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Halestorm Muse Over New Album, Randy Blythe, ‘Glee’ + More

Halestorm
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

It’s no secret how much we love Halestorm here at GRD. From the first time we saw them live when they performed at our Bud Light Bash in September of 2009, we were hooked. The band just released their second studio album, The Strange Case Of…, in April and spent the last night of their headlining tour at the Intersection in Grand Rapids. Halestorm sat down with us to chat about the new record, how far they’ve come as a rock group, the Randy Blythe situation and more.

The Strange Case Of… has been in the works for quite some time now. The album was originally intended to be released last year, but events in their lives – particularly frontwoman Lzzy Hale’s – led to more work being done on the disc. Lzzy has stated in the past how personal the new songs are on the disc as 2012 has been an interesting year for her so far.

“The first eight songs we plowed through, like ‘Love Bites’ and ‘American Boys’ and all these really aggressive songs,” Lzzy says. “2012 has kind of been the year of change for me. There’s been a lot of stuff going on with me and I started writing just a lot of more intimate songs. Things I have been in previous years afraid to even show my guys [laughs].”

She continues: “I remember one song that’s actually on our deluxe version, it’s called ‘I Hate It When You See Me Cry’. I think this was after I finished a bottle of wine by myself and I wrote this song on my bed with an acoustic guitar. I didn’t remember this the next morning, but I stupidly sent it to my A&R guy via my phone. I’m like, ‘Oh, I’m gonna get it,’ and he surprised me. He called me up the next day and I’m like, ‘I know, I’m sorry,’ and he’s like, ‘No, it’s really good. Can you do more like that?’ And so the flood gates opened and ended up writing so many songs.”

Halestorm are one of the many artists whose songs have been covered by the cast of the hit FOX show, Glee. A few notable rock bands like Foo Fighters and Kings of Leon haven’t been too keen on allowing the program to use their music. Despite being a rock group, Halestorm weren’t worried about what fans would think of a “gleek” version of their track “Here’s To Us”.

“We were actually really excited about it,” Lzzy admits. “What surprised us was when they actually contacted us and they wanted to use the song.”

“Well let me think about it – OK,” chimes in drummer, and brother to Lzzy, Arejay Hale. “Three bazillion people watching? Yeah.”

“I told them, ‘You know there are like three words in this song that you can’t use on Glee,” shares Lzzy. “We went back into the studio and recorded a clean version for them. It was really cool. I mean, I had never watched Glee before that episode either. It was really cool because after that there were a lot of little kids coming to our shows.”

“It was great to just get into that whole new audience,” Arejay states. “A lot of them actually found out who we are and we were watching the chart on iTunes. There was a very victorious moment when we beat Adele for like 15 seconds.”

One of the biggest stories in the rock world right now is the detainment of Lamb of God singer Randy Blythe in the Czech Republic. He has been imprisoned for over a month relating to the death of a fan at a show in 2010. Blythe is facing possible manslaughter charges after allegedly pushing 19-year-old Daniel Nosek off the stage, leading to his death. It’s a fine line between fan interaction and artist safety that Halestorm deal with on a daily basis.

“It’s crazy and it’s a grey area,” says guitarist Joe Hottinger. “If some guy goes anywhere near Lzzy and looks like he’s got bad intentions, I’m going to swing my guitar at him.”

“It’s happened a couple of times to us,” Lzzy answers when asked about being at a bigger risk since Halestorm are a female-fronted band. “It really is a grey area.”

“Everything you do on stage goes up on YouTube,” Hottinger points out. “Generally you’re not supposed to get on stage and there’s security, but if it’s a small place and security isn’t doing anything – especially after the whole Dimebag thing – what are our options then, you know? Push the kid back off stage. You’re not supposed to be up there to begin with. Who knows? It’s weird.”

Watch the full interview below, where Halestorm also talks about receiving fan snail mail and recording over 50 songs for The Strange Case of… If you missed Halestorm at the Intersection last weekend, they will be back in town August 23 as GRD presents the Carnival of Madness tour at Rock the Rapids in downtown Grand Rapids.

Watch Dave Kim’s Interview With Halestorm

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