Hawthorne Heights isn’t afraid to ask their fans to think. That’s especially true for Zero, the Dayton, OH band’s new album which hit stores on June 25. The album wasn’t just a collection of songs like previous releases; this was band’s foray into long-form story telling; a concept album.
“We felt sort of comfortable shooting for the moon on this,” said lead-singer and rhythm guitarist JT Woodruff to Radio.com while a Warped Tour stop in Scranton, PA. “Doing just another regular old studio album is kind of boring creatively for us. We’d always talked about doing a concept album. For whatever reasons we were just never in the right mindset to actually accomplish it.” Woodruff, who phoned from the Scranton, PA stop of the Warped Tour, explained that there was never enough time to fully realize what they wanted to do but time, everything finally came together. “I think we pulled it off,” he exclaimed.
When creating a linear story, if one chapter is tossed aside, the story falls apart and Woodruff revealed that telling this longer story meant that two songs had to be shelved. “We had a couple of songs written for this album and when we were looking at our track listing we realized that some of these might not work within the context of the story and we would have to order things. There were two songs that did not make the album for that reason.” According to the singer, the two tracks will mostly likely be released at a later date.
Zero’s inspiration comes from the theory that at some point government will overstep is bounds and gain a far broader and invasive reach over mankind.
“We looked at older movies like The Running Man (yes, the 1987 Stephan King film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger), Red Dawn, THX 1138, newer films like Hunger Games, and books like 1984 played into what we were trying to do creatively.
If you take a look at what just broke in the news a couple weeks ago with this Edward Snowden thing where the government’s completely spying on you, that realization that everyone had to come to grips with, it should raise some eyebrows and make people question what’s going on in the world today. I wish people were a little more inquisitive and asked why we need all this government surveillance. Why are we constantly in a state of war? I don’t think that’s really what anyone wants to be involved in.
With Zero we’re just trying to tell a story. There’s a totalitarian government or corporation that’s risen to power and there’s a small collective of individuals that have to fight for their freedom.”
Woodruff is confident that depite the albums long-form story-telling, it’s digestible in as individual songs. “If a casual listening wants to listen to it I don’t think they need to necessarily need to be aware of the great concept,” said the singer. “They can enjoy the songs for what they are.”
Hawthorne Heights will hit the road as part of this year’s Scream It Like You Mean It tour, featuring headliners Story Of The Year, along with special guests Like Moths to Flames,Capture The Crown, Set If Off, and I Am King, kicking off October 8th in Cincinnati, OH wrapping up November 9th in Toronto, ON.
Scream It Like You Mean It 2013 tour schedule
10/08 – Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s
10/09 – Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
10/10 – Pontiac, MI @ Crofoot Ballroom
10/11 – Joliet, IL @ Mojoes
10/12 – Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave II
10/14 – Denver, CO @ Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
10/16 – San Francisco, CA @ Regency
10/17 – Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
10/18 – Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues
10/19 – San Diego, CA @ Soma
10/20 – Los Angeles, CA @ House of Blues
10/22 – Henderson, NV @ Henderson Events Plaza
10/23 – Mesa, AZ @ Nile Theatre
10/25 – Fort Worth, TX @ LaGrave Field
10/26 – San Antonio, TX @ White Rabbit
10/27 – Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live
10/29 – Fort Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution
10/30 – Orlando, FL @ The Beacham
10/31 – Tampa, FL @ The Orpheum
11/1 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
11/2 – Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Soundstage
11/3 – Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of Living Arts
11/5 – New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
11/6 – Hartford, CT @ Webster Theatre
11/7 – Worcester, MA @ The Palladium
11/8 – Montreal, QC @ Club Soda
11/9 – Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Theatre