by Slone Fox
VANCOUVER – A staple in emo music since 2001, Hawthorne Heights has endured more than the average band. Through extensive member changes, lawsuits, and the death of former guitarist Casey Calvert, the quartet has bonded and grown together in a way that many other bands never experience. Their versatility and resilience ring true in nearly everything they do, and their newest album is no exception.
With the release of Bad Frequencies earlier this year, the band has dusted off their throne in one of the most fondly loved genres of the 2000s. While Hawthorne Heights ebbs and flows between many of the harder genres, the band has no problem embracing a label many others routinely reject.
“If you label something long enough, that’s what everyone refers to it as and we have no problem with it at all. We’re just excited to be bunched in with so many great bands,” says guitarist Mark McMillon, citing a long list of influential bands from Sunny Day Real Estate to the Get Up Kids and beyond.
“I know a lot of contemporary bands shy away from it, specifically with the resurgence of things like ‘emo night,’” McMillon continues. “There seems to be kind of a trend of bands not wanting to be labelled that and claiming that they’re just a rock band, but we’ve learned not to shy away from it and let people put whatever kind of label they want on it. We’re just happy that people want to talk about it.”
Hawthorne Heights’ sometimes enviable longevity can mainly be attributed to their non-stop labour of love when it comes to music. Having joined up with Silverstein to open for the When Broken Is Easily Fixed 15 Year Anniversary Tour this winter, the band finished the first leg of the tour in high spirits, but also in an energy deficit.
“Right before this, we were in Europe for a month and we only had, like, 22 hours at home between tours. By week three of the Silverstein tour, we’d been on tour for a month and a half.”
With a brief break before making their way through Canada on the second leg of the Silverstein tour, Hawthorne Heights already has their sights set on writing a new record in 2019. From hard rock to post-hardcore, screamo to emo, no matter what genre they venture into for future records, fans can be comforted knowing that Hawthorne Heights will always stay true to their sound.
“Once we get our music played out and JT adds his vocals to it, it always just ends up sounding like Hawthorne Heights,” says McMillon.
Hawthorne Heights plays January 25 at the Rickshaw Theatre with Silverstein, As Cities Burn and Capstan.hawthorne heights, Rickshaw Theatre