94.3 KILO Presents
The Damned Things
Crobot, He Is Legend
2106 E. Platte Ave
Colorado Springs, CO, 80909
This event is all ages
The Damned Things
THE DAMNED THINGS — what are they? Why are they? These are questions NO ONE ever asks. And yet, here we are...
9 wee years ago, Scott Ian - guitarist, beard-man and co-founder of legendary thrash metal outfit, ANTHRAX - took a meeting with the lowly Joe Trohman (also a guitarist, and a co-founder, of the band FALL OUT BOY). While Joe had no beard to speak of, he and Scott hit it off, and started making songs together. Weird, right? Well, they both love Thin Lizzy, and catchy, dirty rock ’n roll music — and doggone, they we’re going to make some of that greasy stuff!
So, with the help of Cross Fit enthusiast/drummer Andy Hurley (Fall Out Boy) and the
sensual yet sardonically irreverent vocals of Keith Buckley(EVERY TIME I DIE), The
Damned Things were formed.
Some other guys played other instruments too at some point — and that’s all fine, IF
THIS WERE A DANG BOOK! All that matters is that Dan Andriano of ALKALINE
TRIO is on bass now.
The Damned Thing’s first album in 8 years - HIGH CRIMES - comes out April 2019
on NUCLEAR BLAST. Why make a record 8 years later? It wasn’t planned, that was for sure. But the lore goes: Joe Trohman started writing songs secretly, scantily clad and afraid. He then played them for the rest of the band. They said “Ok, I guess we’ll make this.” Then everyone texted their parts over to producer Jay Ruston and...VOILA! 2019, what a time to be alive!
Brandon Yeagley - Vocals, Harmonica
Bishop - Guitar, Vocals
Jake Figueroa - Bass
Paul Figueroa - Percussion
Dirty. Groove. Rock.
There was a time when rock radio was dominated by great riffs. From Deep Purple's "Smoke On the Water" and Derek And The Dominoes' "Layla" to Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" and Rage Against The Machine's "Killing In The Name Of" it was all about that unmistakable guitar sound that instantly identified a band or song.
The four members of Crobot — Brandon Yeagley (lead vocals), Chris Bishop (guitar), Jake Figueroa (bass) and Paul Figueroa (drums) — have united to bring that back.
Blending funk, blues, metal and good old-fashioned rock and roll into a howling vortex of Yeagley's vocals, Bishop's guitar and the Figueroa's backbone, Crobot have crafted an album of endless good time rock hooks that sound as inspired today as they would have on AOR radio in 1974.
"We grew up with the same riff rock and it's seemingly lacking in today's music. We really seem to like the rock of old and felt that was missing," Yeagley says.
"It seems like once we started jamming we didn't try to find a certain sound or didn't try to write a certain style, that's just the stuff that came out cause that's the shit that we like, the stuff that we listen to. It was much more of a subconscious effort. Crobot defined itself," Jake adds.
That seamless chemistry between the quartet is evident throughout their eponymous four-song EP, which serves as an introduction to the band's upcoming Something Supernatural album, due out this October. Before getting to the, well, mystical bond, first a little back story: Yeagley and Bishop were playing together in Crobot with two other members, while Jake and Paul were in other bands. "We played shows together and we realized we wanted Jake and Paul in the band for it to work and we got them," Bishop says. "Just jamming together it was natural and clicked right off the bat. With Jake and Paul we were on the same train going the same direction, from the beginning."
With the Figueroa brothers in the fold, Crobot found its voice. "Once Jake and Paul came into the band a little over a year ago everything started coming a lot easier just because they were already in a band that was similar to Crobot," Bishop says. "We all played on shows together so it was nice to have an idea and then someone to expand off of that idea. So once that started happening we realized, 'This is what Crobot is.'"
Crobot is a band that can rock at all tempos. Whether it's the slow-building groove of "Skull Of Geronimo," a methodical sludge-rocker that calls to mind Soundgarden in the chorus or the more up-tempo funkified "Nowhere To Hide," a track that sounds like the Black Crowes driving a Camaro, Crobot display stellar musicianship and lyrical depth.
