Dayton, Ohio rockers Hawthorne Heights are keeping busy these days with their own imprint record label, Cardboard Empire, a new series of EPs on the way and a North American tour.

The first EP, ‘Hate,’ will drop on Aug. 23, and the album’s first single, ‘Four White Walls,’ is set to premiere on MTV Friday, Aug. 12. The guys have ambitious plans to release a music video for each song off, ‘Hate,’ and the first will be for the song, ‘Is This What You Wanted?'

Pre-orders are happening now at the band’s official website, and all packages ordered between today and Aug. 17 will include an autographed CD.

“We have been a group of friends in this band for so long because we appreciate each others' hard work,” singer and guitarist JT Woodruff said in a release. “We have decided to push ourselves even further by becoming 100 percent independent. I think that we have grown kind of weary of letting outsiders push their agendas onto us. In the new technological age, we would rather embrace progress, instead of acting like the industry is broken. Musicianship is stronger than ever across the board of all genres. What has grown tired and weak is the way the business men try to sell it.”

Hawthorne Heights are also setting out on a proper tour in support of 'Hate' later this month with fellow Dayton band ViFolly. Keep up to date with tour announcements via the band’s Facebook page.

“We're constantly striving to give back to our fans whenever possible,” drummer Eron Bucciarelli said. “As part of our appreciation, we're going to be playing songs from all five albums including several songs we haven't played in over five years. We want to do our part to foster local music scenes by having local support bands. The next big thing could be from your home town, so don’t just come out to support us, come out to support the music scene in general.”

Check out Hawthorne Heights this Saturday, Aug. 13, at Dirt Fest!

Show details: Dirt Fest 2011, Saturday, Aug. 13, 12 p.m. at the Birch Run Expo Center, 11600 North Beyer Road, Birch Run. Tickets $20 in advance; $29 day of show. Find ticket information on Dirt Fest’s official website.