Lzzy Hale Explains What Makes Her New Kramer Signature Guitar So Special: ’I Love One-trick Ponies’

For Halestorm frontwoman and co-founder Lzzy Hale, the “one-trick pony” kind of instrument works perfectly, which is how she referred to her recently launched Kramer guitar.

For a long time, Lzzy has been a well-known Gibson player. She even got her own signature Explorerbird back in 2022, combining the Explorer body with a Firebird headstock. And in late 2023, Kramer — which is one of Gibson’s subsidiary brands — brought in yet another unique-looking signature instrument for Lzzy.

As she told Total Guitar in a new interview, her new Lzzy Hale Voyager model is inspired by some of the simpler guitar concepts out there.

“This guitar has been a long time coming,” Hale explained. “I love one-trick ponies, the instruments that are just like, ‘Hey, I just do this, but I do it well!'”

Lzzy Hale Signature Voyager

In particular, she finds the concept similar to what Joan Jett is well-known for, adding:

“That’s why I love the Joan Jett Melody Maker. You just have one pickup and a killswitch, that’s it! You don’t even need to turn the volume down.”

Of course, despite having a simpler approach than what you’d expect from a “shredder” brand like Kramer, Lzzy Hale’s new Voyager still has some of the much-appreciated traits. And although she did compare it to Gibson’s Melody Maker, the Voyager is a completely different beast.

Namely, there’s the outrageously sparkly finish called “Black Diamond Holographic Sparkle.” On top of this, the guitar also comes with a few other shred-friendly features.

“This new Kramer is built for one purpose, and that’s to be a screamer,” Lzzy continued. “I was trying to imagine what kind of guitar I would have been playing in the mid-’80s. In 1986, they were using some kind of holographic lead car paint for guitars, but I could not find that. Probably because it’s not legal anymore!”

We’re sure that the current paint job on this instrument is legal. The Voyager guitar itself is what we could refer to as “inspired” by the Explorer body shape. It also comes with a C-shaped slim profile 3-piece maple neck, 25.5-inch scale length, and a fretboard radius of just under 12.6 inches.

While the accent is on the aesthetic side of things, the guitar does seem to have some decent traits. For example, there’s the Floyd Rose 1000 Series bridge and a locking nut. It has just a single humbucker pickup in the bridge position, Kramer’s stock 85-T.

Coffee With Lzzy Hale

The price of this instrument is $1,499. This is close to what we’re seeing with higher-end Epiphone guitars as well, which blurs the line between “budget” and “regular” guitar brands.

Getting more into the matter, Hale also reflected on how her initial collaboration with Gibson came to be. She’s been a Gibson gal for a long time, but it was thanks to the current CEO, Cesar Gueikian, that this came to fruition.

“That idea came about because I was at NAMM doing stuff for Gibson,” she recalled. “We went out for dinner, and Cesar Gueikian was there. He’s like the rock star over at Gibson, coming up with all the epic shit. I realized that night you have to be very careful what you say around him because even if it’s just a silly idea, he will say, ‘Oh yeah, we can figure that out for you!'”

Lzzy Hale | Kramer Voyager Signature Model

“And at the time I was saying how cool an Explorer/Firebird hybrid would be,” Lzzy recalled. “I was just spitballing, I wasn’t saying, ‘Let’s do it!'”

Well, as it turns out, Cesar did put her Explorerbird idea into life. She added:

“Months later, this white guitar showed up at my house with a note saying: ‘We made this for you, maybe it could be what we work on next?’ So yeah, be careful around that guy, otherwise, a guitar might show up at your doorstep!”

During the interview, Lzzy Hale also addressed how she’s now the first-ever female Gibson Brand Ambassador. Of course, on top of all this, she’s also the first-ever female Kramer artist. Reflecting on her collaboration with Gibson, she said:

“I love that it’s being talked about so much. Something like this gives all the girls out there even more permission to pick up the instrument. I know there are some women who might feel, ‘Why are you even mentioning it, can’t you just let the talent speak for itself rather than play up to being the first female whatever?’ But for me, it’s a personal choice…”

Lzzy Hale Signature Explorerbird

“Because I remember what it would have meant for me when I was growing up. I was looking for someone I could see my reflection in, and there wasn’t really anyone… these conversations weren’t even happening. When I was younger, female musicians were just a novelty. People would think, ‘Oh, you’re talented’ and then say, ‘Oh, we’re going to put you on the girl’s night at the local club!’

“I had to work very hard to get here. I want all the girls out there to know if I can do this – some dork from Pennsylvania with no music contacts or clue how to play when the band started – then so can they. Nothing is impossible!”

Photos: Stefan Brending (2023 Rock im Park – Halestorm – Lzzy Hale – by 2eight – ZSC1342),

Author

  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.