I had the opportunity to chat with Halestorm drummer, Arejay Hale ahead of the 103 GBF Damn Loud Rock Show coming to Evansville, Indiana's Ford Center on Tuesday, May 24, 2022. The last time Arejay and I talked was pre-pandemic in 2018 when Halestorm was on tour with In This Moment. 2022 has them touring in support of their new album "Back From the Dead," which debuts on Friday, May 6, 2022 with a live viewing party with the band [Keep scrolling for more details on the album launch party!]

The Obvious Question: How Has the Pandemic Changed Touring

Since then, things have obviously changed considerably. Arejay explains in our interview [below] that due to safety concerns surrounding Covid-19, Halestorm is having to take extra precautions to keep everyone safe and healthy.

Things are slowly kind of starting to get back to normal. It's not fully, completely back to the way it was. Obviously, touring is a lot different now. I'm really sad that we can't do meet and greets right now.

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Limiting Exposure to People Outside the Tour

Limiting possible exposure is key for the band to maintain their health for the tour. It even goes further than just meet & greets though. Arejay says the band isn't even visiting any bars or restaurants while on tour in hopes of mitigating any exposure to illness.

We can't go out to bars. We can't go out to restaurants. We're basically either going to be in the dressing room, the bus, or a hotel room. That's kind of our existence now...

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There Is a Silver Lining

And while that may sound like it isn't a very fun way to tour, Arejay has found the silver lining.

It's kind of nice having a little extra time on tour to focus on work and spent my days doing other work besides the shows... I feel much more productive on tour.

 

Speaking of Productivity

Arejay has been using his time to be productive on a number of non-music-related projects, including his YouTube alter-ego. If you didn't know already Arejay has a passion for perfumery and is incredibly knowledgeable about scents and fragrances.

It's a fun little, creative, side thing for me to do... I've always been a huge fan of the art of perfumery. I think it's just really fascinating... It's like olfactory music... how it's blended, I just find it so interesting.

 

Quite the Collection of Fragrances

After acquiring quite a large collection of fragrances over the years, Arejay took to YouTube to give fans a look at a different side of himself outside of his music career. Admittedly, I am now officially a "Nostril," the name the drummer has given to subscribers of his YouTube channel, Dr. Magnifiscent. Get it? Magnifi-SCENT?! What fragrance notes would be included if there were a cologne created to smell like Arejay Hale? Check out the full interview below to find out!

 

Let's Stop, Drop and Talk About This Podcast

Perfecting his penchant for perfumery is not the only pandemic project that Arejay has been working on. He has joined forces to do comedy writing and video editing for a podcast called Stop, Drop and Talk Podcast that he co-hosts. On the podcast's social media, they shared their support for Mental Health Awareness Month taking place in May, and Arejay and I took the opportunity to discuss ending the stigma surrounding mental health.

We all have our own mental setbacks. I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression... Going to therapy - seriously, that was such a huge help for me.

 

Therapy Offered a Toolbox to Cope

Arejay shared how therapy has made such a difference in his own life, giving him tools to live and thrive while managing his own mental health.

It was a great way for me to talk to someone that could explain what's going on in my brain, how this works, why I feel this way, what's going on with this and that...

...It gave me the tools to apply things to my life that can help me stay balanced.

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You Are Not Alone

I shared with Arejay why I personally think it is so important for us, myself locally and him on a global scale to talk about our personal struggles with mental illness in hopes of ending the stigma and reminding people that they are not alone. [You can read my story of overcoming mental illness and addiction here] Arejay really nailed it when he said everyone is going through it.

If you're depressed, if you have anxiety, if you have these feelings, if all these things are affecting you and making you feel a certain way, or if your chemicals are imbalanced in a certain way, or whatever... Guess what? You're normal! That is totally normal because everyone goes through it!!

 

More on Music

We discussed what we have been listening to musically, including how Arejay recently took a deep dive into some of his old playlists to rediscover artists he had forgotten about but still loves and he shared about his girlfriend's love of emo and pop-punk.

Check out the full interview here:

 

 

 

Halestorm Live at Ford Center for a 103 GBF Damn Loud Rock Show

103 GBF is proud to present Halestorm with special guests Stone Temple Pilots and Black Stone Cherry live at Ford Center in downtown Evansville. Tickets for this 103 GBF Damn Loud Rock Show are on sale now through Ticketmaster and Ford Center Box Office. Show starts at 7 pm CST and doors open at 6 pm.

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Back From the Dead Listening Party

Halestorm will be hosting a “Back From the Dead” Album Listening Party this Friday, May 6, 2022 beginning at 11 am central time on Stationhead. The band will share stories and commentary about the new album, "Back From the Dead," giving fans an opportunity to listen with the band on album release day.

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