July 19th, 2018

Rock a Hale of a life

By Lethbridge Herald on January 19, 2018.

Frontwoman for Halestorm has been rocking since she was
a little kid
Al Beeber
Lethbridge Herald
It may still be winter but southern Albertans can expect a Halestorm to hit Lethbridge early next month.Halestorm, an American hard rock outit that has toured with some of the biggest names in the business, hits the Enmax Centre stage with Stone Sour and the Dead Deads on Feb. 1.
Ticket are available at the Ticket Centre, 403-329-7328.
Formed in the mid 2000s, Halestorm hearkens back to an era when screaming guitars, soaring vocals and melody made arena rock staple of fans’ musical diet.
Featuring vocalist and guitarist Lzzy (spelling is correct) Hale, her brother Arejay Hale on drums, bassist Josh Smith and lead guitarist Joe Hottinger, Halestorm is a force of musical nature to be reckoned with.
The band won a Grammy in 2013 for its 2012 song “Love Bites, So Do I,” four years after releasing its debut album.
Halestorm was the last band to perform with the late great Ronnie James Dio in his final concert on Aug. 29, 2009, the acclaimed rocker dying less than a year later of stomach cancer.
Formed in Pennsylvania, Halestorm has shared stages with the likes of Seether, Buckcherry, Lita Ford, Disturbed as well as Canada’s own Three Days Grace and Theory of a Deadman.
Frontwoman Lzzy, who at 34 is three years older than her brother, started playing piano at the age of five and took up guitar at 16.
When not touring, the band has released three albums, the last one being 2015’s “Into the Wild,” which was recorded in, of all places, the country musical capital of the world — Nashville.
For Lzzy Hale, rock and roll was not a choice but more of a calling. Her dad was a bassist in a band before giving up music to raise a family and her parents’ favourite song was the Van Halen classic “Panama.” He still wears his hair long and paints his nails, she says.
Her musical preferences were made clear at 11 when at a sleepover in which all the girls were invited to bring two favourite CDs, she brought “Holy Diver” by Dio and an Alice Cooper record.
“Everybody else was into TLC and the Backstreet Boys and that was the first time I realized I wasn’t cool,” she laughed in an interview Wednesday.
“The crazy thing about rock is that nobody gets into it because it’s popular. There’s an intangible, unexplainable reason for it.
“It’s just always there. And that’s the way it is for a lot of people. And the boys will tell you I get a little bitchy if I don’t have a show for awhile.”
She grew up listening to rock icons like Freddie Mercury, Alice Cooper and Ronnie James Dio but her mother insisted, if Lzzy wanted to be a rocker, she had to become familiar with some of the powerful women in rock.
The first one that clicked with the young Hale was Anne Wilson of Heart. Her mom bought her a live recording of the band and “it blew my mind. I realized it’s possible for a girl to sing like that,” she said.
She then started listening to likes of Joan Jett, Pat Benatar and heavy metal groundbreaker Lita Ford, whom she’s performed with.
The Hale siblings’ parents were always supportive of their kids’ musical aspirations and that was one of the inspirations for the touching ballad “Dear Daughter” on the band’s last album.
Lzzy thought about what she would say to a daughter if she had one and “it’s basically my unwritten to letter to my future child.
“If I ever do have a daughter and she want to be a mechanic or a rock star or whatever, would I be brave enough to say ‘yes’?”
Lzzy originally started out as a drummer — her parents gave her a drum kit when she was eight but she never touched it. Younger brother Arejay, however, would sneak into her room and start playing and she finally gave it to him.
When the band got the chance to play with Dio, they had no inkling it would be his last show. Halestorm wasn’t even supposed to be on the bill but the band got a call from their manager, telling them the opener had dropped out and since they were in the area of Atlantic City, asked if they could fill in.
“Ronnie was so incredibly sweet to me and the boys. We were just so thrilled to be there and I’m like ‘don’t screw up, don’t screw up.’”
While it’s been nearly three years since a new Halestorm album, the band is in the studio working on a new release and is about halfway finished.
Tickets for the Feb. 1 show are $58 and $68.
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