[url id="http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/hawthorne_heights/artist.jhtml"]Hawthorne Heights[/url] haven't forgotten about last year's Fragile Future album, even if you have.
By most accounts, the band's third album — their first without guitarist Casey Calvert, who died of an accidental mixture of medications in November 2007 — was a disappointment. It failed to match the success of their first two efforts, The Silence in Black and White (which went gold) and If Only You Were Lonely (which debuted at #3 on the Billboard album charts).
Of course, the guys in Hawthorne Heights tend to view things a little differently.
"We don't view it as a failure. The entire process was very therapeutic, and we had to get it off our chest. For us, it's an incredible accomplishment," drummer Eron Bucciarelli told MTV News. "I mean, I guess we were a little surprised ... but when you mix the current climate of the industry with legal matters we had, you know, that's the reason why it didn't do that well. It would've been nice if it sold more, sure."
It's sort of easy now to see that Fragile Future was destined to fail. After all, in the year leading up to its release, HH were involved in a lengthy — and nasty — legal dispute with their label, Victory Records, one that they unexpectedly shelved so they could begin recording the album. Of course, when it came out, Victory wasn't all that interested in sinking tons of money into promoting it, and Future quickly sank into oblivion.
"The promo wasn't behind Fragile Future," Bucciarelli said. "I don't want to discredit [Victory founder] Tony [Brummel] and say he did nothing whatsoever. He put some money into it. ... But with our previous albums, he stuck with them throughout the whole process. ... Here, he got the record to a certain point, but he didn't continue with it.
"I guess I feel like it wasn't promoted as heavily as the first two records, and I can't say I don't understand the reasoning behind that," he continued. "It was our last record for Victory and had been through the wringer with lawsuit. So, at some point, they just decided it wasn't worth sinking more money into."
Early this year, Hawthorne announced on their Web site that they had signed with Wind-up Records and had begun working on a follow-up to Fragile Future. Since then, they've been spending time in New York writing and demoing, and they have plans to head out to Los Angeles to begin recording with producer Howard Benson.
Bucciarelli said that, ideally, they'd love to have the record out this year, but there's "no pressure" from anyone. Basically, HH are getting back to being a band, free of drama and bizarre expectations. But they'd be lying if they didn't feel like they've got something to prove this time around. To everyone.
"To be honest, it feels like we're starting over again, and it's sort of a liberating experience. There's no pressure to produce a massive, massive hit, no pressure to finish, to follow up the last record. We're focusing on the career of the band," he said. "But having said all that, we still have a lot to prove on this one. We want to prove to everybody — not just Tony and that label, but to everyone — that we're still here, we're still making good music ... that we're relevant."