Holding on to hope

Hawthorne Heights brings uncanny optimism to new EP, television

By Tim Anderl

Most bands would have called it a day having weathered the heartbreaking losses (of founding guitarist Casey Calvert), naysayers and label purgatory problems that Hawthorne Heights experienced over the course of their decade-long career. But rolling with the considerable punches and pitfalls they’ve encountered seems only to have sharpened the band’s resolve.

Releasing their Hope EP, the band’s second of three in a series of self-produced, self-recorded and self-released music on their Cardboard Empire label, Hawthorne Heights turns in a 26-minute state-of-the-union address that makes it clear they aren’t abandoning ship any time soon. In fact, their continued optimism, despite personal and professional hardships, may be attracting a new legion of fans both domestically and abroad.

Drummer Eron Bucarelli recently divulged details on the group’s newest undertakings, including a European TV show and their tour of Japan, while in the midst of a headlining tour of Europe.  Here’s what he told us.

It seems strange that a band as accomplished as yours has been chosen for a television show called “The Upcomers.” How did that situation come about, and what has that experience been like?

The premise of the show is about showing what it takes to achieve success in the industry. We’re still trying to do that. We had a lot of success early on, but everything since then has been hard fought. Nothing comes easily or without a price.

We met the producer of “The Upcomers” on our first trip to Europe back in 2010. He just happened to be friends of a promoter in Lyon, France. We hit it off and kept in touch. Earlier this year, he emailed us to see if we wanted to be a part of it. Never ones to let an opportunity pass us by, we jumped at the chance.

It’s been interesting. We’re not used to taping everything we do. Since we’re actually filming it ourselves, there are times when we’re simply not in the mood to film, and other times when we’re grateful to have the camera on us. We found out quickly that we have to capture ten times as much footage (or more) than you actually see once everything is edited.

What is the premise/format of the show?

There are three bands featured in the show and it basically documents the bands’ attempts at achieving success within the music industry.

Will that show ever make its way to U.S. airwaves?

We’re hard at work trying to leverage every last contact we have to bring it to the U.S. We’ll see what happens. The episodes will be available online for everyone, regardless.

What were the highlights of your recent visit to Japan?

Some of the highlights were being able to explore Japan in a manner we were never able to on our first trip. Show viewers will get to experience many things for the first time along with us.  There is an interesting scene where we try some new and interesting pieces of sushi that we might not normally get in the U.S.!

When and where did you record the Hope EP?

We recorded Hope in the spring of this year at our guitarist Micah Carli’s studio. It’s called Popside Studios up in Troy.

Is the newest thing you’ve recorded always the favorite, or is there a record from the HH back-catalogue that you tend to enjoy the most?

Personally I really like Hope and Hate equally. I feel like they both fully capture the emotions going on behind closed doors in our band and they’re unbridled in the same sense that our first album was.

When does the third EP hit the streets?  What is its theme, and does it have a title yet?

We’re still discussing the theme and working on songs. We have three song ideas and we’ll be writing more following our European tour.

Do you ever have plans to return to the LP format?

It depends. We won’t rule it out by any means. In our opinion it’s antiquated both from a price standpoint and in an attention-span standpoint.

2014 will be here before we know it.  Can we expect to see any The Silence In Black and White 10-year anniversary shows?

It would be great to do a really big tour and perform that album from front to back, but we’ll see if the demand warrants it.

How is Matt Ridenour feeling about the Reds this season?

Matt has always said that if the Reds go to the World Series he’ll fly home from tour. That is a distinct possibility this year. He might have to buy a really expensive plane ticket home from Europe to make that happen.

Hawthorne Heights will perform on Friday, Nov. 2, at McGuffy’s House of Rock, 5418 Burkhardt Rd. The show is all ages and begins at 7 p.m., and tickets are $10. ViFolly and Panic Prone will also perform.

Reach DCP freelance writer Tim Anderl at TimAnderl@daytoncitypaper.com

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