Halestorm: “I would never sell my testicles”

Again in Copenhagen, and once more for an interview with Halestorm. Last time it was singer Lzzy Hale, now her brother and the band´s drummer Arejay Hale sits in front of the microphone for a quick chat before their VIP meet and greet appointments prior to the show . Finding a suitable place for the interview was a tough job, but in the end we invaded the production office and sat down between laptops, potato chips bags and coffee cans.

How was your day so far?
Oh, it´s been really good so far, thank you. It´s nice to see the sun, we´ve been touring the UK and Europe and we´ve just come from Sweden and now we´re going to Helsinki tomorrow – it´s definitely the sunniest day of the tour today, right here in Copenhagen! (grins) It´s good to be here!

So you´ve been already here last October, how does it feel to be back?
Yeah…oh I expect a really rowdy crowd (laughs) . Last time we were here, we played in front of about 150 people at most, it´s been a very very small and tight place, but it was a quality over quantity situation – the crowd was very loud and very crazy. And today, we´re playing this kinda big room, so I am kinda nervous, hoping that we can quite fill it, but…
I heard it´s close to being sold-out…
Oh my god, I haven´t even heard that (laughs) , wow, that´s crazy. I am always afraid to ask how the ticket sales are, I am always like – if I find out then it´s not gonna change anything…But it should be very very fun tonight! I´m very excited!

If you picture life as a rollercoaster, which times in your life would you consider to be the looping in a rollercoaster ride?
Probably right now (laughs) . Especially this year and most of last year´s been very very crazy. We did our very first headlining tour worldwide, we did the first European run, and then we did Russia and we did Japan, and we went back to the States, and now we do it again. We played some shows with BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE which were great, we just won a Grammy, I got nominated for Revolver Golden Gods Best Drummer Award – which I am very hoping to win, that would be fucking amazing… So that´s just some of a few incredible things that we´ve accomplished this year and accomplished most of last year, too. I think that´s definitely a huge loop (grins) . Super-dooper-looper, that´s what it is (laughs) .

Therefore, how has your life changed after having won the Grammy?
I don´t think so, I don´t think that we as people have changed and I don´t think we as a band have changed… It was a very very great thing to happen for us, it was definitely a dream come true, especially for Lzzy and I, having grown up watching the Grammys every year and we never actually thought that we´d go there. Even less that we´d win one. We thought that we were just nominated, because The Academy was trying to be nice (laughs) . We actually didn´t think that people would actually – I mean, we were up against LAMB OF GOD and ANTHRAX and IRON MAIDEN, it´s pretty shocking, but it´s a great thing for the band. It´s given us great exposure, great press, great publicity, it´s helped in so many ways.

What was the first thing you thought when you heard your band´s name being announced as the winner?
Uhm, well, I didn´t believe it at first. We were so prepared to lose so we didn´t write anything down, we didn´t have anything prepared for the speech
That was visible…
Yeah, it was very obvious that we weren´t prepared any ways, so yeah (laughs) …Expecting that we´d lose, I had my camera and I gave it to my mum, my mum was sitting next to me, and I was like “mum, alright, now when we lose, turn the camera (video tape, you know) and film us on the nominees list” and our message would be like “hey, thank you so much fans for sticking by us – you know it´s okay we didn´t win but it´s nice to be here and bla bla bla see you on the road then” to make a little internet video. And then they said “Halestorm” and I was like “WHAT? Are you kidding me?” (starts talking loudly) and the video of it ended on YouTube, my mum forgetting that the camera was still on and my mum´s freaking out, she was like (starts screaming) “aaaaaaaaaaaah yeeesssssssss”, completely freaking out about that we won. And we were like “what?”, walking up there like “aah, we did not expect this, thanks everybody…” (laughs) . I think we´d have won the award for “Most genuinely surprised speech”, I think that would be really much fun! Yeah, it was exciting, it was incredible – so nerve-wrecking, we played in front of ten thousand and hundred thousand people for festivals and all this kind of stuff, I´ve been doing zillions shows in the course of my career, but getting up on stage and speaking to a room full of Grammy nominees was the most nerve-wrecking moment in my life.

But how do you personally feel about awards and such prizes in general?
Oh I actually think it´s incredible, because it shows that we´re not crazy to be doing this and that our fans are not crazy to do it all and be enjoying the music that we make, so we´re really really thankful. That and the other really big award for me is the Golden Gods Revolver´s Best Drummer, because that´s not just the vindication as a band, but the vindication as a drummer, you know. It´s like the only award for actual drummers, so…It´s been a crazy year, man…It´s so exciting that we´re so recognized and put up against all these Heavy Metal gods. With that Revolver´s Golden Gods I am up against Abe Cunningham from DEFTONES, Roy Mayorga from STONE SOUR, Gene Hoglan (TESTAMENT), the drummer from GOJIRA and all these incredible drummers…the fact that I am nominated with them in this section and with the Grammys where we were nominated against LAMB OF GOD and ANTHRAX and IRON MAIDEN was enough of an honor to be considered in the same group.

