Hawthorne Heights have lived through the kinds of highs and lows that would make for an epic episode of 'Behind the Music.' The Ohio combo has gone through everything from hit singles and sold-out tours to record label lawsuits and even death. In 2007 the band's lead guitarist, Casey Calvert, was found dead on their tour bus after succumbing to an accidental prescription drug overdose. After an acrimonious parting with their original label [Victory Records], Hawthorne Heights signed on with Wind-Up Records for their fourth album, 2010's 'Skeletons.' But that union proved to be unsuccessful.

"Wind-Up put us into the recording studio with Howard Benson and spent a lot of money on that," says Hawthorne Heights' Eron Bucciarelli. The drummer is on the phone with Noisecreep from his home in Ohio. "Everyone was excited and the label really believed in the band. Unfortunately right after the album came out, things turned bad. The label pretty much had been a hobby of the owners who were this mega-rich couple and now were going through a divorce. As a result of that our advertising budget got cut in half. So while our die-hard fans knew about the record and bought it, everyone else didn't even know we had something new out. 'Skeletons' was a big flop because of that," says Bucciarelli.

The drummer then tells Noisecreep how the Wind-Up deal finally ended. "We started working on new material during the Christmas holiday last year. A couple of months ago some people from the label called the band and were pretty honest with us. They said that it was obvious that the situation wasn't working out and that they were hurting for money. They also said that our record sales weren't really balancing out on what they still owed us financially. We told them that we weren't getting all the attention that we felt we deserved.

"So the label presented us with an option to get out of contract and we jumped at it. We've been around for a while now and we've figured out how to properly promote ourselves. We know what it takes to market the brand that is Hawthorne Heights and we can do it more effectively than the traditional business model can do," says Bucciarelli.

With that independent spirit in mind, Hawthorne Heights decided to keep the business side of the band close to home. The group launched their own imprint record label, Cardboard Empire, on which they will self-release an upcoming series of new EPs. The first in a planned series of three EPs, 'Hate,' will be released on August 23rd and can be ordered at this link.

Watch 'Hate' trailer from Hawthorne Heights


"We've been self-managing ourselves for the better part of nine months or so. I think if you look at the state of the music business right now, everyone is scrambling trying to figure out how to survive. So now that we're doing everything ourselves, we can control all of the aspects that make money for the band. That includes stuff like pre-sale and ticket bundles. We wouldn't have been able to do that on a traditional record label. I think we've taken a disappointing situation and made something good out of it. We're excited about the future."

Tour dates:

Aug 20 - Buffalo, NY @ Club Diablo

Aug 21 - Toronto, ON @ The Rockpile

Aug 22 - Cornwall, ON @ Murphy's Inn

Aug 23 - Foxboro, MA @ Showcase Live

Aug 24 - Uncassville, CT @ Mohegan Sun - Wolf Den FREE SHOW, 21+

Aug 25 - Rockville Centre, NY @ Vibe Lounge

Aug 26 - Allentown, PA @ Crocodile Rock

Aug 27 - Lebanon, OH - Venue 42

Aug 30 - Marietta, OH @ Marietta Brewing Company

Aug 31 - Vienna, VA @ Jammin Java

Sep 01 - Myrtle Beach, SC @ Pirates Cove

Sep 02 - Charleston, SC @ The Oasis

Sep 03 - Augusta, GA @ Sector 7G

Sep 04 - Jacksonville, FL @ Jack Rabbits

Sep 05 - Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade

Sep 07 - Orlando, FL @ Backbooth

Sep 08 - Tampa, FL @ The Orpheum

Sep 09 - Tallahassee, FL @ Floyd's Music Store

Sep 11 - Birmingham, AL @ Zydeco

Sep 12 - Tupelo, MS @ Goodtime Charlies

Sep 13 - Little Rock, AR @ Juanitas

Sep 14 - Cookeville, TN @ Amps and Ramps

Sep 15 - Whitesburg, KY @ Tourism Building

Sep 16 - Indianapolis, IN @ ES Jungle

Sep 23 - Westland, MI @ The Token Lounge

Sep 24 - Kalkaska, MI @ The Kaliseum

Sep 25 - Chicago, IL @ Reggie's Rock Club

Sep 27 - La Crosse, WI @ The Warehouse

Sep 28 - Mankato, MN @ What's Up Lounge

Sep 29 - Sioux Falls, SD @ The Vault

Sep 30 - Minneapolis, MN @ Station 4

Oct 01 - Fargo, ND @ The Aquarium

Oct 02 - Billings, MT @ Manny's

Oct 04 - Pocatello, ID @ The Venue

Oct 05 - Spokane, WA @ The A Club

Oct 06 - Seattle, WA @ Studio Seven

Oct 07 - Umatilla, OR @ The AAP House

Oct 08 - Reno, NV @ The Alley

Oct 09 - Oakland, CA @ New Parish

Oct 10 - Simi Valley, CA @ 118 West

Oct 11 - Los Angeles, CA @ Key Club

Oct 12 - Bakersfield, CA @ Jerry's Pizza

Oct 13 - Las Vegas, NV @ The Sanctuary

Oct 14 - Salt Lake City, UT @ In The Venue

Oct 15 - Cheyenne, WY @ The Bananza

Oct 16 - Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive

Oct 18 - Lubbock, TX @ Jake's Sports Cafe

Oct 19 - Austin, TX @ Emo's

Oct 20 - San Antonio, TX @ Jack's Bar

Oct 21 - Houston, TX @ Scout Bar

Oct 22 - Dallas, TX @ Trees

Oct 23 - Oklahoma City, OK @ The Conservatory

Oct 24 - Ames, IA @ The Maintenance Shop

Oct 25 - St Louis, MO @ Old Rock House

Oct 26 - Springfield, MO @ The Lemon Drop

Oct 27 - Terre Haute, IN @ The Venue

Oct 28 - Evansville, IN @ Boney June's

Oct 29 - Grand Rapids, MI @ MXTP