Interview with bassist Josh Smith
Interview by Anna Dumpe
Just moments after we’ve seen Halestorm headline The Roundhouse in London as a part of their UK and European tour, we had a chance to catch up with their bassist Josh Smith over email. Scroll down to find out more about the upcoming Halestorm album Into The Wild Life, their current tour and the advantages ad disadvantages of having a female singer.
Your new album Into The Wild Life is about to hit the stores all over Europe and US in from April 10th – 14th (13th April in UK). Talk us through the writing and recording process of Into The Wild Life. Did you come up with most of the material together as a band and how long has the writing/recording process been?
The writing process starts with asking yourself, ‘what do we want to say?’ ‘what songs best define us at this point in time?’ They’re really hard to answer and we began writing in January with no real direction or idea of what we wanted to say. A few months later we had an ‘aha’ moment when songs like Scream and New Modern Love came to fruition. From there a lot of songs came quickly, and a lot of them, idea intact, were recreated in the studio. We also had a few that were written right on the studio floor. All in all the writing and recording process took 9 months. Recording took 5-6 weeks.
What is the main inspiration behind Into The Wild Life and what can expect from it?
Into The Wild Life is inspired by the idea of being brave enough to step into the unknown. Going to new places, meeting new people, and learning more about who we are as a band and as individuals along the way. All of these experiences make their way into stories that become our songs. It’s something that we’ve been fortunate enough to experience our entire career and we look forward to continuing our journey ‘into the wild life’.
You are currently on tour throughout UK and Europe promoting Into The Wild Life headlining great venues all round. Tell us what’s been the highlight of the tour so far?
The entire tour has been so amazing. It’s neat that we ended our last album cycle on tour over here, and are picking up where we left off to get #3 started. The overall highlight in my opinion is that it seems the swing of momentum hasn’t been lost even though we took the rest of 2014 to make ‘ITWL’ . To come back and play even bigger places in front of more people is a great feeling. If this tour can be used as an outlook for the next 2 years of live shows, then we’re gonna have a lot of fun… sounds like the ingredients for some new song material to me:)
We at Metal-Rules.com saw you guys play The Roundhouse in London on the 10th of April, 2015. Tell us how was it for you and how did it feel to headline such a historic and beautiful live music venue?
The Roundhouse was an absolute highlight of this tour. A show we’ve been looking forward to since we found out that it was booked. Usually we leave stage with an adrenaline rush that subsides over the next hour or 2. This one lasted much longer. There was an energy in that place…on a Tuesday night! Just amazing.
The Roundhouse show was great all over not just because of the spectacular show you guys put on, but also the selection of opening bands – Wilson and Nothing More. How did these guys end up joining you on tour and are you a fan of their music yourself?
I first started listening to them when they came on our radar for potential opening acts, and instantly became a big fan of both bands! It’s great to have gotten to a point in our journey where we have say over who we play with. We wanted these guys on our tour. We want to play with bands that make good music, but more importantly, can own the stage by truly ‘performing’ their music. These bands bring it!
You guys have been around for quite a while now, but still seem to grow and reach new audiences with each album and tour. What in your opinion has been the highest point of your career so far?
I think the easiest answer would be to say that winning a Grammy has been the highest point thus far. But I think making this album, in my opinion our best work yet, has been the highest point. And I think touring for the next 2 years will take us even further.
How do you, as a band, try maintaining a close relationship with your fans and what, in your opinion, makes Halestorm fans unique and sets them apart from an average rock fan?
Social media is a great tool that we use often to keep in touch with our fans. We treat our fans as we would want to be treated…the golden rule! Within social media as well as our concerts, our fans have created their own little community. They stick together. They’re in constant communication with each other and often plan trips to each other’s respective cities. Stay over each others houses to go to shows together. Share hotels and hostels. They even spend holidays together. That is extraordinary in my opinion.
With your touring experience, tell us how do European crowds differ from American crowds and where do you feel most welcome as a band?
One difference I notice is during shows early in the week. In America, a Sunday/Monday/Tuesday crowd can seem a bit disconnected and lethargic. Maybe getting up for work super early the next morning is on their mind. It’s not EVERY show, and it happens over here as well, but Americans (and I can relate) seem a little more prone to this.
Most welcome?? It seems like there’s a new city that embraces us every tour. Really that’s a hard question to answer, but I’m a sucker for a good hometown show.
What in your opinion are the advantages and disadvantages of having a female singer in the band?
The only possible disadvantage that I can think of is when I hear people say they don’t ‘like’ bands with female singers… Not really a disadvantage though. I think it’s the most absurd excuse I’ve ever heard as someone’s reason for not listening to music.
She gets to pose for magazines as one of the ‘Hottest chicks in rock/metal’…Advantage!
She has in my slightly biased opinion:), one of the best voices in music today. A true power singer…Advantage!
After Into The Wild Life is released and your UK / European tour is over, what’s next up for Halestorm and can we expect to see you back in Europe appearing at some of our summer festivals?
It’s time to tour. So expect to see us again soon. We are hoping to get back here this Summer so stay tuned!
Thanks for your time and we wish you all the best!