Halestorm drummer Arejay Hale has teamed up with Lit drummer to create an “aggressive” new project called Kemikalfire. Hale’s partner in crime is musician Taylor Carroll, who has been behind Lit’s kit since 2018.
Speaking to the ‘Thunder Underground’ podcast, Arejay says he and Carroll are old friends. “I knew him when he played drums for a band called Pillar. And we met at the Mall of America in Minnesota when he was on his bus and we were in our RV. hit me on the bus and he was like, ‘Hey, are you in a band?’ And we were like, ‘Yeah. Are you in a band too? Cool. Come in. Have a beer. Let’s hang out.’ And we never lost touch.”
During the pandemic, they started writing with other musicians. “We had to keep busy, so a lot of Zoom writing sessions with other writers. And we just realized, ‘Man, we have really good chemistry writing music together,’ and we both pick up where the other is lacking, in a sense; we have a great creative partnership. And not only that, but he’s also a very talented producer – and multi-instrumentalist. So as a songwriter, I found myself felt really happy to just be able to put my creative hat on and let him do more mechanical work with the song ideas that I would present to him.”
Taylor Carroll and Arejay Hale of Kemikalfire
Hale explains that Kemikalfire’s sound is “more aggressive” than what he does in Halestorm, but he also thinks Halestorm fans will “get it”. “It’s different…I do a lot more vocals and a lot more crazy drumming. It kind of goes back to our punk roots; there’s punk elements in there,” says the drummer. “There are times when it’s heavier; there are also times when it’s a little more melodic, a little more uplifting…but it’s also easy to digest. I think the average fan from Halestorm might hear it and be like, ‘Oh, okay. I get it, it works. Because obviously your personal writing style seeps into everything you’re a part of, so you’ll probably hear it also elements of Halestorm, from me.”
As for when the world will hear what Kemikalfire has been up to, Hale said: “We’re still writing, but we plan to release music soon as everyone is chomping at the bit. We’ve launched our media platforms social media because, obviously, one of the main goals these days is just to grow your audience online, but we quickly realized that as soon as we launched the social media platform, of course, everyone said, “Where’s the music? Where’s the music? I want to hear it’… We were, like, ‘Oh, okay.'”
Arejay Hale and Taylor Carroll of Kemikalfire in the studio
Hale says Kemikalfire has finished a few songs, but is still putting the album together. “We’re still writing, but we’re planning to release music soon, because everyone’s chomping at the bit. We launched our social media platforms because obviously one of the main goals these days is just to make fun to build your online audience, but we quickly realized that as soon as we launched the social media platform, of course, everyone was like, “Where’s the music? Where’s the music? I want to hear it.” The request for people to want to 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 plays guitar and sings, and I play drums and I sing. But we think maybe… We can both play both, so we’re like, ‘Maybe we should do some compromise and make it…” But we also have a few songs where he was, like, ‘Hey, do you want to play the piano?’ And I’m (like), ‘Sure. Why not?’ So we could change some things for our live show, which we’re excited about. That’s the dream. Him and I personally are just, like, “Man, I can’t wait until we can play a live broadcast. It’s gonna be so much fun. ‘” Kemikalfire’s Instagram is full of photos of the duo and some fun shorts like the one below. Enjoy what’s out there until we get some actual music from the project, with Hale says that this will “hopefully” happen later in the year.
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