Twenty-three-year-old Lzzy Hale, the delectable driving force behind Halestorm, doesn't have to think about it for long.
"I don't know if I have, actually," she replies when asked if she's ever made it through an interview without being asked The Question.
That's because girls in rock bands must always answer for being girls in rock bands. They must bear the palpitating burden of The Angle — so sexy, so obvious, so front-cover. It's a law. And even though respect is growing for her incredible talent (separate that from her body), Hale isn't above it. But despite her youth, or perhaps because of it, she answers in stride.
"You're a girl, and you're trying to maintain and represent your feminine side, but also making sure you can hang with the boys, so it's a juggling act," Hale says of her role in the band she started with her brother, Drummer Arejay, when they were both in middle school. "I really don't mind [The Question]. Because, both girl and guy interviewers, I think they're genuinely curious ... it's an interesting thing."
Interesting enough to make Revolver Magazine's recurring "Hottest Chicks in Metal" list — Hale is currently featured on the cover of the "Hottest ... of All Time" issue-one of the publication's most popular features.
"The whole sexuality thing — rock ‘n' roll is more or less based off of that," she says.
She speaks of what she knows: Hale has described "I Get Off," the first single off Halestorm's latest self-titled record, as "this crazy metaphor of me getting off on the crowd getting off on me." The first verse: "You watch me every night / And I just can't resist the urge / To stand here in the light / Your greedy eyes upon me / And then I come undone / And I could close the curtains / But this is too much fun."
"If [sex] is what it takes to kind of get your attention, if that's the first thing they see, that's perfectly fine," she says. "There have been guys that have come up to me and the first thing they say is, 'You're hot,' or something like that, and then they second it with 'and you can play guitar and sing, which makes it hotter.' To me, that's a compliment."
Still, despite being comfortable enough with the terms of rock's double standard to earn her band a deal with Atlantic Records, Hale says dishing the dirt with the sisters of metal's sorority is necessary therapy.
"We usually say, 'Yeah, guess what this guy said to me,'" she says. "I think the initial reaction — if I have the privilege of being on the same bill with another woman — is 'Oh my goodness, they do exist.' Most of the time, for either one of us, we're the only other one on the bill because we're so few and far between. We have similar experiences that guys on the road haven't had."
And when it comes to dealing with the legitimate creeps, she's got three built-in bodyguards.
"I'll be talking with somebody and maybe things look a little suspicious and I'll kind of look up from my conversation and see all three of them looking at me," she says of her bandmates. "They treat me like a queen, and they are very protective of me."
Too protective to allow for lesser things in life, like romance. When asked the name of her Les Paul guitar, Hale doesn't have to think about it for long.
"The Boyfriend," she laughs.
Halestorm wsg Adelita's Way, The Intersection, Grand Rapids
March 7, 7 p.m. doors, 7:30 p.m. show
$9.79 advance, $12 day of show. sectionlive.com, (616) 451-8232