Members: Lzzy Hale, guitar and vocals; Joe Hottinger, guitar; Josh Smith, bass; Arejay Hale, drums
Who we talked to: Lzzy Hale
Where are you calling from? We're rolling through Texas right now . . . on the way to a show in Odessa. It's hot out there. Our RV puts 92,000 miles on it every few weeks.
Are you planning on doing anything special the day your album comes out? We actually haven't thought about it yet. We're playing in Michigan (that day). I think I'm going to try to go to a record store that has the CD. It's an exciting thing. I've seen our EP in stores before . . . in the $2.99 bin. (Laughs) Having it on the new release rack is a huge step for us. We're giddy about our songs being on the radio. (Our music) is played on 105.7 the X in the York area.
Can you believe how far you've come? It's exciting to see this thing you started when you were 13 continue. After (Arejay and I) met Joe and Josh, we found out that they started at the same age. We've been reminiscent about the last 11 years. It's had its ups and downs, but we had a no-back-up-plan policy. We kind of dropped everything and went.
Were there any times when you felt like giving up? We're completely in love with what we do. This wouldn't be as good if we didn't have bad times. Things always end up working out better in the end.
What was the recording process like? We walked into the (Los Angeles) studio thinking, "Oh, my God. This is the dream team." Howard Benson was producing us. We thought we were going to be nervous because we really respect these people. They really understood what our band wanted to sound like. They had an amazing array of guitars. Arejay got to use a vintage drum kit. They fed us lots of cookies. (Laughs) We're not used to that.
Did Benson give you any advice? Benson is a vocal guy. I used the vocal booth he calls the silo. It's pitch black . . . in the booth. All you can hear is Benson in the headphones. Nobody can see you in there. You don't feel like a fish in an aquarium. I hit notes I never thought I could hit. He taught me tricks.
Bump into anyone famous? When we were recording . . . we got to meet Chris Daughtry. We had this barbecue. The guys from Three Days Grace were there throwing burgers on the grill.
Did the final product meet your expectations? We were anal about making sure everything was right . . . even down to the color of the artwork. We narrowed down the (track list) from 485 songs . . . to 11 with a few bonus tracks. At times, we thought that maybe we should rush it . . . but now, we're seeing the benefits of being patient.
What have you been up to after you finished up in the studio? We pretty much haven't stopped since we recorded. We've been touring with Shinedown, Trapt and Red. Then (this summer), we'll tour with Staind and Chevelle.
How do you keep your sanity on the road? It's pretty hard to keep sane. (Laughs) We do a lot of reading. We like to stop at campgrounds and stuff to relax. We don't believe in hotels. We'll break out acoustic guitars around the campfire. I feel more at home on the road than at home. You get used to it. This is the schedule and lifestyle I've dreamed about. The bad part is that you have to adjust to normal life (when the tour is over), like getting a shower everyday.
What is the dynamic like in the RV? I'm the only girl living with three guys. You kind of learn that almost everything has a sexual innuendo . . . and you get to know people by their bodily functions. That's really like rock stars.
Have audiences around the country been receptive? We meet amazing people everyday. Each state has it's own culture, and the people respond differently. Rock 'n' roll is still alive and well . . . especially in the Midwest.
And in York County, right? Absolutely. (Laughs) We love our hometown fans. We consider them kind of part of our band. The (local) club owners took a chance on a couple of kids . . . and gave us the chance to hone our craft. We consider all of this their triumphs and successes. Everybody can celebrate with us. We'll be back in Lancaster May 2.
Plan to hit the studio again? It will probably come up sooner than later. They say it takes 10 years to write your first album and two months to write the next. We already have new material. We plan on being around for a long time.
- ERIN McCRACKEN, FLIPSIDE STAFF
See Halestorm perform at 7 p.m. May 2 at the Chameleon Club, 223 N. Water St. in Lancaster. Trapt, Red and Inept are also on the bill.
For details, visit www.myspace.com/halestorm.
Get Halestorm's self-titled full-length debut CD at Amazon.com for $12.99.
Brief history of Halestorm
1997: 13-year-old Lzzy Hale decides to start a band with her brother, Arejay
During the next decade, Halestorm played locally and regionally, booking up to 200 gigs a year
June 2005: Halestorm signed with Atlantic Records
April 2006: Halestorm releases its first EP "One and Done"
Tuesday: Halestorm releases its first full-length self-titled album.