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Published: Thursday, 12/21/2006

After Toledo show, Hawthorne Heights hopes to take time making 3rd album

BY NICK CARRABINE
SPECIAL TO THE BLADE
Hawthorne Heights of Dayton gives what could be its final live show for months Saturday night in Headliners. Hawthorne Heights of Dayton gives what could be its final live show for months Saturday night in Headliners.
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Saturday night s show in Headliners may be Hawthorne Heights final live performance until next fall.

The concert is likely to be the band s last on the Victory Records label.

After the Headliners show, the Dayton group that specializes in a mix of emo and hardcore rock, with a dash of pop sprinkled in, expects to be busy recording its third album and finding a new record label to distribute the work.

Hawthorne Heights is suing Chicago-based Victory over a questionable advertising scheme used for the release of the band s second album, If Only You Were Lonely.

The lawsuit, filed Aug. 7 in the federal District Court in Chicago, alleges that Victory placed a notice on an industry message board on the Internet urging shoppers to move the album to the front of CD racks at record stores and to misplace all other new records that shared the Feb. 28, 2006, release date.

The album, which reached gold status (500,000 sold), debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. But the band objected to the marketing scheme.

Basically it boils down to ethical differences and their practices, said Eron Bucciarelli, Hawthorne Heights drummer. This is something that we do not want to be a part of. It makes us look bad, as if we couldn t sell records by ourselves.

The album s sales have fallen far short of those of Hawthorne Heights 2004 debut album, The Silence in Black and White, which sold more than a million copies.

Bucciarelli credits the band s initial success to nonstop touring and building a fan base.

Although the group is still signed to Victory, the lawsuit seeks in part that the recording agreement be rescinded.

It s definitely not over yet, unfortunately, Bucciarelli said. We are legally signed to Victory, but ideally we will have a new album out on a different label next year.

A Victory spokesman declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Hawthorne Heights is eager to start recording for its third album. It has written 12 songs but has not finalized any of them. Fans, though, can expect some differences from the first two releases.

We are trying to expand our sound. We are trying to draw more from our classic rock influences such as the Beatles, Journey, and Iron Maiden, Bucciarelli said. We are going to try and have bigger productions. It s going to be more of the record we wanted to make for our last record, but we didn t have the budget.

Although a new album is in the works, fans in Headliners on Saturday shouldn t expect to hear any new material.

This is obviously going to be the last time fans are going to see us in 2006, and who knows with this new album coming out, it could be the last time they get to hear some of the older songs, Bucciarelli said.

He said Hawthorne Heights is excited to return to Toledo.

It s exciting because the last time we were in Toledo, it was an amazing show. It sold out and the crowd was amazing, he said. I can t wait to get back there. Whenever you re playing at a place when you know you re going to have a warm reception, it s nice.

In the meantime, Bucciarelli and his bandmates are in the midst of their longest break in three years, and are glad to see family members and friends.

When you re on the road, your whole life is planned out, you re doing press, and then sound checks, then more press, then performing, he said. So it s finally nice to not have a schedule. It s nice to just watch TV, which I never get to do, and just be lazy for once.

Hawthorne Heights performs at 10:30 p.m. Saturday in Headliners, 4500 North Detroit Ave. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the opening acts are Toledo s We Are The Fury (9:30), Ellison (8:45), and Signal Home (8). Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available from Ticketmaster, Culture Clash (419-536-5683), or Ramalama Records (419-531-7625). Information: 419-693-5300 or www.headlinerstoledo.com.



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