The Damned Things

The Damned Things

Crobot, He Is Legend

Mon, May 6, 2019

6:30 pm

Chameleon Club

$20.00 - $23.00

This event is 18 and over

The Damned Things
The Damned Things
Crobot
Crobot
BRANDON YEAGLEY - LEAD VOCAL, HARMONICA
CHRIS BISHOP - GUITAR, VOCALS
JAKE FIGUEROA - BASS
PAUL FIGUEROA - DRUMS

You can't help but feel that your ears are being dipped in nostalgia then taken to another dimension and back again with the songs of Crobot.  This Central Pennsylvanian quartet conjures up sonic ghosts and stories that seemingly were interpreted from crop circles with their 2012 self-released debut album, The Legend of the Spaceborne Killer.  The Legend of the Spaceborne Killer , recorded before the Figueroa brothers were in the band, seamlessly manages to capture the powerful packed punch of the vocals of lead singer Brandon Yeagley and head bobbing guitar riffs of Chris Bishop.  With the crucial additions of Jake Figueroa’s solidity of the low frequencies on bass guitar perfectly accompanying his brother with sticks of thunder, Paul Figueroa on drums Crobot has found the formula to take them into the riff-rock abyss and beyond.  Crobot is getting ready to hit the studio with famed producer Machine (Clutch, Lamb of God, Cobra Starship, Gym Class Heroes) to work on their 2014 Wind-up Records debut release.

You might think the band members were all stationed at the same moon base during the interstellar revolution but the cosmic forces that brought the foursome together began when Brandon, who hails from the coal-regions of Central Pennsylvania, and Bishop, from Eastern Tennessee, met through a band audition.  After calling it quits only a month into forming, Brandon and Bishop were left with merely pieces of a band and an unsatisfied quench for the elixir of the nomadic life of rock ‘n roll….and thus the origins of Crobot began.  As Brandon transitioned from bass player to full blown front man he combined his soaring vocals with Bishop’s killer guitar riffs and the two set out to build a band based on the music they genuinely loved to play. 

It was at Bar 46 in Hackettstown, NJ where Paul and Jake, who were living upstairs at the time, heard the sonic pleasures that would alter time and space forever.  “I heard Brandon's voice,” said Paul.  “Even through the muffled din of the bar below, his voice had so much clarity and presence that I knew I would be foolish if I didn't at least check them out. Once I heard Bishop shredding nasty riffs and saw Brandon twisting and gyrating like a possessed astral gypsy my mind melted…I had a new favorite band.”  For Paul and Jake what happened next was somewhat serendipitous.  Having grown tired of the local scene, the brothers were getting ready to leave the East Coast for Los Angeles to try their luck out there….then the phone rang.  Paul remembers, “about a week before we were going to move, Bishop called and asked us to join Crobot. Instead of LA, we moved to PA and haven't looked back (or west...)”  Five days later the newly formed foursome was playing their first gig of many at the very same bar where Paul first heard those mind-altering riffs.  Crobot had officially landed.

According to legend, Crobot got their name from their penchant for jamming “Crobar-esque” riffs with low robotic octave effects, but if you ask Brandon, Crobot has evolved into more than that.  “It’s become a counter-culture, so-to-speak.  With so much emphasis on manufacturing, in terms of looks, sounds, and sights, Crobot is a collection of like-minded and like-bearded individuals who stand for neither going against the grain or with it, but avoiding shaving all together.”
 
Crobot’s approach to songwriting has evolved from Brandon and Bishop’s creations into a group effort.  Most of the time, Bishop will come to the band with a riff or a loose song structure that they'll jam to, part by part, until they’re feeling it.  “I'll improvise some melody lines over the parts usually after the band finds solid ground, enough to jam through,” says Brandon.  “We try to take everything to every perspective that we can, whether they’re in fact our perspectives or created ones.  The music usually gives me a great sense of the direction of the lyrics.  Sometimes influenced by old horror/sci-fi flicks I’ve watched as a child, literary works I have or have not read, or the sheer randomness that happens by simply hanging out with this crazy bunch of bots.  Whether it’s into orbit, through a wormhole, or at the bottom of an empty bottle of some sort-of elixir, the music really does the work.”

With killer live shows described by Brandon as “like lighting a quarter stick of dynamite and throwing it in an un-flushed toilet,” what’s next for Crobot?  With breakout live performances at SXSW 2013, Milwaukee Summerfest, Jersey Shore Music Festival, Musikfest (Bethlehem, PA), and a national upcoming tour with Clutch and The Sword beginning in January 2014, the possibilities for Crobot’s interstellar domination are endless.
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."
Venue Information:
Chameleon Club
223 North Water Street
Lancaster, PA, 17603
http://www.chameleonclub.net/