For most of its existence, Dayton-based Hawthorne Heights has been on the road every autumn and winter. Not this year, and to mark the occasion the hard-touring band is hosting its first Dayton Is for Lovers Festival at the Yellow Cab Bldg. in Dayton on Friday, Nov. 20.
JT Woodruff (vocals, guitar), Mark McMillon (guitar, vocals) and Matt Ridenour (bass, vocals) had recently from 12 days in Hawaii when they sat down to discuss the current state of Hawthorne Heights.
McMillon: “Yellow Cab is a cool place. We’re going to have a second stage in the side room. We’ll have a couple of food trucks coming in. They’re going to let us do it all ages, and they’ll also be able to sell alcohol for people that are of age.”
Woodruff: “We have fans around our age who got into us when we got started in 2003, but we still have 14-year-olds who just heard of us yesterday, so all-ages shows are important to us.”
Taking care of business
Woodruff: “We’ve been going pretty hard since January. We’ll get 10 days off here or two weeks off there, but then it’s right back out. We’re rambling men.”
McMillon: “We had five days off after the lengthy U.S. tour before we went into the studio to record our new EP, ‘Hurt.’ We were here writing every day.”
Ridenour: “We did a discount code for our merch store and today we had to get together to send all that stuff out. We do a weekly podcast so we work on that stuff. It doesn’t stop.”
Woodruff: “The only way to remain a working band 12 years later is to treat it like a business. It’s something more than just getting together one time a week. One day we’re working the merch store, the next day we’re rehearsing and the next day we’re doing an online concert.”
Live and online
McMillon: “We’re doing our next online concert on Wednesday, Nov. 25.”
Woodruff: “Those always work well in our off time because we can really put something special together and we can reach a lot of our fans from a lot of different areas.”
Ridenour: “Those are fun to do, because it’s just our fans. We can play weird songs and not worry about what everybody is going to think.”
Woodruff: “The gigs are the most important thing for a financial rode to success, but you have to be able to do other things from home that are equally as fun or you get burned out.”
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