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"Breaking The Silence With HALESTORM"
by Paul Autry

When I began my writing career some seven years ago, I really didn't care too much about the Pennsylvania music scene. I had met too many musicians who were all too happy playing cover music for free beer and, to me, that's not what rock 'n' roll should be all about.
About five years into my career, I came in contact with a young band named Halestorm, who were promoting their debut CD, "Don't Mess With The Time Man." This release showed a lot of potential even though it lacked a certain something...guitar being the most obvious. Little was I to know that this disc was only the begining. The best was yet to come.
By the time I had the opportunity to witness Halestorm live for the first time, they were no longer playing as a trio. They now had a guitar player and a full, complete sound. Eventually, I went on to seeing Halestorm perform well over 20 times. No show was the same and it got to the point where you never knew what to expect. They were always changing...for the better, I might add. When everything seemed to be going well for this band, their guitar player left for personal reasons. While the band slowed down a bit, they never stopped. They knew what they wanted to do and they continued to chase the dream. During this time, Halestorm managed to tough it out, performing as a trio and, at times, performing with two different guitar players. About a year later, the band came in contact with seventeen year old Nate Myotte and their line up was once again complete. Halestorm wasted no time in hitting the scene, bigger, harder and better than ever. A new strength and direction came with adding Myotte to the band. Although Halestorm hasn't lost sight of who they once were, they're now looking to the future and recreating themselves. Their current CD, "Breaking The Silence," shows a tremendous amount of growth and their new direction can be heard by way of a song called "The Children." While new material is currently in the works, which will be the first to feature Nate Myotte, the band continues to promote "Breaking The Silence" and playing out as often as they can, anywhere they can.
I recently had the chance to speak with Elizabeth Hale and Nate Myotte, who were kind enough to answer a few questions for me and this is how that conversation went.

Paul Autry: I guess my first question should be how did you find Nate?

Elizabeth Hale: Well, he works at a music store and, actually, we kind of hooked up with him through our guitar teacher, Mark Ludwig. He recommended him to me because we were looking for a guitar player. So, we went out to check him out and see if he would like to come over and jam. He started helping us out, not as a permanent member at first...and he finally joined the band.

Paul Autry: Since I don't know you Nate, could you tell me a little about yourself?

Nate Myotte: Well, I've been plaing for about three and a half years. Pretty much what got me playing is like, metal...Metallica, Ozzy, stuff like that. Real guitar orientated music and that's where a lot of my influences come from. That's one of the reasons why I decided to join Halestorm because they were deciding to go more in the direction of harder edged music. That's totally what I'm into, so, it worked out nice.

Paul Autry: Is Halestorm your first band?

Nate Myotte: Actually, no. This is the second band I've been involved with. The one before was just a little band. As soon as we started to get out into the clubs and stuff like that, we broke up. As soon as we broke up, I really got into gear with Halestorm.

Paul Autry: What's your connection with Spinebelt?

Nate Myotte: I pretty much know the two guitar players because they come into where I work a lot. Other than that, I know them through the band and playing with them at different shows and stuff.

Paul Autry: The last few Halestorm shows I saw Liz, you were just starting to play guitar. What made you decide to pick that up?

Elizabeth Hale: It's something that I've always wanted to do. But, never rea lly had the means to. When we lost our first guitar player, it kind of pushed me to really be serious about it. So, I went into lessons and I've been taking them for about a year now and I'm in love with it. Nate's been helping me out with a lot of stuff. It's very cool.

Paul Autry: Since I haven't seen you live since December of last year, how good are you on guitar now?

Elizabeth Hale: (laughs)

Nate Myotte: She's getting there...well on her way.

Elizabeth Hale: I got a ways to go, but, I have fun with it.

Paul Autry: What was the reason behind putting "Rose In December" out as a solo project?

Elizabeth Hale: It was one of those things...we were kind of in a rut for what direction we wanted to take. So, we were spreading our feelers out and seeing what sticks to the wall and that was one of the experiments that we tried out to see if it worked and it apparently kind of didn't.

Paul Autry: That song got a lot of positive press though.

