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Music / Hawthorne Heights

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Hawthorne Heights is an emo-pop band formed in 2001 in Dayton, Ohio. They were originally known as A Day in the Life, but after releasing a demo and then an EP followed by considerable line-up shifts, they changed their name to Hawthorne Heights.

The current formation is:

  • JT Woodruff - lead vocals/rhythm guitar/piano/keys
  • Matt Ridenour - bass/backing vocals
  • Mark McMillon - lead guitar/unclean backing vocals
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  • Chris "Poppy" Popadak - drums/percussion/backing vocals

For their first two albums, Casey Calvert was a very major contributor. He not only played lead and rhythm guitar, but was also responsible for the signature Metal Screams in many of their songs during that era. Unfortunately he passed away in his sleep on November 24, 2007.

Main discography

  • The Silence in Black and White (2004)
  • If Only You Were Lonely (2006)
  • Fragile Future (2008)
  • Skeletons (2010)
  • Zero (2013)
  • Bad Frequencies (2018)

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Tropes associated with Hawthorne Heights

  • Abusive Parents: The boy's dad in his story If Only You Were Lonely, who is also an alcoholic.
  • Album Title Drop: "Niki FM" features the line the silence in black and white.
  • Concept Album: If Only You Were Lonely tells the story of a young couple forcibly separated by the man's family moving away.
    • One Album for the Price of Two: The two versions of the album have the same songs but feature different cover art/booklets that show the story from the girl's side and the boy's side.
  • Literary Allusion Name: Their moniker is a reference to author Nathaniel Hawthorne.
  • Insult Backfire: The song "Where Can I Stab Myself in the Ears?" got its name from a listener's negative comment about it.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: In "Decembers", the singer describes his time apart from the woman he loves as "a self-inflicted coma."
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "Light Sleeper" is a very catchy song... about being afraid of what's waiting for you in your nightmares.
    • "Ohio Is for Lovers" sounds like your typical emo song about self-abuse, but is really just about how much JT missed his girlfriend at the time.
  • Metal Scream: It was Casey Calvert's specialty and a noteworthy feature of many of the group's classic hits. Sadly, he's now doing it in rock 'n' roll heaven.
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    • From Skeletons up to and including Zero, Micah Carli took on the screaming reins. Since the Hurt EP, Mark McMillion has been up to task.
  • New Sound Album: Fragile Future could count as such since there were no harsh vocals on the entire record; Casey's absence was felt. The post-hardcore and emo elements of the band's first two albums were also understated in exchange for a stronger Pop Punk style than ever before.
  • Shout-Out: "Niki FM" has the line "I'm outside of your window with my radio."
  • Softer and Slower Cover: The special edition of The Silence in Black and White features alternate versions of some of their songs, some of which are this.
  • Your Cheating Heart: The video for "Saying Sorry." The girl finds another girl's phone number in her boyfriend's pocket.


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