You don’t have to change everything. However, realigning can be the healthiest
remedy after nearly two decades in the music business. Going into their eleventh fulllength
album, Kill The Flaw [7 Bros. Records/ADA Label Services], Sevendust changed
a lot around them regarding the infrastructure of their organization, but they didn’t alter
what matters the most—the music. Following their first significant break (two months)
since forming, the Atlanta group—Lajon Witherspoon [lead vocals], Clint lowery [lead
guitar, backing vocals], John Connolly [rhythm guitar, backing vocals], Vince Hornsby
[bass], and Morgan Rose [drums]—entered their new creative hub, Architekt Studios in
Butler, New Jersey, completely inspired and invigorated.
“For the first time in our careers, the avenues were swept off with all of the trash we had
on them before,” admits Lajon. “We didn’t have certain people’s hands in our pockets or
helicoptering the situation to what they thought it should be. We took a lot of things in
our own control. As a result, it’s a new chapter for us.”
“That’s why the record is called Kill The Flaw,” explains Clint. “It’s basically about cutting
off the baggage from your life and career and trimming down the excess that holds you
back. We’ve had a lot of struggles with the industry. We changed everything about our
business. It’s a rebirth in a sense, as far as what we want to do, how we’re going to do
it, and who we’re going to it with. We’ve learned from our mistakes.”
There were a few other significant changes as well. Instead of holing up in a hotel,
Lajon, Clint, and John rented a house together. The sessions became “24-hour” as the
guys cooked breakfast together, hit the gym, and then locked themselves in the studio
until midnight every day for five weeks. They also penned the music alongside one
another in the studio, jamming everything out in the same room.
“It made everything feel like it did when we first started,” smiles Lajon. “We went in, sat
down, looked at each other, picked up the instruments, and began rocking out.
Recording like an actual group gave everything more substance.”
“I wanted to embrace what Sevendust is on Kill the Flaw,” declares Clint. “It’s the
contrast of the melodic vocal over a very percussive, heavy musical landscape. That’s
what we’ve always done. That’s one of those things our fan base really connected to.
They’re our life’s blood. There’s no question. We allow our fans to have more of a voice
than other bands. We love putting out records that people can say, ‘This what they do.
This is the type of band I want to support.’”
The first single and album opener “Thank You” upholds the pillars of their signature
style with a buoyant guitar groove, bombastic drums, and soulfully striking refrain.
“There’s always someone trying to keep you down,” sighs Lajon. “At the end of the day,
that negativity makes you stronger. You’re still going. It says, ‘Thank you for putting me
down. Thank you for making me work harder. Thank you for hating!’”
The band received an unexpected surprise in early December, as “Thank You” was
nominated for a GRAMMY® for Best Metal Performance. It’s the bands first nomination
in their near-twenty-year career.
“It’s unbelievable to be nominated for a GRAMMY® and we thank the Lord for this
opportunity,” said Lajon. “We are so grateful to everyone who has helped us achieve
“Thank You” has received a lot of attention for the band since it was released. In
September, the song was featured in an Apple Keynote speech from the Bill Graham
Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. Jen Folse, senior design producer and part of the
Apple TV team, showcased “Thank You” during the finale of her promo of the new
Apple TV. As she stated during her presentation in regards to the band, “So you
probably wouldn’t have guessed it, but I am quite the metal head and this is one of my
favorite bands.”
Meanwhile, “Death Dance” builds from an eerie clean guitar into a towering distorted
verse that’s as robust as it is raw. Everything converges on an undeniable vocal chant
during the chorus. “That’s the summer dance jam right there,” chuckles Lajon.
“It’s based around the social media era we’re in with all of its vanity and ego,” reveals
Clint. “We all get caught up in it. People try to enhance their looks without putting any
energy towards giving back. The dead are society staring at their iPhones. You’ve got to
see the world. You can’t look at a screen for that.”
Then, there’s “Not Today,” which is equally stirring and soaring with its six-string
beatdown and vulnerably vibrant vocals. “That’s another one about change,” continues
Clint. “It’s us as a band basically making a choice to change who we work with and how
we do what we do. It’s us addressing things that have stopped that from happening.
You’re lashing out at someone and explaining how you’re going to be a different version
of yourself.”
Thankfully, they’re still Sevendust through and through, and that’s what forged one of
hard rock’s most diehard audiences. 2014’s acoustic offering Time Traveler’s & Bonfires
saw an overwhelming response from that community, being quickly funded through a
highly successful PledgeMusic campaign. Just a year prior, Black Out The Sun entered
Billboard’s Top Hard Music Albums chart at #1 and landed at #18 on the Top 200. They
kicked off their illustrious career with an untouchable string of three gold albums,
beginning with their self-titled 1997 debut and continuing with Home in 1999 and
Animosity in 2001. Along the way, they’ve sold out shows everywhere and given
unforgettable performances at the likes of Rock On The Range, Woodstock, OZZfest,
and Shiprocked! to name a few. However, the new chapter starts now.
“I hope people know we’re the real deal,” concludes Lajon. “That’s the most important
thing. There’s substance here. That’s why everybody keeps coming back, and we’re
beyond thankful for that.”
“I want everybody to walk away surprised,” Clint leaves off. “I hope it’s better than they
imagined, and they get this reassurance that we’re all connected. We want to give
people fresh, quality music. I hope they feel prideful they’ve stuck with us through all of
these years.”

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."

$30.00 - $35.00



Upcoming Events