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Lzzy Hale y Joe Hottinger

Halestorm

"Cito tocar la guitarra y cito esta banda con empujarme hacia adelante y darme esa estrella del norte. Es un sentimiento, es algo que llevas contigo, es fuego". En este episodio, los artistas Ernie Ball Lzzy Hale y Joe Hottinger de Halestorm hablan sobre sus inicios con la guitarra, su amor por tocar y su relación con Ernie Ball.

Transcript

Lzzy Hale:
Guitar playing is so much more than a career choice. It's a vehicle to do something that's outside of yourself. My parents would get me VHS videos of my favorite bands playing live and I was like just watching these and thinking, okay, how do these people do that? How do you get out in front of people and not freak out? It took me kind of inching my way toward the front of the stage. I ended up going from keyboard to key tar, which was my gateway to guitar. Truly just because I wanted to be a bad ass, and I wanted to be one of those people that was onstage, unafraid.

Joe Hottinger:
It's not only like your musical instrument, it's the instrumental to get that feeling, that thing that gets you off about music. Try to connect the brain to the fingers. The shorter the connection, the better. That's what we're always striving for.

Lzzy Hale:
I cite guitar playing and I cite this band with pushing me forward and giving me that kind of North Star. Yeah, it's a feeling. It's a thing that you carry with you. It's a fire.

Lzzy Hale:
I grew up on Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper and Van Halen. I remember we moved to a 20 acre farm when I was 11. Some of the neighborhood girls were like, "We're having a sleepover, but bring a bunch of your favorite CDs because we're all going to switch around and listen to each other's favorite songs." You can see where this is going. I brought Love it to Death by Alice Cooper and Holy Diver by DEO. So you can imagine. We're all sitting around and listening to music at this sleepover. This is around the time where there was TLC and Backstreet Boys and Spice Girls and all of that. They're like, "Oh, let's put in Lzzy's CD." I don't think we made it past the first chorus. They're like, "Put Tina's back on."

Lzzy Hale:
But I remember going back home and my dad being like, "So how was it?" "I had fun. I don't think they liked my music though." And he's like, "Well that's good." I'm like, "Why is that good?" "Because you love your music because you love it, not because everyone else loves it." A couple of years later when I was 13, we started Halestorm, and that was the bed that I had.

Joe Hottinger:
I didn't like rock music because my brother did. I wouldn't listen. He liked Nirvana, Metallica in like '91, '92. We were listening to, was it 102.1 the alternative station, the music on there, just like, "I got it." It was like a light switch. It was like, "This is awesome." Nirvana was like my first band that I had to figure out how to do that loud, quiet thing. I remember I had a little practice amp, I didn't have a pedal, so I'd play the clean part and then push the gain and try to hit it quick. I remember getting whatever medal, pedal metal zone probably, I don't even know, some overdrive pedal that like blew my mind. I could have a clean tone and I was like, "This is it, man."

Lzzy Hale:
When it clicks, it clicks, and then you're like, "Oh wait, this is totally possible. Here it is." You can call it a determination, but I prefer obsession, I think is more apt.

Lzzy Hale:
I think it's important for everyone to find that thing. Nowadays, I think that girls are more encouraged to do what they want to do and what they desire to do. I grew up in a household where, I mean we didn't even really talk about the whole glass ceiling thing. It was just like if you want to be a mechanic or a doctor or rockstar, rodeo clown, whatever, you can totally do it. It's like three different lifetimes that I've lived as far as like the girldom. The beginning was total naiveté. I have no idea that there's like, oh, it's kind of a weird thing to be a girl in rock music or I had no idea. That kind of almost blinders on mentality just meant I just kept moving forward and I didn't pay any attention to it.

Lzzy Hale:
You load in your equipment and people were like, "Oh my girlfriend never carries my guitar for me." You know, that kind of stuff. Then I remember early on, we used to start out just with me. Just me up on stage because no one's going to expect just a girl to walk out on stage at a rock show. Then you get to this middle section you're being shopped around to labels and there's a lot of, "Well, we love what you do, but we can't do anything with you because women on rock radio, that's not really a thing." Then you get this whole defiance that becomes your fire where it's, "Well that's ridiculous. I'm going to do it anyway."

Lzzy Hale:
Then you keep moving. Then it's really great right now to be on this kind of third tier of that. Whereas you can be on stage and look at all of these girls and just see them just get it. They're looking on stage, it's like, "Yes, absolutely. This is possible." Just remembering what it was like to be like, "Oh look, there's a North Star. There's a light at the end of the tunnel. It's possible to do this."

Lzzy Hale:
Early on when you first started to play guitar, you go to the music store and everything's so new and you're like, "Okay, what do these different gauges of pics mean and what do these different cages of strings mean?" Then you see Ernie Ball as something that you grow up with.

Joe Hottinger:
There's nothing like a fresh strings on a guitar. I like that low, thick, low end. We do 10-52s, so lighter on top, heavier on the bottom. Those little millimeter differences, once you've been doing it long enough, that's home. That's where it feels right. 10-52 feels right. When we started using the paradigm strings, I remember talking with my guitar tech Noah. He's like, "Oh dude, these are really cool. Look at the way they're wound up at the ball." He's like, "It works good with the beat." I remember his seal of approval and I was like, "All right, cool. We got good strings."

Lzzy Hale:
The main goal is to chase whatever gets you excited, so whether that means that I started the song and I bring it to the guys, he has an idea, he brings it.

Joe Hottinger:
To me, that's the initial moment that that matters. That's what I put into my voice memo on the phone. Sometimes it comes quick and sometimes you fight for months wrestling this riff in this piece of music and what comes next.

Lzzy Hale:
It's keeping that mission statement together. It's like, "Okay, this is what got us excited initially. That's what we're going to chase after." We've been more focused just in the past couple of years on making those moments. Because what we ended up incorporating into our live shows was this element of improv. So we have this musical language together and when we get into a certain section where we don't really know how we're going to end it, but we all have to listen to each other and make those moments together. So trying to capture those elements in a recording and in a new song and write songs for those moments have been something that we've been obsessed with.

Joe Hottinger:
One thing you learn is you never really run out of dreams. We won a Grammy. We've played music all around the world, which was kind of the big idea when I was a kid. But now I want to do it more, but I want to do it better too. How do you write better songs? How do you play better? I'm still taking lessons. So much I haven't unlocked yet.

Lzzy Hale:
I think you're always searching for something. You're always searching for something that's going to reignite that fire. It never goes away, but sometimes you just need that like, "Oh, cool, that's something different. That's something new that I can go down this path and maybe incorporate it in the next record." It's the chase I think that I get excited about.

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