Back when Lzzy and Arejay Hale were barely teenagers, they took their parents aside because they wanted to have “the talk.”

Their bodies were changing, but it wasn't the birds and the bees. It was the rock and the roll.

Lzzy's voice was cracking and her fingers were strong enough to stretch across her guitar's frets. Arejay's coordination behind the drum kit was developing.

The siblings wanted to be home-schooled so they could pursue their passion. Something needed to be said to the 'rents, Beth and Roger.

“We caught the bug and that was it,” said Lzzy, 21. “We were serious about it from the beginning.”

Then Philadelphia residents, their parents granted their wish so Lzzy and Arejay could play out wherever and whenever they could. At the ages of of 15 and 13, respectively, Lzzy and Arejay played their first bar gig, a fundraising concert at the Rusty Nail (now called the Underdog Club) in Harrisburg.

Halestorm made as many contacts as possible club owners, bands in the region and a growing fan base. Two years ago, the band relocated to Red Lion. Last year, the lineup was rounded out by Joe Hottinger on guitar and Josh Smith on bass.

At the time, when two music-loving adolescents asked their parents for an unconventional upbringing, looking ahead didn't present a paved road.


How were Beth and Roger to know Halestorm would be the first opening act to ever get called back for an encore at Milwaukee's Summerfest? How were they to know the band would eventually be playing 150 to 200 gigs a year along the East Coast?

How were their parents to know the band's producer would bring some A&R and talent scouts from Atlantic Records to a New York City showcase a couple months ago? How were they to know Halestorm would be signed by Atlantic in July?

Looking back, the plan worked.

Looking ahead

The members of Halestorm are ecstatic, yet cautious, with their shot at fame. It doesn't take a genius to know that record labels are most concerned about how much a band can make for them.

Even Halestorm's record contract is cloudy. Officially, it is a six-album contract, meaning the band will record six albums for Atlantic.

But technically, the deal can end after one album. If it flops, Atlantic can walk out of the contract. If it is a hit, Halestorm can negotiate a better deal since the band's price tag will go up.

“It's so rare for anyone to get signed and be successful,” Lzzy said. “But it's actually comforting right now. We aren't freaking out because it means this is the right time for this to happen.”

There's talk of recording an album in the spring. And hopes of a European tour run amok in their heads.

But Halestorm can bank on three certainties in the next couple months. One, the band is going to expand its touring radius to the Midwest and test the waters there. Two, the band is recording a live EP and shooting a video on Aug. 13 at Grape Street in Philadelphia.

And three, the media is probably going to exploit the anomaly of a rock band with a female vocalist. And that can be good and bad.

Heck, you can even argue that Halestorm is asking for it with Lzzy being in the front of all their promo photos. The band can laugh it off because that was never their ploy to become famous. And Lzzy isn't going anywhere without the rest of her band.

“It's a given. Obviously, Lzzy is going to get more attention,” said Arejay, 18. “We like to think of it as a rock band with a female singer than a female-fronted rock band.”

However, Halestorm's shot at major-label stardom comes at a cost to some loyal fans in York County. The band had to cancel a show at the Westgate Restaurant and Lounge in West Manchester Township for the Grape Street gig.

And for that, the band apologized because without fans, Halestorm is nothing, they said. With Halestorm's apology came an olive branch a rowdy Bike Night gig Sept. 24 at the Waterway Bar & Grill in York.

“It's not like you write a song, play it out once and get signed,” Lzzy said. “You have to give credit to the fans and the club owners that took a chance to let two kids play in their bar.”

Reach Mike Caggeso at 771-2051 or