Artist of the Month: Hawthorne Heights

Dayton Ohio bred rock quintet, Hawthorne Heights has come a long way after rising to fame with 2004’s platinum debut, The Silence In Black and White, dealing with death of guitarist Casey Calvert in 2007, and now a rebirth of sorts with the new album Skeletons and a new label, Wind Up Records.

Hawthorne Heights formed in 2003, the band is currently made up of JT Woodruff (Vocals/Guitar), Micah Carli (Lead Guitar), Matt Ridenour (Bass/Vocals), Eron Bucciarelli (Drums). They have been described as post hardcore, emo, screamo, and alternative rock, however they simple consider themselves a rock band.  The Silence In Black and White was the bands first release in 2004. They gained popularity when the video for the song “Ohio Is For Lovers” got airplay on MTV. Soon Hawthorne Heights was being played on the radio and along with that came a large nationwide fan base. With non-stop touring, television appearance and continued support from MTV and Fuse The Silence In Black and White become Victory Records highest selling debut, peaking at number 56 on the Billboard charts. This was a springboard for the second release If Only You Were Lonely which went gold after hitting #1 on Billboard’s Independent Albums chart.

In 2007 Casey Calvert (Guitarist/Vocals) tragically died at 26 after an accidental combination of prescription drugs. Drummer Eron Bucciarelli issued the following statement to

From the time of the incident we suspected a possible drug interaction as the cause. Casey wrestled with depression for as long as we knew him. He saw numerous doctors and took an ever-changing array of medicines to get better. He finally had his depression under control. According to the toxicology report, the cause of death was due to a fatal interaction between depression meds, anxiety meds and an opiate. Opiates being mentioned along with the term ‘substance abuse’, coupled with ‘rockstar’ stereotypes immediately conjure up images of hard drug use and addiction, which simply couldn’t be further from the truth in Casey’s instance. What the toxicology report doesn’t show is that prior to us leaving for tour, Casey had a root canal, and was prescribed Vicodin (an opiate) for the pain. Once again, Casey was not involved in anything illegal nor was he a substance abuser.”  And JT Woodruff stated “We won’t add another guitar player or add another screamer“, and that “In our albums, it’ll always say ‘Casey Calvert: guitar/vocals“.

The devastated band members mourned the loss of Casey by turning toward their art, reflecting and writing a new album. Fragile Future was released in 2008 with two songs dedicated to Casey, “Four Become One” and “Sugar in the Engine”.

Now, officially signed to Wind Up Records, Hawthorne Heights is releases Skeletons today June 1st, 2010.  In the video below, Eron explains the meaning behind the name Skeletons.

Eat Sleep Breathe Music had a chance to sit down with Eron Bucciarelli before Hawthorne Heights kicked off their summer tour to talk about Skeletons and van-ing it all summer.

ESBM: It has been said that your sound and lyrical stance has evolved from your first (The Silence In Black and White) to your third album (Fragile Future). What can we expect of the new album? Would you say that your latest release Skeletons is similar your previous music or have you continued evolving the sound?

Bucciarelli: We’ve certainly continued to evolve. Every time we write a song we try to push ourselves to improve on things we’ve done in the past. That being said, with Skeletons I think there’s a healthy dose of familiarity for old fans, but also some new ground to keep the listener on their toes.

ESBM: You left your original label, Victory and in 2009 were signed to Wind Up records. How are things going on the new label? How did all the legal stuff going on affect the band and/or music process on your new album?

Bucciarelli: Things are going great so far. We’re extremely excited as is WU. We gained a lot of perspective from our lawsuit and we bear a lot of emotional scars all of which inevitably found its way onto Skeletons. As an artist, I don’t think you can go through such a cathartic period and not have it affect your art.

ESBM: “Nervous Breakdown” was your first single released off the upcoming Skeletons, will the album be similar to this track or is there musical diversity on the album?

Bucciarelli: Skeletons is the most diverse album we’ve ever done. There isn’t another song on the album that sounds anything like Nervous Breakdown. That’s something we really strive for and were very conscious of while creating it.

ESBM: You guys are going on tour and will be jumping on the Zumiez Couch Tour with Bayside until the end of June. How is that going?

Bucciarelli: As I’m writing this, we have about a week until the tour actually starts, but we’re VERY excited about this tour. We’re calling it the “Get A Ticket, Get An Album Tour”. Its only $11, which is a bargain in its own right these days, and it also includes a digital copy of Skeletons with 2 tour exclusive bonus tracks. In the middle we take a break and play some dates with Bayside on the Zumiez tour, which I believe is free for fans. So this is the summer of good deals! We’ll be van-ing it this summer, which I’m actually excited about. You miss a lot when you’re traveling in a bus. Seeing the country in the summer is awesome! We have toured several times with Bayside in the past, but its been a few years since the last time. For a while it was almost a joke because it seemed like every tour we did, they were also on. We will be playing a few new songs on this tour…lucky for everyone who comes, they will already have the album, so they can singalong with us!

ESBM: Buzznet recently had an exclusive stream “End of the Underground.” Do you find that giving fans a taste of what’s to come is an incentive and will entice them to pre-order/buy the album?

Bucciarelli: Giving fans a taste is really nothing new. Now we’re doing it online as opposed to MTV.

Hopefully people like what they hear, want to hear more and go buy the whole album!

ESBM: What are your plans for the rest of the summer after the tour?

Bucciarelli: This tour is taking us to mid/late July, so at this point I’m not sure exactly what’s going on after that, but more than likely it will involve playing lots more shows!

Click here to see Hawthorne Heights tour schedule, and get Skeletons on Hawthorne Heights now!

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