Lzzy Hale: I used sexism as ammo
Exclusive: Halestorm guitarist and vocalist Lzzy Hale reveals how she faced down sexism and took inspiration from the women who paved the way for her career
Lzzy Hale says she used the sexism she encountered during the band’s first US national tour as ammo.
The Halestorm singer and guitarist reports she first became aware of sexism in 2005 when the band were on the road. A group of guys saw her tuning her guitar and assumed she was doing it for her boyfriend.
She exclusively tells the latest edition of Metal Hammer: “I always took those situations as ammo. It’s like, ’OK, if they think that, then I’m really going to bring it tonight.’
“That was actually part of the reason I started wearing heels, because I’d gotten quite good at manoeuvring in them onstage, and it was just one more thing that the guys couldn’t do.
“There’s going to be this misconception anyway, so I might as well dress the part, and then completely knock their socks off by being able to do all this other stuff, too.”
She adds: “Sex and rock’n’roll have gone hand-in-hand since the beginning of time, so I’ve never tried to downplay it. I’ve always just tried to stay true to myself. I’m not trying to shorten my skirt for attention, but at the same time, as a girl, I’m allowed to express myself sexually in whatever way I see fit.”
Hale reported that going on tour with Lita Ford last year made her realise that she’d made the right career choice. And reflecting on the run of shows, she says it was an “amazing” experience.
Hale continues: “We decided we should do a tour and make it into this celebration of strong women. It was amazing touring with Lita. The Runaways were our foremothers of rock’n’roll, and they had to forge a path in the wilderness.
“I have to deal with meagre sexism every now and then, or choose to ignore it, but those girls had it all the time.
"I remember talking to Pat Benatar about having to choose when you walked into a radio station, ’Do I sit on this guy’s lap to get my record played, or stand my ground and then it doesn’t get played?’ And regardless of that, none of these girls ever gave up. That’s extremely inspiring.”
Halestorm are one of four cover stars of issue 292 of Metal Hammer, which is on sale now. There are three other covers celebrating the Heroes Of 2017 featuring Anthrax, Sabaton and Asking Alexandria.