Elizabeth Hale: Oh, absolutely. They (the press) were very supportive towards that. But, we decided that the band thing as opposed to the single named artist was the way we really wanted to go.

Paul Autry: After that, you put out the four song demo...what was that release all about?

Elizabeth Hale: That was basically just something to get it out there because so many people wanted to hear something from us and we didn't have anything to sell at our shows or to hand out as examples of what we do. So, we went into the studio and just nailed some stuff down so we would have something to say that was ours.

Paul Autry: Then came "Breaking The Silence."

Elizabeth Hale: Yeah. That's the lastest one. It's still fairly new...it doesn't have Nate on it yet. So, we're hoping to get back into the studio so we can get Nate on the CD because we all feel kind of bad because he wasn't on it.

Paul Autry: Okay, that was something I wasn't sure of. I thought Nate played on "The Children."

Elizabeth Hale: No...that was me (laughs).

Paul Autry: You actually play guitar on that one?

Elizabeth Hale: Yeah.

Nate Myotte: Liz does everything on that CD pretty much.

Paul Autry: Now, if I'm not mistaken, aren't there a few differences between the songs on the four song demo to "Breaking The Silence?"

Elizabeth Hale: Yeah. We just keep progressing musically and stage wise. With each album that we put out, the musical style has progressed and we're slowly becoming harder. We're really figuring out our style and who we are and what we want to do. So, this is basically the latest example of what we're going into and how far we've progressed since the "Time Man" CD.

Paul Autry: What about some of the songs...I believe some of the songs have changed from disc to disc. For example, the one that I picked out was "Shadows Of My Heart," the audience noise was missing from the new version.

Elizabeth Hale: Yeah. That was a little live version that we were trying out. We eventually decided to go with just doing it the normal way. As far as songs go, songs progress just as much as everything else does in a band. Since the four song demo to "Breaking The Silence," "Shadows Of My Heart" progressed into what it is now. So, we wanted to put in on the CD this way instead of the old way.

Paul Autry: Did any of the other songs change from release to release?

Elizabeth Hale: Most of them stayed the same. "I Forgive You," I added a few parts to that. It's one of those things where you made the CD and then you go home and listen to it for a few months and you wanna change everything about it.

Nate Myotte: A lot of the stuff has changed ever since I came into it and added some of my own stuff here and there. So, some of the songs are changed around a little bit...nothing too drastic.

Paul Autry: It has always been know that Liz is the main songwriter of the band. Do you write anything or have any, how should I say it...input?

Nate Myotte: Yeah. Really, it's kind of even with everyone as far as input goes. We're starting to write some more originals, getting me more involved. In the previous band I was in, that was all I did. I was pretty much the songwriter and I pretty much had to tell everyone else what to do and I hated it. I really like it now because everyone has equal input and everything. It just works out so much better.

Paul Autry: Any song titles that people might not know about yet...any suprises?

Elizabeth Hale: Well, like we were saying, we're moving into a harder genre. The first song that Nate and I are kind of collaborating on is called "The Eye," which talks about the in between stages of a relationship, trying to figure out where you're going to go with that person, feeling stuff out. It's basically stuff that everybody goes through. It's been awesome working with Nate because he's someone I can see eye to eye with. It's so refreshing. With our previous guitar player, it was harder to collaborate with him because our styles and where we saw the band going was slightly different. With Nate and I both having the same kind of goals and the same views on the songs and where the band is going...it's very refreshing for me.

Paul Autry: Like I said before, I haven't seen the band live since last December. But, I know you've had some bigger shows since then. So, what would you say have been some of the bands biggest accomplishments since the last time I saw you up until this point?

Elizabeth Hale: Oh, man...well, we're slowly progressing out of the Harrisburg scene. Probably the biggest accomplishment since you've seen us would probably be that we're finally moving into Philadelphia. We're playing the Pontiac Grill. We just played our first gig at Rockers about a month ago. The scene out there is just so incredible, everyone is so supportive to all styles of music and it's a scene that we have wanted to move into for a long time.

Paul Autry: You just played Six Flags too, right?

