Interview by Michael Mason
FOON: I’m here with Schuylar from the band He Is Legend, you’re the lead singer right?
Schuylar Croom: I am, sometimes… on my better days.
FOON: Where did you come up with the name He Is Legend?
Schuylar: Well, we had a horror movie magazine that was talking about a book called I Am Legend that Richard Matheson wrote. It basically came from that. I read the book after I read about it in the magazine; and I basically stole the name from that book.
FOON: So this tour is winding down now right, how has the tour been?
Schuylar: It has been fun, it’s for a totally different crowd and kids don’t really understand us sometimes; but it’s a way to get new fans so it’s all worth it I guess.
FOON: How long have you been on the road? When’s the last time you were actually home?
Schuylar: We were home for like three days one time, and two weeks another time. We just got home from Europe, so it’s just like we’re constantly going like a pack of gypsies. We’re on the road all summer now so it’s like non-stop.
FOON: So what’s up for the summer?
Schuylar: We’re doing a tour with 18 visions, opening for them next month, actually it starts sooner… After that we’re doing some festivals and whatnot, just kind of be-bopping around the states, doing some shows. So we’re doing that; and there’s talk about some other things. We may go out with From First to Last again. There are a lot of things in mind but we just have to keep them under wraps until they’re finalized.
FOON: What’s your favorite band on this tour?
Schuylar: We get along with everyone. Each band is a little different, so they all have their qualities; From First to Last has one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen. They’re incredible to watch.
FOON: Any interesting tour stories you’d care to share?
Schuylar: We have crazy things happen to us all the time… We’re just a bunch of southern redneck dudes so we do whatever. The other day we were at a hotel and I think I almost witnessed a murder, some girl got drug out of a car and into a hotel room, we were all freaking out; it was really strange. The craziest thing… I’m not exactly sure, I have a stalker well, a “dopple ganger” who just got arrested for stalking some girl in Los Angeles. I don’t know, there’s some really weird stuff that happens on tours. I could probably go on but we’d be here all night.
FOON: What’s more important to the band, look or sound?
Schuylar: I think that answers itself, because we all look horrible. I mean… we’ve always been one hundred percent about the sound and live show. It’s really important to us to be precise about the music. When we have an off night, we’re really bummed out. We just look like redneck’s, that is just what we are. I mean look at my bass player right now, he’s barefoot, wearing camouflage cutoffs from wal-mart and a girl’s headband. None of us look good. We can’t worry about the look because we always look horrible.
FOON: Who writes the lyrics and such for the band?
Schuylar: I write all the lyrics.
FOON: Where does the inspiration for the lyrics come from?
Schuylar: A lot of different things, I’ve always wanted to be known more as a ‘writer’ than just a ‘dude in a band’ I’m just really passionate about writing in general; so I try to write a lot and read a lot of books and stuff. A lot of it comes from short stories I write and random ridiculousness I look up to a lot of writers and guys in bands, Bob Dylan is an incredible song writer and like some of The Melvin’s lyrics and Dave Matthews Band the way they write is outstanding, I look up to a lot of people like that who write awesome lyrics.
FOON: The CD came out when?
Schuylar: Almost a year now, November 2nd last year I think.
FOON: It’s called I Am Hollywood, any particular reason or meaning behind the naming of the CD?
Schuylar: Not really, it was just kind of a story I written before, it has gotten a lot of play as being a bash on Hollywood; but before we wrote the record, none of us had ever been to Hollywood. So, it had nothing to do with Hollywood in general, it was more like the idea of not being realistic as far as living your life. I write about monsters and stuff like that. The whole album was not based around one common theme, but some of the songs coincide and fit together they have some story behind them; but none of them were like “Yeah, we’re writing about Hollywood in general.” That’s just lame to do regardless.
FOON: Anything about He Is Legend that sticks out that you’d care to share with us?
Schuylar: We’re just having a good time. We just want people to know that we just want people to have fun. I think a lot of bands have lost that edge. Playing music and playing shows should be fun. I mean, I’ve seen 70’s rock and festivals and stuff like that, and hear stories from bands who were around back then, and it was all about dancing and having a good time. You’d go to a show because you enjoyed it; that’s what we want to bring back, the fun aspects of a rock and roll show. It kind of left for awhile but it’s coming back. We’re having a good time and we just want other kids to have a good time because we just act like dudes that’s all. We’re not special we just write rock music and we want people to know that that’s what we stand for, rock and roll.
FOON: You don’t feel that you’re any different than anyone else then?
Schuylar: Nope, not at all. If you were to hang out with us you’d probably realize how big of dudes we are. We’re not rock stars, we’re not anything else. Just dudes who want to hang out and laugh. Seriously, that’s all we ever do, we don’t go crazy, we just hang out, that’s all we’ve ever done, and that’s all we’re ever going to do… we stick out a little bit I guess. I mean, I have a 6-inch beard; and we all look dirty, other than that, it has nothing to do with who we are, its just music.
FOON: So this whole thing is more about the journey than where you end up?
Schuylar: We just dig music. I mean, it’s the reason why we started. Some of the guys have been playing in a band for nine years or something like that. It’s human nature for them. I played drums when I was like seven or eight, then I started playing in some bands, and singing stuff; like that. We all just came together, and that’s why we’re in a band, to play music. That’s just what we wanted to do. I can’t see myself doing anything different. I can do other things; but this is what I want to ultimately do. I think it goes the same way for the rest of the band.
FOON: Looking back at some of the record labels you’ve been on and the bands on there with you, do you find it hard to follow some of the more successful bands?
Schuylar: I think we stick out a little bit more as far as music goes; and our ideas and the things we stand for, and like what we plan to do. Almost every one of the bands on our label we’re really good friends with, so it isn’t like a competition. We might go a different route than somebody in a different band; but it doesn’t really matter who’s more successful, who makes good music or any of that. Some of the stuff that’s put out on some of the labels we worked with could be something I’d never listen to, but you just have to respect certain aspects of certain things, and that’s what we do. Look at bands like Norma Jean who we’re really good friends with, and are some of my favorite dudes on the planet, and they’re writing rock music that absolutely rules. We’re not following them because we just don’t play the same genre of music; but like, we can appreciate that type of thing. Like bands on this tour, and tours we’ve done before, music we wouldn’t normally listen to; but respect the fact that they rule as a live band and they’re just some of the coolest dudes we know. You have to respect that thing about everybody. Music is our lives. It’s all we do; our lives revolve around everything that we do right now.
FOON: So what genre would you say you’re in?
Schuylar: Rock and Roll. There’s just no other real way to describe it. People ask us what we sound like and we tell them loud. I mean its just loud rock and roll music. People always try to pigeon hole their genre, like by saying ‘oh we’re a progressive emo band’ or ‘we’re like a heavy indie rock band that sounds like this’ if you listen to our record we have so many different genres that just blend into one, that we can’t just describe what we sound like, I mean we play rock and roll that’s all it boils down to. Bands like the Stones who can write a song like ‘Angie’ then write ‘Jumping Jack Flash.’ All those songs, none of them really sound the same, but you know it’s the Stones right off the bat. You just have to have your own sound and we do. We sound like He Is Legend.
FOON: So is there any last thing you’d like to add?
Schuylar: Listen to The Receiving End of Sirens and Classic Case they’re two of the best bands we’ve played with and listened to. They absolutely rule. Classic Case is going to be one of the biggest bands we know in a couple of years; and The Receiving End of Sirens are some of the most talented dudes I have ever met. Their record just blows me away. We listen to the Classic Case CD almost every day, so look out for those two, they are incredible.