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Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale Discusses Ronnie James Dio, Her Metal Upbringing + New Album Progress

Lzzy and Arejay Hale
Kathy Flynn, WickedGoddessPhotography.com

Lzzy Hale and her cohorts in Halestorm recently covered Dio’s ‘Straight Through the Heart‘ for the new Ronnie James Dio ‘This Is Your Life’ tribute album and the band had a chance to perform their rendition live at the 3rd Annual Ronnie James Dio Awards Monday night (March 17) in Los Angeles.

Loudwire had a chance to speak with Lzzy for a few minutes on the red carpet and she told us about the band’s love for Ronnie James Dio and how she was introduced to his music by her parents. She also gave us updates on the early stages of their next album and her ScissorHappy line of clothing and accessories. Check out our interview with Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale below.

First off, thanks for letting us have a chance to debut your awesome cover of ‘Straight Through the Heart’ at Loudwire.

Yes, thank you so much.

So how does it feel to be involved with all this love for Ronnie James Dio?

You know, it’s such a tremendous honor to be here. We’re all just huge fans of no only Ronnie, but everybody that he touched and all the great music that he put out. He greatly influenced us as kids and thank god we had some cool rock ‘n’ roll parents that showed it to us.

I’m a little humbled by being here. We’re definitely the new kids on the block and probably the least hardcore here, regardless of the baseball bat (as she references the album artwork backdrop on the red carpet). But I think it’s an amazing thing that we’re all able to get together for this cause and just to celebrate Ronnie’s legacy and his life you know.

And you mentioned having such great parents to raise you on this music. Can you talk about your first memories of hearing Ronnie?

Well, ‘Holy Diver,’ the record, which has ‘Straight Through the Heart’ on it, was the first record my dad showed me of them. And from there we went to the Sabbath years then with Dio and then backward in time to Rainbow and Elf. I mean what an amazing catalog. It was probably around ’89 or 1990 or so the first time I really remember listening to that stuff.

Then when my brother and I were in middle school, when we started the band, my parents were like, “Here, here’s all our records, here is what you’re listening to.” And I’m just so glad they did because I still remember trying to convince all my friends in middle school, ’cause when I was in middle school everyone was listening to Backstreet Boys and Spice Girls and I was trying to get them to listen to Dio. They’re like, “No, I don’t think so.” And I’m like, “C’mon! It’s great!,” much to my little friends’ chagrin.

This lineup tonight is amazing. Are you just living the dream performing alongside some of these people?

I’m fans of all of these people and the fact that I’m able to share a stage with them and call some of them friends now, I just think that’s the wonderful thing about the rock community and especially people that were a part of Ronnie’s life, is that part of his legacy was just being such an amazing person. He would just take people under his wing and I think that rubbed off on a lot of these people.

We feel like that tonight. We’re new kids on the block and everyone’s like, “Hey, this is how it’s done. Let me show you some tricks.” So we’re just having a great time with everybody tonight.

Speaking of being taken under the wing, every time I look up I see you doing a song with David Draiman, rocking a stage with Myles Kennedy, Slash or Tom Keifer. How cool is it to have these opportunities and be kind of the go-to girl for these collaborations?

It’s awesome and something that I never expected to happen. It’s weird cause you’ll have these moments like, you go out to eat with David Draiman and I remember when ‘The Sickness’ came out and my brother and I loved that record and ate it up. And it was like, “We’re never gonna meet David Draiman,” and then I’m actually having lunch with David Draiman and talking and as you’re walking away, you’re like, “I just had lunch with David Draiman.” It’s the same thing tonight. I just had a conversation about guitars …. Oh, it’s so cool. I’m a fan girl right now.

And at this point, I know Halestorm is starting to think about a new album. How are things coming along?

You know it’s the beginning stages and we just started writing for the next record. It’s our third record and what a cool thing it is to make it to that point in your career. We’re chasing the song dragon and we’re chasing after whatever gets us excited at this point. I think we’re starting to crack the code of what we have to do on this record.

Third album always seems to be the big one for a lot of bands.

I know, right? We’ve been looking back at some of the classic third records and oh my god, there’s a little bit of pressure there. But as long as we keep focused on what we have to do I think it’ll be okay.

And one last thing, I wanted to give you a chance to talk about your fashion line.

I launched a fashion line and it’s called ScissorHappy by Lzzy and it’s just a launch line, a test line right now, but you can go to ScissorHappyByLzzyHale.com and check some of the stuff out. It’s just beginning now and it’s kind of like starting the band all over again. It’s like, ‘Okay, what are we going to do next?’ So I’m excited about that.

And how much of an input do you have?

Everything is done in-house and I’m working with a couple of very talented people. Basically, I make all the prototypes myself and I bend and I break things and I do stuff in the back of the bus and then I’ll send the prototype to these people. And for whatever reason they find things to put it together or they duplicate it exactly and the only difference is mine have all the rough edges that could hurt you. [laughs]

See Our Recap + Photo Gallery of the 3rd Annual Ronnie James Dio Awards

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