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Do you remember your first time playing guitar on a stage?
You know, I think I did something for the teachers when I was in England but I don’t know if that counts.
A lot of kids are like, "I remember coming to your show back then, and by the way, I started a band and hopefully you guys brought some good luck to Red Lion!
" So hopefully we were encouraging somebody to do something.
But yeah, there is always room for more guitar in everything and I’m constantly learning and trying to better myself. It keeps my feet on the ground just making sure that I’m always trying to learn something new or trying to be a real guitar player [laughs]. And even if you get your head around that, there’s always going to be something else and there’s always going to be somebody better. But as far as people, I’ve always loved Tony Iommi’s sound, just the grittiness that was in that era of metal where it wasn’t too fuzzy and you could still hear the guitar and the fingers, but it still had this chunky, meat-and-potatoes sound to it. I think he’s awesome and he’s one of the reasons why I picked up guitar in the first place. Joe: I don’t necessarily emulate anyone’s tone in particular. It’s a rabbit hole that goes way too deep, and as soon as I get comfortable, I go, "Hey, let’s get a fractal and see what that does!
I guess it does keep you more balanced because there’s always room to improve as a guitarist. Also you have to keep in mind that nothing is impossible, but at times I do get frustrated. " All of a sudden, you’re in a whole another world again.
I moved back to Pennsylvania in the States, resumed high school and started my first band shortly thereafter and it’s really been tunnel vision since I picked up the guitar. I got lucky, you know, that my personal dream came true. How did you first get into the guitar and did learning to play it come natural or was there a lot of frustration trying to get this thing figured out? We had a bunch of cheap, shitty little guitars and everyone that showed up were given basic chords, you know, and to play a few chords you put your first finger on the B string and then first fret and I remember being the only guy in class that was flying through it and it made sense to me.
What was it about Nirvana that attracted you and blew you away when you first heard them? I was totally able to fly through those and expand upon it and started taking lessons at the local music store.
I really didn’t get into music until right before I left Wisconsin when I was in seventh grade.
On September 18, Halestorm pulled into downtown Los Angeles to headline a show at the Wiltern Theater. On this tour, are you still pushing your previous studio album, , which came out last year? Joe: Marilyn Manson’s "1996," "Gold Dust Woman" from Fleetwood Mac, a rock cover of Daft Punk’s "Get Lucky," Pat Benatar’s "Hell Is for Children" ... But one of the things I learned before starting to write this record was to take my fingers out of it while writing guitar parts, because you always fall back into the same thing every time, especially when you’re not thinking and just trying to play along. So it happens occasionally, but definitely hands-off is the way to be. But I don’t know, there’s always been a marriage between what I sing and what I play.
Their powerful 19-song, 90-minute set included an assortment of tracks from their two studio albums, along with selections from their upcoming Prior to the show, I sat down with Lzzy Hale and guitarist Joe Hottinger to discuss the new EP, the tour, songwriting, guitar tones and more. The kast time we were here to see the Smashing Pumpkins. Joe: Yeah, we’re on our fourth single from that record, so we’re still pushing that. Joe: The EP has "Dissident Aggressor" from Judas Priest, and ... We might be forgetting something, but I think that’s it. I had to just go hands-off the guitar and sit and think about it, hum it out and see what I really wanted to do, especially for the solos. Were you satisfied with the amount of guitar on the album, or do you think you'd attempt to be more guitar-oriented in the future? I ended up starting guitar because I didn’t want to just be the lead singer.
On April 10, 2012, the Pennsylvania hard rock band Halestorm released their sophomore album titled The Strange Case Of …
Now, what makes this particular piece of information interesting is that it is now December 2013 and that record is still going strong, with another hit single this fall in “Here’s To Us” that features a guitar solo by Slash. For a young band only on their second full-length recording, the success smells sweet.
I remember my first show with my band in ninth grade, maybe tenth grade at that point.