Elizabeth Hale: Yeah, we just played there for the first time...that was just incredible. We played with a Canadian band called In-Tense. That was cool to be playing with people who are around our own age. Three of them are seventeen and one of them is fifteen. So, that was cool.

Paul Autry: Was that audience bigger than the soccer game you played at?

Elizabeth Hale: Not actually. It probably was bigger as far as the numbers, but, they weren't all at once. It was kind of spread out...people kind of walking by. But, when we played the Farm Show Complex, that was 6,280 all at once and that was incredible!

Paul Autry: What kind of response did you get from that show?

Elizabeth Hale: It was just too awesome. It was a family event, so, there were a lot of kids there. The kids missed the whole second half of the game because we were like, twenty deep in autographs for that...a tremendous response. So many CD's were sold, I think we sold out of our CD at that show...we had to order more. It was very, very cool.

Paul Autry: I noticed on your web page that Arejay was taking up plumbing.

Elizabeth Hale: What?

Paul Autry: You don't know what I'm talking about, do you?

Elizabeth Hale: No idea.

Paul Autry: The picture on your web page with Arejay and the plunger.

Elizabeth Hale: Oh, that picture. That was Shel Hoachlander's doing. (laughs) We were in the dressing room and it was not a very clean bathroom and Arejay, being the goofball he is, got out the plunger and Shel started snapping shots.

Paul Autry: Speaking of Arejay, I guess the rotating drum kit is no longer in use, is it?

Elizabeth Hale: Yeah, we kind of retired that. Arejay got a little bigger. He couldn't sit in it anymore, he got his head knocked off the floor a few times. So, it's on the backburner for now. It may come out again...we'd have to tweek it a bit though.

Paul Autry: How has your stage show evolved over the past few months?

Elizabeth Hale: You know what, that's hard to tell because it constantly evolves, especially with Nate joining the band. He's very dynamic on stage as well. We're constantly re-inventing the show and trying to figure out new ways to shock people and to bring them in. Now, we're working more on the musical side of it as far as getting more originals out there. We've got a few new covers that we do, we're doing "Perry Mason" by Ozzy Osbourne, I'm sure you'll appreciate that one, Paul.

Paul Autry: Yeah, that'll be interesting.

Elizabeth Hale: But, our main focus is on the originals.

Paul Autry: Does Nate sing yet?

Nate Myotte: (laughs)

Elizabeth Hale: He kind of shouts.

Nate Myotte: Yeah, I do shouts here and there.

Elizabeth Hale: He sings with gusto!

Nate Myotte: Yeah.

Elizabeth Hale: We're working that in because, from being a singer and working with him, he does have very good pitch. There's a lot of potential there. We're excited about that. He basically sings back up for right now. He sings on a couple of our covers, "Open Your Eyes" by Guano Apes and "I Love Rock 'N' Roll" by Joan Jett. He also sings on "You Can Try," which is our original there.

Paul Autry: Any chance for a duet?

Elizabeth Hale: There you go.

Nate Myotte: If I can actually sing within the next ten years, maybe. (laughs)

Paul Autry: I hear the new management team is your mom, Beth, Shel and Nate's mother. How has that been working out for you?

Elizabeth Hale: It's been cool because it's very internal. These people are all working for us because they love us and they believe in us. So, it's very personal and I'm obviously filled in on everything.

Paul Autry: And Shel has been with you for awhile, so, she obviously knows the band and how you operate.

Elizabeth Hale: She comes up with the best connections and she's really been supportive of us since the very begining...all of them have. It works out so much better for us this way.

Paul Autry: Nate, are your parents supportive of what you're doing?

Nate Myotte: Oh, every way. My mom is just total...any direction or whatever way I chose to go, she'll support me one hundred percent. She doesn't try to steer me. Like, when I was sitting down, thinking about joining the band, I had a lot of crap going through my head and she didn't give her word in it one way or another. She more or less just supported me no matter what way I decided to go and she'll continue to do that in the future. She's awesome.

Paul Autry: How was your audition for the band?

