Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale on Happy Accidents During ‘Into the Wild Life’ Sessions + More
Halestorm frontwoman Lzzy Hale took some time to chat with Full Metal Jackie during the Loudwire Nights host's recent trip to the 2015 Welcome to Rockville Festival. In the interview, Lzzy speaks about her satisfaction with 'Into the Wild Life,' happy accidents during the recording sessions and much more.
The new Halestorm record is a great album. A different record for you guys, the way you recorded it.
Definitely, we ended up recording all the basic tracks live and as a performance so everything was literally recorded from the beginning of the song to the end of the song, so there weren't any cut-in’s. It was great, we had a wonderful producer, Mr. Jay Joyce out of Nashville. It was such a weird situation because usually we go into the studio and the producer is the guy who has all the answers and whatever. He was more like this spirit guide through our record, and also a hard-ass. He kept us to it. Our mission statement was we wanted to do this and we wanted to do the record that way. So if there was a song where I was like, "If I don’t hit that note the first time, can I just…” and he was like, “No, you wouldn't do that live, would you?" I'm like, "No." So he was like, "So just do it."
What do you think makes Into the Wild Life the most definitive Halestorm record to date?
Maybe it comes with growing up. Everybody except for Lil Bro [Arejay Hale] is in their early thirties now. And I can say that, I think it is such a motherly thing to say so it probably is not bad. We haven’t really grown up that much. But we’re all in a very neat place in our lives right now. We’re all very comfortable being ourselves and wearing our influences on our sleeves and just kind of talking about what we like without worrying about what someone is going to think about it. And we all kind of collectively came to that point last year. And so, I don’t know, that ended up bleeding through into the process.
It was so freeing to just kind of go into the recording studio and chase after whatever gets you excited, not necessarily think about what’s going to work for radio; this has to be perfect. It was more or less just trying to create a feeling in moments and that human element rather than being obsessed with perfection. It didn’t even feel like we were making a record and then all of sudden on the other side we were like, "I hope we did good." We had a great time.
What was one of the happy accidents on the album? Something that was totally unplanned but came together perfectly.
[Laughs] There were so many of those. Like I said, we are playing all the basic tracks live with each other as a performance. So if one person messes up, we all have to do the whole thing all over again. There were a lot of times where there were a lot of mess-ups, but they were awesome ones. One in particular; the first day in the studio we are doing our first song called 'Mayhem' and we had been working on it live and everything so we were like, "This is a good one to start." In the middle of it Jay is like, "Wait a minute, we need something in the middle. We need like a riff and a solo. You just have to go off and just do your thing. Whatever that is, just do it." And I am like, "What?"
And so we’re like off the cuff trying and then they ended up pulling out the click track in the middle of our recording so we actually had to follow my little brother instead of having something in the back of our heads. If you know my little brother, you know that's terrifying. And this whole middle section I’m kind of at the top of my range and I'm like, "Shake it, shake it, shake it!" And it’s like five instead of four time; who knows what we’re doing, but we all came in together and that ended up being the take. That was the last take we did of that song and I’m like, "That’s crazy!" We ended up listening to it the next day and I am like, "Jesus, I have never actually heard all of this energy coming out of the speakers with my band." So yeah, it was awesome.
It sounds like you're really happy with the way it came out.
Yeah, we’re stoked. Regardless of what the world thinks of it, we had a great time. And it’s an awesome time in our lives.
You recently wrote a letter to your younger self. What do you hope older you will someday write to Lzzy now?
It’s so hard to look into the future. [Laughs] Probably something practical like, "You maybe should have quit tequila sooner." Something along those lines. I don’t know, I feel like I’ve lived about six different lifetimes since this all began. I think I’m hoping that regardless, I will write something similar. Like, "By the way, all this stuff didn’t matter, this did matter and I am glad you followed through on this." Because I hope I'm wiser when I am older and it’s not just peaking right now. Hopefully I will give myself some good advice and maybe a little nod.
Catch Halestorm at the Loudwire Music Festival, taking place June 26-28 at the Jam Ranch just outside Grand Junction, Colo. For more details, click here.
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