He Is Legend
Kiven, Versai, Here Lies the Hero, The Mendenhall Experiment, Takers Leavers
200 W. Second St
Pomona, CA, 91766
This event is all ages
He Is Legend
"Odd, intriguing and dangerous with a hint of sexy…" is how Schuylar Croom describes the name and nature of his new album, "Suck Out The Poison." He and cohorts Steve Bache, Adam Tanhouz and Matt Williams – known as He Is Legend – have been "running with lies" for some time now. Croom is able to spin these so-called "lies" into the intricate stories that comprise this sophomore album. Akin to a co
llection of Fairy Tales, with titles like "Attack of the Dungeon Witch," "The Widow of Magnolia" and "Goldie's Torn Locks," the songs on "Suck Out The Poison" paint fanciful pictures and children of all ages will come to believe Croom's Southern-Fried tall tales.
Twenty six months straight on the road will do some strange things to your head. The act of waving goodbye to family, friends, significant others, and even a bed of your own, can have you seeing things that aren't there. And in their place you may begin to find yourself living in an alternate universe, one that exists solely inside your mind. You may even begin to find a strange sense of refuge in fairy tale landscapes of epic battles, enchanted forests, evil maidens, and the emerald eyes of a voodoo princess.
Just ask Schuylar Croom, front man for He Is Legend. He'll tell you what it's like.
"The world that exists on the road is as real as anything in my imagination," Croom confesses. "What's the difference between a story about a man living inside a woman's head and the fleeting events of everyday life on tour? The visions I see in these songs are pictures of my home--the road. Losing all you know of comfort and reality is what this record is about. It's not just a collection of songs, but a visit to my abode, my dwelling place. And in that dwelling place you may find a man with flowers growing out of his hands, or you might find a widow mourning the loss of her sailor husband--who has just been devoured by a whale while at sea. Whether it's a witch who stole the moon or a wife that was made from a corpse, every song is a methodical, magical, mystical masterpiece."
The act of sucking out the poison is a myth, a fairy tale that will get you killed. But it's also a fascinating, fictitious picture of redemption. Your friend, your love, is bitten by a serpent, inflicting a fatal wound. In order to save them you have to place yourself on the wound, tasting the serum, to save their life. It is a both vile and virile act, much like the sophomore release from this North Carolina quintet. Dirty, disgusting at times, but always an alluring and fascinating picture. You are drawn to it, even though maybe you shouldn't be.
Consider the guilty pleasure of the opening track "Dixie Wolf (The Seduction Of)." Aberrant guitar dissonance rides the lightning of off-kilter drumbeats. The instruments seem to pull in one direction, while Schuylar pulls in another. A tense melody floats over the mayhem, making you feel at odds with everything He Is Legend is throwing at you. But maybe that's the point. Croom bellows, I am the villain to you, you are the princess to me. And I got you where I want you...If I cannot have you darling, no one will. This fairy tale is ending. Rest in pieces. Dark. Disconcerting. Disastrous. Such is the case with this entire sophomore work.
"We pride ourselves in being the most random band in the universe. There is no one concept, no one rule to how we do things. We don't agree on anything besides the music we write. Why take yourself seriously if you are in a rock band? I can't even believe that people pay money to watch us make fools out of ourselves onstage. But still, we want everyone to come to the show and never know what to expect, besides knowing they will have a great time. This time around though, we are way more satisfied with the music we have written. I think people will come to the shows and do a little more than just swing their arms and do karate kicks."
Perhaps the overriding theme here is depth. Beyond the thin veneer of entertainment lies a successful reach to further recesses of motivation and influence. HIL have no interest in playing the "scene" game. They are unashamed about pulling from such influences as Pantera and Sevendust. The record is as much of a nu-metal barrage as it is a southern rock avalanche. The band has made a decision that they don't want to be pigeonholed as hardcore, or metalcore, or screamo, just because they play heavy music. And they are to be commended for this courage. This is beyond lip rings and black hair dye.
"It takes a lot for us to pull from any current influences. I love Rob Zombie, Tom Waits, and Nick Cave. I love true storytellers that can put out any kind of record that they want and it sells just because the music is good. We draw so much from the records of our childhood here. The Melvins, Neurosis, Foo Fighters, Nirvana. We wanted to pull from as many different places as possible."
Consider the fact that this band has toured with everyone from Atreyu to Story Of The Year to Eighteen Visions to Every Time I Die to hardcore favorites Norma Jean. Their debut disk has scanned over 40,000 copies. Not bad for a band of pirates who just want to sail the open seas and loot all in their path. Still, there is so much more on the horizon for He Is Legend, with the advent of Suck Out the Poison. But they don't want to be the largest band in the world as the only end. Ultimately, they just want to have fun and let whatever comes, come.
