They have annihilated fans with their three-guitar exploit, crushed us with their screams and melodic vocals, and fans now know that Ohio isn’t just the Buckeye state, but “a state for lovers.”
Since their 2004 debut album The Silence of Black and White, Hawthorne Heights have been tearing up the radio with hit singles “Ohio Is For Lovers,” “Niki FM” and their most recent “Saying Sorry.” For lead singer and guitarist JT Woodruff, the band’s success beats life before they hit it big.
“Life was working 80 hours a week and going to college, delivering pizzas and working at a gas station,” Woodruff said. “Life wasn’t too cool, it was pretty dull. We didn’t enjoy what we were doing at all, but it’s definitely better now I must say.”
The band has had immense video play from MTV and their first record was recently awarded gold status. All this is great, Woodruff said, but the guys would really like to have a chance to savor the moment.
“The only complaint is we haven’t really been able to sit back and enjoy a lot of it,” Woodruff said, commenting on the band’s recent success. “We have been steadily growing and being on tour the whole time … We didn’t really have a chance to stop and smell the roses.”
On Feb. 28 the band released their highly anticipated album If Only You Were Lonely. The second album usually either makes or breaks a group, but for Hawthorne Heights, the success of their sophomore album was the least of their worries.
“We don’t really worry about it that much, because we do what we do and it’s worked so far,” Woodruff said. “Some people totally just change the sound of their band on their second album when their first album was successful. It doesn’t really make sense to do that because people expect your band to sound a certain way.
“I’m not saying you can’t progress or add different elements or anything, but you can’t go from a hardcore band to sound like a jazz trio,” he continued. “I mean what are your fans going to think?”
The new album has received positive feedback and Woodruff claims it’s some of the group’s best music.
“We had more time to spend, bigger budget, and better people to work with as far as our producers and engineers,” he said. “We’ve matured in being Hawthorne Heights so we’re 100 percent happy with the final product.”
Hawthorne Heights is sitting on top of the alternative music world right now. Mammoth success from album sales, on top of tons of radio and television exposure, has almost made Hawthorne Heights a household name. With their upcoming tour, they’re only going to get bigger.
“This tour is definitely the biggest tour we have ever done, and it’s going to be in arenas which we have never done before,” Woodruff said. “We’re all going to have to step it up and we’re going to have to put on the best live show we can, because we’re out there playing with some really awesome bands and we have to make our mark somehow.”
Hawthorne Heights and other MTV darlings, Fall Out Boy and All-American Rejects, will make a stop on their tour at the Tweeter Center in Camden, N.J. on March 18 and March 19.
Despite their success, dreams of big time stardom are not the most important thing for the group. Just playing and having fun is what matters, Woodruff said.
“This isn’t just a job to us,” he said. “We just have fun playing every night. We go up on stage and try to perform as well as we can. More importantly we try to put on show that’s fun for everybody to watch. We are having as much fun as everyone in the audience. We’re kind of happy just going with the flow.”
Dan Cappello can be reached at email@example.com.