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Premiere: Hawthorne Heights Nostalgic New Single ‘Starlighter (Echo, Utah)’

Brii Jamieson
Brii Jamieson 11 April 2018 at 13.55

It's jam packed full of nostalgia, and makes you want to get the gang together for a roadtrip.

Hawthorne Heights are back, and their album 'Bad Frequencies' (their first full-length release in five years) is dropping on April 27. We are pretty excited to be premiering their latest single 'Starlighter (Echo, Utah)', which is jam packed full of nostalgia. It's the kind of song that makes you want to get the gang together for a roadtrip. 

Listen to Hawthorne Heights' new single 'Starlighter (Echo, Utah) below:

We had a chat to Hawthorne Heights vocalist J.T. Woodruff about the story behind 'Starlight (Echo, Utah), and the new era of Hawthorne Heights.

Tell us a little about '​Starlighter (Echo, Utah)' as a track.
I wrote the lyrics to 'Starlighter' after the worst drive of my life, in the mountains of Utah.  There was snow pouring everywhere, the van I was driving didn't have heat or defrost, and the passenger was wiping the window frantically with the sock he was wearing, so I could see the road.  It was 14 miles 'til the next exit, and our lives kept flashing before our eyes. When we eventually made it safely to an exit, we left the van in the middle of the parking lot, checked into a room, and when I stopped trembling I wrote lyrics about summer.  I needed to get my head out of the snow, and think about how this situation would be different if it was in June.  So while my mind was racing, I crafted a story about a group of friends whose entire lives are ahead of them, and they just want to have one last weekend blow out.  There are laughs, arguments, adventure, and everything that makes a summer weekend great.  But the overlying theme is that I thought I was going to die that night, with my friends, just so I could sing and play guitar.  Pretty crucial haha. 

What does 'Bad Frequencies' as an album represent for you in terms of your time as a band?
I think it represents some of the best times of our lives, set to music.  I wanted to capture the emotion of your favorite summer growing up, when you just had the best time of your life, but now it's all over.  I wanted to capture the sadness that comes after extreme happiness.  The beauty and isolation that comes with the end of excitement is something that is truly special.  We spend our lives mired in the highs and lows, but we should really focus on the the in between.  We have always just continued to move forward in Hawthorne Heights, and I think that this proves that.  We don't let the bad times get us down, and we don't let the party last too long.  We try to convey that message to our fans at all times. 

What was it about Pure Noise Records that felt so right for this record?
We had spoken to Jake (from Pure Noise) a few times over the course of making the record, and he was always really realistic with us.  We've been friends with a lot of the bands on the label, and we also enjoy a lot of the bands in our recreational listening, so it was a fit that made a lot of sense for us.  It's a weird position when you've been on a few labels as well as doing things totally DIY, sometimes you don't know what's the right move.  But after doing our research, we decided that Pure Noise was perfect for us and what we wanted to do.  We just wanted to work with people who had similar interests, had a great presence, and were totally honest and real with us.  At this point in our career, we aren't trying to chase anything or anyone, we are just trying to be true to ourselves and our fans.  Over the past few months Pure Noise has been everything we wanted, and the staff are very nice.  No complaints.

Who are Hawthorne Heights in 2018 compared to who they were five years ago?
The only thing that has really changed is that we have a new drummer, who we've known for years.  Our original drummer got an incredible opportunity in the start up space, and it was the right move for him to chase that dream, so we welcomed Chris Popadak into the band.  Previously he was our tour manager, so we had hung out together for years any way.  But as far as the music and everything, a lot of it has the same goal in mind.  Taking personal experiences and turning them into lyrics, which blend with heavy-ish melodic music.  Spending time on the road and in the studio is always the goal, while trying to put out the best record we can.  As a band, we still love to put in the time and play our older music.  I think the most important change is that we communicate better with each other, and try to be realistic about what we all want and need.  Essentially we just make a rule to be willing to put in the miles and hours, and play as hard as we can.  

What do you want this era of the band to be remembered for? 
I think we would like to be remembered for being a band who consistently releases quality music, and is always nice to whoever they encounter.  I always want to leave a room with a little more sunshine than it had before I was there.  We write sad songs about sad moments, because we all need help moving forward.  In a world that seems to be spinning too fast lately, we are just trying to slow it down a little.  We try to meet as many people as possible, and make some form of connection with them.  Music should be helpful and fun, and over the years, we have tried to maintain that philosophy.  

Hawthorne Heights are releasing 'Bad Frequencies' on April 27th through Pure Noise. It's available for pre-order now.

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