Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale in good company with her idols

Lzzy Hale respectfully disagrees with the notion that people will be let down when they meet their idols. For 15 years with her Grammy-winning Halestorm, the banshee-velocity vocalist has hobnobbed with hero after hero, from Cheap Trick to Pat Benatar, Heart sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, and even to her stylistic role model, Cinderella’s Tom Keifer. She’s never been disappointed. “Everyone has always been so down to earth,” says the rocker, in town promoting the band’s new fourth album, “Vicious.” “I think when you’ve got nothing left to prove to the world, then you’re able to just be, and there’s really no room to be an a–hole.”

Speaking of heroes, you just met trailblazing guitarist Joan Jett. And in the selfies you posted, you’re grinning with almost girlish teenage zeal.

It’s so funny, because I can do the same thing all the time: I can put on my leather jacket and be part of the cool club. Then you met somebody like Joan and your brain just goes to mush. There are very few people that I get starstruck over anymore, and she’s at the top of that list. And she said some really nice things onstage about what we do, and she stayed to watch the set. Ten years ago, our guitar player got me one of her signature Melody Makers, so I brought it thinking maybe she would sign it. And she not only signed it, she spelled my name right, which was awesome!

But “Vicious” wasn’t an easy album to make?

I got a little lost on the way. I couldn’t figure out what we were going to do next, and I couldn’t find that excitement that I’ve had for years. And that scared me. Going onstage is an insane feeling that I’ve had since I was 13 — it’s like going up a rollercoaster ramp right before a show. But when we were writing for this record — which we started six months before we got into the studio — and compiling stuff, I didn’t really like any of it. And you realize somewhere along the way, your passion has become an affliction.

What was missing?

Well, we were about to release our fourth album for a major label, but there was nothing in any of these songs that was me. It was all very surface-based. So I threw pretty much all of those songs away, and we went into the studio with nothing, but we came in every day and plugged in our instruments. And through that process, we reconnected with Halestorm 2004, back when we first started jamming. So I came out the other side of “Vicious” swinging, and I was able to say, “Yeah! I’ve still got it!”

IF YOU GO
Halestorm, In This Moment
Where: Warfield, 982 Market St., S.F.
When: 7 p.m. Aug 23
Tickets: $45 to $60
Contact: (888) 929-7849, www.axs.com

Tom Lanham
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Tom Lanham

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