Wither Away
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Wither Away

Reading, Pennsylvania, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF | AFTRA

Reading, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF | AFTRA
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Rock Post-metal




"Album Review: Wither Away – The Words We Live By, the Actions We Don’t Take"

It’s always going to be a challenge for relatively small, up and coming bands to prove themselves as unique, and on their new release, The Words We Live By, the Actions We Don’t Take, Wither Away has risen to the task.

The release feels like it could be described as the hardcore counterpart to pop punk, aka pop hardcore. The music on the album is simple, straightforward, and yet also strong, while the vocals are mostly clean and spunky with a few very listenable screams thrown in for good measure.

Wither Away’s new album occupies a truly unique space, and any musical artist that can pull that off deserves accolades. The whole thing and not just the screams on the record is very listenable, although of course, “pop hardcore” is going to work for some people and not others. Still, no matter your genre of choice, The Words We Live By, the Actions We Don’t Take, could easily pull you in with its subtly forceful music and sing song choruses.

It never gets too “spunky” or frantic so as to make it unlistenable, and if you like hardcore or post-hardcore in general and want to try something a bit softer and less energetic, you should try Wither Away. Wither Away’s new release works well as a post-hardcore album from the softer side of the spectrum.

Lyrically, the album is simple and yet compelling, which definitely works here. The album opens with a love song, and then goes on to cover the common issues of dealing with depression and even suicidal feelings for the middle 5 songs.

In one of the most initially memorable choruses of the album, the band’s vocalist J.J. Heliger sings on “Hopeless,” the fourth track, “I’ve been trying, I’ve been trying hard to decipher it; When one day I’m doing fine; The next is just crippling time; I’m imprisoned in my mind.”

The release ends with another love song, and there is one memorable moment lyrics-wise on the release when on “Transitions,” the speaker begins to touch on religious themes while “transitioning” away from their concept of “God,” as it were.

Wither Away is still a relatively new project, although not brand new, and it will be definitely interesting to see where they go from here. - Caleb Newton

"Wither Away track-by-track breakdown of latest release, ‘The Words We Live By, The Actions We Don’t Take’"

“Sheikha” is an anxious love letter. The song’s key and melody allow for a sound listen, while the lyrics invoke a strange feeling of constant worrying and reassurance. When you love someone so much, the thought of losing them can literally break your soul.

I wrote this while experiencing severe Adderall withdraw. I have a pretty bad case of ADHD, and I became extremely dependent after only a year. This song was a poem I wrote to my girlfriend, Amanda, to explain why I am so anxious, why I am so emotional, and why I am so worried all of the time. Everyday I wake up, I fear losing her, and this only increased the Adderall dependence. When I decided to quit, she was there to kill my anxiety.

“The Philosopher’s Stone” is about change and knowing how to accept it. I grew up in a predominantly Christian home where I was taught morals and values that still stick with me today. The song, though, focuses on the difficulties of faith and a lack thereof — the struggles of knowing there is more to life but not being able to fully grasp what that is. (It’s about) having so many thoughts and ideas, but none of which make 100% sense to you.

“The Grand Tree,” lyrically, displays the nihilistic side of my writing. This song is composed of a series of different poems that I felt meshed well together. “The Grand Tree” explains the cycles we go through and how it those cycles personally affect me.

It seems that, in life, we are constantly experiencing bad things. Some of us cope in different ways. I find myself struggling with substance addiction only to find it belittle me more than I was prior. I then rinse-and-repeat and the cycle starts over, each time causing me to self loathe more and more. Lyrically this is my favorite song off the record.

“Hopeless” is about waking up everyday with the mindset that something is going to go wrong. When I wrote the lyrics for “Hopeless,” I wanted to make sure it could capture the utter frustration it is to be a happy person with a pessimistic outlook on life. Ultimately, the song doesn’t sound sad, and that was how it was intended. But “Hopeless” allows transparency into my life to show listeners that no matter how happy a person is or how good their life may seem, some people just seem to struggle. I am, unfortunately, one of those people.