For example, on "Queen Of The Light," the powerful closing track of Something Supernatural, Yeagley sings the story of a girl yearning for a new life. "She lives the darkest life/but all she wants to be is the queen of the light," he sings against the plaintive wailing of the slow-moving melody. It's one of the songs destined to strike a deep chord with fans in the same way the single "Nowhere To Hide" has become a good-time anthem.
"'Nowhere To Hide,' was another one of the first songs we had written. We were jamming ideas and pulling ideas from other songs that we had jammed on and it came together," Paul says. "It was organic."
"Nowhere To Hide" is one of the songs Yeagley cites as getting his feet wiggling. And he promises that on Something Supernatural there will be plenty more grooves to get fans moving, as those who've experienced Crobot live have already seen.
"'Night Of The Sacrifice' is one that's coming out off the full length and that always gets me excited to play," he says. "It's usually the introduction to the funkier side of what we do in our set, it's usually the first funky track that we play. So it's really exciting to switch that mode from more riff based stuff towards to the classic metal sounding stuff with the heavier side of things and to flip flop and see people's reactions when we totally hit the other end of the spectrum with the funky stuff."
Musically, "Skull Of Geronimo" is one Yeagley sees as being undeniably representative of Crobot. "That's a little on the heavier end of the spectrum, but it's still got that funkiness to it," he says. And lyrically, "Wizards" might be the Crobot statement song.
"It's an epic tale of two wizards. One is on the side of wizardry and technology while the other is the side of natural spiritual wizardry and it's a clash of funkiness and classic metal too in the same sense. So it's a battle of epic proportions on all sides," he says. "It's just a song that fulfills all the ends of the spectrum of what Crobot is."
Then there is the storytelling ability they show on a song like "La Mano De Lucifer," a Biblical tale that starts off, "A failed rebellion/against the one creator/exiled to the fire."
To show all sides of Crobot takes a lot. This is a band that displays their pot-smoking proudly, like on the humorous Twitter post, "Warning, Crobot's music has been known to turn you to stoned."
As another side of the band, Yeagley is a devout sci-fi buff. Asked what one film Crobot does the score for, he replies without hesitation, "2001: A Space Odyssey. That movie has its own special place amongst the sci-fi world." And for contemporary sci-fi he picks Ender's Game. "I'm such a huge fan of that series and to see that come to life on film was really cool. It's got battles of epic proportions and everything you love about sci-fi, just nails it," he says.
In a recent interview with a popular Chicago website the band was asked about the four-song CROBOT EP first, then waiting on the album. Their response: "We are gentlemen so we wanted to ease the tip in first."
And asked if they were born in the wrong era musically Jake nailed it. "I thought about it but then I realized the weed is WAYYYY better now."
A modern rock band with a sense of humor, as well as their own hot sauce, CROBOT has already been making their mark among peers with their wild live performances. But for Crobot, at the end of the day, it is all about the sound.
"All I care about is that people walk away after hearing the album thinking, 'Man, Crobot is the funkiest, heaviest band I've ever heard,'" Bishop says.
For fans of Clutch, Wolfmother, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Rage Against the Machine, or Soundgarden, and if ten more bands that influenced Crobot's sound were needed to be named, they easily could be.
The powerful packed punch of the vocals of lead singer Brandon Yeagley is a great one-two with the spellbinding, head bobbing guitar riffs of Chris Bishop; not to mention the stellar solidity of the low frequencies of Jake Figueroa on bass guitar and brother Paul Figueroa with groovy sticks of fury. Bishop brings his unique style of art to the table to add images to the stories unveiled by lyricist and frontman Brandon Yeagley. The two also plan on creating a graphic novel based on the songs from the album, set for an undetermined future release.
Crobot have spilled their sweat and tones on such stages as Philadelphia's Theater of Living Arts and Xfinity LIVE, The Paramount in Huntington, NJ, the Stanhope House in Stanhope, New Jersey, and Anchorage, Alaska's Chilkoot Charlie's and plan on embarking on a tour not limited to the venues listed previously.
He Is Legend
Belief can be a powerful thing. When shared even among a small group, possibilities remain endless.
That brings us to He Is Legend’s fifth full-length offering, few [Spinefarm Records]. The communal faith belonging to a cadre of musicians, artists, and fans brought the collection to life. That’s why the title, a nod to Madame Helena Blavatsky’s occult treasure The Voice of the Silence, feels so cosmically apropos for the Wilmington, NC quartet—Schuylar Croom [vocals], Adam Tanbouz [lead guitar], Matty Williams [bass], and Denis Desloge [guitar].
