Lzzy Hale: The Soundtrack Of My Life

Lzzy Hale
(Image credit: Jimmy Fontaine)

Grammy-winner, friendly geek, rock star, Lzzy Hale thrives on stage. For now, though, she’s staying home and working on the follow-up to her band Halestorm’s 2018 album Vicious

We caught up with her to find out about some of the music that’s brought her this far.

The first music I remember hearing

Probably the car radio with my parents. I think they were listening to Van Halen, I was about eight and I asked: “Is that a girl or a guy singing?” [laughs] My dad was overjoyed that I had this interest in seventies and eighties hard rock, so he introduced me to Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath and all of that.

The guitar hero

Tom Keifer from Cinderella. When I was about sixteen one of my parents’ friends gave me this VHS tape of all of their videos off Night Songs. I was on a keytar then. We’d just lost our first guitar player, so I picked up the instrument and tried to mimic what Tom was playing – or at least the way he looked while he was holding the guitar. 

I don’t think I was intentionally trying to soak in that style, but now, every now and again my bandmates will be like: “Oh look, you got that Tom Keifer thing going on!”

The songwriter

Somebody I always come back to – and any time I listen to any one of his songs I go: “Man, I wish I’d written that one!” – is Tom Petty. I go back to Wildflowers the most, because I think it’s just such an amazing body of work, but I also really like Damn The Torpedoes.

The singer

Ann Wilson from Heart. When I was first starting to get into music, it was a lot of dude-fronted music from the seventies and eighties. So my mom was like: “If you’re gonna get into this whole rock thing, you have to understand that girls can do that too.” 

The first time I heard Heart it was on this live CD called The Road Home, and there was this semi-a-capella version of Crazy On You. It absolutely blew my mind.

The best live band I've seen

One of the best concerts I went to was Muse. I think it was the Absolution tour. Pretty much the only production were these huge balloons that they threw out over the crowd and they’d explode confetti, but the band were so good and so tight and just attacked the audience. 

Last year I saw The Darkness for the first time in concert, and they’re amazing too.

The greatest album of all time

I cannot get enough of Black Sabbath’s Heaven And Hell. This was when Dio was in the band, so it’s definitely a different mood than when they had Ozzy. It’s such a great record. The title track is one of the first riffs I attempted to learn when I was a teenager. Plus the cover is great; angels smoking cigarettes? Why not?!

The most underrated band ever

There’s this quirky band called The Divinyls. They did a song called I Touch Myself. Everything they did besides that song is so completely different. I think maybe they were getting pressure from somebody in the business to have a hit on the radio. But the band is so good; they’re kind of like Blondie meets The Police. There’s a song called Temperamental that’s just full of attitude.

The best record I've made

I’m proud of all of them. I’m probably gonna have to go with our latest, Vicious, only because with every record I feel like we get one closer to what’s going to be my favourite. 

Whereas I feel like every… I’m never truly satisfied. It’s always a relief when it’s done and it’s out and you’re proud, but you’re like: “Okay, what’s the next one gonna be like?”

The worst record I've made

I guess I’d go for our first record, because if I knew then what I know now about recording and the business and all of that, I probably would have done it better. I don’t necessarily want to give it the title of our ‘worst’ record, but it was our most naive record.

My Saturday night party song

Twisted Sister’s I Wanna Rock. I know that poor band gets teased, and I think that’s part of the whole appeal. I don’t know anybody who really likes them [laughs], but I do so much. You can’t listen to that song without either breaking out into laughter or smiling, and forgetting whatever it is you were thinking about before the song came on.

My 'In the mood for love' song

There’s a song called Everybody Here Wants You by Jeff Buckley. When I was a teenager I made out with a kid for the first time to that song, and every time I listen to it I have this whole almost bittersweet, teenage ‘I hope the parents don’t walk in’ kinda feeling of adventure. It’s such a beautiful song, too.

The song I want played at my funeral

I think it would have to be, like, a double encore. Maybe at the beginning of the funeral it’d be Queen’s Another One Bites The Dust, and then I’d have to end with Queen too, because The Show Must Go On would be really great. My dad would get a kick out of that.

Polly Glass
Deputy Editor, Classic Rock

Polly is deputy editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she writes and commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage), and has interviewed rock's biggest and newest names. She also contributes to Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. Elsewhere she's had work published in The Musician, delicious. magazine and others, and written biographies for various album campaigns. In a previous life as a women's magazine junior she interviewed Tracey Emin and Lily James – and wangled Rival Sons into the arts pages. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.