Clearly a smart and fun person to be around, charismatic Lzzy Hale is everything a woman in rock n' roll should be.  From the top of her stilettos, Lzzy brings the thunder to the stage and pierces the sky with her electrifying vocals.  All of this without leaving you cold!  I'm sure a lot of sweat and tears went into the making of Halestorm's latest album  The Strange Case Of...  which came out last April 2012.  But in the end, it was all worth it as describes Lzzy in this interview with VYGoes360.  Be sure to catch them on the road as they are certainly one of the hottest acts out there.  For more info on this band and tour dates, visit:   HalestormRocks.com
Interview by: Valerie Bastien
Valerie: The Strange Case Of... came out a month ago. That's very exciting. What comes to mind when you think back on the writing and recording of this album? What has been the fans' response for far?

Lzzy: Well, not to sound redundant , but it was very strange! Haha! It was very challenging and freeing at the same time to work on this record. I discovered a lot about myself while writing it, and I'm so proud of the final product.  The fans response has been amazing thus far!

Valerie: It's been doing really well on the rock charts; "The Strange Case Of" has climbed to number 6 on the "Top 10 Rock Albums of 2012 (so far)". Have you heard it on the radio yet? Tell us about where you were, what you were doing at that moment and what was your reaction.

Lzzy: I have heard it on the radio!  Shortly after our first single "Love Bites ( So Do I )" was released, the boys and I were headed to our practice space. And as we turned on the car, it was on! I remember for a second thinking: " Who is this? I know this song."  Then  I realized it was us! The smiles were so big on that ride!

Valerie: This album was produced by Howard Benson, a favorite in the heavy metal scene. What did you learn by working with a man of such skills in his craft?

Lzzy: What I learned from Howard Benson and his amazing team is to never hold back.  They both knowingly  and unknowingly inspired me to use all gears of my voice, and all the dark corners of my head on this record.

Valerie: Lzzy I love the girl with an attitude vibe in the song "Love Bites (So Do I)". What is the biggest misconception about women in heavy metal and who is your favorite female role model?

Lzzy: I think a lot of people don't realize the guts it takes to be a woman in rock...  We have to carve out our own path, and make our own rules, because there are none. We have to go against everything society has told us we should be, embrace our power....AND still hold on to our femininity somehow!  By far my favorite role model is Pat Benatar.

Valerie: I love the lyrics in "Beautiful With You". Tell us about how this song relates to image problems and low self-esteem so many girls deal with, How does self-love and acceptance impact your life and why is it so important?

Lzzy: Believe me,  I don’t always feel like a rock star, and there are times when I look in the mirror and scream. Especially emotionally.  I used to hide a lot of my feelings of insecurity and powerlessness, and just wouldn't reach out to someone because I thought it meant that I was weak if I did. I wanted people to see that it's ok to need a shoulder sometimes, and to have those "ugly days" and to let down your guard.  We're human and we're not perfect...  don't let those thoughts in your head rule your life and prevent you from opening yourself up.

Valerie: When I read the song titles of your album the first time, the track "You Call Me a Bitch Like It's a Bad Thing" made me laugh. How did this song come about?

Lzzy: I thought it was a hilarious title and wanted to write a song kind of making fun of the old world way of using the word "bitch", because in my generation it's a compliment, and in this new world, I'm king bitch baby!

Valerie: Tell me about another song on the album that you are particularly excited about and that we haven't discussed yet.

Lzzy: Well, on the deluxe version of the record, there's a song called "I Hate It When You See Me Cry". This song was written in 10 mins over a bottle of wine on my bed.  I crudely recorded it into my phone, and sent it to my label...  They were so excited about this "softer side" of me that this song ended up inspiring the rest of the "Jekyll" side of our record.

Valerie: You're a very cool guitar player. Tell me about your new Gibson Lzzy Hale Signature Explorer and how that came about. What is special about this model that makes it stand out from any other?

Lzzy: Thank you very much! I'm an odd guitar player. I have the background of a piano player, and I approach my guitar writing like a singer....  My parts are always mimicking a melody or complimenting one. The Gibson people approached me at the NAMM show this year about doing a signature guitar....  Of course my mind was blown because it's been a dream of mine to do a signature guitar with Gibson.  I wanted to expand on the explorer model, without ruining its integrity.  So I kept the classic shape and the standard 496R + 500T pick ups.  But I made it one classy biotch with an Alpine white Mahogany body, Bound neck, Double bound body, Gold hardware, Gold frets, Custom Pearl knobs and tuning pegs, "LZZY" signature on gold name plate and Custom painted binding on headstock . There's a lot here that they had never done before to an explorer. Because of the double binding to the body, and the bound neck, it has this "chime" to it, none of my other guitars have. Definitely my baby.

Valerie: Lzzy, Your voice is amazing. When I spoke to you regarding the Mass Chaos interview I asked you about how you maintain your voice during extensive touring and you jokingly answered that tequila does it for you!! Then, you explain how you like to warm up your voice and so on.  Have you ever worked with a vocal coach before?  What is the best advice you have ever heard regarding singing?

Lzzy: I took lessons from age16 through 18 with Steve Whiteman from KIXX.  He's an amazing teacher!  He showed me everything I had and how to use it, as well as how to preserve it.  The best overall piece of advice I have to give is to LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!  If your voice is tired shut up, drink lots of water, if it hurts that means you're doing something wrong...  So don't do it!   I put up a blog in the beginning of the year on our website that gets more into detail...  With some of the lifestyle tips I live by.

Valerie: Fantastic!  We'll check it out.  You're very pretty and feminine in a male dominated environment.  I like how you can let the girly side of you come out through your hair style and clothes for example. Where do you like to shop and how do you choose your concert outfits?  What is the best part of being a woman?

Lzzy: Thank you!  It was always important to me to be a fuckin woman on stage, not a girl trying to be a man.  I make most of my own outfits, swipe them from video shoots, or I acquire them from strange shops around the world. The best part of being a woman is the power that comes with being able to play with the boys... but in stilettos.

Valerie: The Mass Chaos tour is now over. How did it go? You will be back on the road shortly with more dates; will you be headlining your own shows? Tell us about your summer plans.

Lzzy: It was so amazing!  Staind and Godsmack are such amazing players and people!  They treated me like I was their little sister in rock n' roll...  I got so much encouragement from those guys!!  Plans for the summer? Touring, touring and more touring!  Chances are, we are coming to a city near you! Thank you for taking the time to chat with me!!!  Let's a beer sometime!

Valerie: You're welcome!  I will take you up on that ;)  Thank you for the interview!

Valerie Bastien is a vocal coach, teacher, musician and freelance journalist.
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