In a new interview with Meltdown of Detroit’s WRIF radio station, HALESTORM frontwoman Lzzy Hale spoke about what it has been like for her and her bandmates to perform live again during the pandemic. She said (as transcribed by Phoosi.com): “We did a quote-unquote secret show here in Nashville [in July 2021] at a local club as our first show back. It had been the longest I’ve ever gone without doing a live show, and my panic mode started at soundcheck. It wasn’t just, like, 10 minutes before we go on, ‘Oh, God.’ It was just all day of, like, ‘Oh my Gosh. We’re really doing this.’
“It feels so good to be doing shows again and it feels great to just see everybody in the audience really living in the moment,” she continued. “I feel like it’s different now in a strange way. Everything is a little elevated. No one’s chatting on their phone. Everyone’s going to a show like it’s gonna be their last show. It’s pretty incredible.”
HALESTORM will release its fifth studio album, “Back From The Dead”, on May 6 via Atlantic. The follow-up to 2018’s “Vicious” was produced by Nick Raskulinecz (FOO FIGHTERS, MASTODON, ALICE IN CHAINS) with co-production by Scott Stevens (SHINEDOWN, DAUGHTRY, NEW YEARS DAY).
According to a press release, “Back From The Dead” quickly evolved from songwriting exercises into a matter of survival for HALESTORM. Lzzy said: “We started writing this album about three months B.C. (Before COVID). Once we went into lockdown and were unable to perform and tour, I fell into a dark place and something of an identity crisis. This album is the story of me carving myself out of that abyss. It is a journey of navigating mental health, debauchery, survival, redemption, rediscovery and still maintaining faith in humanity.”
Last November, Lzzy told the 105.7 The Point radio station about the musical direction of the new HALESTORM material: “This album is absolutely a banger. It’s on eleven. We have really just kind of exceeded all of the energy that has come before on these albums, both technically, music-wise, vocally, drum, lyric-wise. I think because of the roller-coaster ride when we were making this record, and just through the pandemic and all the different phases of that, we just kind of looked at each other, like, if the future is unknown and we don’t know whether we’re actually going to be out and playing these things, everything has to be, like I said, at eleven. It’s HALESTORM elevated.”
According to Lzzy, she and her bandmates recorded the new HALESTORM album in a different way. “This is the first time that we’ve ever had dual producers,” she explained. “We went back with Nick Raskulinecz [who helmed ‘Vicious’]. And then I ended up doing my vocals with Scott Stevens from THE EXIES. He’s like a brother from another mother with me. We’ve written together before, and we’ve known each other for probably just shy of a decade now. He and I, we produced and did all the vocals for [HALESTORM‘s recently released single] ‘Back From The Dead’ with each other, because I went out to L.A. And then we ended up sending it to Nick, and Nick‘s, like, ‘This is just absolutely amazing. We have to do every song this way.’ So we kind of did it differently. We ended up with the bare bones of a demo. I ended up finishing all of my vocals — like dunzo — before we ended up building the track musically. So it’s kind of like building a pyramid upside down. But it ended up really just having this different energy, because what we were able to do with the lyrics and melody and all the vocals being done would really accentuate all of that — matching the theme to whatever I was singing about, but also just kind of really supporting the vocals musically when we went in to do the guitars and drums and bass. It’s so crazy — it definitely has this very forward, very aggressive nature to it because of the way that we did that.”
The “Back From The Dead” title track was released in August. The official music video for the song, directed by Dustin Haney (Noah Cyrus, Luke Combs) and produced by Revolution Pictures, featured Lzzy and the rest of the band in a morgue and cemetery somewhere between life and death.
Lzzy and her brother Arejay formed the band in 1998 while in middle school. Guitarist Joe Hottinger joined the group in 2003, followed by bassist Josh Smith in 2004.
In December 2018, HALESTORM was nominated for a “Best Rock Performance” Grammy Award for its song “Uncomfortable”. Six years earlier, the band won its first Grammy in the category of “Best Hard Rock/ Metal Performance” for “Love Bites (So Do I)”.