That goal takes commitment to something more lofty than sales...
Not unlike the stories in the lyrics themselves, there is something inside all of this that is tangible. Something you can grab a hold of, a picture that is worth more than a thousand words. And to capture these pictures in the layout, the band gave one song away to each of twelve different artists to create a package concept. Each picture is a painting, a drawing of what each artist sees in each song. The result is a collage of depictions that can't help but take you somewhere. But where?
"When I was growing up I was in a strict Baptist environment where things like vampires and monsters were taboo. Somewhere along the way I was drawn to fixate on those things and have come to explore them, more in my subconscious mind than anywhere else. Not to say that evil is a resting place, but I think in coming to confront loss, hurt, heartache--the dark things of the rock n' roll experience--you effectively disarm them. There is hope here, but you have to weed through all the painful things to get there. Loss is the hardest thing you can go through emotionally, and that is a large part of what has influenced this album. We have lived on the road for two years as an unbelievable fairy tale. After awhile you just naturally become a part of that fairy tale."
What once started as a bedroom after school project in 2009 has now evolved into the powerful Los Angeles rock quartet, Kiven. Vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Tyler Demorest alongside guitarist, Danny Schnair, met while attending a music workshop in Los Angeles, California. The two began writing material with fellow hometown friends and musicians, only shortly before acquiring bass player, Matt Cohen, in the Spring of that year. The contrasting, yet complimenting musical perspectives and chemistry was felt immediately and it was that summer that they spent writing a collection of material that what would later be condensed into the 2010 debut EP, Two In The Same.
As the members continued to mature as individuals, the linear growth in the music was clearer than ever. Kiven is a band that writes their music to reflect the occurrences and situations that surround them at that place in time. In the year or so following the release of Two In The Same, Demorest, Schnair, and Cohen had been balancing countless long nights and hours after class to work on their music, while also being on the brink of finishing their studies and moving on to their next endeavors. In March of 2012, the band released their follow up STEP EP that would represent the member’s forward moving journey in music and life. It was from that EP that tracks like “Release” and “The Blur Ensues” began to receive online attention and premieres from ArtistDirect, Absolute Punk, Grooveshark, and a number of other tastemaker websites. With the momentum building from a number of sold out shows in the Los Angeles and Southern California area, Kiven continued to write truly genuine music.
Since Kiven’s founding, there had been drummers that had come and go, but it wasn’t until the Spring of 2012 that good friend and drummer, Jake Reed, began rehearsing with the group. Reed brought, yet again, a complex and contrasting dynamic to Kiven. After the first run through, a spark of assurance and excitement was felt throughout the room. Without necessarily intending to do so, the now solidified foursome naturally began experimenting past material, as well as new. As a result, the 1840 EP was released in late 2012 with the lead single “Hope & Smoke” being premiered on Indie Shuffle, and went on to receive significant attention online and at college radio. 1840 was released as an ongoing transitional piece that reflects Kiven’s continuing musical and personal growth.
Following the release of 1840, Kiven began to receive national and international attention that would catapult them into a busy year of writing and traveling the country playing shows. In October 2012, Kiven made their first trip across the US to perform at CMJ in New York City. The performances later were named as the #2 “Great Indie Discovery” of CMJ 2012 by Entertainment Weekly. Several months later, Kiven appeared in Austin, TX as part SXSW 2013, upon completion of their first US Tour.
Now in 2013, Kiven finds themselves eager and anxious to take the leap. The majority of the year has been spent writing and recording brand new material, all of which took place in the late hours of the night. The soon to be released material is undoubtedly the group’s latest and strongest efforts to date. The album, which is yet to be named, was recorded at East West Studios and Pie Town at MixLA and is set for a late 2013/early 2014 release.
While their musical influences have undoubtedly come from a wide array of musical and artistic spectrums, this quartet ultimately blends together to create the band’s unique and personal sound. Kiven’s music is a culmination of musicianship, individuality and represents the balance of passion verses the necessities of modern life.
The Mendenhall Experiment
Featuring founding guitarist Brandon Mendenhall, who has succeeded with and overcame living with Cerebral Palsy since birth.
"That's my main goal with music...If you asked me why I should be signed or why I want to be a Rock Star...its not about the fame or money... sure those things are nice and its great to make a living playing music... But that's not why I want it... I have a unique opportunity to Inspire people and kids with disabilities with my playing, my music and my story! I truly believe that's what i was put on this earth to do...and I'm confident that it's going to happen."
We know we have a few things to clean up in the Vox and Production... All these songs are from our first EP Return To Chaos... intended to get us out there create a buzz and get us going.
The best is yet to come from us!