In the studio: Halestorm

Lzzy Hale rips up the rulebook

In the studio Halestorm
Halestorm recording at Neon Cross studios
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"We've kinda gone back to the beginning with this record," says Lzzy Hale on her band's as-yet-untitled third album. "It's unapologetically us."

For the follow-up to 2012's The Strange Case Of... Halestorm have recruited Jay Joyce, headed to the producer's Neon Cross studio and gone back to basics.

"I think our producer learned all of the rules on guitar just so he could break all of them"

"The majority of the tracks are tracked live with all four of us in one room sitting in a circle and just hitting record," Lzzy explains. "It's nerve wracking because if one person screws up you have to do the whole thing over again!"

The stripped-down approach applies to gear, too. While it might be tempting to pick up that '59 Les Paul in the corner of the studio, Joyce has encouraged familiarity, with Lzzy using her Explorer, a Les Paul Baritone and a Les Paul Custom.

"We're using a lot of our own equipment, our touring gear. That was a surprise to me because the studio we're in with our producer, he has so many toys to play with. I've snuck in a guitar or two that isn't mine, but he wanted us to use what we're comfortable playing and what we know works live.

"I've been using my [Marshall] JCM800 a lot - I'm going straight into the 'board, no pedals, except for the past two songs where I've used a [Way Huge] Swollen Pickle and a Tube Screamer. It's interesting because it's like, 'Oh, that's what I sound like live!'

Lzzy reckons that by stripping back the gear, Halestorm have been able to open up a load more opportunities for both their sounds and tones.

"On the past two records, we focused on stacking the guitars with all these amps and making a wall of sound - to the point that you can't really tell what we used. If you wanted to add something in [afterwards] then it was already so full, it makes more sense to do it this way."

So it's the same gear, and in the studio it seems there are no rules. "We did this very 70s Black Sabbath intro to one of our songs. I think our producer learned all of the rules on guitar just so he could break all of them, because I'm doing this riff in standard drop B and he comes and detunes the B string to I don't know what.

"That created the most absurd sound, like a chainsaw ripping through a door. It was fun to play because I was thinking, 'Man, this feels naughty because it's not in a real tuning!' On this record we've thrown away everything we ever learned."

Halestorm's as-yet-untitled third album is due for release in 2015 via Atlantic

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