“Transitions” was definitely the hardest to write, lyrically. The song focuses on God and self-worth. It may sound like a plea for lost faith, but the contrary is actually true.

As mentioned before, I was raised in a Christian home. It was frowned upon to have doubts or questions, so most of my upbringing I stayed quiet. These thoughts and questions I have had over the years have burdened me, because I felt I was living a lie. Not necessarily a lie of what I believe but of how I was feeling. I believe God exists, but I haven’t “felt” Him like the rest of my friends and family do. I hope others that feel like this can find comfort in this song.

“Earthbound” is about divorce and how much I hate it. I experienced the divorce of my parents at the age of 16 and was able to see first hand how it affects families. My heart yearned for my father, and I made a promise to myself that I’d never put my future family though the same thing.

I’ve talked with people about the subject and have heard many opinions on divorce. Some say you cannot control if a divorce happens or not, some people just stop caring. However, I believe that marriage, a sacred bond between two people, must be valued and prioritized. “Earthbound” is the response to divorce, and I hope listeners understand that love is precious. We must always put our lovers before ourselves.

The last song on the album, “Hazel Eyes,” has a bit of a dual meaning. The name “Hazel Eyes” refers to my girlfriend’s hazel eyes — kind of a no brainer, but the lyrics and premise of the song may read and feel like a breakup and plea for reconciliation. The song is intended to feel that way. I want listeners to have the ability to derive different notions from this song.

For me, this song speaks about sadness and conflict of which you have no control over. Your significant other has lost their job or a love one dies. Your heart aches for them, but you don’t necessarily have any solution other than to love them. This song as a whole may be my favorite off the album. - DAVID STAGG


Pennsylvania, the home state of several creative and mosaic musicians, is where you can find Wither Away proudly standing tall on that artistic list. The PA boys mix alternative with post hardcore and will pique your attention if you're a fan of Citizen, Movements, Balance and Composure and Saosin (w/ Cove). Starting up in mid 2015, the 5-piece debuted their record "The Words We Live By, The Actions We Don't Take" in May of this year and from reading fan comments about the seven track release, listeners are enamored by their sound, one so much so that they got the bands artwork tattooed on themselves. Jeff and JJ were kind enough to take some time and answer a few questions about Wither Away and give insight to our viewers why we chose them for this spotlight.

Alleen: Who are the members of Wither Away and what are their roles in the band?
JJ does vocals, David and Jeff are the guitar players, Connor plays bass, and Russell is on drums!
A: How would you describe your musical genre?
JJ & Jeff: We would say a safe genre to put us under would be Melodic Hardcore
A: Who are some of your musical inspirations as a band?
Jeff: Ever since I was a child I've always been involved in music.. But what inspired me most is seeing the raw passion of professional musicians pouring their hearts out on stage. Naturally after my first "real" Concert seeing For Today at a local venue and the release of Guitar Hero, I started making my dream a reality.
JJ: I am extremely inspired by bands like Brand New and Taking Back Sunday.
A: Your debut record, "The Words We Live By, The Actions We Don't Take,” released back in May, what sort of feedback have you been receiving so far on the music?
Jeff: I couldn't be more amazed with all the positive feedback we have received from this release. It blows me away how many people have reached out to us to let us know how the release has impacted them.
JJ: We're getting feedback we've never expected to receives. Its been truly amazing.
A: If you had every record label in the industry bidding for you, who would be your first choice based off matchings as far as musical style?
Jeff: Currently we're actively sticking with DIY, but If I had to choice I'd have to say either Invogue or Run For Cover Records.
JJ: Red Bull Records, but DIY is honestly much more appealing.
A: Pennsylvania has birthed a good amount of musical talent, who are some of your favorite PA bands or artists?
Jeff: Obviously I'm going to say August Burns Red, This Or The Apocalypse, and Texas In July due to the bands all basing themselves in an area about an hour away and having the opportunity to see them multiple times. But other than that I would say I really like Balance and Composure & Grayscale.
JJ: Title Fight is one of my favorites. Also +1 to what Jeff said.
A: What has been the most memorable moment as a band?
Jeff: This release honestly, We've went from over 100k views on one of our music videos to someone getting our album art tattoo'd on their arm. This whole release has just been a blessing for us all.
JJ: Driving home from the studio late nights, and having Ricky message us a preview of the track. Might sound silly to say, but that feeling you get is incredible.
A: What does the rest of the year look like for Wither Away?
Jeff: Maybe another release or so.
JJ: Maybe something a little different?
A: What are some final words you would like to add and close this out on?
Jeff: Keep your eye out for a surprise or two in the next couple months!
JJ: What Jeff said! +keep jamming the tracks and let us know what your favorite track is! - ALLEEN HUGHES

