By Brian Caples
Halestorm’s rise to stardom should come as no surprise to longtime fans. Lzzy Hale and company have proven themselves to be some of the hardest working members of the rock community since their 2009 self-titled debut album, with an intense touring regiment that has rightfully earned them spots on some of the world’s largest stages. Whether they’re playing a weekend-long festival or a stadium show, Halestorm consistently brings their ferocity to hundreds of thousands of fans across the globe.
Detroit Haller has been a member of the Halestorm team for the past 11 years, working her way up to the position of assistant tour manager. Her tireless work has played a pivotal role in the band’s success by helping organize their infamously complex touring routes. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing Halestorm’s breathtaking live show, you have Detroit to thank.
We spoke with Detroit about her musical origins, what goes into organizing a Halestorm tour, and her advice for women in the music industry.
WiMN: How prominent was music in your life growing up? Who were the artists that made you want to pursue a career in music?
DH: Music was always flowing throughout our household, everything from Motown, The Bangles, Aerosmith, Garth Brooks, and Judas Priest. My parents thought it was important to be exposed and appreciate all different genres of music. Growing up my dad had an office that was called the music room. The room housed hundreds of cds. I loved going through and picking random ones to play. This is literally how I discovered which artists and albums were my favorite. In our living room my dad had a massive stereo system. There was a sub woofer, two 6ft speakers and an 8 disc changer. I couldn’t wait to get home or for my parents to go out so I could turn it up loud!
There wasn’t a particular artist that made me want to work in the music industry. Honestly, I got into the music industry by chance. At 17 I applied to be an aisle usher at the Palace of Auburn Hills and DTE Music Theatre, mostly so I could listen to music at work. Turns out they weren’t hiring but the backstage hospitality department offered me a job. Backstage hospitality dealt with catering for the artists and crew, setting up dressing rooms, and distributing bus stock. This was my first intro into the touring industry and I was hooked.
WiMN: How did you first get introduced to Halestorm?
DH: I met the band at The Machine Shop in Flint Michigan. We bonded over tall boys of PBR and over time became great friends. In 2009 They took a chance and gave me my first touring position as their merchandise representative, now 11 years later I am their assistant tour manager.
WiMN: Halestorm is known for their intense touring schedule, playing across North America, Australia, and Europe in 2019 alone. Could you briefly describe what goes into planning a tour of that caliber?
DH: Teamwork and effective communication. There are many moving parts that make a tour come together and operate smoothly. Being a team player and being able to convey the needs of the tour are crucial. I have a great team in my Halestorm crew.
WiMN: You recently got certified as a health coach by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Are there any similarities between organizing a band’s tour and helping someone plan out a healthy lifestyle?
DH: I think the biggest similarity is recognizing that one size does not fit all. Each situation/person is unique and requires you to be objective yet flexible.
WiMN: Lzzy Hale took home the Inspire Award at the 2020 She Rocks Awards for her continuous work as a positive role model for women in music. Have you experienced any firsthand encounters with Lzzy giving back to her fans?
DH: I have been with Lzzy for 11 years and have witnessed so many amazing moments. The most recent was during our tour in Australia. After the shows there would be 30 or more fans waiting outside of the venue. She would go down the line spending time each person making every fan feel special, whether it was sharing a story, a hug or just listening. The amazing thing was realizing that Lzzy needs that connection as much as the fans do.
WiMN: How do you feel about opportunities for women in the music industry in recent years?
DH: I am happy that the door has been kicked open for women in the industry. I think the massive support system we give each other is apart of that. We empower, inspire and encourage. I have a wonderful support system between Lzzy, Judy Won (Halestorm Tour Photographer), Amanda Monger (Blake Shelton Tour Coordinator), and of course all of the Halestorm men (Band and Crew).
WiMN: What’s your advice for women who are either looking to begin a career or further their existing career in the music industry?
DH: My advice is to support each other. We are stronger together. Whether you are new to the industry or have been doing this for 20+ years, we can always learn from one another and teach others through our own experiences. I believe we need to continue laying the ground work for a community that will empower, inspire and applaud strengths. Women supporting women.
WiMN: Finally, what’s in store for the rest of 2020?
DH: My 2020 is starting off with a bang. In March, I am marrying my partner of 5 years, Calvin Roffey, who is also in the industry as a guitar/backline technician. Halestorm is going into the studio to make another album. Most of my 2020 will be spent touring with Rammstein as their production assistant. I am very excited to be apart of this production. I look forward to meeting new people, soaking up new experiences and becoming the best at what I do.