We had the good fortune of connecting with Hannah Zale and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hannah, what’s the most difficult decision you’ve ever had to make?
The most difficult decision I have ever had to make was to light the metaphorical house, that I built over a decade, on fire and watch it burn and crumble into nothing. That house was a band called ZALE with 4 members plus me. It was not a slow burn; it was a quick, furious flame that unfortunately took a lot of my identify and my soul with it. But the decision was necessary and I knew I had to find the strength to take action. I lost my own vision – letting others voices become louder and louder in my head until my voice was nothing but a whisper. No one else was going to save me or could save me from walking through the fire of breaking up a band of people that have sacrificed most of who they are to be a part of something they believe in. It was like a death and a divorce. I lost 3 people that I love; not forever but for a long while. I lost my corner of the world. I am still trying to heal and rebirth.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I wish I had it figured out right now but it just is not that easy. Nothing about being a musician is easy; one must be in love with every note to be able to sustain a career in the current music industry. I am most excited to begin again with my art and with ZALE. I am ready to let the rocker in me take a break to make room for the other styles I love to be expressed. I have the incredible opportunity to remake myself from the boots up to the hair. I can make whatever kind of music I want with whomever wants to play with me! I can explore my emotions through music more safely now. I can make my voice the loudest one in the room by design; regaining confidence in my brand and my vision. I want people to know that I am learning how to fall in love with my most authentic self so that I can bring them music that they deserve.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am the biggest planner EVER, so this assignment is right up my alley. I love food so… Friday dinner – Food Terminal on Buford Highway (order wayyy too much and eat leftovers 2 hours after we get back from restaurant) Saturday breakfast – Homegrown in Cabbagetown (don’t be too friendly there; they respect NYC attitudes) Saturday day hang – Piedmont Park (maybe with some pups) Saturday lunch – The Porter Beer Bar in Little 5 (drink 2, not 3 because we have a long night ahead of us!) Saturday afternoon hang – High Museum (let’s get classy) Saturday dinner and drinks – Elsewhere Brewing in Grant Park (ask for Jared; he’s the best) Saturday late night – Clermont Lounge near Ponce (best place to party in ATL) Sunday brunch – we ain’t making it; cancel the reservation please!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to dedicate my Shoutout to Carly Gibson, my writing partner and best friend in The Pussywillows. This woman has taught me how to count beats, how to make lentil soup, and how to create music from a place of abundance. Her constant support and encouragement goes far beyond a sweet text here and there. Carly has driven hours to watch me play short sets with other bands, she has helped me through complete emotional breakdowns, and she told me that she will never, ever stop loving me – even if I want to move to an island and never sing again in my life. She is the most unconditional person I know. She never expresses jealousy. She never competes with me or any other woman. She brings out the potential in me and does not give up on helping me become who I want to be. Carly Gibson is my angel on earth. Extra shoutout to Steve Grossman for connecting us years ago at his old venue!