JT Woodruff, lead singer of Hawthorne Heights, loves Bruce Springsteens work. And not just the anthem-laden albums, which would make sense, as Hawthorne Heights have been playing their own soaring, pounding rock songs for 10 years.
Nope, hes a fan of The Boss The Promise, a 2010 collection of B-sides from the Darkness at the Edge of Town sessions, and 1982s Nebraska, a stark, intimate, acoustic record.
Woodruff and company are working to make songs from their four albums sound more like Nebraska, as they embark on their first-ever acoustic tour. Furious rockers and acoustic ballads alike will get the stripped-down treatment, as the act strives to create new opportunities.
We could do another tour like weve always done, or we could do something weve never done and that our fans will appreciate, Woodruff said. Maybe it will work, maybe it wont.
Although last years Skeletons had several songs that feature acoustic guitars heavily, those tunes werent the impetus for the new tour. Hawthorne Heights just wanted to do it in general.
A lot of times, you cant play those songs. They drag a mood down, Woodruff said. There will be no loud, blaring guitars and drums to hide behind. Itll be intimate. I hope youll hear all the fans singing along.
With the smaller venues that Hawthorne Heights will hit on this tour, that intimacy will be possible. The group knows that experience wont extend to all its fans, however.
Some people will be turned off immediately because its not a rock show, Woodruff said, noting the release of Nebraska, a departure from Springsteens signature sound. If we did that, it wouldnt be like that. People would say, Why is this acoustic? For those who wouldnt wonder such things, Hawthorne Heights will show them Monday at The Conservatory.
Its a lot cooler to play a small club with a couple of chairs and a couple of mics, to see everything going on. I love the small venues, because its so personal. You get to see your favorite bands and meet your favorite bands. Theres no hiding behind anything; you discover a different side of everybody, Woodruff said.
That different side, he promised, will be on full display.
Well play a good amount off Skeletons, a good, long, extended set, he said. It puts us out of our comfort zone. And it will be hard, but were musicians, and this is what we do for a living. You gotta push your boundaries a bit.
Although many of the songs will sound very different than their electric counterparts, Woodruff isnt concerned with labels placed on the tracks.
Good songs have no genre, he said. A good song is exactly that. Stephen Carradini