Hawthorne Heights Feed Hype Machine
Hawthorne Heights’ young fans learned a valuable lesson on Monday, the eve of the band’s sophomore release: Even at a small label, there can be major miscommunication.
On Monday, Victory Records released a manifesto attributed to the band in which Hawthorne Heights pleaded with fans to buy their album and to propel it into the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 album charts.
“Hawthorne Heights can use your help,” the band writes. “We need you, your friends and anyone else you know that likes ROCK music to buy our album tomorrow. The only reason we are able to be a band is because of your support.”
The manifesto goes on to discuss the band’s forthcoming chart battle against rapper Ne-Yo, a major-label artist: “Many people are saying that Ne-Yo [whose album is also out today] is going to outsell us because Ne-Yo has had a tremendous amount of over the top, mainstream media coverage… Radio has played his single 160,000 times. Our single has been played 3,800 times. We know that does not seem possible but it is the truth.”
But in a post on the band’s MySpace page, drummer Eron Bucciarelli downplays the chart posturing that dominated the band’s label-released statement: “I know you’ve been bombarded with messages from our label all day long about our new CD coming out,” Bucciarelli writes. “If you didn’t know, our new CD, If Only You Were Lonely, comes out tomorrow, 2/28. As our label pointed out, we have a legitimate chance of debuting at …1. If we do great, if not, who cares. We want our fans to listen to the music we’ve created. Chart numbers aren’t important to us, playing music is, that is what drives us.”
And while the manifesto from the label insisted that the band wanted fans to save their lunch money to buy the new HH album in an effort to save “ROCK” (“ROCK music needs your support”), the band insists it’s less focused on saving the genre, and more about saving themselves from looking like a desperate emo band. “Charts are for industry people, not music fans,” writes Bucciarelli. “So, go buy our album if you like us, not because we’re ‘ROCK.'”
Of course, nothing says ROCK like matching white suits.
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