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Q&A w/ Halestorm

Halestorm just released their new album Vicious so we decided to invite the bands guitarist Joe Hottinger over to enjoy our buffet. Come and enjoy.

Does each member of the band have a nickname? If yes, spill them! If not, please make them up right now!

Hansel, Pedro, Skippy and Dootzel

What is your local scene like?

I’ve lived in Nashville for two years… the scene is amazing. There is music everywhere, all the time.There’s a radio station called Lightning 100. They’re always playing new music and local music that I’ve never heard.

What is your favourite track to perform live?

Well we’ve got a whole new album of songs so I don’t know yet. This answer changes frequently, as we’re always adding jam sections to songs. Right now it would be Amen, because of the outro jam we’ve added. Ask me this question next week and it will be a different answer.

Care to give us a gear rundown?

I have a lot of great basses. My Rickenbacker probably gets the most use. I run my basses through a Fender Super Bassman. The only thing that’s been on my pedal board the past few years is a Boss Tuner and a channel selector foot switch for the amplifier. Every time I added pedals I noticed a reduction in overall sound quality. So... away with all of them! I also have Moog Taurus III Bass Pedals for that extra low end. They also hold it down if I’m moving up the neck. Finally, I’ve got a Nord Stage 88EX for various keyboard and synth pads.  

There’s a full 80s/90s pop culture and music resurgence happening right now, are you into it?

It seems more and more that there’s an overall cultural free-for-all. Anything goes if you can make it work. I remember there being a 60’s/70’s peace, love, bell bottom trend that passed through in the mid 90’s. Think Austin Powers. Oh, and the swing band surge shortly after. But you know what, rock was really cool in the 80’s/90’s era. Playing guitar was really cool in the 80’s/90’s era. So hell yea, I’m in to it.

What is the biggest challenge you have had to overcome as a band/artist so far?

I think believing in myself as a musician and an artist is a constant battle. There are some days that I just don’t feel like I’m running at full power. I feel like I could do more and be better. I’m lucky to be able to share that creative burden with my bandmates, but there’s always the personal struggle.

How was your high school experience? Were you in a band?

My high school experience helped make me the musician I am today. The school’s music program was amazing. We were lucky that our school had such a good music/art scene. I played bass drum in the drum line. Bass guitar in jazz band. I was in the school plays. I was always in a band which was a rotating line of people except for me and the drummer. The drummer and I always played in bands together. We all started playing together in middle school.

Beatles or Rolling Stones and why?

Beatles. First love. I love the Stones but I’ve listened to the Beatles much longer. And as a bass player, Paul has been an influence since I was young.

How would you describe ‘success‘ for your band?

Slow and steady. We’ve worked hard to get where we are and it’s taken a long time. I hope our bands success curve stays on its path. We’re fortunate enough to have made it through all the ups and downs that come with this lifestyle. We’re also fortunate to be and overnight success that burns out quickly. Steady as she goes!

Tell us 3 bands that we should be listening to/be keeping an eye out for? 

Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown. Larkin Poe. Ida Mae. The Dead Deads.

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