Female-fronted Halestorm leads trend

By John Benson

After a decade in waiting, the starting gun is about to finally go off for rock act Halestorm, which is not only currently touring with Shinedown but finally releases its self-titled major label debut next month.

“It’s going to be a big sigh of relief,” laughed singer Lzzy Hale, calling from Des Moines, Iowa. “It’s amazing. We’re so proud of the record, and it was a long time coming getting to this point. I think over the years we grew up a lot and soaked up so much from touring with some amazing bands.”

Formed roughly a decade ago when its members were junior high school-age, Halestorm finally began making inroads a few years ago by scoring opening national touring slots with Seether, Shinedown, Flyleaf, Trapt, Evans/Blue and Mercy Fall. Hale, who admits she once did go through a storm of golf ball-sized hail, said the outfit often stands out in rock shows because of its sound.

“When we first started the band, I think you can say we were softer, whereas in our minds, we thought we were harder in a very juvenile way,” Hale said. “We definitely grew up with a lot of pop influence, but we’re very attracted to hard rock. I think over the years that maybe went the other way, and we were much harder and kind of denied the pop for a while. Now on this record we figured out how to balance the two and how to really bring this pop element into this hard-rock piece of music.”

She added “But we’ve also come to this conclusion: Halestorm is like biting into a big, juicy steak. There is nothing tofu about Halestorm, whatsoever.”

Among the songs Hale is excited about on the self- titled CD is “It’s Not You,” which she said features “ballsy riffs and very pop chord melodies.” Another track on her mind these days is “What Were You Expecting?,” which actually plays into the fact she’s a female lead singer in a male-dominated rock world.

More so, considering the new millennium has brought the hard rock scene a number of female-led acts, such as Evanescence, Paramore and Flyleaf, not to mention Halestorm, Hale is optimistic it’s less of a trend and more of a changing of the guard.

“I think it’s an amazing time for girls to kind of come up,” Hale said. “I hope it’s a movement, I really do. For the most part I’m usually the only girl on the bill and sometimes get mistaken for either a roadie or the merch girl, or almost always get, ‘Who are you dating in the band?’”

She added, “It’s kind of funny, and it’s actually kind of fun to be in that position now. I don’t blame them. It’s rare for women to be on the road and actually work on big tours. So that’s why I really hope it’s a moment and maybe even it out or flip the tables for a little while. It would be nice.”

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