HALESTORM's JOSH SMITH On Post-Pandemic Touring: 'Everything Costs More' Now

December 29, 2022

In a new interview with Primordial Radio, HALESTORM bassist Josh Smith and drummer Arejay Hale spoke about the realities of post-pandemic touring, including increased travel expenses — gas, tour buses, hotels and flight costs. Josh said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We're navigating the troubled waters, but logistically, it is a lot. It's different. Everything costs more. It seems like everybody's out, which is awesome, but at the same time, it makes for some tricky routing. You look at some of our routing maps, and it looks like someone was just throwing darts. And it was the same in the States. And also our summer tour, I feel like we haven't had a six- or seven-week tour since… We haven't toured like that since we were in our 20s… It feels like we've started over in a way, and we're working hard for it. It's incredibly humbling. We just feel so fortunate to be back out after such a hiatus."

Asked if they are concerned about the future of touring, Josh said: "I think things will adjust. I hope we can keep doing it, because this is what we love to do. For us, the live show is such an important part, so to have had a taste of it over the pandemic — like, 'You can't tour' — was difficult. So I'll remain optimistic that now we'll figure this out and we'll be able to continue doing it. We need it, and I think the fans need it too. So we'll figure it out."

Added Arejay: "We're fortunate enough to be at a position where we can afford to take a year and a half off and get back into it and kind of pick up where we left off. But I feel bad for a lot of newer bands that just released debut records right before COVID and can't support 'em. It was tragic for a lot of the younger bands out there."

On December 9, HALESTORM released a deluxe edition of its album "Back From The Dead". "Back From The Dead: Deluxe Edition" includes seven previously unreleased B-sides, including "Mine", a 1980s-inspired rocker. "Back From The Dead: Deluxe Edition" is available digitally, on CD, and cassette tape, marking the first time that the album has been offered in those physical formats.

"Back From The Dead" was released in May via Atlantic. The follow-up to 2018's "Vicious" was produced by Nick Raskulinecz (FOO FIGHTERS, MASTODON, ALICE IN CHAINS) with co-production by Scott Stevens (SHINEDOWN, DAUGHTRY, NEW YEARS DAY).

Arejay and his sister Lzzy (vocals, guitar) formed HALESTORM in 1998 while in middle school. Guitarist Joe Hottinger joined the group in 2003, followed by Smith in 2004.

In December 2018, HALESTORM was nominated for a "Best Rock Performance" Grammy Award for its song "Uncomfortable". Six years earlier, the band won its first Grammy in the category of "Best Hard Rock/ Metal Performance" for "Love Bites (So Do I)".

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