Halestorm's talented bass player Josh Smith took some time out of his busy schedule to have a chat to Room Thirteen about all things Halestorm.

R13: How's the tour going so far?
JS: Really great, its been amazing. We've been in the UK for about a week and a half, tonight is our last show here. We've been having so much fun. We head over to Europe from here, which will be fun.
R13: Do you have a show tomorrow or do you get a bit of a break?
JS: We don't have a show tomorrow or Friday, but I'm flying home for my brother's wedding tomorrow so I'm all over the place right now! I'm still running on US time, I stay up until 4 or 5am, which leads to trouble, and then I sleep in until 1pm.
R13: That's tour life, that's what you're supposed to do!
JS: Yeah! It's awesome!

R13: You released your second covers EP 'Reanimate 2.0' a few months ago. How have fans responded to that record?
JS: Its been really great; that covers EP is something we had been doing purely out of fun and so we had something to get out to fans in the middle of our touring cycle just to give them something new. The fans have responded to it really well, in the UK a lot of people have taken to Get Lucky. We never thought we would cover that song; it was chosen by the fans. On our first covers EP the fans picked Lady Gaga for us to cover. We never thought we would cover these songs and we definitely feel like a cover band when we play them but the people really like them. I think we did an ok rendition of it!

R13: Was fan feedback how you chose all the songs that feature on the EP?
JS: There are many ways we pick songs, we start a couple of months out by starting an email thread to the label, management, family and friends. All of us were writing down ideas, we then put together a poll for the fans and ask them to choose one. On the first record Lady Gaga was way ahead of the second choice, it wasn't even close!

R13: How did you get involved in the Ronnie James Dio tribute album?
JS: Our day to day manager's father was in the music industry, he worked very closely with Ronnie James Dio. Growing up Vincent called Dio 'Uncle Ronnie', he was a close family friend.
While we were discussing which songs to put on the covers EP, Vincent suggested Straight Through The Heart, we love the song and thought it was a great idea. We were stoked to play it and started playing it live 18 months ago. Wendy Dio heard our rendition of it somewhere and got in touch and said she was hosting a Stand Up And Shout cancer charity event in honour of Ronnie James Dio and that she was putting out a tribute album and wanted to put our cut of Straight Through The Heart on there. So, we held it off of the Reanimate EP and are solely having it on the Dio tribute album.

R13: For those who haven't heard it, have you stuck to the original or have you put your own spin on 'Straight Through The Heart'?
JS: It is pretty close to the original, there are some definite musical changes but as far as the structure and lyrics go, it is all there.
R13: Don't mess with a good song!
JS: Totally!

R13: You seem to have had a huge growth in the UK over a short period, how does it feel to come out and do a headline tour?
JS: It is the coolest! It's so cool, the UK has taken to us more so than anywhere. It has taken us less than half the time it took us in the States to garner the same kind of club status here. We'll be playing relatively smaller clubs in Western Europe next week. The UK has really taken a liking to us, it is amazing and our fans seem extremely loyal. So many fans have travelled from show to show, some people have been at almost every show on the UK tour and it is the best feeling ever; it really is awesome.

R13: You've always had a close relationship with your fans, has that become difficult to manage as the band's popularity has increased?
JS: I don't think it has been hard at all, it just seems like our fans are honestly just good people. When we were an opening band we would go out to merch during set changes and sign things, which was awesome and a lot of fun. Unfortunately, we had to put a stop to that as when we were in Manchester, the fans were bumping the right barricade closer to merch and it was becoming a bit of a dangerous situation. The security guards were holding the barricades back and were like "You have to leave right now!".
It was cool, but we now have a pre-show meet and greet with people. Usually when we come off the bus there will be people hanging out and we same hello, same as if we go back to the bus. We'll also say hi to them after the show. We're not able to do that one thing but it has worked out in other ways.

R13: What are the pros and cons to doing a headline tour?
JS: I don't think there are any cons, headlining is the best, it is so awesome!
They are your fans; people have come to see you. They sing along to every song, they know all the album tracks not just the singles. It is so much fun, we get on stage and play, we don't have to rush our set. I really don't see any cons with a headlining show and that is a great thing!

R13: I've noticed that you're not doing US festival dates this summer, does that mean you're heading back to the studio?
JS: That is exactly what it means. We are playing festivals in the US but they are yet to be announced, but for this year we will be weekend warriors. We'll fly to show and fly back but the main focus this year is finishing an album. We are getting really close to nailing down a date and a producer. With any luck you guys will have some new material by fall or winter.

R13: Have you started the writing process, if so, what can we expect to hear on the new album?
JS: We have. Our last tour ended in mid-December last year. We took the holidays off and then got together early this year and have been writing until we flew over here. We've spent time in Nashville, Lzzy and Joe went to New York for a week, we were out in LA. Its been good, we have some really good stuff.
The songs are in a similar vein but we are finding ourselves and finding who we are, we try and bottle whatever we put out at a live show and try and capture that on a CD. We are getting there and I think this album will be the best representation of us yet.

R13: Do you feel extra pressure with the upcoming album due to the hit singles and Grammy win?
JS: There is definitely some pressure, but we raised the bar on the last album, which was much needed but we want to do that again this time. We like pressure and I think we work well under pressure.

R13: Lzzy has launched a clothing/accessories line, is there another avenue that you'd like to pursue alongside your music?
JS: I exercise a lot and do something called CrossFit, I think it would be fun to start carrying around some equipment and have a fans come over and do a work out before a show.
R13: I'm sure you could work out a way to add that on to the meet and greet package!
JS: That would be a lot of fun! It is something I love to do on the road and the CrossFit community is a great community, anywhere I go I will contact the local gym and then they'll come out to the show. There are a few CrossFit gyms I've been to around London, I love this city it is a lot of fun!

R13: We've touched on this briefly but, what does the rest of 2014 have in store for Halestorm?
JS: This may be the last time to see us this year, if it is, I'm sure we'll be back early next year. Keep your eyes and ears peeled as we will have new stuff coming your way very soon. We will be very keen on the social media while we're off tour... hey, there's nothing else to do while we're writing and in the studio, so we'll be living on our iPhones.

R13: Any final words for our readers?
JS: Just thank you, as always, thank you fans for all of your support. We really do have the best fans ever.