Nate Myotte: it wasn't really an audition for me. It was kinda like just coming out and jamming. At the time, I was still with my other band. So, I really didn't have the intent of joining, for the most part. So, I came in and we found some songs that we both new, like "Sweet Child O' Mine" and "Heartbreaker" and, after that, I went out and did my first show with them, doing those two songs and it was too awesome not to stick with it and keep going with it. It was a whole different experience for me.

Paul Autry: When it comes to Halestorm, I'm one for detail. So, when was your first show with them?

Nate Myotte: It was at The Rusty Nail in March.

Elizabeth Hale: March 30th.

Paul Autry: And you just played those two songs?

Nate Myotte: Yeah.

Elizabeth Hale: Yeah, just those two. But, the chemistry was tremendous. For me, I felt like he was in the band already.

Nate Myotte: The crowd response was just amazing.

Paul Autry: When was the first full length show with the band?

Elizabeth Hale: It was at Dauphin County Vo-Tech. It was the kick off for our "Rock Against Violence" tour. That was May 11th.

Paul Autry: Can you elaborate a bit on the "Rock Against Violence" tour, what is was all about?

Elizabeth Hale: With us being so young, we felt that we needed to do that. Just to get out there and let the kids know that there's other ways to express yourself other than violence. There's other ways to solve your problems. Being so young, we felt we kind of had a responsibility to do that, we had the means to since we're in a band and we figured they'd respond a little better to us instead of some guy lecturing to them in front of a podium. That was very cool, we got a tremendous response from that.

Paul Autry: And all those shows were all in high schools, correct?

Elizabeth Hale: Yes.

Paul Autry: Any chance we'll see something like that again?

Elizabeth Hale: Yeah, we're actually starting that back up in September or October.

Paul Autry: Since you're out there speaking out against violence, have you gotten any response from people in authority, like police officers or teachers?

Elizabeth Hale: Not so much police officers, but, the teachers have all been very supportive. They were actually kind of shocked with us being a rock band, it doesn't really go with the territory to do something against violence. But, like I said, with us being so young, we felt that it was our responsibility. We got a lot of respect from the teachers from that and all the kids as well. They all wanted to help out any way they could.

Paul Autry: Now, what about the bass player situation? Everyone who knows the band knows Roger, who happens to be your dad, as the bass player. I hear that he's stepping down.

Elizabeth Hale: He's still playing with us. The decision was, he's very well versed in stage production and sound production. So, he feels that he can be more help offstage than he could be on. Since we're going for a younger image now, he's kind of the odd one out. It's not so much the family, father, son, daughter thing anymore. So, we're moving out of that and he's supportive of it.

Paul Autry: That's good. Well, in pretty much everything I've ever written about the band, I said that Roger brought a great deal of personality to the band. So, not only do you have to find someone who can play, but, they also have to have a good personality as well because, when Roger does leave, there's going to be a great void in...how should I say it...the Halestorm that I used to know.

Elizabeth Hale: Oh, absolutely. It does change a lot. Our main concern is finding someone who clicks with us but most especially clicks with Arejay. Because he has a very unique style with his drumming. I think that'll be the hardest part with finding a bass player. But, you know us, Paul, this band does not stop!

Paul Autry: No, it doesn't. Has life on the road any easier for you now?

Elizabeth Hale: Oh yeah, it's nothing now (laughs). We've become experts on sleeping in the car.

Nate Myotte: Car rides put me to sleep, which is cool because I can get up and be nice and rested up for the shows. It's always what I've always wanted to do. So, I love it.

Elizabeth Hale: We feel like rock stars...we're hoping to get a tour bus soon so we can have actual beds.

Paul Autry: Final comments?

Elizabeth Hale: Come out and see our show you will not be disappointed. We love feedback...so come out and see a show and tell us what you think. That's why we're doing it, for the people who come to the shows. We're doing it because we love it and we wanna share it.

Nate Myotte: I don't really have anything to say. I have no idea what to say. Just come out, see a show and make your own decision.

Paul Autry: And I'm sure you'll let your guitar do the talking.

Nate Myotte: Yeah...it's the best way I know how.

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