“This is dedicated to the people who supported us through everything,” declares Croom. “I was inspired by the words of Helena Blavatsky. She’s basically the godmother of the occult, and she dedicated one of her books to the few. Basically, that means the few that follow the way. I thought it was very fitting for what we do. It took just a few artists and a few thousand of our fans to come through and say, ‘Fuck yeah, we want you to do another record.’ We left it up to them.”
In 2015, He Is Legend wrapped up a marathon tour cycle for 2014’s triumphant Heavy Fruit with the likes of Maylene and the Sons of Disaster and Wilson. As songs like “This Will Never Work” cracked 370K Spotify streams, Heavy Fruit elevated the group to a new plateau with acclaim from Alternative Press, Revolver Magazine, L.A. Music Blog, New Noise, Ultimate Guitar, and many more.
Returning home, the boys allowed their audience to make a decision on what would become album number five…
“We started a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo,” Croom goes on. “If we met the goal, we’d do it. If not, we wouldn’t. It was all or nothing. The response was pretty overwhelming. We found new life, energy, and creativity in this as a result.”
With unique incentives like smoking jackets, amulets, and action figures, He Is Legend impressively raised 124% of their goal. During December 2015, the band retreated to a remote cabin in Carrboro, NC just 20 minutes from Warrior Sound: the studio where they cut both Heavy Fruit and It Hates You. The snowy setting and isolation instigated inspiration within Croom.
“The cabin was really pivotal for us,” he says. “There was no cell phone service. The couple that owned it had dogs and cats roaming free. It’s this nice place literally in the middle of nowhere. Rather than turning on the TV at night, we’d be sitting around a fire to stay warm drinking wine. It brought an element of darkness out of me. I was in a strange place, dealing with some personal and family issues. I channeled that as I was stuck in the snow lonely. There was this longing for summer. In my eyes, the cabin had more to do with this music than we would readily admit.”
This time around, the guys produced few with Warrior Sound owner Al Jacobs. They amplified every element of their signature style. Summoning ghosts of White Zombie, Soundgarden, and Nirvana, the riffs hit harder, the lyrics cut deeper, and the rhythms stick longer.
“We tried to go for a minimalist approach,” he goes on. “We wanted to focus on all of the aspects we’ve ever brought to the table. There was a lot of anger and hostility in the music. That mainly came out of us redefining what we used to do really well. Our sound has changed a lot over the years, but that’s important for us to grow. Our fans expect us to morph a little. There’s a little bit of all our previous records in this.”
few takes flight on the hypnotic guitars and haunting harmonies of opener “Air Raid.” It quickly blasts off into a gut-punching slam and powerful chant, “I don’t know why she’s out of breath at the door of death.”
“‘Air Raid’ hits you like the fucking end of the world,” he exclaims. “It’s pretty self-explanatory as far as the lyrics go. It’s about how the earth wants humans to be gone. We’re a fucking cancer. It could shake us off like a dog shakes off flees. It’s as political as I’ve ever gotten.”
“Sand” snaps into a barrage of distortion and percussion before slipping into one of the set’s most unforgettable choruses. “It’s the shortest song,” he continues. “It’s a banger that gets in and gets out. Lyrically, it’s about personal issues in my life I’ve been facing for a while.”
Elsewhere, the psychedelic elegance of “Gold Dust” unlocks another facet of the fours-piece. “That might be my favorite song,” he admits. “There’s always one song that pushes where we are and shows where we could go next—or might not ever go again. I used a lot of imagery from a story that a friend told me. He ate mushrooms and had a spiritual awakening. I wrote from his experience and weaved some of my own into it. It’s about trying to see again what you’ve seen when you’re under the influence.”
Completing the album, He Is Legend found the right partner for release in Spinefarm Records. Now, few are about to become many in 2017.
“I want fans to feel like this album is theirs since they were ultimately responsible for it,” Croom leaves off. “We had to make it perfect for them. It’s important for us to hug them and say thank you as much as possible. We accomplished something great through having a cult following that wanted us to continue. I think it’s important for people to know that and see this came to life because of them.”