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Hawthorne Heights Soldiers On Despite Tragedy

Of the Oakland Press

Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2008

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Returning to Detroit will be a somewhat bittersweet experience for Hawthorne Heights.

This was the last place the modern rocker quintet from Dayton played with its original lineup intact. Last Nov. 24, the day after the group opened a U.S. tour at the Majestic Theatre, guitarist Casey Calvert was found on the tour bus of an accidental Combined Drug Intoxication, basically a bad mixture of prescription narcotic he was using to treat his depression.

Hawthorne Heights was already embroiled in a bitter lawsuit with its label, Victory Records, but frontman JT Woodruff says the blow of losing Calvert only strengthened the band's desire to stay together.

"It didn't feel right to stop doing what we were doing," explains Woodruff, 30, who wrote some songs about the effects of Calvert's death on Hawthorne Height's new album, "Fragile Future." "It feels so good when somebody comes up to you and says, 'Your lyrics helped me get through a hard time.'

"We don't take that lightly, and we thought, 'What better way to get [i]us[/i] through a hard time than to do that for ourselves this time around.' Sometimes you get in a really rough spot, and it helps to write about it."

Drummer Eron Bucciarelli adds that Calvert's death also helped bring the rift with Victory to an end.

"We figured out through losing Casey that trivial things such as lawsuits and money and proving our point aren't worth it if you're not happy," Bucciarelli, 29, notes. "Losing Casey also affected Tony (Brummell, Victory's founder) as well.

"So we went back to the label and tried to deal with things as adults rather than through lawyers. We made some compromises, Victory made some compromises and in the end we got to release a new album, which is all we really wanted to do. We feel really good about it and really good about the future, too."

Hawthorne Heights, Emery, Color Fred, Tickle Me Pink and the Mile After perform at 5:30 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 20) at Saint Andrew's Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Tickets are $20. Call (313) 961-6358 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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