Hawthorne Heights’s JT Woodruff talks about new album “Zero”

JT Woodruff is the lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist for the band Hawthorne Heights. The group is set to release their 5th studio album titled “Zero”. The band will also be headlining this year’s Van’s Warped tour which kicks off on June 15th in Seattle, WA. Media Mikes had the chance to talk with JT about the upcoming release and what he is most looking forward to about this summer’s tour.

Adam Lawton: What are you most looking forward to about headlining this year’s Warped Tour?
JT Woodruff: We are totally stoked about this summer’s tour. We love writing and performing music but we are a band that loves listening to live music as well. Warped Tour has music going on all day long so when we aren’t playing we are going to get to see a lot of great acts and get to meet a bunch of cool people. It’s going to be a long hot summer but it’s going to be one of the best summers we have ever had. We appreciate Kevin Lyman and everyone at Warped Tour for inviting us out. We are really looking forward to it and ready to hit the ground running.

AL: With the set times for Warped Tour tending to be a bit shorter will you be playing any material off the new album?
JT: Yes. We have a couple different set lists than span our albums. Those do include material from th

e new album. With only getting a half hour we want to let people know we have a new album coming out but we also want to play songs we think people want to hear. We may even throw in a curve ball here or there.

AL: Did the band try any different approaches with the recording of the new album?
JT: Things were a little different this time around. We had never recorded in Nashville before so that was new and we had never worked with producer Brian Virtue before either. As far as the overall tone of the album we had never done anything that was concept based. This was a giant leap for us. We wanted to do this as a way to tread new ground. The songs still song like us but they may sound like they are coming from a different place. We wanted to make an album that was very cohesive and straight forward. The idea was to let the tempo dictate the story and to let the overall aggressiveness or lack of aggression carry the song.

AL: Did you find it easier or more difficult to write knowing you were following a concept?
JT: I looked at it both ways from time to time. You might end up working on a song that when your done doesn’t fit the but you really like the song. You start looking for ways to make things fit but if that doesn’t work you have to just hold it back for another time. Things tended to flow pretty easily. When you’re writing a song your sort of telling a miniature story anyway so this I think was a little easier as you had something to work off of. There was a basis or guide and I just tried to figure out how I could tell that story in 3 minutes of a song either lyrically, emotionally or sonically. It was definitely a learning experience.

AL: After Warped Tour wraps up has there been any discussions of a solo headlining tour?
JT: We are working on stuff for the fall right now however nothing has been set in stone. Sometimes things take awhile to plan and other times things happen overnight. I can tell you though that we will be out touring in some form or another after Warped Tour ends. We also want to try and do some international touring as well this year. Right now we are just focused on 8 weeks of playing in the sun and meeting the fans and talking about the new album.