Hawthorne Heights talks new label, new record and new tour

The emo, scream-o, hard rock and totally kick-ass band, Hawthorne Heights, will be stopping in Salt Lake City on Oct. 14 at In The Venue. Eric Bucciarelli, the band’s drummer, told QSaltLake, about their transition to their own record label, the inspiration for the latest album and who’s on his iPod.

Congratulations on your latest album. It is absolutely terrific and the song, “Divided,” is one of my favorites of anything you’ve ever recorded. How has the transition to your own label, Cardboard Empire, been?

Thank you! The transition to our own label was a fairly easy one.  We’ve always been very hands-on with the business of our band and we’ve learned a lot from our years in this business; so in forming our own label there wasn’t a whole lot of additional work to do.  There was a small learning curve when it came to setting up distribution, but nothing a little FAQ couldn’t handle for us.

What kind of performance pressure did you feel for this album?

We’re not buying into the traditional business model of only focusing on album sales.  So from that standpoint, there is no pressure.  We’re more concerned about expanding our brands overall reach.  Our objective is for more people to hear about us through the promotion of this album, our tours and music in general.

When I listen to Hate, I feel like there’s way more emotion and energy in this album than there’s been in recent albums. Would you agree with that and how was the environment when you were recording it?

There is a lot more emotion in this album than anything we’ve ever done.

A lot of baggage has built up within us over the last few years and we reached a breaking point.  Our internal conversations were much angrier than our music ever reflected.  The goal when writing these songs was not shy away from those emotions.  We needed to get things off our chest, which for one reason or another, we hadn’t up until now.  The mood in the studio was one of excitement and joy.  We felt liberated.

Who are some of your biggest musical influences and how would you describe your music genre?

Growing up my biggest influences were all New York and New Jersey hardcore bands.  I grew up in New Jersey when the Youth Crew revival bands like Floorpunch and Mouthpiece were at their peak.  It was an exciting time for me and that music and scene shaped who I’ve become today.  It wasn’t just those bands that influenced me though.  I spent hours at the local record store digging through the stacks and scouring the “Thank Yous” of other CDs to find those bands and the bands that influenced them.  I had a real desire to find out where my favorite bands got their sound.  That’s something that people don’t really get into anymore.  It’s sad.

Hopefully someone who reads this will go check out Quicksand and Lifetime for example.  They were both super influential on me, my drumming style, and in many ways a lot of the bands that you see on Warped Tour today.

You’ve been to Utah before. Do you remember anything in particular about your stops here?

We’ve had some of our best shows in Salt Lake City.  We’ve played the Big Ass Show several times and each time it was killer.  The scenery is beautiful, but the lake itself stinks and the time of year we played Great Salt Air, there were a billion flies all over the place.  It was kind of gross.

 Do you remember anything in particular about the Utah crowds?

The crowds in Salt Lake City always seem to get rowdy and that’s how we like it.

Shows are meant to be fun.  Sing along and move around.  Salt Lake City crowds always seemed to understand that without a lot of prompting.

Will you be playing mainly from your latest album or some of your classic songs too?

We’ll be playing a lot of songs from our older albums and a few from the new one as well.

Seth Bracken

Seth Bracken is the editor of QSaltLake

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