You´ve been touring already for a while, any yet untold funny stories?
We´ve had some good times last night with the BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE guys in Stockholm, actually our very first show ever outside of America – well, I shouldn´t say outside of America… very first show ever overseas we were playing in Stockholm, we played this club called Pub Anchor, and we were the opening band, playing before the band from the UK called HEAVEN´S BASEMENT…So we went back there last night and when we kinda saw it, I was like “ooh, oh my god…”, it was crazy, this small little pub, like we started from the absolute bottom. And now we´re actually getting the headlining slot in places like this (referring to Pumpehuset in Copenhagen) – it is fucking amazing, yeah. So, last night I got up there in Stockholm and sang karaoke, I sang “Runnin´ with the devil” by VAN HALEN and “Fight for your right to Party” by the BEASTIE BOYS. We had some good times with BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE, we really love the guys, they´re great guys.

In June you´ll be playing South America – is a return or a first time? What are your expectations?
Yeah, yeah…. first time! First time ever in South America, I´m so excited! Coz we have so many incredible fans down there that know about us newly just from Twitter and Facebook and on our website, so I think it´s gonna be absolutely incredible, everyone´s been so anxious to get us down there and we have been very anxious to go down there, too. So we´re excited. Get to play and to see Brazil, will be cool…

Are you going to have some time for sightseeing?
Yeah, I think we have a few days to actually walk around… I really want to (smiles) . I really wanna see Rio de Janeiro, I´ve heard it´s incredible – my girlfriend lived there for about a year and she said it´s incredible. She can speak fluent Portuguese, so I am slowly learning Portuguese, she´s teaching me a few phrases, so I am getting to spell and stuff, but it´s really hard to learn, but it´s fun. It´s a great language, very sexy (says Sao Paolo in interesting dialect)

Looking at the fact that you´re now having a certain level of popularity makes the media and the people in general come up with rumors, or?
Oh really? I was not aware of that (laughs) . What rumors were they telling? I really haven´t noticed that, we´ve been so busy (laughs) , I don´t know. I´ve actually heard that a few people were upset that we won the Grammy, because they felt like it wasn´t truly honoring the Metal market. Also, in our eyes, we thought that LAMB OF GOD was going to win and think they should´ve won because the song that we were nominated and won the Grammy for, “Love Bites”, was directly influenced by LAMB OF GOD, IRON MAIDEN, ANTHRAX and MARILYN MANSON…

Maybe that´s the reason why you won, having all those influences…
It could be. But it´s good to see that the harder Rock music genre is still strong in people´s hearts, and does the same as Metal does, but honestly I don´t care if people say negative things about the band, that only means that the band is getting bigger and that people are taking their time to bash you… So, if people are gonna take the time to bash someone and it´s somebody no one knows about, it´d be wasted time, but the fact that more and more people are starting with this, and the more and more people are posting negative things about us – it might be that there is no such thing as bad advertisement… And when it comes to the Grammys, it was kind of weird, it was all over in the news, but my girlfriend actually had to go to the hospital, because she tripped over some stairs – did you hear about that? – and I was like “oh no this is terrible”, but I mean, it´s pretty typical for us, we´ve kinda become notorious for ending up in the hospital, you know. Especially me, I am very accident prone, my sister (Lzzy) is very accident prone, my girlfriend is very accident prone… but the strange thing was, that the next day I saw on all the news sites, it was all over the news, wow, “thanks hones, you´re actually quite good advertising for us” (laughs)

Having only a few minutes left, let´s get to the last part of the interview. Please finish the following sentences… The first one is “I miss the times, when…”
…when I had ice-cream (bursts out in laughter) …because it is too cold to eat it here…

The second one is “I think it´s amusing, that…”
…I think it´s amusing that fans wear our T-Shirts to our concerts… (holds back laughter) well I actually think it´s great (laughs) ! And buy our music… wonderful…

The third one is…”I wish I could…”
… eat some cheese-cake. Tell the caterer I am hungry… (laughs)

And, last but not least, please finish this sentence: “I would never sell…”
…my…I would never sell my testicles…I need them! And I think that they should go to science long after I´m dead, they should sell them to science one day…but I need them in the meantime… (laughs)

I think that´s the perfect ending of this interview…
(laughs) Alright! And at the end I also apologize what I said…!

Thanks for the interview!
Thank you a lot!

Carina Ullmann - reports, reviews, photos - - - Favorite genres? - - - From classical music to metal - it all depends on the band and my mood ;) - - - Favorite bands? - - - would be a too long list to write them all down... - - - Other interests? - - - Photography, travelling, culture, reading, writing