hawthorne heights are a bunch of chumps
Emo rock band Hawthorne Heights recently posted the following, long-winded statement on their Myspace:
This message is going to all of our supporters so we apologize in advance if it seems impersonal
Tomorrow, our second album, “If Only You Were Lonely” will be in stores. We are reaching out to you because Hawthorne Heights can use your help. 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. Without you we would not be able to do what we do.
You buying our album tomorrow has much greater meaning than simply supporting Hawthorne Heights. ROCK music needs your support. Our society and culture has put rock music on the backburner. If our album can debut at ..1 all of us will have taken ROCK music back to the top of the charts where it belongs. You might ask, how has ROCK been put on the backburner? A current example is an artist that we are up against called Ne-Yo. Many people are saying that Ne-Yo is going to outsell us because Ne-Yo has had a tremendous amount of over the top, mainstream media coverage. His album will be in stores tomorrow. 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. Ne-Yo is on a major label. Hawthorne Heights is on an independent label. ROCK music needs to win tomorrow. Independent needs to beat Major tomorrow. If all of you take action we can create history. The mainstream media may not choose to fully embrace this ROCK band from Dayton, Ohio but all of you have. No one can take that away from us. It cannot be bought because it comes from the heart. That is what makes us different. Your support means everything to us and is the most valuable thing that we have. You are the people that we depend on. This is as much about you as it is about us. You hear our voices every night. Now, we need to hear yours. You see us at our merch table every night. We need to see you in the stores tomorrow. We cannot come out on top without you. Passion and music with real meaning has a chance to beat out what the media forces down our throats. No one expects us to win. We need to prove them wrong. They underestimate us. Please help us create history tomorrow. This is a ‘call to arms’, a ‘battle cry’, not just for Hawthorne Heights but for all of the other great ROCK bands and independent labels that we all love. All of us deserve this and it is something that we can do together.
Your Friends, Hawthorne Heights"
Are the Heights serious? Oh man, this has got to be the worst fucking statement in the history of bad statements, which also includes Britney Spears' "It is what it is"/child endangerment comment (on a side note, why hasn't she been charged with a crime yet?).
Hawthorne Heights are a ridiculous band and attempting to distance themselves from Ne-Yo is kind of like Joe Lieberman saying that he has absoutely NO conservative tendencies. Both Hawthorne Heights and Ne-Yo are pop artists -- popular music artists, if you want to get technicial. Really, they're two peas in a pod. I think that the obvious difference here is that the Hawthorne kids are making an attempt, albeit a sad one, to make this a black and white issue. Buy ROCK music? Maybe they should pull their heads out of their collective asses and realize that people are still buying ROCK music. Maybe that's how Death Cab landed in Billboard's top five with "Plans?" Or how The Killers have gone platinum plus? Or the Heights' tourmates Fall Out Boy have also gone platinum and are currently selling out their ARENA tour?
Here are some rawktastic quotes from the statement above and my delightful commentary:
- 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. Without you we would not be able to do what we do.
FACT: This is not entirely true because in today's crazy iTunes world, it's not out of the question for someone to want to buy a rock album as much as they'd want to buy a hip-hop album. And Hawthorne Heights DOES NOT need anybody's support because they are on Victory, which is distributed by RED (Sony), so they still have a major label budget for marketing and promotions.
- Our society and culture has put rock music on the backburner. If our album can debut at ..1 all of us will have taken ROCK music back to the top of the charts where it belongs.
FACT: Our society and culture has NOT put rock music on the backburner. Other than the examples that I posted above, there are still of plenty of cookie cutter bands like The Bravery who at least go gold; and didn't U2 just win a Grammy or two? What about MTV's TRL, a show that used to be exclusively rappers and boy bands? Who's on the charts there? P.O.D.? All-American Rejects? Wait, HAWTHORNE HEIGHTS? Oh, the pain of being in a ROCK band....
- Radio has played [Ne-Yo's] single 160,000 times. Our single has been played 3,800 times.
FACT: First off, what kind of self-serving band keeps track of their airplay? Also, when was the last time radio mattered? With high speed internet, I think it's more realistic that Hawthorne Heights is a bigger band since most suburban kids who buy that sort of shit probably have cable or DSL. Additionally, what about the areas that Ne-Yo's single was receiving airplay? I'm certain that these "figures" are probably based off of Clear Channel-owned stations and not indie or college radio.
- We know that does not seem possible but it is the truth. Ne-Yo is on a major label. Hawthorne Heights is on an independent label.
FACT: Again, Victory is NOT an indie label. A real indie label would probably go through a smaller distributor like Lumberjack, Mordam, or Revolver. RED is owned by Sony, so Victory still has thousands upon thousands of dollars to spend on a band like Hawthorne Heights. Besides, when was the last time you heard of an indie label shipping 500,000 units?
- The mainstream media may not choose to fully embrace this ROCK band from Dayton, Ohio but all of you have.
FACT: If you go to MTV's main page and look at the top five "Hot" videos who is number one? Oh, yeah Hawthorne fucking Heights.
While it's hard to dispute that hip-hop and contemporary R&B have gotten bigger in the last decade or so, think about how long it took for those musical genres to become mainstream. Hip-Hop is approaching 40 and has only recently received the kind of glitz, publicity and acceptance that rock music has had for decades.
I can go on and on about how hypocritical Hawthorne Heights are, but I think what I've pointed out is enough. I think their bare bones arguement here is don't buy Black music, buy white music. Whether they mean it or not, that is the message they are sending to kids everywhere and I think it's damn disgusting. A real music fan doesn't have boundaries and shouldn't be told what album to buy, let alone side with an entire genre. Hawthorne Heights are basically saying, "If you buy Ne-Yo, you hate rock music" but it's just not that easy these days. The reality is that Hawthorne Heights are making a poor attempt to stir the pot and give themselves a name, all while hiding behind the mask of indie vs. majors. But that's not really the case is it? It's really about a weak-ass band who makes weak-ass songs trying to sell themselves as underdogs. So Hawthorne Heights, now that I've pulled your card, I'm going to go buy Ne-Yo's album at Best Buy just to take away your Soundscan.