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Mega Deaf Tour: He Is Legend, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, Wilson, Electric Astronaut, The Feeble Contenders & Myra Maybelle
August 4, 2014 @ 6:30 pm - 11:55 pm
Tickets for this concert can be purchased here.
Third String Productions presents:
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 collection 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.”
MYLENE AND THE SONS OF DISASTER
The Barker-Karpis Gang were gun-toting outlaws robbing as they pleased. As a child, Dallas Taylor would accompany his grandfather to the small Florida town of Ocklawaha to watch annual reenactments of the FBI shootout that ended the illustrious career of this early 20th century crime family, allegedly led by Kate “Ma” Barker, in a hail of bullets.
Which makes it fitting that as an adult, Dallas Taylor would lead a band of musical outlaws who rob and steal the best parts of heavy metal, punk rock, down-home classic rock n’ roll and bluegrass and reshape it in their own image with the true-life morality tale of Maylene and the Sons Of Disaster as their backdrop, muse and namesake.
On the Birmingham, Alabama boys’ third album — entitled, with beautiful simplicity, III — the reconfigured band push the envelope even further, broadening the scope of the impressive repertoire firmly established on their eponymous debut and 2007’s II (which produced the MTV2 Headbanger’s Ball staple “Dry The River”) with ease.
Dallas is a commanding frontman with a natural charisma who can charm a crowd like he’s arrived to drive the serpents out of the local swamps. With his rest of the Sons in tow, both new and old, there’s really nothing the band can’t accomplish with their exciting blend of mystery, mystique, literary allegories and straight-forward sass. Hard-hitting but not without depth or catchy angst, Maylene refuses to rely on trendy formulas to be memorable, choosing instead to delve deeply into the past to draw upon the most invigorating elements of rock n’ roll’s best grooves.
When Maylene founders Taylor and Roman Haviland (bass, backing vocals) found themselves without the triple guitar armada who flanked them (although Josh Cornutt remained as a writing and recording member only) and drummer-less as well, they relied on their own well-rooted underground musical ties to refresh the band’s blood.
Dallas is the former singer for gold-album selling metalcore / screamo outfit Underoath and he knew Matt Clark (drums) and Kelly Scott Nunn (guitar) from when they played in an early configuration of that band together. Nunn also played with Further Seems Forever, the band that launched Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carrabba. “He just has a good ear for vocal patterns and a great sense of melody,” Taylor enthuses. And then there’s Jake Duncan (guitar), who was originally drafted to replace Cornutt on the road only but who ended up adding a ton as well.
“Jake has a big classic rock and blues background, both of which have come more into play than we had before,” Taylor explains. “We had it before, but not to the extent that we do with him. It’s embedded in his roots.”
As soon as the new guys came onboard in January of 2008, Maylene started writing, even trashing some songs they had put together previously. Writing for III resumed in the fall after some touring (over the years, Maylene has gone out with bands like P.O.D, Throwdown, Zao and the aforementioned Underoath) before they hit the studio.
III is crap-kickin’, clod-hopper stomping rock n’ metal which will remind fans, critics and contemporaries why Maylene and the Sons Of Disaster have long sat atop the so-called Southern Fried Metalcore genre.
“The cool thing with having new guys is it’s an open slate,” Taylor says. “We were able to do things that we weren’t able to do before. Some songs were, vocally, way heavier for me and a chance to branch out and do different styles of vocals. It was a chance for us to do whatever we want and introduce the new guys with it. It was really cool.”
“Listen Close” displays a heretofore uncharted vocal range that’s decidedly stronger than the majority of the band’s peers. “Step Up (I’m On It)” is a barnstormer with a ZZ Top vibe. “Oh Lonely Grave” features a guest singer from Atlanta as the song careens from bluegrass to one of Maylene’s heaviest moments with a string arrangement to boot.
III is infused with Maylene’s by now signature esoteric themes of final judgment, redemption and justice. There’s a sense of swagger throughout and a none-too-subtle country vibe bubbling beneath the surface.
“What we really want to do with this record is crossover in a way that older and younger people can both get something out of it,” Dallas offers. “I want to relate to people in a lot of ways, in a sense of being down-home… Everyone can get something out of it: the guy next door that’s mowing your lawn or working on your house.”
And with that down-home vibe and broad appeal comes a healthy dose of Southern humility and hospitality. “We want people to know we’re not a big ‘rock star’ type band. We try to make the music and the imagery larger than life but not to the point that it’s unattainable or inaccessible. We’re just normal guys that play music. We know what people are going through and if we weren’t in a band, we’d probably be hanging out with you on the weekends.”
Wilson is not an “internet band”. They’re five dudes in a van with beards and big dicks- working harder than your parents. But instead of giving their all as stockbrokers or auto-mechanics or assistant branch managers their job is to destroy your party. Forget debates about the music industry, about download analytics, mp3 singles, and the “charts”. Screw genres. All that has nothing to do with music. But when that Wilson van cruises into your town that shit is REAL. Real MUSIC. Real LIFE. Real LOUD. Real SWEATY. And real fucking FUN.
You know who is FUN? Matt Puhy defines fun. What’s more fun than a naught flirty blonde with washboard abs that knows how to handle his “stixxx”? That bangs it out harder every night than you did the first time you took E.
What about SWEATY? Yeah that’s right- Jason Spencer gets sweaty. That’s what happens when you treat a fret-board likes it’s a ninja war, and you relentlessly SHRED EVERYTHING IN YOUR PATH FOR AN HOUR. When the sweat drips all the way from his head down his well-muscled body down to his huge heavy balls- he’s just begun. Probably still warming up.
LOUD. Kyle Landry defies loud. His ice blue eyes are silent. He doesn’t small talk or “chit chat”. But when he could only get his amp to go to “11” he threw it in the fucking garbage. Then he built a new one out of raw iron, testosterone and grizzly bear semen. And all the unsaid things he hides behind those quiet blue eyes come out of that amp louder than Skrillex’s cries for help if his DJ hand got caught in a blender.
As for real MUSIC, James Lascu’s DNA coils into the shape of a bass clef. Don’t believe me? Ask a scientist, douche-bag or just get the wax out of your ears. Subwoofers tremble when he plugs in. Then he makes them sing like Maria Callas. #S&M Sadism and melody.
Real LIFE. Isn’t there a voice inside your head? That screams “BULLSHIT” all the time? That wants to tell the world how you feel? That voice is the CHAD NICEFIELD in you. The real life drilling its way to the surface. Telling the truths that you were afraid to. The moaning screams that you thought were all your own. Real words. Real thoughts. Real life. That’s all Chad knows. And he can see that all in you.
And that’s it. That’s Wilson. A band that has toured relentlessly since since 2010, through big cities and little podunks. A band that records its albums the ol’ fashioned way: with instruments. And analog gear. Fifth and sixth and twentieth takes. A band that brings that last Friday night on Earth mentality to the stage every night. Like P. Diddy once said “Can’t stop. Won’t stop.” And they’ll never quit on you. And that’s real talk. That’s #FUCKERY. And that’s WILSON.
Electric Astronaut is a rock band from College Station formed from the ashes of well-known locals, BonnieBlue and Legacy Fails.
THE FEEBLE CONTENDERS
The Feeble Contenders are a loud rock n roll band from Texas.