Halestorm + Lit Drummers Launch Heavy New Band Kemikalfire
Halestorm drummer Arejay Hale has teamed up with the drummer from Lit to create an "aggressive" new project called Kemikalfire. Hale's partner-in-crime is musician Taylor Carroll, who has been behind the kit for Lit since 2018.
Speaking to the "Thunder Underground" podcast, Arejay says he and Carroll are old friends. "I've known him back when he was playing drums for a band called Pillar. And we met at the Mall of America in Minnesota when he was in his bus and we were in our R.V. And he just came over and knocked on the bus and he was, like, 'Hey, you guys are in a band?' And we were, like, 'Yeah. You guys are in a band too? Cool. Come on in. Have a beer. Let's hang out.' And we just never lost touch."
During the pandemic, they started to write together along with other musicians. "We had to stay busy, so a lot of Zoom writing sessions with other writers. And we just realized, 'Man, we have a really good chemistry writing music together,' and we both kind of pick up where each other lacks, in a sense; we have a great creative partnership. And not only that, but he's also a really talented producer as well — and multi-instrumentalist. So, as a songwriter, I just felt really glad that I could just put on my creative hat and let him do more of the mechanical work with the song ideas that I would present to him."
Taylor Carroll and Arejay Hale of Kemikalfire
Hale explains that the sound of Kemikalfire is "more aggressive" than what he does in Halestorm, but he also thinks Halestorm fans will "get it." "It's different… I'm doing a lot more singing and a lot more crazy drumming. It kind of throws back to our punk roots; there's punk elements in there," says the drummer. "There's moments where it's heavier; there's also moments where it's a little bit more melodic, a little more soaring… but it's also easily digestible. I think the average Halestorm fan could hear it and be, like, 'Oh, okay. I get it. This works.' 'Cause obviously your personal writing style seeps into everything that you're a part of, so you'll probably hear Halestorm elements in there as well, from my end."
As far as when the world will hear what Kemikalfire has been doing, Hale says, "We're still writing, but we are planning on releasing some music soon, because everyone is chomping at the bit. We launched our social media platforms because, obviously, in this day and age, one of the main goals is to just kind of build your online following, but we quickly realized that as soon as we launched the social media platform, sure enough everybody said, 'Where's the music? Where's the music? I wanna hear it'… We were, like, 'Oh, okay.'"
Kemikalfire's Arejay Hale and Taylor Carroll in Studio
Hale says Kemikalfire have a few songs finished, but are in still putting the album together. "We're still writing, but we are planning on releasing some music soon, because everyone is chomping at the bit. We launched our social media platforms because, obviously, in this day and age, one of the main goals is to just kind of build your online following, but we quickly realized that as soon as we launched the social media platform, sure enough everybody said, 'Where's the music? Where's the music? I wanna hear it.' The demand for people to wanna hear music. We were, like, 'Oh, okay.' (laughs)" Hale also notes that, yes, there are two drummers in the band, and they will share some different duties. "He's playing guitar and singing, and I'm playing drums and singing. But we're thinking maybe… We both can play both, so we're, like, 'Maybe we should trade off and do some…' But we also have a couple of songs where he was, like, 'Hey, you wanna play piano?' And I'm (like), 'Sure. Why not?' So we might switch some things up for our live show, which we're excited about. That's the dream. He and I personally are just, like, 'Man, I can't wait until we can play a live show. It's gonna be so much fun.'" Kemikalfire's Instagram is chock full of pics of the duo and some amusing shorts like the one below. Enjoy what's happening there until we get some actual music from the project, with Hale says will "hopefully" happen later on in the year.