lots of different people, I try taking care of myself. Hopefully if there was something going on, someone would tell me.
It might happen. “Lzzy, as your friends and family, you stink.”
Just being a girl I don’t think I could do that, I would have to change.
Moving on from hygiene, with all the places you’ve played and everywhere you’ve toured, is there anywhere people may not expect there to be an awesome crowd where there are, or vice versa? Or anywhere you really really look forward heading back to and playing at or anywhere you like dread?
There hasn’t been a whole lot of places that I dreaded going back to, and usually that wasn’t because of the crowd but because of the club owner or something like that. But the strangest situation I think I’ve ever been to crowd wise was going to Japan. It was very good but very strange. You know when you go to a concert and you’re waiting in the audience for the show to start, there’s house music going on, people are talking, maybe a few drunk people, whatever, there’s noise. In Japan, there’s none of that. We played the Loud Park Festival in Japan, in the Super Arena, it was a big place. And we walked on to the stage to get ready to go on and it was completely silent. There was no music playing, the audience were just waiting and not talking to each other and I turned to the guys and was just like, “I don’t know, this might not be good”. It was just so odd.
Like an eerie, post-apocalyptic thing?
It was very eerie. I was like, “I’m a little creeped out by this”. And then we started the show and when the first note hit, everyone went nuts. They were all singing along, it was amazing and crazy. But when we stopped the song, they would just be listening intently to what I had to say until we started up again. It was very strange but it was very cool at the same time. It was like really formal partying.
Like the musical chairs of partying.
Yeah, haha! When the clock hits this – we party.
We ended up doing a couple of meet-and-greets for a radio station over there, and people had wristbands to come up and say hello. We had 50 people in a line, coming up politely and saying hello and giving us little gifts – there are such amazing people in Japan. But around these people, at the edge of the room we were doing it in, there were all these other people, in the distance, just waving and saying hi. They couldn’t walk up to us because they didn’t have a wristband. So I turned to the guys and I was just like, “Everyone’s so polite here, when we’re done with our meet and greet, why don’t we just go over there and say hello?”. Big mistake. We realised, where there are rules, people follow them, but once you get out into no man’s land, it’s chaos. We had a tug of war with my brother, where we had his belt, they had his arms and we were literally tugging him, fighting the crowd to get our drummer back. That was definitely one of our odder experiences but I can’t wait to go back.
Halestorm’s official site is here, Lzzy’s Twitter is here, The Strange Case Of… is out now, and Halestorm will be playing the Hammersmith Apollo with Slash on June 6th and the Zippo Encore stage at Download on June 9th. POW!