Exclusive interview for hellfest.fr: HALESTORM [Lizzie Hale (guitar & vocals) & Joe Hottinger (guitar)]
“It’s like Disney but way more metal!” – Lizzy Hale – Friday 17 June 2016
How the hell are you guys?
Lizzie: We are doing amazing actually.
Joe: Never been better.
Is that because of Hellfest?
Lizzie: We love these festivals and it’s the first time we’ve ever been here.
Joe: The cool thing is we got to see some of the sites and it was one of the coolest things ever.
Lizzie: It’s like Disney but way more metal!
I feel like you guys are at the forefront of the female fronted rock thing – why is there a market for that?
Lizzie: I think that some girls have finally gotten the balls to come out in the light. I think that it comes from generation of evolution. With our parents’ generation, and we were lucky enough to have parents to say ‘do what you love’ but everyone else said “No, get a normal job, get a white picket fence, marry a guy with money” Our generation is really encouraging a lot of young girls to do what they want to do and love who they want to love.
Joe: 50% of people are women and rock and roll is awesome. It’s been a decade or so since we’ve had strong women in rock and roll. It’s inspiring the kids.
Lizzie: It’s not a matter of gender it’s a matter of talent. At the end of the day can you win over a crowd in 20-40 minutes?
Joe: It’s not about the short skirt you wear it’s are you delivering or not? Are you slaying faces and blowing minds or are you just average? It just happens to be that there’s some really talented women taking a different approach to rock and roll and it’s authentic and that matters.
Part of the appeal of Halestorm to me is that in a world where rock and roll is marginalized you’ve kind of set up your own rock and roll dream… does that make sense?
Lizzie: Maybe in the sense of record sales rock is marginalized but in terms of live music – you saw that. There’s so many people out here that want to rock.
You guys are part of the first generation of rock to come after butt rock – does that benefit you?
Lizzie: I don’t know what benefits us. We’ve always had blinders on with whatever we do. Everything we create is selfish – it’s just because we are excited about it. It’s not about pleasing anybody or being in a certain genre it’s just like – do we like that? Are we going to be excited to be on stage singing this song? Wherever that falls I’m okay with that.
Is that the ethos that won you a Grammy?
Lizzie: I don’t know what got us the Grammy!
Joe: We didn’t even know we were on the radar for that! We thought Lamb Of God were going to win – they are one of my favorite bands. It was neat to be recognized.
So you guys seem to be pretty into classic metal and Halestorm is pretty removed from that…
Lizzie: We don’t know what we are! Everything I think in our perspective that I think that we are is not hat everyone perceives us to be. All we can do is enjoy our craft. I get to do what I love with the people I love and call it a career. That’s living the dream.
Joe: I just like music! One of my new favorite records is Gojira, and I love Rival Sons. I love alt country too – like Sturgil Simpson. But I love playing rock shows and we have the most fun of any genre.
Lizzie: Think about it this way – whether you like pop, rap, R&B, anything you feel like you are, everyone always wants to rock.
Joe: Rock is the energy.
Lizzie: You see it in every generation – people want to wear leather and do stuff with Slash!
Joe: There’s a Miles Davis quote – “Playing the note is 20% of it, the other 80% is the motherfucker playing the note.” To me he rocked. You can dress up a song with distortion but to rock is an attitude and you can rock in any genre. So are you going to be a motherfucker?
Lizzie: Everyone wants to be a motherfucker!
Joe: Not everyone can be a motherfucker, some people just motherfuck.
Interview: Matt Bacon.