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Exploring Explorers with Lzzy Hale - An Interview

Sometimes you just need to walk on the dark side ...


by Anne Erickson



Lzzy Hale, the lead vocalist, and guitarist in Halestorm, has played to packed arenas and festivals across North America and around the world. With fist-pumping chart-toppers such as "I Am the Fire" and "I Miss the Misery," Lzzy and Halestorm have become one of the most successful hard rock bands of the present day.

If you see Halestorm on tour, you'll spot Lzzy with her signature Lzzy Hale Explorer. She and Gibson created the model a few years ago, and now, the original white Explorer has gotten a slight makeover. Lzzy chatted with Anne Erickson about her latest Explorer.


Anne Erickson: You released a signature Explorer a few years ago. How have you used that model on the road and in the studio?

Lzzy Hale: That's pretty much my go-to guitar, and it's definitely been road worn, just due to me being a road dog, but I use it in the studio, as well. Honestly, that guitar, I don't know what voodoo happened with that one (laughs), but it works in any situation! It's my go-to even with the producers that we work with. They're like, "Just put that one back on." It's definitely become an extension of myself.


You were just at CES with Gibson and were joined by Jason Hook of Five Finger Death Punch and Vivian Campbell of Def Leppard. How was that?

It was amazing! Jason has always kind of been a big brother to me because we've known each other through touring for years. Then, of course, the two of us were geeking out over Vivian. We were like, "What's going on?!" It was such an honor to be involved with them and just to hang with the masters.


I interviewed Vivian a few weeks ago, and he raved about your solo performance at CES.

That's quite the honor. It's interesting because what I've always loved about talking with other musicians is learning that everybody approaches these instruments differently. There's a misconception sometimes when you're first starting out on guitar. My thinking was, "Okay, there's a right way and a wrong way, and I'm probably doing it the wrong way!" And then you get older and begin to talk to people who have basically carved out their own path in the genre, and you realize that the only reason you've ever heard of these guys is that they've been coloring outside the lines and doing things the "wrong way." So, when we were discussing guitars at CES, I felt very comfortable talking about how I approach things, and it was a very humbling and an amazing feeling to get that kind of feedback from your peers and your idols.




You have a new signature model. Tell me about how it differs from your previous model.

Basically, the idea, in the beginning, was just to do the guitar that I had before with all the same specs but make it in a different color, make it in black, but what ended up happening is that I went with the Richlite neck, because I wanted to be more environmentally friendly. I tried a couple of models with that neck on, and I really loved the darkness that it brought to the instrument. It’s the dichotomy of my light and darkness as a rocker and as a women. Onstage, I can switch on and off from my OG white Explorer to the prototype of my black one, and it has a completely different personality. I ended up using the same pickups, the Classic '57s, just because it truly sounded the best for what I do. I just love those pickups. They have the bite that I need for the hard rock stuff and then also the warmth that I need for some of the mid-tempo tunes.  - HC - 







Anne Erickson holds years of bylines in Gannett Media publications, as well as music magazines Premier Guitar, Guitar Edge and more. She also hosts radio shows with iHeartRadio and has been syndicated in Seattle, Dayton, Central Coast California and beyond. Anne is a loyal Spartan and holds a Master’s degree from MSU. She resides in Lansing, Michigan.


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