There are plenty of women in rock bands nowadays, but just a few short years ago, women in rock stuck out like a sore thumb. We recently spoke with two iconic and badass women — Evanescence’s Amy Lee and Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale — about their experiences as women in the world of heavy music.

A few weeks ago, The Pretty Reckless’ “Only Love Can Save Me Now” became their seventh single to hit No. 1 on the Active Rock Radio chart, making them the first band fronted by a woman to claim the feat.

Shortly after, the song was also joined in the Top 10 by Evanescence’s “Better Without You” off their 2021 album The Bitter Truth, as well as Halestorm’s brand new single “Back From the Dead.” Now, the latter sits at No. 1 on the chart.

Hale wrote a post on her social media discussing the fact that three women were in the Top 10 of the chart simultaneously, adding that she had never seen that before.

“Both Amy and I have been absolutely ecstatic over the past couple of years to really see this genre that we love so much be represented by so many women. I remember just a few short years ago, I was usually the only girl on tour,” Hale said. “So the fact that there’s so many and we’re just taking over rock radio is a beautiful thing, and I feel like it was important to show these young girls like, ‘Hey, we did it, so don’t give up if this is what you want to do and if this is part of your journey — go for it.'”

“It takes a lot to get to where Lzzy and I and The Pretty Reckless have gotten. It takes extra to get there when you look and sound different than the majority of the people around you — I think that’s fair to say,” Lee added.

Both rockers agreed that there were moments in their careers where they felt that they really had to push themselves and go above and beyond to prove that they weren’t just flukes — that they were extremely talented forces to be reckoned with. Hale admitted that she often started shows by singing a cappella to really grab the attention of the audience, and Lee remembered times where she was mistaken for a friend or girlfriend of a band member when backstage rather than the main act.

“[The industry + radio] is worried about risks, and I think that’s funny because most of the bands that they can’t stop playing 30 years later were completely different than anything that came on the radio at the time when they broke big. So I’ve always seen differences and uniqueness as strength, that’s something that’ll let you cut through the noise,” Lee declared.

Evanescence and Halestorm have both taken other bands featuring women out on the road with them before as a means of lifting them up, but who were the bands that were there for them when they were first starting out, and offered them support?

“The first few acts that took us out on our very first tour were actually Seether and Shinedown,” Hale recalled, adding that the bands treated them incredibly kind and gave them their own personal space backstage at the venues they played. “We learned fairly quickly on our next couple of tours that that doesn’t happen for every opening band.”

Halestorm toured with Seether and Shinedown in 2006, a few years prior to the release of their first album. For Evanescence, the experience was a bit different. Their debut album Fallen came out in 2003 and debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200, so by the time the band went out on tour, they were already pretty popular.

“We were playing a lot of these big festivals — big, heavy festivals,” Lee remembered. “I was like 21, and the only girl at these ginormous [festivals]… surrounded by metal, which was so cool, but pretty intimidating.”

“There are a lot of amazing legacy acts that were extremely kind to us and kind to me. Feeling supported by Motorhead — Lemmy was so sweet to me always,” she continued. “And I have to mention Korn. They were just super encouraging, called me into their dressing room to tell me hi and be kind to me and validate me and support me.”

Watch the full interview below.

Halestorm and Evanescence are currently out on the road with Lilith Czar and Plush. See the full list of dates here. You can also checkout a never-before-seen video of Hale and Lee talking about their pre-show warm-ups below the interview.

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