Hawthorne Heights


Drummer Eron Bucciarelli talks about the band’s new album Fragile Future, the turbulent time leading up to it, and why he feels like it’s their most complete work yet.

How’s Project Revolution been going so far?

So far, so good. It’s awesome. A ton of people here every day, as you can see. Very hot, but other than that it’s run incredibly smoothly. They’ve been great shows.

Now these are a little different crowds then you’re used to. What’s the reaction been like?

You know, the reaction’s been awesome. There’s a lot of Linkin Park fans who’ve never heard of us before, which is awesome for us because we’re getting the opportunity to play in front of new people with the chance to win them over. For us, that’s the greatest kind of concert we could play. Warped Tour’s good because you’re playing to your core fan base, but here we’re making a new fan base.

How did you end up getting a slot on this tour?

Our booking agents sort of through our name in the hat. Linkin Park are very hands on in picking the bands on their tours and they hand-selected us, as they do all the other bands on Project Rev. We’re happy to be a part of it.

Have you been able to hang out with any of the other bands at all?

Yeah, a lot of bands on the Revolution stage we’ve hung out with – Armor for Sleep, 10 Years and Atreyu. With the main stage, our access is kind of limited, so we don’t get to go over and hang out with them. I did get walked in on while I was in the shower by Chris Cornell. Other than that, I’ve met Chris Cornell’s guitar player, and that’s about our only interaction with the main stage. No, I’m sorry. We did meet some of the guys from Linkin Park. They came on our bus one night, and they were awesome guys.

So a couple months back you guys played your first show back right here at Bamboozle Left. What was that experience like?

That was incredibly nerve-wracking. We didn’t know if we’d be able to perform the songs and sound good. We didn’t know what the fan reaction was going to be. It was probably the most nerve-wracking experience we’ve had since we started the band. Now, it’s like we’ve sort of gotten into our groove again. We’re confident in ourselves once again and our ability to play these songs.

Your new record came out this past week and it’s been a long road to see it finished. How does it feel to finally have it done and released?

It’s a huge accomplishment for us and just a huge release, emotionally, just to get that off our shoulders and get that music out there. It’s taken so long and it’s been such a bumpy road, but we’re happy to still be here and able to release that album.

It’s called Fragile Future, which I think is pretty fitting considering everything you’ve been through. How did you arrive at naming it that and how does it relate to the songs on the album?

We’ve been through a lot and there was a time period there, sort of a very dark time for us, where we were in separate lawsuits and lost Casey. We didn’t know what the future held for us and where we would be six months from then. It relates a lot to those songs, and those songs relate directly to all those experiences we’ve been through.

On sort of a broader scale, it relates to everything that’s going on in our society right now. We have a really big election coming up with a lot of important issues on the table. It sort of feels like the country’s got a lot of things wrong with it right now. Especially over the last eight years, it seems like we continuously slide down further. We’re hoping that this election will bring some change and some positives around it.

I heard you wanted to make a more complete album this time, so how did the recording process differ from the first two?

Yeah, this time we had a lot more time to write. We were going through all these legal issues, and pretty much the only release for us and escape from all that was to play music and write. That’s what we did, and we did that for about two years. We wrote a ton of songs and probably ended up with 30 or 40 songs. We really had the time to sit and think about every piece of the album.

This is definitely the most complete album we’ve ever done. Hopefully we’ve produced a piece of art, as opposed to before where it was just a bunch of songs kind of gathered together and thrown out. Every song sort of flows from one to the next. Every note, everything about the album, including the layout, was intended for a purpose.

The album is a little bit more pop-leaning than your other stuff. Was that always the plan?

I think that’s the way we’ve been heading naturally. Even while Casey was still with us, we were just progressing in that direction. We wanted to expand our sound a little bit, try things we hadn’t done in the past, and allow ourselves the creative freedom to expand even more if we want to in the future.

Do you have any personal favorites off the record?

To be honest, I like about ninety percent of the songs on this album, whereas on past records there’s been a couple songs that I’ve really liked and the rest was like whatever for me. My favorites, personally, I have two – “Until the Judgment Day” and “Sugar In the Engine.” They’re different sounding songs for us, kind of epic sounding. We played a lot around with those, had a lot of different instrumentation going on in them, and just had a lot of fun with them.

The song “Four Become One” must have been a really emotional song for you guys to write. How did that song come to be?

It’s just about remembering all the good things about Casey and us coming together as a band to support one another after losing him. It’s about celebrating Casey’s life as opposed to mourning it, you know?

Have you been able to play a lot of new songs live so far?

Yeah, we’re playing two new songs. We only get a half hour set, so we’re kind of limited in what we can play. We still want to play some of the old songs that the fans like. We’ve thrown in “Rescue Me” and “321.” Two different ends of the spectrum of our sound on this new album. One’s heavier and one’s more poppy and melodic sounding.

You just recently released the video for “Rescue Me.” How was that?

It’s going good so far. We were hoping there would be more colors going on in the video, but it turned out great and we’re excited about it. Pete Wentz was nice enough to play it on his show, so it’s been cool.

So you had that big ordeal with Victory and then you ended up reconciling with them. How did that situation transpire?

We went through so much with Victory and we were so gung-ho about proving our point. It was sort of this mentality that we were going to prove our point no matter what, and then we lost Casey. Then no matter what actually happened, it made us reevaluate our priorities. It made us say, “You know what? Proving our point is not what we set out to do when we started this band.” We didn’t want to get in a lawsuit. We wanted to play music.

So, it was just a matter of reevaluating our priorities. Well, not really reevaluating, but getting back on track to what we initially started out doing and doing whatever it took to achieve those goals. So we made some compromises, Victory made a bunch of compromises as well, and it resulted in us getting a new album out. If we didn’t do that, we’d still probably be in a lawsuit and even more broke than we already are.

This album seems to be more under the radar than your previous one. How do you view that?

I think there really wasn’t a lot of lead-time to promote this record because we were literally in the studio recording it before we had finished the contracts and signed everything. So by the time we were finished with it, we had finally gotten everything signed, and then that only left like a month, a month and a half to promote it.

Hopefully, this album will sell consistently as more people discover it. It didn’t have the huge initial push that the last one did, but that’s fine with us. We’re way more confident in the music on this record and in the fact that the music on this album will hold up over the test of time more than any of our past material has. So, we’re not really too concerned with the marketing of it.

How have the fans affected you through this whole process?

It’s amazing to see the support network that we’ve been able to build up over the last few years. I think without the fan support urging us on, I don’t know if we would have continued on, you know? It just felt right to continue on because of all the encouragement we were getting from the fans. We’re extremely close to our fans. Every day we come out and meet them, and sign autographs, and hang out with them as much as we possibly can. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to do what we enjoy, so we’re extremely appreciative of them.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Please go check out our album and if you’ve been a fan of ours for a long time, thank you for sticking by us through everything. We appreciate it.

Originally appeared on Mammoth Press