"[AltWire Interview] JJ and Jeff of Wither Away"

[Derek Oswald/AltWire]: Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us today. For our readers who don’t know about you, can you tell us who you are and your current band members? How did you all meet each other?

[JJ Heliger/Wither Away]: Hi everyone, we are Wither Away, located out of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Our band members consist of J.J. Heliger (Vocals), Jeff Pettinato (Guitar/vocals), David Young (Guitar), Connor Reading (Bass), and Russell Hall (Drums). Jeff and I played in heavier projects earlier on, which led to us meeting David because our band played with his from time to time. Jeff and I then met Connor while working at Best Buy and instantly became friends. Russell reached out to us after the release of Sentiment, and we were extremely impressed with his drumming. Everything seemed to fit really well. Not only the chemistry of the writing process, but just the friendships overall. Couldn’t really wish for better guys.

[AW]: AltWire itself is headquartered out of Reading, PA so it’s always great to speak to a hometown band. How would you describe the music scene in Reading? Do you feel the city of Reading is positive and welcoming to rock music?

[JJ Heliger/Wither Away]: In some ways, I like to think the music scene is starting to surge here. Bands are taking a more professional approach likely because we’re getting older and have more ability to do this in comparison to when we were 15 years old. It’d be really cool to see more of the youth getting involved, but as a whole, metal/rock has been pretty welcomed here.

[Jeff Pettinato/Wither Away]: The music scene is great honestly. I’m always keeping an eye on all the groups and the community. I feel like the majority of the scene from reading has shifted a little closer towards Philly now, which isn’t a bad thing! Philly shows are great. I will just forever miss going to the Silo when I was 15 and knowing everyone there.

[AW]: You guys started out as a duo, and later became the five piece you are now. Given that J.J and Jeff were likely used to writing together by themselves, how did the addition of David, Connor and Russell impact the songwriting process? Do J.J and Jeff still write the majority of the songs, or is it a collaborative effort?

[JJ]: Bringing David, Connor, and Russell into the band really raised our standard for what we are capable of writing. We’re challenged constantly by each other, and it really gives Wither Away a sound of its own. It is a collaborative effort as a whole. If we’re not all writing together, we’re writing songs we can pass off to each other to vet and adapt to each of our style of writing. I (J.J.) like to write the majority of my songs on acoustic guitar to get a rawer feel before adapting it to electric guitar. The guys are really good with taking an idea and rolling with it.

[JP]: When David (Guitarist) first came in the mix he was living in Myrtle Beach, SC and we started bouncing ideas back and forth. But when David flew down to hang out and write some music we ended up putting together Hopeless and I could tell from there this was going to work very well. David lives here now and ever since then we’ve been collaborating on our music and writing together. I’m very glad to have more minds in this band.

[AW]: With the majority of the band members coming from metal-core backgrounds, I’d imagine that Wither Away is certainly a change from what many of you are used to. What challenges did all of you face when writing “The Words We Live By, The Actions We Don’t Take”? Do you apply any of your metal-core knowledge to these songs?

[JJ]: The biggest challenge, yet contributor to our sound is the fact that we were writing in a field we were not familiar with. This gave us a completely fresh and risky approach to the record, but in the end, we were stoked with what we created. Though we play in E Standard, our guitar tones are anything but lacking, and our drums could fit into any metal-core outing. Heavier drums and guitar really give us a big sound, something we all loved from our metal-core past times.

