Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale Reveals Her ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Monk’ Lifestyle
Long live the “rock star”! The concept of the “rock star” has changed over the years and it’s safe to say that those at the top of their game today have learned a few things from their predecessors in how to ensure a lengthy career, and it’s not always the hedonistic excess that many of the first generation rockers subscribed to. Halestorm‘s Lzzy Hale reveals as much in a new Tumblr blog in which she states that she’s becoming more “monk-like” in her approach to life on the road.
“In my efforts to better my stamina and career, I find myself becoming more monk-like. And I’m not talking about the holy, praying, create awesome Trappist beer type monk. I’m talking about the go to bed early, no drinking, no talking and no having any fun type monk,” says Hale. “Luckily, sex is actually good for you on all levels (safe sex of course), so at least I have something to hold onto! Ha!”
Hale recalls the early days of going to the bars and doing shots of tequila with the guys, then waking up and doing it all over again the next day. “These are good times that I look back on and I wouldn’t trade for the world,” says Hale, who adds, “I also would never want to go back to them. I’m very proud of the empire I’ve built with my band, and have always been bent on moving forward.”
Hale says that adopting good health habits has helped her continue her music dream and she’s sharing some of the tips she’s learned along the way. “One of the things that helps my vocal health immensely out on the road, is stopping all my eating/drinking at least four hours before I go to bed. I actually set a timer after my last meal so I can’t cheat. This is to prevent acid reflux when I lay down in my bunk at night. If you are waking up hoarse every morning, and don’t know why…this could be a reason. Acid reflux is when the acid in your stomach creeps up to your throat, burning your delicate vocal folds. It doesn’t always feel like heartburn, and can go un-noticed most of the time. So considering I sleep in a bunk on a moving bus, I’d rather not have the contents of my stomach sloshing around while I try to sleep.”
She adds, “Another rule that I’ve reinstated into my daily regimen is no drinking until the end of tour. I save the debauchery for end of tour or off tour, but even then I try to keep that “four hours before bed” open. Yay for day drinking!”
Hale offers, “Here’s the break down, alcohol dehydrates you, and stimulates acid reflux. Then when you sing on dry, irritated vocal folds your folds swell. When your folds swell they cause hoarseness, which makes you feel like you have to push harder to get a sound out. When you push harder, you cause fatigue and more irritation … so imagine if you have six weeks of touring ahead of you. You are f–ked! Let me be clear that this is just what works for me personally, I know a lot of singers that party hard, and sound just fine every night. I’m not one of those people.”
Other tips include drinking three liters of water a day, limiting her caffeine intake to two cups of coffee, getting at least eight hours of sleep and making sure her diet includes quality protein, hydrating vegetables and whole fruits thrown in for good measure. She stays away from refined sugar, dairy, breads and fried foods.
So what happened to the hard-partying rock star? Hale says, “To be honest, it’s the state of the music industry. As musicians we are quite literally singing for our supper. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE touring, but the reality is that our idols from the 70’s and 80’s never toured this hard. They’d do a record, have one big world tour, maybe two then break to do another record. Today, we are touring the world for three years straight in between album cycles. We do twice the amount of work, for a quarter amount of the kickback.”
She concludes, “Some singers/bands can still live out their drug and alcohol soaked 80’s fantasies while maintaining a decent living. I’m not one of them. But most of those bands aren’t the ones working at the top of their game. From my view, the small circle I see truly making a career at this whole music thing, are the sober, songwriting, guitar scale practicing, getting a full nights sleep type Rock Stars. I’ve learned a lot from these older brothers and sisters of rock. One of them said to me once when I inquired about his sobriety, ‘You know what’s more fun than getting wasted every night? Getting high off hittin’ those high notes every f–king night!” So with that I wear my ‘monk’ badge with pride and honor, because the less ‘fun’ I have, really does equal more fun on stage, and the continuation of the legacy I’m building. And besides, with the ‘drugs and booze’ pushed to the side, it leaves so much more room to put the Sex back in Rock n Roll!”
Read Hale’s full posting, including her breakdown of her diet, at this location. And yes, Hale is about to resume her “monk-like” lifestyle as the band hits the road in New Orleans tomorrow night (Sept. 11) and continues with dates booked all the way through February. See all of their tour dates here.
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