By: Nicole Juliette Hetlyn
Bad Frequencies was released on Friday, and it just might be my favorite Hawthorne Heights record thus far. This album has a central theme of growing older, but not letting age take away your youth. JT reminded us at the Cowan, "do you remember when your parents would come home from work and looked miserable? Don't let that be you." This album has a nostalgic, overall youthful, reminiscent feel (also referencing lyrics to "Ohio Is for Lovers"). We're reminded that its okay to crank the music up and to enjoy life, and for that; we salute Hawthorne Heights. We caught up with band at their show at the Cowan in Nashville to talk new music, "emo" titles, and more.
JT Woodruff - Vocals/Guitar
Matt Ridenour - Bass/Vocals
Mark McMillon - Guitar/Vocals
You are two weeks into your Bad Frequencies tour. How has the tour dynamic been so far?
JTW: It’s been cool, no problems All the band are nice. We’ve all gotten along so far, but it’s not until about week seven when people start to become unhinged and unwrapped. We’re good right now!
NJH: Are you guys pranksters on tour?
JTW: We are the kind that make fun of each other, I don’t know if we are calculated enough to “prank..”
MR: On the second or third day of tour, I stole a phone to freak someone out for 15 minutes in New York. That was my prank so far, it was the drummer for Sienna Skies. He says he’s going to get me back, but I don’t think he has the capacity to do so (laughs), I think he’s forgotten. We’ll see.
NJH: Bad Frequencies was released this past Friday. Being that you spent most of 2017 on the road, did you find the writing/recording process harder? Do you think this made it more of a challenge?
JTW: It wasn’t more of a challenge, it just delayed certain things. We wrote the entire time that we were on the road, and we used experiences from the road to create inspiration for writing. We kept pushing things back, since we were getting good tour offers. We were having a lot of fun, and it actually ended up helping the writing process since we were able to continually write.
MR: It was also nice since we were able to do 3-4 songs, go on tour, and then sit with those for a little bit. It was nice to not sit in a room and write an album.
MM: We’ve always had to write when we can. It was nice to not be pushed against a clock and not have a “real deadline.”
How has the crowd response been to hearing the news songs from Bad Frequencies so far?
JTW: It’s been good! We chose to play the songs that we have released up to this point. Our hardcore fans were able to hear these songs first, for the most part. We felt like that was important, and maybe later we will be able to try some other things out. It’s always weird because if someone hasn’t heard a song before, it could be the best song that you’ve ever written, but if they’ve never heard it before, they’re not going to react that way. They definitely are not going to react in a physical way. They might be taking it in, and going “yeah, this is cool,” but they are not showing that.
Where are some of your favorite tour stops? Any favorite coffee shops?
JTW: Today we went to Barista Parlor in Germantown. Nashville is a place that we love, it’s always a cool spot to go. This was our first time going to this location. I’m sure there will be a lot of Nashville people going, “I can’t believe that they go to Barista Parlor! There are all these small coffee shops!” But it’s fucking good, it’s real good. The vibe is good, the coffee is really good.
You are considered to be one of the staple “emo bands." Is this a title/genre you embrace? I know my friends and I love hearing Hawthorne Heights played at our local “Emo Night.”
JTW: It’s cool with us.
MR: If someone wants to listen, it can be whatever genre they want.
JTW: When we are writing a song, we definitely don’t stop and go “... is that emo enough?” None of the artists' whose songs are on Emo Night playlists have that thought cross their minds. Is this emo enough? If that’s what you want to categorize it as, that’s cool.
MM: We actually performed at an Emo Nite LA about two weeks ago.
NJH: How was that?
MR: It was awesome, lots of fun. We were a secret performance. There were a lot of people there, I wish they would come to out shows (laughs).
What do you have in store for the rest of 2018?
JTW: We are still deciding on the next single. We wanted to give the album a little time to be out and breathe for a little bit. We have two tours in the works for fall and winter, we just can’t talk about them yet. We do have them though!
MR: We’re also on this tour until July.
Tickets are on sale now for the Bad Frequencies tour, featuring Hawthorne Heights, Listener, Hotel Books, Sienna Skies, and Heavy Things. For all dates and ticket/VIP information, please click HERE. Bad Frequencies is available now (Pure Noise Records); in stores and online on all majore music platforms.