[JP]: Switching from Metal-core to this was definitely different in the beginning. After releasing Sentiment and Yuno we started getting a knack for knowing what should be where and what would sound good. It was a bit of a challenge in the beginning but then it came natural. I believe coming from that background into what we do now is a huge contributor to why we have the sound we do and what can set us apart from others.

[AW]: Branching off of that, Wither Away has a pretty diverse sound. Individually, what would you say are all of your influences?

[JJ]: There are a lot of them. Brand New and Taking Back Sunday are just a few of mine. But I know the rest of the band ranges from The Contortionist to The Dear Hunter. We have a wide variety of influences.

[JP]: My biggest influence was Citizen, I was a little late to the game and just started checking them out when JJ showed me their most recent release at the time (Everybody is Going to Heaven). They quickly became my favorite band in that genre and moved me onto listening to bands like Turnover, Have Mercy, and Balance and Composure.

[AW]: Your earliest releases (the single “Sentiment”) and your latest release (“The Words We Live By, The Actions We Don’t Take”) were all self-released, but have been fortunate to receive great exposure and promo by Dreambound. Given the early success you’ve found without a label, do you feel you’d prefer to remain unsigned and in-house? And do you feel this offers advantages that a label contract couldn’t allow?

[JJ]: We’re super thankful for what Dreambound has provided us with so far. I think I can speak for all when I say this is the first band where we’re actually receiving funds to pay for other assets in the band. It’s a really cool feeling, because though we do not have a label pumping us up, people from all parts of the world are listening, enjoying, and purchasing our music. We want to continue DIY until we cannot handle it ourselves. The best thing about being unsigned is that we do not have to answer to anyone about anything we do. So if we want to release a new song, we record a new song and release it ha.

[JP]: I must also mention Dreambound, and how grateful we are to have them by our side. Their support is unreal. Currently we enjoy the idea of staying DIY. I love the fact that everything we release is under our terms and our time. It’s more freeing to be able to work by our schedule at this point in time. With all the support from our fans world wide we’re also able to front stuff like merch, studio time, Which is a huge blessing and helps us get to work quicker!

[AW]: Wither Away formed only last year, but incredibly your music has already received nods from Alt Press, and UK magazine Kerrang! How does it feel to already have such a decent buzz, and to have your music receiving plays from all over the world? Hazel eyes is already over 100k views!

[JJ]: It’s pretty humbling. We did not expect this to transform into what it is today. We made music we love and ran with it. Truly blessed to have the support from listeners around the world.

[JP]: It was such an unreal feeling to get the response we did after releasing even Sentiment. I never thought starting this “fun” project with my best friend would turn into a what it has with 4 of my best friends. I can’t express how thankful I am to have all the support nationally and internationally that we have.

[AW]: What are your plans for the future? Anything else you’d like to add?

[JJ]: We will be playing some shows very soon, and we may have some new/revised content on the way. Stay tuned. - Derek Oswald

"Interview: Wither Away"

We caught up with Reading, PA based melodic-hardcore act, Wither Away to talk about their recent release The Words We Live By, The Actions We Don't Take, out now via Dreambound. The act is relatively young and new to the scene, but this does not mean that they are not a force to be reckoned with. Already having released two records in their year of being together as a band, these guys are ready to work and leave an impression. Check out what they had to say about their new album and watch the music video for their single "The Grand Tree" below the interview!

The Words We Live By, the Actions We Don't Take was recently released, what has been the most rewarding part of putting together and releasing the album thus far?

From the moment we started writing the record, it's been a humbling experience. To see our thoughts and ideas transform from our basement to the studio has been incredible. We all came from pretty different projects in the past, mainly metal bands. This allowed us a fresh mindset to craft something we aren't used to and quite frankly, something we're extremely proud of.

Where did you gather inspiration from for the new album?

Honestly, late nights, hanging with friends, drinking beers, and having a good time really shaped this album. Kind of a cliche response, but we did not know what we were going to create. Music has always been an escape for us, and the bonding factor of friendship and hardships really made this album what it is today.

What did the writing process look like for it?

