He Is Legend – Tickets – The Riot Room – Kansas City, MO – October 16th, 2017

He Is Legend

He Is Legend

34, BUMMER

Mon, October 16, 2017

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

The Riot Room

Kansas City, MO

$12.00 - $14.00

This event is 21 and over

He Is Legend
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."
34
34
Brett Carter - Vocals (At The Left Hand Of God)

Erich Thomas - Bass (David Hasselhoff On Acid)

Phil Wolf - Guitar (David Hasselhoff On Acid)

RL Brooks - Guitar & Vocals (Flee The Seen, Maps For Travelers, Sisters Of)

Jason Shrout - Drums (Saved By Grace, Eighteen Visions, Nervous Wreck, Black Mark, Trial, Renouncer, Dark Ages)
BUMMER
BUMMER
I just want to scare you, honestly," Matt Perrin says between mouthfuls of food. "When I get up onstage, the whole point of what I want to do is scare people. I want people to look at me and get uncomfortable. I mean, look at me."

Perrin is wearing black, square-frame glasses; a T-shirt printed with grazing cows; and a lime-green baseball cap turned backward over his long, dishwater-blond hair. When he narrows his sharp brown eyes, the 19-year-old guitarist and lead singer for Olathe thrash-rock trio Bummer appears altogether unthreatening. He knows this.

His bandmates know, too. Huddled around a table with Perrin at Grinders, bassist Mike Gustafson, 22, and drummer Tom Williams, 18, are about as unassuming as the basket of fries they're sharing. And yet, since the release of Bummer's four-song Milk EP last October, word of this up-and-coming band's brutal, barbaric sound has spread.

"I feel like people look at us and are like, 'Oh, what's going to happen here?' " Perrin continues. "And if someone's never heard of us before, I want them to be genuinely scared the first time they hear us. Because Mike's just ripping, and Tom's just loud as fuck."

"We turn all our stuff up as loud as it goes and we just fly," Gustafson says. "We didn't try to make it sound so angry. That's just how it came out. I just like super-loud, super-catchy stuff — stuff with hooks that hit hard."

Perrin adds, "We all kind of get it when it comes to that. It's gotta be heavy and catchy, but it has to punch you in the face at the same time."

Milk does come out swinging, and over its swift quarter-hour, the fuming and the venom don't let up. It's the work of a tight unit. Musical sympathies and ambitions are firmly aligned. Perrin and Williams have been friends since high school, and they were dedicated fans of Gustafson's now-defunct band the Resourceful Horse.

"The reason I started playing with them, even though I'm not much older, was because everyone my age was getting way too trashed to play," Gustafson says. "And, of course, that's fun and stuff, but these guys are motivated, and it was nice to play with people who gave a shit. We've all been in different bands, and this is just easy."

Not everything is about pure sonic assault, though. Perrin, who has roots in jazz guitar and doesn't play down his love of J-pop, has enrolled in jazz courses this fall at Kansas City, Kansas, Community College.

"I've been playing jazz since eighth grade," Perrin says. "I've taken a bunch of music-theory classes. I understand scales and keys. It works for us in that Mike is very feel, and I take his feel and I dissect it."

"I taught myself," Gustafson explains. "Usually it takes them a second to figure out what I'm doing because they're like, 'What key is that in?' And they're trying to figure out time signatures and stuff. And I'm just like, 'Just go with it.' I'm a terrible influence."

Another EP is in the works, and for the first time, Bummer is headed to a professional recording space (Weston House Recording). Another first: actual vinyl. But like Milk, the next EP — set for a fall release — will include just four songs. The reasoning?

"We're poor," Gustafson says. His companions give despondent nods.

"But this is the last EP," Williams says. "We thought it'd be cool to do at least one EP that gets physically put out, and then do a full-length after and put it out on vinyl — you know, if the EP goes well on vinyl."

Still, don't expect the LP, which might see a release next winter, to overcompensate with lengthy material. For the most part, Bummer's songs run less than four minutes, and the live shows rarely push past 25.

"There's a lot of bands that play for 30 or 45 minutes, and I'm standing there like, 'Dude, I actually want to leave now,' " Gustafson says. "We usually do a 15- to 20-minute set. We try to get in there, play loud and leave."

"There's an article called 'Six Reasons Your Band Shouldn't Play Longer Than 20 Minutes' [by Drew Ailes, of The Village Voice], and everyone should read it," Perrin says. "If you play more than 20 minutes, you over-satisfy. You want to leave the audience with just enough, and if they dig it, they dig it. If they want you to play more, that sucks. I guess they have to come see you again. That's how it's always been with us."
Venue Information:
The Riot Room
4048 Broadway
Kansas City, MO, 64111
http://www.theriotroom.com/
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