MTV recently did an interview with Hawthorne Heights and Casey Calvert’s wife Ashley. You can readÃ‚ some experts below and read the full article here.
Hawthorne Heights wanted this moment Ã¢â‚¬” this opportunity Ã¢â‚¬” to honor their friend, and, as we started the half-hour interview with the band to, as they put it, “put to rest some of the rumors and misinformation that have been out there since Casey died.” Those rumors include the suggestion that the guitarist had suffered from acute asthma or other lingering physical condition that may have contributed to his death. Untrue, says the band Ã¢â‚¬” and they reemphasized the point, first made in their Web site statement over the weekend, that there were no illegal drugs involved. Ashley Calvert seconded that assertion, saying “never” in the time she knew Casey had he used any dangerous drugs.
So what did happen to Casey Calvert? All the bandmembers know is that on Friday night they kicked off their tour in Detroit, went to a radio-station sponsored bowling event at which Casey was his usual crazy self, and drove overnight to D.C. According to Matt Ridenour, Casey was in “great” spirits, staying up late, singing songs from “Aladdin” into the wee hours of the night. Oddly though, Matt went to his bunk, and a while later, Casey pulled the curtain aside to say, “Hey man, I’m finally going to sleep. Good night.” Matt recalled, “It was the only time he had ever said good night to me.”
By early Saturday afternoon, the band was about to soundcheck at Washington’s renowned 9:30 club, but Casey wasn’t up yet. The awful discovery was made by Eron Bucciarelli. The drummer said he went to wake Casey up in his bunk, tried to move him, and got no response. His skin was cold, and he was stiff. “I went to get our tour manager,” Eron said, “and when neither of us could wake him, we called 911.” The rest is a scene that only plays out in our worst nightmares.
Ashley’s story is even more wrenching than the band’s. She had said goodbye to Casey on Friday, spoke to him a couple of times that day, and then on Saturday afternoon, after volunteering at an animal shelter, she got a call from her brother. “You’ve got to come home right now,” he said. She knew something was up, but figured an animal or a grandparent had died. “Never in a million years did I think it would be Casey.”
She says she doesn’t remember much after that, except her knees buckling. According to the family, Ashley’s been amazingly strong these last few days, tending to the minutiae of a funeral and apparently postponing the full emotional impact of what has happened for days or weeks. But the toughest moment in our interview came when Ashley remembered being handed Casey’s jacket Ã¢â‚¬” specifically, the smell of it. As her eyes welled, she said, “It was Casey’s smell and I just realized, I’ll never have that smell again.”
The band says not only will it definitely continue Ã¢â‚¬” as Casey’s mom made them promise they would in a phone call on Sunday Ã¢â‚¬” but adds that Casey will always be a part of them. He’ll even continue to receive album credits. They are equally certain they will not hire another guitar player. No question. “We don’t need another guitarist. We don’t need another screamer,” said Bucciarelli. “If the fans want screaming, they can provide it themselves.” Or, as Woodruff put it, “He is the most irreplaceable person I have ever met. In all aspects.”