Coming from writing and playing in drop tuning, E standard allowed us a fresh and rejuvenating take on writing. It empowered us to venture into territory we weren't normally used to resulting in creating a style that necessarily doesn't have any boundaries.

What do you hope fans will take will take away as the message from the album?

I hope fans can listen to this album 10 years from now and feel a sense of nostalgia and remember exactly how life was when they first heard this album. An album that holds that much significance in ones' life is priceless.

What can fans expect from you for the remainder of this year?

We are working on a possible cover and of course still writing day by day.

What are your goals moving forward?

We are looking forward to playing a lot of shows moving forward. We all work full time jobs, so we put as much as we can currently to the band.

Anything else you'd like to add?

We're extremely excited and proud of the feedback we're getting from this album. We want our fans to know that every comment, share, or even like motivates us to produce more and more music. It's a great feeling really, and we love that people are really enjoying it. - Sam Reed

"Wither Away slides into Spotify's Hit Playlist "Crash Course""

Wither Away has been featured in Spotify's ever popular playlist "Crash Course" as well as other playlists throughout the website. - Spotify

"Ian Hates Conversations with Wither Away"



August Burns Red has played nearly 100 shows in 2019. Their travels have taken them to Sacramento, California; Brisbane, Australia; Frankfurt, Germany; and many stops in between.

But there’s one show the Manheim-born metalcore band anticipates more than any other: its annual Christmas Burns Red holiday show in Lancaster.

“The crowd is always so welcoming and responsive,” guitarist JB Brubaker says. “It’s definitely, like, a highlight for us as far as shows go every year.”

Since 2005, the band has played at the Chameleon Club in December as an annual tradition — first as part of CI Records’ annual Christmas Show, and later as its own separate event. The band will expand the celebration this year by bringing it to Lancaster County Convention Center’s Freedom Hall on Saturday night. Jeremy Weiss, founder of CI Records, says the venue upgrade will allow for more walk-up sales the day of the show.

They’ve also added a Friday night concert and dance party at the Chameleon Club to get the fun started early.

The Friday night opener show will feature Albert React, Trove, FTD and Goat Skull Rebellion, followed by a DJ set by Brubaker.

On Saturday for the main event, Knocked Loose, Miss May I, Like Moths to Flames, Currents, Hawk and Wither Away will perform before August Burns Red takes the stage.

As is tradition, the band’s set will include some of its Christmas songs and other surprises. The show also comes at the end of a yearlong international tour celebrating the 10th anniversary of the album “Constellations.” August Burns Red also will perform that album front-to-back, for what Brubaker says will be the last time “in the foreseeable future.”

This festival has sold out the entire convention hall right as doors opened. - Lancaster Online


Full Length/Album - I won't Find Hope In (Coming Late 2020) (Pushed back per Covid-19)
1 - TBA
2 - TBA
3 - TBA
4 - TBA
5 - TBA
6 - TBA
7 - Everything She's Been Through
8 - TBA
9 - TBA
10 - TBA

Single - Pandora's Box (2018)
Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqPxwGvsnEY

EP/Album - The Words We Live By, the Actions We Don't Take (2017)
1 - Sheikha
Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLAIZCX_pps
2 - The Philosopher's Stone 
Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9T4SpdMh6s
3 - The Grand Tree
Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKHMFS0h5QA
4 - Hopeless 
Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0mG_kX9JzI
5 - Transitions
Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFBcZB16Zx4
6 - Earthbound
Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiJSrDusQHM
7 - Hazel Eyes 
Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nI3ZoQdaa0

Single - Yuno (2016)

Single - Sentiment (2016)
Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odzTOfh6mY0



Wither Away, Started from a studio project of two, to a fully functioning band with the support of many. Wither Away exclusively releases from Europe heavy promotions company "Dreambound" Pulling over 400k subscribers and millions of views across their line up. Wither Away also has the support through endorsement of Balaguer Guitars and B Custom Cabinets, & Galaxy Audio.

Balaguer Guitars Proudly Endorses: Jeff Pettinato, Johnny Youmans 

Galaxy Audio Proudly Endorses: John Heliger, Johnny Youmans, David Young, Russell Hall, Jeff Pettinato

Band Members