In a new interview with Jorge Botas of Portugal’s Metal Global, HALESTORM bassist Josh Smith revealed that the band is working on its next studio album with acclaimed Grammy-winning producer Dave Cobb, known for his previous collaborations with the likes of Sammy Hagar, Slash, GRETA VAN FLEET and RIVAL SONS.
“We went down to [Dave‘s] place and all lived together for three weeks, which is — we live together on tour all the time, yeah, but to be in a creative space, it was incredible,” Josh said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). “And the music that came out is undeniably HALESTORM. There’s going to be a lot of fan favorites.”
Describing HALESTORM‘s recording process with Cobb, Josh said: “What we’re doing and how he wants to work, how he’s capturing us is what we do on stage. For instance, we’re not using a click track; there’s no time keep. It’s us doing it, and so there’s a lot of movement to the music… It’s so human.”
He continued: “I think naturally when you’re even talking, just from building tension to releasing it and how that happens, and sometimes from a verse maybe is building and the tempo feels like it’s building, and then the chorus — well, at least on stage — naturally probably bumps up a few BPM [beats per minute] or slows down, depending. And even our transitions or Arejay‘s [Hale, HALESTORM drummer] fills will push or pull. It’s very human.”
When Botas noted that it’s “always fun to work with new people and create new ideas when someone has a different view from the one you normally have,” Smith said: “Yeah, for sure. I mean, that’s what you hope for in working [with] a producer. It’s this person you really have to vibe with that fits into this, in this case our little world. And that chemistry between a band is so unique to every group. And so for someone to fit in, that’s a special trait to have. [It’s] essentially [bringing in] a fifth member of the band that can extract the uniqueness of that band. It’s big shoes to fill for a producer. And thankfully we’ve been lucky with it, with [previous HALESTORM producers] Nick [Raskulinecz] and Jay [Joyce], and Howard [Benson] was great. But, yeah, starting with someone new and also someone who has had a very different approach from the previous one, it’s really exciting. And he really is bringing out the best of us. So, yeah, it’s really exciting to find someone who is so good at their craft… And he just wants to catch what everyone is excited about — lightning in a bottle. And we’ve been doing that. And we’ve caught a lot. I can’t wait to go back. It’s really fun. I can’t wait to get back to writing new music.”
Josh said that there is no timetable yet on when new HALESTORM music will arrive. “But we just worked on, like — I don’t know how many songs we got worked up, 10 or 12,” he said. “And we’ll probably do that again when we get a chance next year, and see where we are. But it’s really exciting. It’s always so exciting to create new stuff and then show it to people and get judged.”
Cobb has shared in nine Grammy wins, including four for “Best Americana Album” and three for “Best Country Album”. He’s also been named “Producer Of The Year” by the Country Music Awards, the Americana Music Association (twice) and the Music Row Awards, and has been a Grammy nominee in the category.
Earlier this month, HALESTORM frontwoman Lzzy Hale told TotalRock‘s “Hobo On The Radio” show about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band’s follow-up to 2022’s “Back From The Dead” album: “We’re always working on new music, but we’ve actually kind of started to buckle down and really kind of write with a purpose as to whatever we wanna kind of put out in the world next. It’s kind of an exciting time because I feel like even since the last record, even beyond ‘Back From The Dead’, I feel like we’re kind of shedding our skin in a way that’s kind of beautiful where we all kind of feel like different people than who we were when we were writing the last record. So it’s time for whatever that next chapter is. So it’s very exciting.”
She continued: “I’ve been writing in a lot of subjects that I haven’t necessarily touched on before and been kind of exploring those things. And I’ve become even more of a serial eavesdropper. I will be sitting at a pub or something and I will kind of zone out, and it’s amazing the conversations you hear other people talking about. And so sometimes those leech their way into the songs. But, yeah, we’ll probably have something by next year.”
Two months ago, Lzzy told Meltdown of Detroit’s WRIF radio station about writing material for the next HALESTORM album: “ What we are in right now is the chaos of it all, whereas [we’re] not quite sure where the music is gonna take us or what we’re gonna be excited about, but I’m excited about doing something new and really just kind of accentuating certain moments. And especially considering we’ve been touring on this album cycle, we’ve been touring on ‘Back From The Dead’, and our live show has grown a lot during this album cycle, whereas we’re making these kind of physical moments. And we’ve been writing parts for in between songs and all of that. So I feel like I kind of wanna incorporate some of those things that we’ve already kind of tested live, that are original parts but don’t actually have a song to go to yet. So I don’t know, we’ll see what happens. So we’re doing that.”
Lzzy (guitar, vocals) and her brother Arejay (drums) formed HALESTORM in 1998 while in middle school. Guitarist Joe Hottinger joined the group in 2003, followed by Smith in 2004.
This past May, HALESTORM teamed up with country singer Ashley McBryde for a reimagined version of the band’s song “Terrible Things”, which was originally featured on “Back From The Dead”.
Last December, HALESTORM released a deluxe edition of “Back From The Dead”. “Back From The Dead: Deluxe Edition” includes seven previously unreleased B-sides, including “Mine”, a 1980s-inspired rocker. “Back From The Dead: Deluxe Edition” is available digitally, on CD, and cassette tape, marking the first time that the album has been offered in those physical formats.
In December 2018, HALESTORM was nominated for a “Best Rock Performance” Grammy Award for its song “Uncomfortable”. Six years earlier, the band won its first Grammy in the category of “Best Hard Rock/ Metal Performance” for “Love Bites (So Do I)”.
Photo courtesy of Ashley White Public Relations
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