Joe Hottinger – Halestorm – 07/11/2009

By Thomas S. Orwat Jr.

Halestorm is an overnight sensation 10 years in the making. With the release of their debut self titled CD on Atlantic Records, Halestorm has won over music fans and critics all of the world. Their first single “Get Off” is a hard hitting rocker that’s dominating airplay charts on particularly every modern rock station in America. If you have XM/Sirius, you can hear Halestorm on the Octane Station. Halestorm is currently on the “Stimulate This Tour” that features Staind, Shinedown and Chevelle. This is a tour not to be missed.

We caught up wth Halestorm guitarist Joe Hottinger to discuss the band’s recent success and much more. Here’s what Joe had to say.


GlamMetal: Hey Joe, How are you doing?

JH: Good man. How are you?

GM: Not bad. First of all, congratulations on the success of your first single off the CD, “I Get Off”. Are you surprised at the success of that song?

JH: Of course, it’s mind blowing. We’re just this lil’ ol’ band from Pennsylvania and all of a sudden we have a top hit single on the radio. People actually come to the shows; who would’ve thunk it. (laughs)

GM: It’s kind of unique how the band is breaking out. You released a CD and shortly after you went out on this co-headlining tour as opposed to supporting somebody else. Who’s decision was it to do that?

JH: We work close with our whole team; we have great management, a great label, a great agent. This opportunity came up; we were like “Let’s do it!” We’ve been opening up for a lot of bands for years; it was really cool for me being in the band just to see people coming to the shows wearing Halestorm shirts and singing every song. A lot of the times, coming for us instead of whatever bigger headlining band that is there. It’s cool. It has been cool.

GM: A couple of weeks back you played Rock on the Range Festival and everybody was talking about how you blew everyone away. Can you elaborate on that experience? Did you feel like that was kind of like your arrival at that particular show?

JH: I felt something, I don’t know if it was arrival. It was really cool, personally one of my favorite shows we’ve ever played. It wasn’t just the show; it was everything about the festival. It was incredible just to look out at that many people. It was such a different crowd from other shows we go to. It was a really neat feeling.

GM: The way you broke out was a bit unusual. You released a live EP a few years back then you kind of disappeared then resurfaced with this new CD, why did you go that route?

JH: We didn’t have much of a demo to go on. We would basically have the labels come out and see us live or anyone who was looking to get involved with us on our team; a lot of the times we played in NYC once a month. Six or seven months we did that, new people would come out every time. We got signed for our live show really. I think it was our A & R guy with this idea “Why don’t we put out a live EP.” We’ll just record all the shows and that’s exactly what we did.

GM: Let’s talk about your new CD, how long did it take to write and record?

JH: We’ve been writing CD since the band started, so over ten years to write this record but we really focused and narrowed in on it. We were meeting with people and writing with people and it just snowballed into us writing and recording the album. It took a year and ½ to make sure everything was right. It took a while and it was really well worth the wait.

GM: Give me the history of the song “I Get Off”. Give me the details. How did that come to be?

JH: Lzzy actually co-wrote it with some people. We dropped her off and she brought back this cool demo and we worked it from there. We just played a show the night before, we were in L.A. at the Viper Room with a bunch of people, talking about how we love it when we’re playing and people are loving what we’re doing. Lzzy took that and wrote a song about it. It’s really about a live show and the interaction with the crowd. About give and take between the crowd and the band; the energy that goes between, a few innuendo later…

GM: Now you are doing something really different in the marketing of the CD. You’re offering downloads at the dirt-cheap price of $4.99 for the entire CD. Have you seen any of the results of this?

JH: I’m really not sure what the numbers are like. As soon we hit the road touring back in February 2 months before the record was out, we were selling it with a bonus track for five bucks at the shows. It didn’t have all the artwork but the idea is really to get the music in the people’s head, in their ears any way possible. So far it’s really paid off based on this tour.

GM: Was there ever a bidding war for the band or was it pretty much Atlantic got involved right away and expressed interest, what was the process?

JH: We showcased for quite a few labels along with Atlantic. We met the people at Atlantic, it was kind of like “Wow, we really rather be with these guys”. The whole team, they’re incredible people, they’re really smart, driven and motivated. It was a no-brainer for us. We decided that we want to go with Atlantic. There were other offers but it wasn’t about the money, it’s never been that. It was more like “how do we get out music out there?”

GM: So far, the band’s been on fire, everything you’ve done is right on, the big hit song, a new tour starting this summer with Shinedown, Staind and Chevelle. That tour is going to be amazing and the ticket prices are going to be affordable. You must be super excited to go out on that tour?

JH: Just to be able to play all these big amphitheaters, big arenas, the amount of press, it’s a golden opportunity. Dreams are coming true, all the things we thought about for over ten years like “Aw man, wouldn’t it be cool to hear out song on the radio?” It’s just one after the other. It’s mind blowing.

GM: Once again, congratulations. The CD is amazing; you are a great live band. You have so much going for you. Best of luck! It’s good to hear a good hard working, honest band out there. It’s obvious your heart’s in the right place. You guys are all about the music and giving the fans what they need.

JH: I appreciate that Thomas.

GM: Take it easy.

JH: Talk to you later.


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